Copy Tip 31: Opening Formulas

This is where I love the nature of the internet to be able to share resources without having to re-hash the same content for you!

On one of my favourite free online business resource sites that I revealed in Copy Tip 16, Daniel Levis recently posted two articles on riveting opening body copy:

The ten strategies that Daniel covers are:

  1. You Have a Choice — a choice between staying where you are (the status quo), or taking action and getting successful results;
  2. The Genie Within You — unlocking knowledge you already possess (the product will reveal how to do that);
  3. Do You Know This? — If you don’t know the answers to these questions that you should know, you won’t get the results you’re after … the product will provide the answers;
  4. Winners and Losers — and the difference between the two is owning your product!;
  5. Let Me Tell You The Story — a concept we’ve covered in our Copy Tips — the power of story telling to get your readers into your copy
  6. Opening with a Damaging Admission — again, another concept we’ve covered — grab attention and trust by admitting something your reader wouldn’t expect you to say — great for believability;
  7. The If/Then Opening — I love using this one — qualifying with the “if” section, and agitating a problem (“if you’re sick and tired of __________, then _____________”) — and the “then” section promises a strong benefit / the outcome your prospect is looking for (by reading your copy);
  8. Make A Prediction — as Daniel says, ” by taking a topical happening, making a prediction about how it will play out, and relating that outcome to your reader”
  9. Emotional Release opening — identify the main problem your reader needs solving and really agitate what that problem is doing to their life. You’re showing a lot of empathy for their situation, and this helps to get them hooked on your copy;
  10. Will You Do Me A Favour? Opening — As Daniel points out, I’ve seen this many times in Robert Collier examples — this is very much connected to the “puppy dog close”: take the puppy home for a week to “try it out”, and if you don’t like it, just bring it back. But how could you resist doing that?! There’s a strong element of reciprocity in here too — helping to get readers to comply to future requests you make of them, because you’re giving them something now of value (and they feel obliged later to return the favour).

You should read Daniel’s two articles, as he goes into some great detail and examples about each of these opening formulas.

Sharing Resources — Dangerous?

So for me to point out someone else’s expert published content, I’m using the power of leverage … referencing and using “other people’s content” to help demonstrate valuable information I want to get across to you.

You may be thinking to yourself though why I’d do this? Wouldn’t I be better off writing it up myself and not “exposing” my sources? Doesn’t that mean you’d then just go to the source and have no need to come to this site?

Couldn’t you just bypass my content?

When you look at what’s going on, I don’t think that’s how most people will approach it.

Instead, there’s another thought process that takes place: “Hey, Dean shares with me some great free resources, I’ll keep a tab on what he says to see what else he’ll share with me.

Or something like that!

The benefit of leverage for me is not having to re-create something that’s already been well said — and for you the advantage is more the time saving in tracking down the “good stuff”.

For me, this is part of my day-to-day life. My resources and references are quite varied and I really get immersed in this kind of content.

You might not spend anywhere near that time — for good reasons — doing the same thing.

Also, pointing out one of my resources still implies — which is completely true — that there are lots of other useful resources I’d probably know of, use and learn from too in my professional life.

You’d be right if you made that assumption. My knowledge has come from dozens and dozens of sources over a VERY long time — I was earning money before I was even old enough to go to school!

I’m also happy enough to admit that I’m a constant student — studying marketing, psychology, persuasion, story telling, copywriting, professional sales and presentation, design and usability … topics I love!

So if you didn’t keep on following the tips, then you’d likely miss out on these other resources, as well as other lessons of my own to share and tips and advice I’ve put to good use on dozens and probably hundreds of client marketing, copywriting and public relations projects over many years.

That means to me that there’s really no danger here in sharing my resources with you … it helps me build my relationship with you, and you see that I can add value to your business, mixing in my own content with some valuable resources I’ve previously identified, evaluated and thought to be worthwhile.

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