7 More Ways To Get (and Keep!) Your Prospect’s Attention in Your Lead

I’ve talked before about ways to start your sales letter.

What am I talking about here?  I’m talking about the “lead” – or your first sentences after “Dear Friend.”

And other than your headline, it’s the most important copy you’ll write.  It must do its job to capture and keep a reader’s attention, or your letter is a bust.

Here are more examples of successful openings, along with suggested lead categories, all generously tweeted to me last week by copywriter Donna Baier Stein.

1. “Every single issue has something you absolutely, positively need to know about — but might never think to ask. (curiosity lead)”

2. “You may never have another chance like this one. If you want America’s National Parks to be here for your children and grandchildren, please complete and return the enclosed national survey… (urgency lead)”

3. “Urgent crisis in Haiti — help save a child’s life for just $10! (timeliness lead)”

4. “Doing your taxes with our software is so quick and easy you may even look forward to it! (benefit lead)”

5. “If the list on which I found your name is any indication… (flattery lead…many variations on this today)”

6. “FREE 3-month subscription to most respected health & fitness magazine can be yours – no strings attached. (offer lead)”

7. “The bug-eyed bird on our envelope who’s ogling you with such a bad temper has a point. (story lead)”

What do you think? Pretty good list to swipe from, no?

And if you enjoyed these, don’t thank me. Vist Donna’s website or send her a tweet, and thank her in person for sharing.


  1. Ash says:

    Hi Ryan!

    This is awesome stuff! I was just about ready to scour the web for these copies and it was such a delight to find it all (and more) in one place. Mighty helpful! Kudos to you and cheers!