“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression — with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing.” — Natalie Massenet
If your freelance copywriting or consulting business has gotten to the point where all your new work comes in through referrals, good for you.
But most of us still need to do some prospecting for new clients in the form of outbound marketing. And an outbound marketing campaign will typically begin with an email or physical letter, sent to your prospective clients at their place of employment.
Some prospecting letters work pretty well, but many of them fall flat because of the approach the copywriter uses. And when they do fail, the cause can often be found in the first sentence.
Today we’ll take a look at three examples of first sentences that really don’t work very well when writing a prospecting email, followed by a couple of examples that generally achieve better results.
Example 1: I see that your company has a Facebook page, but that you’re not updating it regularly.
On the face of it, this line seems reasonable. After all, the writer has gone to the trouble of checking out the prospect’s Facebook page, and has found a weakness that should be addressed.
But when you think about it, doesn’t it compare to when you open your front door and find someone standing there who says something like, “I notice you have some cracks in your driveway, and my crew and I happen to have a half load of asphalt left from a job we did up the street. If we don’t use it today, it’ll go to waste.”
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