Published On: February 14, 2024By
Two hands holding cell phones across from one another against a light purple backdrop. The hand on the left is wearing a gold watch. There is a purple hue to the photo.

Ah, love and business – two fields where the struggle to sell oneself is oddly similar. In both, that dreaded question lingers: How do I start? The opening line, the first impression, the spark that ignites the flames of interest.

Statistically, the first sentence is the one where the most time is spent and that most people read. It’s the first stop for your eyes before hitting “read more.” This is equivalent to a headline or an email subject line in email marketing campaigns or similar.

Pat’s advice today is: “HELLO” doesn’t work. And “WELCOME” doesn’t either…

You have an average of 5 seconds before someone decides to keep reading your page or leave. And you decided to use them on “Hello”??? C’mon…

Welcome” and the rest of the generic tasteless words will not say anything unique about you. Why should I stay? Why should I keep on reading? What’s in here for me? Why are you soooo special?

You start getting it, right? 0 intrigue to keep me on it and the most generic start that certainly won’t make you memorable. Your first line needs to convey your identity and be full of character.

Fear not, dear reader – I hope you read that as Lady Whistledown from The Bridgertons – because today and for this month of love, we’re unraveling the mysteries of crafting an irresistible first sentence that works like magic, whether you’re wooing on dating apps or in the boardroom.

An illustration in red on a light coral background. A decorative heart shaped lock with a heart shaped key beside it. There are stars featured throughout the graphic.

1. Detective Mode: Sherlock-ing Your Way to the Perfect Opening Line

Remember that time on Thursday night? No? Well, let’s create a memorable one.

“It was 7 o’clock on the evening of July 3, 2013. That day, I turned off the lights of what had been my office for the last 5 years. I had discovered that this job didn’t fulfill me.”

Dive into a specific date and time, create an atmosphere and arouse curiosity. Become the Sherlock Holmes of your own narrative.

This is a resource used a lot in storytelling. Part of this technique is creating a sensory context, letting the reader imagine through those words, the where and when of the story you’re about to tell and it helps create mental images making it into something tangible. But for now, I want you to focus on choosing a specific date and time or a specific event. This helps the reader get into an atmosphere that induces a certain mood and, above all, arouses curiosity.

2. Hungry Eyes, Hungry Readers: From ‘Hello’ to ‘Tell Me More’

Serve up some data hors d’oeuvre to tease your potential match.

“I want to tell you what happened to me just 1 year ago, and today it gives me the right to be here talking about copywriting.”

Share a tidbit that leaves them hungry for more.

“Would you order squid in ink on the first date? I did.”

It needs to arouse curiosity because you want to know more about that story and why that question. That’s exactly what you should try to achieve.

3. Say It With Questions: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

We’ve all pondered questions that beg for answers. Turn your opening line into an engaging query.

“How many times have we sat in front of a blank page without any idea of what to say or how to do it?”

Pose questions that invite your match into your world, creating a conversation that goes beyond the usual pleasantries.

“Have you already discovered the secret formula of Coca-Cola?”

“Would you have more than three children?”

“Would you accept a bribe for a job promotion?”

It’s a very useful way to start a conversation with a hook because it’s not a mere assertive sentence. A question automatically generates a response in your head. Or at least a thought about it. And that often turns into wanting to answer it, either because we agree, disagree or because we can’t stay silent. Try it. And besides, you ensure one of our next steps, which is to start a conversation with an interesting topic you can talk about, because starting with “hello” simply doesn’t cut it.

Three coloured paper fortune tellers (pink, yellow and blue), on a pink background.

4. From $ Bills to Love Thrills: Let Numbers Tell Your Story

“BBC warned us in 2011 that a spelling mistake can cause a 50% drop in sales. If this is true…”

With this example, you could later talk about how much you appreciate careful spelling or how much your match index could increase in profiles that differentiate “lose” and “loose.” It’s quite an achievement, my friends.

Inject a bit of mathematical magic into your opening line. Make your match think about the equation of compatibility or the value you bring to the table. In copywriting, numbers, facts and specific information increase persuasion and conversions like beer bubbles.

