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How To Write Hooks That Grab Attention

If you’re selling anything online, whether through ads, social posts or even in marketplaces like Carousell…

Writing in a manner that grabs attention will help increase the chances of people being interested to buy.

The problem I see nowadays with ads/posts is that it often doesn’t grab the attention of the target audience.

The other day in my coaching program, I shared how I rewrote an ad angle for a client and it brought the cost per lead down by 50%.

So in this letter, I’ll share a very simple framework of how I write hooks that are short, punchy and attention-grabbing.

Because if you can’t catch the attention of your desired audience, you can forget about selling anything or getting any leads.

What is a hook?

I define it as the first line or first few lines of your ad or post.

It could also be your headline.

But in this context, I’ll refer to hook as the first few lines of an ad.

There are 3 questions I always ask clients when I’m strategizing how to write a strong hook for them:

  1. Who are they serving (their target audience)
  2. What is the outcome they can achieve through their product
  3. What pain do they help to remove

With that, I use a very simple framework of calling out the target audience, and then stating what I can help them achieve.


Dear Target Audience! Want to get (desired outcome) but don’t know how?

This is my all-time favourite because it’s easy, it works most of the time.

If you know what is the pain point you take away, you can just use this formula:

Dear Target Audience! Want to get (desired outcome) without (pain point)?

For example:

Dear parents! Want your child to do well in Mathematics without stressing them out?

Dear property owners! Want to fetch the highest price for your property without having to conduct weeks and weeks of viewings?

I know with ChatGPT, it’s easy to write ads these days.

But it’s very obvious when an ad is being written by ChatGPT.

You can see it by the many emojis they use and the way it’s written – very broad and vague.

ChatGPT doesn’t understand your customers as well as you.

That’s why I spend a lot of time asking clients what’s unique about them, who are they people they serve and what pains do their customers face every day. 

With that information, you can then craft a strong hook that resonates with your target audience.

For my own music education business, I know for a fact that a lot of adults always dream of learning music, but they often think they need to have some sort of music background to start learning.

They think there’s a need to learn music theory first.

So my hooks for my music courses has always been:

Dear Music Lovers! Want to learn piano in 2 hours, even if you have no music background?

This works all the time, even till today.

Sometimes, when your hook gets repeated too often, people get tired of it.

That’s when you need to start changing your hooks.

What can you change though?

First, your target audience.

It doesn’t always have to be the same group of people.

Let me give you an example.

Today if you run a tuition centre, you’d probably think your target audience are parents.

Not wrong.

But if you always call out “Dear parents!” and your leads aren’t of great quality…

Could it be time to change your target audience?

Instead of just parents, what about parents who are busy working?

If you call out “Dear working parents!” or “Dear busy parents!”…

Chances are you will be attracting the attention of working parents who have the financial ability to send their kids for enrichment/tuition classes.

So think about how you can zoom in on different target audiences.

Think about their work status,  relationship status, or even the pains they have. 

A simple change to “Dear frustrated parents!” can make a huge difference.

Who you target will determine their level of intent, their purchasing power. In short, their “quality”.

The next thing you can change (if you want to write stronger hooks) will be the outcome.

Instead of just “Learn how to play piano”, what if I change it to “Learn how to play piano with both hands in 1 hour!”.

Which one will grab more attention? 

I’m selling the same thing – piano lessons. But my outcome now is clearer and more desirable.

More examples:

Most interior design company ads I see today are:

Dear BTO owners! Want to build a dream home without breaking the bank?

That looks okay, but it’s pretty “basic” to me.

If I’m running ads now, I’d want to test more hooks.

That means I will call out to different target audiences, and paint different outcomes for them.

Working professionals! Want to make your BTO look like a luxurious condo?

Dear parents! Want to build a home that is functional and fun for your kids to grow up in?

If I’m running ads, then the ‘working professionals’ hook will be targeted to working adults.

The ‘parents’ hooks will be targeted to parents with children aged 0-8.

This is how you can keep testing different hooks in hopes of one single objective:

To attract leads with higher intent and quality.

The question to think about today is:

What other audience can you target, and what other outcomes can you achieve for them?

(If you are really unsure, you can always get some inspiration from ChatGPT).

I hope this letter has been helpful.

Thanks for reading!

Who Is Edmund Chew?

I own a 7-figure music education company called TravelClef. I help fellow business owners scale their business using paid ads. I’m obsessed with marketing and entrepreneurship.

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