You’re a master at skimming blog posts (like this one?) and scrolling past those subheads and paragraphs we work over. A photo or a graphic might stop you in your tracks. The scrolling pauses and the eyes rest as you take in that visual hook.
Yes, photos get the eyeballs. That’s why social networks are built around them.
But what happens after the visual hook? After that comes the real hook.
Your first sentence…
That’s your hook. And no, I don’t mean a description of the main idea.
I mean the hook that will keep readers reading. That’s important. Because…
“The main goal of your first sentence is to get readers to read the second sentence.”
I’m paraphrasing Joe Sugarman, a master copywriter. He was talking about ads at the time, but it applies to any form of copy or text.
Do whatever you can to keep your readers immersed in the copy. That might mean longer (but better) copy or shorter, snappier text. You might even want to break a few grammar rules to keep their attention, interrupt the flow or add a hard stop. A dramatic punch. (See what I did there?)
There are other tricks you can use to keep them reading:
- Smart, but friendly word choice is a must.
- Short sentences and paragraphs keep them reading.
- Bullet points and white space can grab attention.
Don’t wimp out on…
subheads either, because they can draw readers back in to your copy.
But everything begins with the first sentence.
Put a little time into writing the first line
Whether you draw them in with a question, a startling statement, a story or a joke, you’ll see a difference. And you’ll get a better response.
Because while the skimmers of the web are drawn to photos, their brains still like smart text.
Here are a few hook sentence ideas to get you started.