Posts Under: Openings

For Starters, Address the Prospect Not the Product

I just saw a production of Hamlet here in Washington, D.C., where esteemed director Michael Kahn rearranged the opening scenes. “Now, the furious outpouring of Hamlet’s heart in the ‘O that this too solid flesh would melt’ speech opens the play,” wrote The Washington Post’s Peter Marks. In today's 2-seconds-to-engage, attention-jumping landscape, beginnings are crucial—so much so that a famous director didn’t quite trust even Shakespeare to engage us quickly enough. That could be overthinking things, but it also shows our awareness of today's audiences. "Unless you gain the prospect's attention, he or she won't read any of your copy," writes Bob Bly, one of the leading copywriters in the country and the speaker for the March 21 SIPA webinar: The World's Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets. (Register here.) "And if the prospect doesn't read your copy, he or she won't receive the persuasive message you've so carefu ...


Tips for Getting Readers Hooked With Your Openings

“Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg.” Ernest Hemingway told George Plimptonin an interview for The Paris Review in 1958. The series was called the “Art of Fiction,” but John McPhee—the wonderful octogenarian, non-fiction author still writing for The New Yorker—writes in his latest article that this most certainly applies to non-fiction as well.