We promise to double your salary — guaranteed.
If you received a letter or saw an advertisement so claiming, would you read further?
This example may be hype (see Hype) – deliberately evocative, almost certainly excessive, but it’s undoubtedly captivating.
Powerful introductions improve the chances of your copy being read. If the audience is discouraged from reading past the first line, there’s little point writing a second.
So make a striking impression early, using as few words as possible in the first sentence (newspapers keep to 15 to 20 words). Then outline your key points of who, what, where, when, why and how in the first three paragraphs. That is good practice.
People do read long copy, as long as it is interesting, relevant and well-written. But they need to know these needs are going to be met very early on.
The rule of presentation writing (say what you’re going to say, say it, then say what you’ve said) applies in most business writing. Your introduction should provide compelling reasons for people to invest time in reading further.