Draw in Your Readers with an Odd Fact

Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) In medieval Europe, traders hyped scarce spices from faraway lands to make even more money from them. They said pepper grew in forests guarded by serpents and cinnamon came from giant bird nests so high up they had to be knocked down by skilled archers. If that gets you thinking about dot-com company origin stories that turn out to be false, well, with good reason.

Legendary copywriter, Gary Halbert, demonstrated how to introduce just about any odd fact and segue into your actual topic, having hooked readers. In his list of 35 sample curiosities, the one that stands out is that two-thirds of the world’s eggplants come from New Jersey. Another: Al Capone’s business card described him as a used furniture dealer.

He illustrates this method of capturing readers’ attention by starting a letter with weird fact #24 on his list: Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur. Next, he says, “Isn’t it unfortunate the same is not true of human beings?” Then he develops that into his sales pitch.


You can read that issue of Halbert’s newsletter here:

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