We’ve already discussed the importance of hooks in your copy and covered general guidelines for writing them. Still, it can be difficult to know whether you’ve taken the best approach in writing your hook.
In this post, we’ll be looking at one of the most effective hook writing formulas, the star-chain-hook.
If you’re interested in this copywriting formula you may want to check out our post ‘A Copywriter’s Guide to the Best Copywriting Formulas’ which contains an extensive list of all the best formulas.
Star-Chain-Hooks and How to Use Them
The success of this hook formula lies in its punch and brevity. It attempts to draw readers in with the most interesting part of your copy first and sell them on it later. Dangling your hook in front of the reader and waiting for a bite can work well, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.
Because of their structure, star-chain-hooks are mostly used in short copy, such as direct mail, image captions, or short landing pages. It can be used in longer pieces too, but usually only as an introduction to the rest of your copy.
What is the Star-Chain-Hook Formula?
The Star-Chain-Hook formula is simple and consists of three parts; an attention-grabbing opening (Star), a series of facts or benefits (Chain) and a call to action (Hook).
Think of the star in your star-chain-hook like a star you’d see on a movie poster, not one you’d find in the night sky. You’ve probably noticed studios prominently showcasing the names of headliners in posters. That’s because big-name stars draw the largest crowds.
The star in your copy should be something fascinating to draw attention and build interest. A star could be anything from a unique sales pitch to an unbelievable fact. You could even place your star in the headline for the greatest exposure.
It’s important to remember stars are always “bright” and inspiring. Attempting to use this formula with negative information or scare tactics will usually end up driving readers away.
Examples of Stars
- “These copywriters were struggling to fill their workday until they downloaded this 5 step guide to finding clients!”
- “A business strategy from the seventies has been saving companies hundreds each day.”
- “This woman just celebrated her 108th birthday. She says it’s all thanks to red wine.”
After you’ve dazzled readers with your star, you’ll want to back it up with a chain of evidence, benefits, and facts. Each new link in your chain should flow easily from the previous one, drawing people in and increasing their desire for your product or service.
The success of your star-chain-hook will mostly depend on the quality of your chain. Provide sufficient proof and credible links to remove all doubts about your product or service from the reader’s mind.
Examples of Chains
- “One customer’s client base increased by 600% after only a week of following our guide.”
- “Here’s a list of a few Fortune 500 companies using this business strategy.”
- “Red wine has large amounts of antioxidants like resveratrol and proanthocyanidins, which help prevent natural cell damage in your body.”
In a star-chain-hook, your hook is also your call to action (CTA). I told you this hook formula is all about brevity!
You’ve already presented your most compelling point and given plenty of evidence to support it. By the time a reader has reached your hook, they should be looking for ways to get in on the benefits.
This is why your CTA should be as clear as possible. If you can, offer another credible piece of evidence with it to convince any potential customers who haven’t been completely sold yet.
Examples of Hooks
- “Click here to download our 5 step guide and start getting more clients.”
- “The full details of this business strategy are laid out in our new book, which you can buy on Amazon today.”
- “Subscribe to our red wine delivery service today and get a 15% discount on your first two orders.”
A star-chain-hook formula is a reliable option you can use for short copy or as an intro to longer pieces. It combines a punchy opening with supporting evidence to immediately hook readers and keep them engaged.
It may not work for every one of your projects, but is very effective when used for direct pieces of copy needing to grab the reader’s attention.
What is a Copywriting Hook?
A copywriting hook inspires interest in your topic and makes readers want to continue reading your copy. Most often, a copywriting hook is placed at the beginning of your copy and contains the most interesting or fascinating part of your content. It could be as short as a few words or as long as a paragraph.