Grab Their Attention In The First 5 Seconds

Image for post
Image for post
Original Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard that the most important part of your copy is the headline. That’s true: the headline is what gets attention and motivates the reader to dig into the content.

Once you’ve won attention with the headline, the reader turns to your opening. Will they be motivated? At this point, you might introduce a story.

But sometimes you’re writing a short piece of copy, such as a landing page. You just don’t have time for a story.

Or you want to get the reader focused right away You want to call attention to their problems. When you stuck for an opening for your home page or sales letter, it’s tempting to turn to “pull questions.”

Pull questions are questions or bullets that resonate so strongly with your audience, they pull readers into your world.

You’ve probably seen many versions of these pull questions:

Do you feel that you keep working hard but just don’t see the results you hoped for?

Do you love what you do but hate marketing because it feels SO inauthentic?

These pull questions won’t strike a chord in the heart of most readers. They’re abstract, so they don’t appeal to emotions. They sound like everybody, which means nobody.

3 Tips To Write Attention-Grabbing Pull Questions

For instance:

“You’ve worked with 5 mentors and 4 home study courses and you are still struggling to get past $20K a year.”

“You promise yourself you’ll order fruit slices for dessert, but for the third time this week there’s a fudge sundae on your plate.”

Your opening is supposed to draw people into your world. Abstractions might reach them on an intellectual level; “This is what I should be concerned about.”

“Are you frustrated with dozens of get-acquainted calls that never turn into new clients?”

“Are you tired of pulling all-nighters to finish your sales letter copy — and wondering why nobody else seems to be working this hard?”

A professional organizer:

  • Did you know that many people pay late fees simply because they can’t find their bills?
  • Have you bought three pairs of gloves because you thought you lost them (and they turn up in your own closet, under a pile of old sweaters)?

A fitness trainer:

  • Do you tell yourself it’s time to hit the gym, but somehow you’re too tired to leave the couch?
  • Do you find yourself puffing up a flight of stairs when you see others flying past you?

Headlines and openings start the same way: with your client’s back story.

When you begin with your client’s back story, you’ll know instinctively how to write copy. You’ll support your brand, differentiate your services, and deliver more value.

And most importantly, you gain attention. Your words hold up a mirror to your reader. And let’s face it: very few people can walk by a mirror without stopping to look.

You can learn more about backstories from my recorded webinar training: Differentiate yourself with storytelling. Click here for immediate access.

If you’d like to work with me to get higher conversions from your content, answer the “what’s your story” question or nail your small business brand? The best way to begin: sign up for a consultation at

Originally published at on July 29, 2020.

Helping entrepreneurs and independent professionals grow their businesses one story at a time.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store