Did you know that our brains are wired to filter out distractions?
The nerve cells within our brains tune out the trivial so they can focus on the essentials.
If your brain absorbed all outside stimuli, you would experience information overload.
Think of a water filter, and how it blocks unwanted elements. That’s how your brain is programmed to behave.
The same holds true for your prospect. So, your copy must penetrate your prospect’s natural defenses. That way, your message can inhabit their mind.
First, your headline must snatch your prospect’s attention. But that’s just the beginning…
Next, your lead must pass through their brain’s filter. This is what we’ll talk about today: leads… irresistible leads. We’ll discuss four ways you can make them too irresistible for prospects to ignore.
Let’s dive in.
Share a Brief Story
Have you ever read a book too captivating to put down?
Likely, its story snared your attention. You were absorbed.
Well, when you use a brief story as part of your lead, you can harness that same power to hold your prospect’s attention.
Why are stories so impactful?
Because they trigger your reader’s imagination. Once you have your prospect imagining the world you created, you can have their attention in the palm of your hands.
In fact, research shows that stories have the power to grab your reader by the hand and take them on a journey.
And that’s exactly what you want to do with your irresistible leads: take your prospect on a journey. And this applies whether you’re writing B2C or B2B copy. People, not job titles, are still reading your copy.
Your story can grab your prospect by the hand, then trigger their excitement about traveling from your first sentence to your last.
Here’s an example from a Joseph Sugarman ad:
“I am about to tell you a true story. If you believe me, you will be well rewarded. If you don’t believe me, I will make it worth your while to change your mind. Let me explain.
Len is a friend of mine who has an eye for good products. One day he called excited about…”
Sugarman primes the reader to get excited about the story before telling it: He uses the phrase “true story” then tells his true story.
But you can also jump right into your story as John Caples did for this ad:
“We had dropped into Pierrot’s for dinner — Pierrot’s, that quaint French restaurant where the waiters speak nothing but French. Jack Lejeune, who boasted a smattering of French, volunteered to act as interpreter.”
Start Irresistible Leads with a Quote
A quote is powerful because of two elements: the words and the person expressing them.
Allow me to explain…
The words within a quote can generate interest from your prospect and add credibility to your message. If the quote comes from someone your reader respects, that can make it even more exciting and believable. Next thing you know, you’ll have the makings of a lead that captivates your reader.
Let’s say you’re doing B2B within the finance field. Quotes from Charlie Munger or Warren Buffett can capture your reader’s interest.
Want to see an example of a lead that begins with a quote?
Here’s one from Eugene Schwartz:
“‘There is no reason why men and women should not now live to be 150 years old in full vigor,’ says drug discoverer, Dr. Anna Aslan.”
This quote was compelling because it mentions the possibility of living to 150, full of life. The message counters what most would expect, making the quote almost irresistible.
Who wouldn’t want to have a longer, healthier life?
But what makes the quote even more alluring is that it comes from a doctor, a credible source.
In short, Schwartz set the stage for a potent lead.
Ask a Magnetic Question
When you ask a question as your first sentence, you can lure readers into devouring your lead. Almost automatic.
Like a cat that sees a chew toy, your reader may find your copy too inviting to resist.
Questions, especially when they’re magnetic, can do the following to your reader:
- Stimulate their curiosity
- Initiate their thinking process
In short, a question can clinch your reader’s attention.
Check out this example from a Gary Halbert ad:
“Would you like to know how much money you have invested in Social Security right to the penny?”
Halbert immediately grabs the attention of anyone looking to collect Social Security money. They can’t help but continue reading.
That’s the impact of asking the right question as part of your lead.
Make a Bold Statement
One of the definitions of bold in Merriam-Webster is this: “standing out prominently.”
And that’s exactly what you want your bold statement to do: stand out.
Research shows we’re pattern-oriented — our brains chase routines.
That’s why, in Made to Stick, the Heath Brothers wrote:
“The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern. Humans adapt incredibly quickly to consistent patterns. Consistent sensory stimulation makes us tune out.”
And the last thing you want is your lead forcing your reader to tune out. A bold statement can force your reader to tune in.
But here’s the caveat…
You have to make sure your bold statement stems from the truth, that you can prove it within your copy.
Want to see an example of an attention-grabbing bold statement?
Take a look at one from Joe Karbo’s ad:
“I used to work hard. The 18-hour days. The 7-day weeks. But I didn’t start making big money until I did less — a lot less.”
Karbo’s statement is counterintuitive. That’s what makes it so bold. The reader wonders, “You can actually make more money without having to be a workaholic?” Now, they’re hooked.
The Impact of a Powerful First Impression
Your headline forces your prospect to acknowledge your presence.
Your irresistible leads must spark the conversation between your copy and your prospect’s mind. For that to happen, your leads must impact your reader, engaging their brain.
It all boils down to this…
First impressions do matter.
As Gary Halbert once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”