3 Secrets To A Great Opening

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 14th, 2010 8 Comments

In my last post,  Secrets To Structuring Your Direct Mail Marketing Piece, I introduced you to the three things that must be accomplished in the opening of your direct mail piece. By way of review you must:

  1. Telegraph the offer.
  2. Emphasis the best aspect of the offer.
  3. Target the reader

Now let me explain in more detail exactly what I mean.

An opening that can TELEGRAPH the offer is tricky. It has to convey the offer in a way that heightens desire to learn more rather than lessening the desire to learn more.

For our example let’s assume we’re selling a home cleaning service, a maid service using a letter directed at the homeowner.

We might have a headline that says…

“Never Turn On A Vacuum Cleaner Again As Long As You Live.”

Or how about this headline…

“How To Resign Your Position As Housewife.”

These headlines include the guts of the offer but they don’t really reveal the details.

An opening may focus only on the best feature of the offer. Sometimes that’s price. Sometimes it’s something being given away for free. Sometimes it’s the terms of an especially strong guarantee.

It might be picking up and delivery or some other aspect of the service you offer. In the example we’re working with it might be the credibility of your maid’s service company. We know that will be important to the customer because the customer will worry about having strangers in her home.

So here’s how we could add and EMPHASIZE to the openings we’ve already devised:

“Never Turn On A Vacuum Again As Long As You Live”

Then you can go on to say…

“We’ve shown 6,218 other women how or how to resign your position as housewife.”

The third thing you want to try to accomplish in an opening is to TARGET your reader.

This means that you’ve let your reader know that you know something about them. That you know who they are. That tells them it’s probably worth reading what you have to say.

For our example you might have gotten a list of working women to mail to. In that case we might again modify our opening this way:

“Career Woman and Housewife… Never Turn On A Vacuum Cleaner Again As Long As You Live”. We’ve shown 6,218 other women how to resign your position!!”

If you can accomplish all three things in your opening terrific, if not you must at least accomplish one of them.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

8 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:

    Telegraph the offer.
    Emphasis the best aspect of the offer.
    Target the reader

    Learn these 3 secrets and your headlines will be reeling in customers for life!

  2. Jim Rowe says:

    I learn more on this site, period!

  3. Charles Ra says:

    yes, I am consistently learning here Jim.
    great post Dan.

  4. Classic Dan. (i feel like I’m repeating those words waaay to often… but hey, its true over and over.)

    the segway from headline to offer, aka the “bridge” in that part of the copy, is very important…it creates that greased slide effect that makes the reader have no choice but to click… (or whatever the call to action is for that particular piece of copy…)

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  6. Very helpful – I’ve read about telegraphing the offer before, but this is the first time it’s really clicked in for me.

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