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Arrest Your Readers

You’ll blow up, if you don’t read this blog!

Gotcha sucker. Ok, let’s go back to grade school. Remember the topic sentence. Well, if you don’t, you should because all that stuff you hated to hear about still applies. But don’t fret, here’s the rundown on topic sentences for those of you who couldn’t tell a noun from a verb, let alone an adjective.

  1. The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph.
  2. It introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

Duh. The topic sentence is a bit different in copywriting. Not only does it have to introduce, but it has to introduce with a bang and flashing lights or an interesting fact or stat. You’re trying to get someone to buy something that most likely they don’t want. You’re not going to do it with a sentence like this:

In the following paragraph I am going to discuss the importance of topic sentences.

Pinch your nose and read this out loud. You get my point. One other thing to be aware of is how the topic sentence can set the voice for the rest of the writing. For instance, you have a bunch of engineers visiting a site to puchase a flow meter. Fun huh? So how are you going to talk to them? Well you’re sure as hell not going to say,

We have the most fantastic flow meters available.

Maybe you would say this if you’re an idiot. Sad to say, you’ve lost your audience already. However, if you open up with something like,

Our flow meters give accurate and repeatable measurements even under changing conditions.

That’s something these engineers care about. There’s nothing worse than a first sentence that sucks. When your first sentence isn’t direct and catching all at the same time, you’ve failed. It’s like asking someone how far along they are and they’re not pregnant. Ouch.


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Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud. Read Max's full bio.

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