fishing hookWhat is an irresistible hook? A hook is a compelling title or first sentence in an article or claim that pulls your ideal reader right in.

Where are your irresistible hooks?

Your hooks are in your stories.

  • What is the story behind your business?
  • What is the story behind your service?
  • What is the story behind your reason for starting your business?

Your story is unique.

  • You started your business because you were sick of commuting every day on heavily trafficked roads.
  • You decided to create your service because a client asked for something you could not do, so you handed that work to a person qualified to help, without any way to charge for that gift.
  • You started your business at home so you could be in the house at the end of the day when the kids arrived home.

These are parts of my story.

When writing emails, sales pages, or other kinds of copy, look for some aspect of the story that will grab attention. For example, during the last year I was an employee (1987) tracker trailers terrorized me by tailgating me on New Jersey’s highways. I started listening to books on tape (cassette tapes, I know, it was a long time ago) to stop me from shaking with anger.

My hook in the headline might be: “How Listening to Books Saved My Sanity on the Highway”.

Or if I wanted to play with alliteration, I might write “Tractor trailers tailgating terrors”.

The hook stimulates the reader to ask, “What was the story behind this headline?”

Good Examples of Hooks

Simply go to and then you can search for anything. Use these examples to revise your irresistible hooks.

Here are some hooks from

“Las Vegas Chapels All Shook Up by Elvis Likeness Crackdown”

Elvis Presley’s licensing company warns any infringing chapel in Vegas is risking legal action by portraying the king.  We know Elvis has left the building, but did we know that his likeness is protected? Las Vegas wedding chapels are experiencing a shockwave. And if you know Elvis songs, you recognize the “all shook up” reference.

President of Vegas Weddings and Viva Las Vegas Weddings, Melody Willis-Williams, said, “Elvis Weddings are synonymous with Las Vegas. We keep Elvis alive.” (Considering that he died in 1977, that is quite an image.)

This Canadian Coffee Company’s Been Spying on Customers with its App”

Tim Horton is in trouble. British Columbia’s privacy commissioner said, “You can’t spy on your customers just because it fits in your marketing strategy. This food chain uses its mobile app to track and collect location data on its customers.”

This hook plays on controversy and our fears of being watched. It seems incongruous that a coffee company would spy on customers.

“Whatever You Do, Don’t Look at Sally the Seagull”
A man had an unusual experience at an Airbnb that involved introduction to a belligerent bird.

Aren’t you curious about what the bird could do to a man? (Do you remember Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds? This “natural horror-thriller movie” made me afraid of birds for years.) I had to read this post.

Look for hooks that promise a story, instant gratification, proof, an incongruent juxtaposition, controversy, or an offer. Combine them or tie them to specific results to create irresistible hooks.

Pat Iyer practices improving her hooks.