Message & Media: 48 Copy Starters for Letter and Email Openers

48 idea-starters for letter and email openers

The next time you’re stumped when starting to write email or letter copy, give one of these a try:

1. “If you’re like me …”

2. “What if …?”

3. “Because you are a …”

4. “I need your help.”

5. “Congratulations!”

6. “You are invited …”

7. “As you know …”

AAA Upgrade Certificate

This letter from AAA not only contains a free upgrade certificate for the current member, but also plays up that the upgrade is a reward in the first sentence.

8. “You have a free gift waiting 
for you …”

9. Use a narrative of a specific episode (“It’s early morning. You unlock the door to your business and there you see…”)

10. “This is your private invitation …”

11. “You’re a rare bird. A customer who deserves …”

12. “Good news!”

13. “We’ve got some good and bad news. The bad news is ____. But here’s the good part.”

14. “Did you know …?”

15. “Have you ever wished that …?”

16. “We’ve missed you.”

17. “I’ve enclosed …”

18. “You’re in trouble. And so am I. Here’s why.”

19. “Are you paying too much? Do you know if you’re paying too much?”

20. “This is going to be short, sweet, and full of good news for you and your family.”

21. “Believe it or not …”

22. “Because you’re _________, you’re eligible to _______.”

23. “I’ll get right to the point.”

24. “If you like ________, you’ll love ______.”

25. Lead with an appropriate quotation.

26. “I’d be lying if I said my reason for writing is …”

27. “This is your last chance.”

28. “Because of your loyalty …”

29. “You’re important to us.”

30. “You have been named an honorary employee for the month of …”

31. “Thank you for …”

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

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  • http://Anne-MarieWatson Anne-Marie Watson

    Thank you Pat! These include some excellent suggestions, which could be very useful to small businesses who have to write their own copy because of budgeting restraints etc.Even though I write a bit myself, I think getting the first line is actually the hardest..

    BTW I don’t see any Share options in the articles on this website.As I like to tweet the good ones for my followers, is that something that could be added on by Target Marketing?

  • Heather Sloan

    Great article Pat! Here’s another trick: After I finish writing, I go back to beginning and check to see if my first sentence is really necessary. Often I find that I was warming up with that first sentence and the real magic starts in the second sentence. Once I delete the first sentence (and sometimes the first paragraph), I often have a more powerful piece.

  • Karen Connally

    Thanks Pat!

  • John

    Thanks Pat for a great article! If you don’t mind, I would like to share it?