Let’s start at the very beginning

Life is better as a unicorn.

“What, now?” you might ask yourself upon reading that subject heading in your inbox. EXACTLY. You read that subject heading in your inbox, and, if you’re anything like me, you were curious enough to actually open the email. That’s HUGE, considering the dozens of messages competing for your attention every hour. I piqued your interest enough for you to start reading about why you should attend [INSERT NAME OF UNIVERSITY]’s MBA program. As a writer, my work here is done.

Just kidding. As a writer, my work here is just getting started. 

But how you frame your message is critical and an attention-grabbing lede is a great place to start. Of course, you’ve got to know your audience before you even THINK of reaching out to them, but once you understand who they are, who you are and what distinguishes you from all the rest, you can let loose your writer. 

Personally, I love a creative, quirky lede–and creative, quirky copy. So in the spirit of the season, I’m going to give you some favorites I’ve encountered recently:

  • “There’s a steak inside this email.” — Yelp email subject heading
  • “Let’s take this outside.” — Boden marketing copy (For coats! Get it?!)
  • “When they heard the screams, no one suspected the rooster.” — Opening line of a 2002 story in the St. Petersburg Times by Kelley Benham French about a rooster named Rockadoodle Two that attacked a 2-year-old girl. (she was okay and the story is a delight to read).
  • “Nice one, Squirrelly Temple” — Okay, this is actually the title of a blog by my favorite bloggess Jenny Lawson (the blog is hilarious and so is Jenny Lawson).
  • “Cancel anytime without pretending you’ve moved.” — GymIt marketing copy

Have you read any clever copy lately that sucked you in? I’d love to hear about it. 


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