“1 day and $4500. That’s the time and money the Dollar Shave Club team invested in shooting this ad.”

At first, maybe this doesn’t tell you anything, but you can then link it to your passion for advertising, copy, the world of marketing or anything that makes sense. Remember, it’s your story, and you tell it as you want.

“8 seconds is the estimated time of falling in love according to Google”…

I’ll give you this one, it goes a long way. A wrapped candy for you to continue as you see fit.

5. Boldly Yours: Stand Out or Sit Down

Be bold, but not brash. Make statements that grab attention without veering into arrogance. Confess something unique or assert something that sets you apart. After all, if you sell to everyone, you sell to no one. Embrace your quirks and make them your selling points.

Don’t confuse it with being rude or impolite, as that won’t conquer anyone. Respect and education are not incompatible with defending your ideals.

“I’ve had my nose operated on 6 times.”

“I’ve never left Canada.”

“An omelette without onions is not an omelette.”

6. Stirring Concerns: Bonding Against the Villain

“4 out of 5 companies will disappear in less than 5 years if they don’t know how to stand out amid the noise on the internet.”

Acknowledge concerns but don’t dwell. Stir the pot of emotion without overdoing it. Connect your fears to theirs in a relatable way. It’s not about inducing panic but about highlighting shared worries that spark a connection.

Fear, concern and all those emotions we categorize as “negative” are also great interaction enhancers.

Tinder version = “9 out of 10 women end up single because… X to find their pain point.”

Sometimes it’s not about you or them, but finding the common denominator, the common adversary that unites you. Have you ever seen people that have 0 in common but they unite themselves to vent about a specific politician or the price of groceries? That is the common “evil” that they both want to fight and so that connects them. That feeling of unity against the same cause is immensely powerful in our subconscious.

7. Through Closeness: “Oh, me too!”

Forge a connection through shared interests. Find that common ground, whether it’s a love for literature, music or quirky hobbies. Familiarity breeds affection, and a shared passion can be the glue that binds.

“If you’re an entrepreneur with an internet business looking to attract potential customers, pay attention to what I’m about to tell you.”

“If you’re also passionate about Harry Potter, give a match and I’ll show you the collector’s edition I have about magical keys.”

It’s about finding a point of connection with your match, something that makes them say, – “Oh, me too!”

Remember: we’re looking for strategies that lead us to that connection.

8. The Confessional: Secrets That Build Trust

Confessions build trust. Share a personal discovery or a quirk about yourself. Make your match part of your secret world, and watch as trust blossoms.

Try confessing something personal or telling a discovery you’ve made. This strategy conveys a lot of closeness and inspires trust because it’s based on “sharing” something of yours that others may not know or making that special person part of something super interesting you’ve found out, and from now on, it’s “your secret.” You can use this formula to add humour or to increase curiosity and develop a short story later using the storytelling resource.

“Over 15 years ago, I discovered something that helped me understand why we often go unnoticed.”

“I go to church every Sunday and then have lunch at my grandfather’s house.”

“I always sleep with socks on.”

“I add cinnamon to everything.”

“I’ve found a super interesting nutrition podcast; if you want, I’ll show it to you.”

9. Love Loud, Love Proud – No Room For Doubt!

Using a categorical statement to start a conversation is one of the riskiest formulas. This one’s for the brave. It requires a somewhat more advanced level of communication and word usage to avoid sounding too blunt, which could hurt feelings or provoke rejection. But hey, it’s one more strategy, and I’ll tell you all about it. Because if you use it well, like the rest, it works.

You need to use absolute words: everything, nothing, always, now, never. Passionate expressions that grab attention and generate authority.

“These lists don’t work.”

“Young children don’t need to eat candy and sweets to enjoy Christmas.”



Congratulations, you’ve nailed the opening line! Now, maintaining interest is the next mission.

In the complex dance of love and business, the right words can be the key to unlocking hearts and opportunities alike. So, dear reader, go forth armed with these tips, conquer the daunting first sentence, and may love – in all its forms – find its way to your doorstep.

With Love,

Patricia Gómez