While most kids were learning Calculus their senior year of high school, my math teacher, Mrs. Hoovey, opted for handing out Sudokus.
She would sit at her desk unbothered, slurping her jumbo-sized Dr. Pepper?, and grading papers while we competed over who could hand in the puzzle first.
Mrs. Hoovey was so committed to not teaching Calc that she just called the class “Math IV” (not 4 though because IV definitely seems like it’d be more challenging).
And while this lack of teaching was a fleeting annoyance when I entered college and had to actually attend Business Calc (unlike my friends who said it was a repeat of Senior Year)…
I kind of respect Mrs. Hoovey for seemingly having the insight that Calc was mayyybee not something we were actually going to need in the real world (or at least have fancy software for). ?♀️
It seems English teachers, however, missed the mark on this.
I actually used to be so annoyed by the practice of writing, which is funny considering how much I love and do it now.
- Remember trying to world salad what could have been a 3 page paper into an 8 page paper?
- Remember feeling frustrated that you had to repeat yourself 12 times to make a point?
- And, nothing was worse than trying to sum up the paper without using bullet points.
Learning how to structure an essay is ~importante~, I know.
I LOL at the TikToks teachers share of their students writing them text-message style emails.
But it seems this particular challenge operates *pendulum-style* because I personally think emails that sound like this “Ayyy, teacher are you being FRFR?? That grade is SUS”,
are just as unfortunate as the robotic?, bland corporate jargon I’ve seen at the other end of the spectrum.
And with everybody and their brother testing out chatGPT these days, the problem only seems to be amplifying.
I agree….so why does your opening line make me want to mark you as spam??
The good news is?
There is a simple, *takes 5 seconds to do but probably longer to master* tip that will make you stand out, sound like a human, and get your reader immediately more interested in what you’re trying to chat about.
?Stop introducing your story.
My opening line of today’s email → “While most kids were learning calculus their senior year of high school, my math teacher, Mrs. Hoovey, opted for handing out Sudokus.”
chatGPT/every English report you’ve ever written line → “It’s me, and I’m back with another newsletter for you. Today’s let talk about the power of a good email opening line.”
Which one made you more compelled to carry on?
I’ll place my bets you were more intrigued by Mrs. Hoovey’s lack of college prep than you were by chatGPT introducing itself.
Listen, the fun part of content writing is that it all works together like a Sudoku puzzle (coming full circle here).
should make you want to read,
the next line.
When I’m gobbling up someone else’s words on a page, I get going so quickly that I regularly have to hit pause and rewind ⏪ on my brain to digest the entire piece.
But it’s because I’m that excited by what they’re dishing.
That’s how I want you, and your readers, to feel.
Chop chop! Time to unlearn all of the writing skills you picked up in high school and trade them in for marketing content writing superpowers!
Rachel Jeffries Murphy