How do you write a killer intro paragraph for your newsletter? One way is to start with a question. (See what we did there?) Another is to get right to the point. (See again?) And another is to create short, simple sentences that are easy to navigate. (Yup. Again.)
The mission of your first paragraph is to make a connection with your reader. Tap into their interests. Identify their problems. Illuminate their hopes. If your reader sees a piece of themselves in what you’ve written, they’ll continue reading because they believe you understand where they’re at and what they need. Another way to put this? Lead with empathy. Tailor your message to your readers’ feelings. Personalize it. 71% of customers recommend a brand based on their emotional connection to it.
But how, exactly, do you build an intro paragraph that packs all that? Four key components make up an effective intro: the hook, the problem, the solution, and the promise.
This is the most important part of the paragraph. You have to grab your reader right here or they’ll slip through your fingers (and slip your newsletter into the trash.) There are quite a few ways to lock in your reader:
1. Asking a question is a good way to accomplish this.
How do you train your dog to lay quietly at your feet in a restaurant?
2. A deeper dive into the art of asking questions reveals the brilliance of embedding an obvious YES answer into the question.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your dog were so calm in a restaurant you could order that second drink?
3. Making a confession is another effective tool.
The last time I brought my dog to a restaurant she spilled a bottle of beer—on the other side of the room.
4. Getting inside your reader’s head is yet another.
It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? Your dog pulls you so hard you drop the coffee you just bought!
5. How about contrasting scenarios?
Walking into a restaurant with your dog can make you look like you’re a zen master or a walking disaster.
6. Stating an interesting fact works well too.
Try tipping your server extra for putting up with your pooch.
7. Finally, remember empathy.
We love our dogs as much as you do, which is why we’ve created a training plan that keeps you together!
Articulate the issue you know your reader is facing. Make it clear that they aren’t going to be able to fix it alone.
You want to bring your dog out to dinner, but she puts her paws on your table at home. There’s no way she’ll keep her feet on the floor if she sees twelve tables.
You let your reader know you can help fix the problem. You won’t go into the details of how in the intro, but just that you can. In other words, pique their interest. Don’t tell too much. Don’t tell too little.
Our training plan, Rover in a Restaurant, consists of five simple commands that will keep your pup perfectly calm.
Pretty self-explanatory. If your reader continues on, you will give them a solution they can use.
Thousands of dog owners are now able to have a meal out with their mutt. Keep reading to learn exactly what you need to do.
One last piece of advice. Write your intro last. You can only understand the point of your newsletter after you’ve written it. Once you know what you have to offer, you can craft a killer opening paragraph that is specific, passionate, and personal.