You had me at hello

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Do you break out in a sweat trying to write the first line of your email appeal or advocacy alert? And do you struggle with connecting ideas in your donor communications? 

You’re not alone.

Even professional copywriters struggle with these all-important lines. If the first thing you say is confusing or dense or boring, chances are very high that your reader will simply move on and never read the rest. And if your transitions are weird or clumsy, you’ll confuse the reader. Confusion in communications is bad. VERY BAD.

Especially in email, you must be clear, conversational, and hook those readers in fast. No time for dilly-dallying.

So, struggle no more. Save this blog post and steal these phrases for your leads and transitions. I use them. So do plenty of other copywriters, because they are simple and they work!



  1. I want to tell you the story about…
  2. Let’s be frank.
  3. This is huge news.
  4. No one wanted it to come to this.
  5. I’m still in shock over…
  6. This just actually happened.
  7. I just got off the phone with…
  8. It seems that we’ve ruffled some feathers.
  9. You are among the first…
  10. If you’ve seen the recent headlines, you’re well aware..
  11. Let’s face it…
  12. I wish you could have been with me when…
  13. I can’t get this image out of my mind.
  14. I’ve just returned from…
  15. I have exciting news for you!
  16. I want to share a recent experience with you.
  17. It’s hard to believe, but…
  18. I have a secret.
  19. You won’t believe it.

Let me explain


  1. Really?
  2. Here’s why.
  3. But that’s not all.
  4. Best of all,
  5. Now that you know…
  6. Think about it.
  7. The truth is,
  8. One thing’s for sure,
  9. And there’s more.
  10. Enough is enough.
  11. It’s now or never.
  12. But wait, that’s not all.
  13. Let me explain.
  14. Seems hard to believe, right?
  15. That’s why…
  16. That’s what XX is all about.
  17. Now is the time to…
  18. Just imagine…
  19. It’s sad but true.
  20. It’s clear that…
  21. The truth hurts.
  22. Ask yourself…
  23. Here’s why this matters.
  24. The fact is…
  25. That’s right…
  26. I won’t mince words.
  27. That’s why we can’t back down.
  28. We can’t stop now.
  29. Here’s what’s going on right now.
  30. I’m sure you agree.
  31. You’re not alone.
  32. Yes, you read that correctly.
  33. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
  34. Does that seem fair to you?
  35. I know this isn’t pleasant…


Did we leave a favorite lead or transition of yours off the list? Please add it in the comments!

Published On: March 3, 2015|Categories: Writing Skills and Content|