How to grab attention without over-hyped language

How to avoid the common copywriting mistake of over hyped language and what to do to grab even more attention without it...

Here's another really great opening line from Frank McCourt's "Teacher Man" (if you haven't read Frank McCourt's books you really need to do that - the style is a great lesson in the art of a personal narrative which we use all the time in sales copy)...

The first line reads...

"On the first day of my teaching career I was almost fired for eating the sandwich of a high school boy."

That arouses a bit of curiousity. What the hell is a teacher doing eating a sandwich from one of his students?

But McCourt understands the value of the following line to really grab your reader...

"On the second day I was almost fired for mentioning the possibility of friendship with a sheep."

What the...?!!

You mentioned WHAT?!!!

Also note the understated tone.

A mistake even pro copywriters make is using over hyped language when the content is more than attention grabbing by itself.

By using this understated tone in his writing McCourt is INCREASING the impact.

He's speaking as if this kind of thing happens every day.

Great salesmen use understatment all the time to increase their selling power.

It's disarming and your prospect begins to fill in the blanks.

Let me explain what I mean with an example.

Let's say you were a marketing consultant selling your services to a potential client and you're talking about setting a profit target.

You're telling your prospect a story...

"When we first started working with Jim Jenkins from the TRS Housing Group he set his profit goal for the first 6 months at $500,000 - an increase of about 40%."

"Personally I thought it was a bit low but we ran with that and I was happy that in his first 3 months he passed that goal and 6 months down the track he had an $800,000 profit increase."

If this consultant is smart he knows he can just state the facts low key.

That can have more power because his prospect thinks - "Hell this guy is talking like he gets results like this EVERY DAY!! He didn't even blink an eyelid when he said that!"

Sometimes understatement is powerful in sales and in sales copy.

Remember advertising is just salesmanship in print.

Of course using a low key understated tone in opening lines requires a lot of thought. The key facts and statements MUST grab attention by themselves.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

P.S. This post is a follow up on the post about How To Write Opening Lines In Sales Copy

Also read...
A Powerful $20 Million Low Key Sales Presentation
Breaking Your Prospect's Sales Resistance
Is This Copywriting Mistake Killing Your Sales?
Low Key Copywriting Sells

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