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Message & Media : Copy Starters

48 idea-starters for letter and email openers

March 2012 By Pat Friesen
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4. "I need your help."

5. "Congratulations!"

6. "You are invited …"

7. "As you know …"

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 …"

32. "You may be wondering why …"

33. Start on a positive note, even if the letter has a negative message.

34. "You have ___ days left to pick up the phone or go online to …."

35. Lead with a strong testimonial.

36. "For the first time, you can …"

37. "Thank you for your recent order. Did you know that you can now …."

38. Ask a question. "Do you make these 5 mistakes when you're shopping for groceries?"

39. "Our records show it's time to ______ your __________."

40. Lead with your offer.

41. Tell a story.

42. Give a warning. "According to ______, two-thirds of those with your job title will lose their jobs in the next 12 months."

43. "They didn't think I could ________, but I did. And you can, too. Here's how."

44. "It is my privilege to invite you to ..."

45. "If you are a_______, then you can _____."

Here are some additional suggestions for making the copy for your letters and emails look easier to read:

46. Limit 75 percent to 80 percent of the words to five characters or less.

47. Make sentences 1.5 lines or shorter. Double-check line length for ease of eye-tracking.

48. Keep the first paragraph to three lines or fewer.

One last thing: Don't stress about writing the perfect opening sentence. If it doesn't come to you right off the bat, just start writing. There's a really good chance you're going to find the perfect opener buried in your second or third paragraph. I speak from experience.

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter and creative strategist writing for online and traditional media. Reach her at (913) 341-1211, pat@patfriesen.com or by visiting patfriesen.com. Also find her at linkedin.com/in/patfriesen.


 
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Most Recent Comments:
Anne-Marie Watson - Posted on March 29, 2012
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?
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Archived Comments:
Anne-Marie Watson - Posted on March 29, 2012
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?