You shouldn’t start any piece of copy with a demand or command (eg. like this first sentence). Why? Because it sucks. This is part 3 of the How Not To Suck mini series for copywriters (part 1 is here).
There’s a huge caveat though. This ONLY applies to new readers. That is, if you’re a fan of someone’s writing, or you follow a particular product or service because you love everything they do, then demands and commands are fine (providing that’s part of the reason you followed them).
Most of us treat every stranger as a threat (and a piece of copy from an unknown source is a stranger). We may smile, we may shake hands (or bump forearms), we might even ask how a stranger is, but it’s all done with a certain amount of caution.
So next time you start (or end) a piece of copy with the words “You should get this today because…” think carefully about your audience. You could lose them forever.
PS. If the idea is to repel people who hate being told what to do, then demand and command away. You’ll do well.
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which helps copywriters learn more about copywriting and the copywriting industry around the world.
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