Dear subscriber…

I have a little tale to tell you.

Normally, my stories are entertaining, instructive, or somewhat inspiring.

Not today.

Today’s story is none of the above.

Actually, it’s a little entertaining, but it sure as hell isn’t instructive or inspirational. However, it will serve a purpose.

Well anyway, this story is about an Olympic sprint cyclist named Shane Kelly, and about what happened to this poor sucker back in 1996.

But before I start, let me ask you…

…Have you ever heard this: “It’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts.”

Well, if you said that banal platitude to Shane Kelly back in 1996, he probably would have slapped you in the mouth. You’ll see why after you hear this tale.

Here’s the story.

Back in 1992 (I was in 9th grade) an Australian named Shane Kelly was in training to compete at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for sprint cycling.

And boy oh boy… did Shane Kelly train!

This guy made Ray Lewis look like a complete slacker.

A typical day for Shane Kelly looked like this:

Kelly would get up at sparrow’s fart, jump on his trusty two-wheeled steed and hit the circuit track, where he would peddle his little heart out for hours on end. After a fiendish riding session, he would hit the gym and perform an ungodly amount of leg presses, burpees, and squats under the watchful eye of his sadistic fitness trainer, Egor (I actually don’t know his name, but that name fits, doesn’t it?)

And all day long…

….Kelly Trained Like a Man Possessed!

Shane gave up all of life’s comforts and simple pleasures.

There were no late nights. No partying. No alcohol. No hamburgers and chips. No pizza. (sound’s like hell, doesn’t it?)

Shane’s diet consisted of rice cakes, chicken, rice, avocado, and prunes.

Shane Kelly was early to bed and early to rise.


….He Did All This For

Fast forward 4 years.

Shane is lining up at the 1996 Atlantic Olympic game’s final for the men’s sprint race. This is for Olympic gold!

All cyclists are lined up eagerly anticipating the starters’ gun. There’s a hush over the crowd……………..


The starter gun fires and…..

….The one thing cyclists the world over fear happening at the start of a race happens to Shane Kelly:

His Foot Slips Right Off The Pedal!

And with this cruel and devastating bit of bad luck, it was game-over for Shane Kelly.

Shane finished the race, but after his disastrous start…he was never really in the race. Losing those precious seconds at the start of a race cost him the race, and potentially, the gold. It was only pride that made him continue the race.

Now that’s a bummer of a story, ain’t it?

Now you can see why telling Shane Kelly that “it’s not how you start but how you finish that counts” would get him chewing bike tyres

You see, the above saying may be true for a lot of things, but some things, such as sprint track racing, it simply isn’t true.

In the sport of track racing, starting well is critical!

One-hundredth of a second can determine whether a cyclist is popping champagne at the end of the race or crying in their beer.

Hey, wanna know something else that relies heavily on having a good start? Something that has a teeny, weeny margin for error and where every second counts?

It’s this:

The start of a promotional email (or any sales copy, for that matter)


Most marketing gurus will rhapsodize about the importance of the subject line, but no one ever teaches on the oh-so-important start of the email itself. Granted, the subject line IS the most important part of a promotional email. But consider this:

Let’s say that you are indeed an intelligent individual, and you have followed my sage advice on writing subject lines and have written a “must open” subject line, and thus…

…you subscribers open up your email.

Well, if that was the case, what is the most important part of the promotional email now?

That’s simple.

It’s the first sentence.

Yes sir, once an email gets opened, your opening sentence becomes the most important part. Essentially, your first sentence becomes the new headline.

And, if your opening sentence is weak, vapid, and dull – well, you know what that means, right?

You Are Murdering The Effectiveness of
Your Email Marketing Efforts!

Not good.

Not good at all.

Listen: you should pay as much attention (probably more) to your opening as you do your call to action.

Simply because if you screw up the start of an email, no one’s gonna see the call of action! It’s the email equivalent to a sprint cyclist’s foot slipping off the pedal.


You MUST hook your reader from the get-go. Otherwise, your little fishies (subscribers) will get away!

We don’t want that now, do we?

No, no, no.

Hey, I'm gonna sign off now, but before I go, I'm going to give you two "must heed" tips for writing intros that will hook your readers and drag them into your content.

Geez, thanks, Kelvin.

You're welcome.

Tip #1

Keep your intros short and snappy.

Tip #2

Make your intros drip with curiosity.

Aliright, I'm out.


Author's Bio: 

Michael Jordan plays basketball, Steven Spielberg makes movies, Kelvin Dorsey writes emails.

Everyone has a talent.

If you're looking for someone to teach you sales, copywriting, or email marketing, Kelvin's your Huckleberry.

Kelvin is the author of six books. His most notable is titled 81 Days To Becoming an Online Sales Machine.