Writing advertising text. How to prepare the first paragraph well?
Are you writing an ad text and don't know how to get started? After reading this text, it will not be a problem for you. The importance of the first paragraph in an advertising text, and especially its first words, is demonstrated by numerous studies conducted by specialists. Writing an advertising text has its own rules - it's worth knowing them.
Writing an advertising text - how important is the beginning?
One of the most important elements of your ad text is the magnetizing headline that grabs the reader's attention. Once we have gained this attention, it is worth keeping it. Eye tracking research, showing what we focus our eyes on most intensively, says clearly - right after the headline, in the text we pay special attention to the first words of the first sentence. Then we turn our gaze to the right and go back to the beginning, to the left side of the text.
That is why the first paragraph of the advertising text is so important. A good start ensures that the reader becomes interested in what the text describes. There is no uniform and reliable recipe for creating the perfect first paragraph. Writing an advertising text, however, should follow certain guidelines that allow you to gain the attention of the recipient and direct it on the right track.
The first sentence works like a magnet
The first sentence determines whether the reader wants to read our text further. We often have to spend a lot of time on it before we really find it valuable, and most importantly - attractive for the recipient. Advertising classic John Caples conducted an experiment with the famous magazine Reader's Digest. He tracked the first sentences of the magazine's written texts and found that many of them would do a great job in advertising.
Caples created a typology of highlighted sentences. It includes six different models for starting an ad copy.
The principle of interruption, cutscenes - according to Caples, an interlude is a phrase, a sentence that overcomes the reader's boredom. It is surprising and unexpected.
The highlight of the annual chemistry fair, held in New York a month ago, was a pair of skunks in a plastic cage (a deodorant ad).
Shock - an even more surprising and unexpected cut-scene, often introducing a scandalous or unusual fact.
Even gangsters consult their lawyer before committing certain crimes.
Novinka - an idea taken from editorial journalism. The text begins with a news release.
An industrial empire worth millions of dollars suddenly arose on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Overview - a brief overview of what is later in the text.
When intelligently analyzed, our dreams give us significant insight into our problems and relationships with others.
Quote - most often uttered by an authority in a specific field.
Daniel Webster said, "If everything I have and what I can have been taken from me, with one exception, I would like to keep the power of words, for with its help I would get the rest."
Story - a very short story, anecdote, alluded to in the first sentence.
As autumn dawn broke over Boston Harbor, the tugboat Irene-Mae set sail for the ocean on a mysterious mission.
(Examples from the book by J. Caples Effective advertising)
Caples noted that sentences from Reader's Digest may or may not be used in advertising texts very often. However, he stressed that they were factual, precise, short and arousing interest. If none of the above suggestions apply to our text, it is also a good idea to refer to the headline in the first sentence.
Writing advertising text - prepare the entire paragraph
The first sentence has a key task in the first paragraph of the text, but this does not mean that subsequent phrases can be completely arbitrary. Caples decided that the first paragraph, as a whole, should be short, develop the thought from the headline and present the benefits that the reader will gain if he chooses a specific product or brand.
In his book Czas na E-Biznes, Piotr Majewski writes that the first paragraph should fulfill one of the six tasks:
arouse the reader's curiosity,
to be news,
appeal to human interests,
use the principle of contrariness.
There is some similarity here to the types of first sentences Caples wrote about. Certain methods and principles remained universal, bearing in mind that several dozen years passed between the development of Caples and Majewski.
However, knowing how to write the first paragraph is not enough to make such a paragraph actually electrifying for the reader. Above all, the copywriter's skills are important, as he masters writing an advertising text to perfection and can turn "cold", hard patterns into a sophisticated, attention-grabbing text.