Emails. LinkedIn InMail. Landing pages. Social posts. Press releases.
Pretty much any content really.
They share something in common.
The importance of the first line.
Whether it be a subject line or headline or the intro into the first paragraph – that first line had better be suited, booted and ready to impress.
And it’s pretty easy to grab attention. You can say something outlandish or against the curve, which goes a different way to the rest of the content that you’re competing with.
But that isn’t going to work. Once people read the first line and find out that it isn’t aligned to what they want – they will leave quicker than a Tory cabinet incumbent.
You need to add value. You need to infer that what they’re about to read offers a tasty morsel that can give them info on something that concerns them.
Especially for B2B content.
You can simply be entertaining too of course. If your social post is intended for brand awareness, then it’s time to polish those trumpets and iron those red curtains ready for the show. And your first sentence will be the opening act to something that will aim to be memorable. To leave an impression on your readers that is the first step to brand awareness.
And the first line is your gateway.
Recently I worked on a project where there was resistance on my suggestions for the opening paragraph. And despite the knowledge that average attention spans online are about 6-8 seconds, the opening sentence eventually ended up into something you will read on many other sites.
In short, it will blend into the background.
So, whatever you’re writing, have a few attempts at that opening line.
It’s your one chance to lure a reader in. If that one line isn’t exciting or valuable enough, then you might as well write the rest in latin.