Podcasters lose the most listeners in the first five minutes of their episodes, making the intro one of the most crucial elements to get right to improve listener retention rates.
A well-executed intro should reel in your audience, set the tone for the episode's content, and make them want to stay tuned for more. Your intro is also a great opportunity to incorporate brand elements like the podcast title, the show host's name, and even a catchy tagline or sound effects that become synonymous with your podcast.
In this blog, we'll show you how to create intros that measurably improve your podcast data and lead to lasting, loyal engagement.
Podcast intro vs. episode intro
Your podcast intro introduces your show as a whole and will likely stay the same every time. Your episode intro changes each time and is what hooks listeners into a specific episode's content.
For the purpose of this blog, we're going to focus mostly on the episode intro. But let's do a brief overview of what an effective podcast intro should include.
Your podcast intro should be no longer than 15 seconds and should be an introduction of you, the host, your podcast title, and a brief description of the show, set to some quality royalty-free music. Some podcasters pre-record this section, but many just tag a couple of sentences at the beginning of each episode. We recommend keeping this part short and snappy and including things like:
- podcast title
- host(s) name
- purpose of the show
- tagline (if you choose)
- royalty-free music
The episode intro is where you'll hook listeners, briefly explain the purpose of the episode, and call them to action. This section should be around 30 seconds long. Your introduction should pique your target audience's interest by providing a brief overview of the episode topic, explaining why it matters, and highlighting what they can expect to learn.
Your episode intro is a powerhouse of possibility and directly affects listener behavior. Let's dive deeper into how and what elements to include in your episode intro so you can see the most benefit.
4 Elements of a compelling episode intro script
Having the right elements in your intro can mean the difference between a casual listener and a loyal, engaged one. Here are the three elements a strong intro should have.
The first few seconds of your episode intro should grab your listeners' attention and give them a compelling reason to stay tuned. This could be an intriguing question, a powerful statement, or an interesting fact related to the episode's content.
Example: If you're doing an episode on social media, your hook could be, "Did you know that social media users spend an average of two hours a day scrolling through their feeds?" This creates curiosity and makes listeners want to learn more.
#2. Topic Overview
Clearly explain what the episode will cover without giving too much away. Give your audience an appetizing taste of what's to come, ensuring it aligns with their interests and needs.
Example: If your episode is about creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy, you could say something like, "In this episode, we'll discuss the top three tactics for growing your business on Instagram and how to implement them effectively."
#3. How listeners will benefit (a.k.a. value proposition)
Explain how your episode will benefit your target audience. Will they learn something new? Gain a valuable skill? Be entertained or inspired? Make sure to highlight the value you're providing.
Example: "By the end of this episode, you'll have three actionable tips to improve your time management skills."
#4. Call to Action
Encourage your listeners to engage with your podcast. This could be a simple request to subscribe, a prompt to join a discussion on social media or a teaser for an upcoming event or giveaway. The key is to foster a sense of community and engagement around your podcast.
Bonus content: The 5 Pillars of Ultra-Compelling Podcast Content
Episode intro script (plus examples)
How you introduce your episodes can vary based on the type of podcast you have, but here are a few ideas to help your create your own podcast intro:
- Storytelling: Weave a brief, engaging story related to your episode's topic. This could be a personal anecdote, a historical event, or a fictional tale. Stories draw listeners in and make your content more relatable.
- Statistic or fact: Use an interesting statistic or fact to grab the attention of your audience and make them think. Just make sure it's relevant and ties into your episode topic.
- Question: Pose a thought-provoking question that makes your listeners want to know more. This is a great way to involve your audience in the discussion.
- Teaser: Give a sneak peek of what's to come in the episode without revealing too much. This creates anticipation and keeps listeners engaged.
- Intriguing statement: Make a bold or powerful statement that will pique your audience's curiosity and make them want to hear more. Just be sure to back it up with solid content later in the episode.
Here are some examples of intros using each of the tactics above:
Example #1: Starting off with a fact or statistic
"Hello, listeners! Did you know that over 50% of the world's population uses social media? That's a staggering 3.8 billion people. In this episode, we'll be delving into the world of social media marketing and how you can tap into this vast audience to grow your business exponentially. Stay tuned!"
Example #2: Telling a personal story
"Hi everyone! I remember when I first started using LinkedIn for networking, I was completely at sea. Connecting with professionals, updating my profile, and even understanding the algorithm seemed like a Herculean task. Today, I want to share my journey of mastering LinkedIn networking and provide you with practical tips to optimize your LinkedIn experience. Let's get started!"
Example #3: Sharing a teaser for the episode
"Welcome back to our podcast! Today, we have a special guest who's had an incredible journey from being a college dropout to becoming a tech giant icon. His story will inspire you, motivate you, and give you insights into the world of startups and innovation. Don't miss out!"
Example #4: Asking a question
"Hello there! Have you ever wondered why some YouTube channels gather millions of subscribers while others struggle to get even a few hundred? In this episode, we will decode the secrets behind building a successful YouTube channel. So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on this exciting journey!"
Example #5: Starting with an intriguing statement
"Hi, listeners! If you haven't noticed, every brand is fighting to capture your attention in our digital world, which can be a lot. Today, we're diving deep into the world of digital advertising and how you can stand out. Stay tuned to learn how."
Here are a few podcast episodes with intros we think are a great example to follow (depending on your show's genre of course):
Your podcast intro is a valuable opportunity to grab your audience's attention and set the stage for your content. By following these tips and using our free template, you can create an intro that makes a lasting impact on listeners and improves overall engagement with your show.
Don't underestimate the power of a great podcast introduction! It could be what sets your podcast apart from the rest.