If you’re a seasoned podcast listener, you can probably recognise your favourite shows just from their intro.
A strong podcast intro gives your show a unique personality and warm welcome that listeners can immediately recognise. It’s also crucial to winning over new listeners – our friends at The Podcast Host discovered that 27.5% of listeners only give a new podcast 5 minutes to grab them!
Just as important is your podcast outro, a place where you can give credit to your collaborators, ask listeners to rate, review and subscribe, send them to your website or social media, or drive them to bonus content or your Patreon.
So, what goes into starting and ending a podcast in a way that hooks in listeners and keeps them coming back for more? Here, we’ll talk you through exactly what a strong podcast intro/outro should do, what to include in each and give you some of the best examples we’ve found for inspiration!
In this article...
How to Build a Podcast Intro and Outro that Hook Listeners Instantly
Before getting stuck into what your podcast intro and outro should include, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve with each segment.
The goal with your podcast intro is to:
- Grab a listener’s attention immediately
- Let them know what they’re listening to, and who you are
- Set the tone for the episode ahead
- Fill them in on the content and what they can expect
The goal with your podcast outro is to:
- Convert listeners into subscribers
- Ask for and share listener reviews
- Showcase your other channels, such as your social media, website or Patreon
- Credit your collaborators, such as your producer, network, designer or composer
With these goals and considerations in mind, you can easily craft a turbo-charged intro/outro script that wins over new listeners, engages existing ones and benefits you as a podcaster, too.
Now, let’s get into exactly how to build a podcast intro and outro of your own!
1. Put Yourself in Your Listener’s Shoes
New listeners who’ve got as far as trying out your episodes for the first time will have zero loyalty to you. They’re not invested in you or your community just yet; there’s no pull apart from their own curiosity. Heck, even repeat listeners and subscribers can just as easily bounce to the next show!
To hook in listeners instantly, you need to be able to answer the question, “what’s in it for me?”
All listeners want to be entertained (consistently). They want to be engaged, moved, educated or motivated enough to share your episode with their friends. They want to know where they can find or follow you, where they can get more episodes and how they can support you as a creator. Your podcast intro and outro is the space for you to do all of that!
2. Choose The Right Music
Choosing the right music is a really important factor in setting the tone for your podcast as well as making it recognisable for subscribers. It also shows them that your show is well produced, considered and structured – all the things you want from a podcast!
When it comes to finding podcast music, here are your best options:
Editor’s note: * denote affiliate links. We earn a small commission should you choose to purchase through them, at no cost to you.
- Music Radio Creative* are very well respected in the industry. As well as purchasing from their library of royalty-free tracks, they can create bespoke intro/outro music for you, produce your voiceover and build both segments for you. Hands off, professionally produced and completely unique.
- SongsForPodcasters* specializes in royalty-free music. Its advanced search makes suitable tracks easy to find and the simplified licensing process ensures you’re only paying for the exact usages you need.
- Fiverr* is a freelance marketplace where you can commission professionals to create bespoke work on your behalf. Check out the musicians and podcast producers to find someone that suits your needs – or ask in our Facebook group for personal recommendations!
Want to know more? We’ve written a full guide on choosing the right intro and outro music for your podcast, and have a full library of podsafe tracks for you to download freely!
3. Prepare Your Scripts
Whether you’re pre-recording your segments or reading them live, you need a script. Writing everything down will make sure you don’t miss anything important, and will help you to quickly summarize rather than going on a tangent!
If you’re wondering how long a podcast intro and outro should be, we recommend anywhere between 30 seconds – 2 minutes.
Your podcast intro should be short and sharp, so that you don’t frustrate your listener with useless filler or tempt them to skip and miss content.
Your podcast outro can be a lot longer, as it’s your opportunity to win new subscribers, ask for reviews or promote your other media channels.
What Should a Podcast Intro Say?
Here are things you should always include in your podcast intro. These aren’t hard and fast rules, and they won’t be appropriate for certain formats, like narrative or fiction podcasts, but they’re a good rule of thumb to follow.
- Do include your name!
- Do tell them what they’re listening to – people do all sorts of things whilst listening to podcasts, so it’s important to remind them what your show is called!
- Do add your tagline to tell your listener who your podcast is for, and why it’s relevant to them.
- Do include a summary of the episode ahead, and namecheck any guests you have coming up! Here, you could include a cold open – a stand-out clip from the episode – to set the tone.
- Do address important business upfront, such as disclaimers, spoiler alerts, new merch or new bonus content. Get those big calls-to-action right at the start, in pride of place!
- Finally, don’t be tempted with “hey guys!” – address your listener directly, as an individual.
What Should a Podcast Outro Say?
Here are some common things lots of podcasters include in their podcast outros – for good reason! Your outro is your chance to get listeners engaging with you and your content – don’t waste it!
- Do thank your listener for tuning in. You’re trying to build a rapport with your listener, so they feel valued and included enough to come back.
- Do ask listeners to rate, review and subscribe. Tell them exactly where and how to do it, and share your best ones. We’ve written a full guide on how to get more podcast reviews – check it out for our 3-step formula!
- Do include the link to your website or social media (if that’s where you’re more active). It’s important to get listeners embedded in the community straight away, so they feel engaged and valued!
- Don’t overwhelm your audience with links, places to visit or things to do. Minimise your calls-to-action and you have more chance of success.
4 Great Podcast Intro and Outro Examples
What does a good podcast intro and outro sound like? If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, we’ve got you covered!
- You’re Wrong About’s intro combines a cold open and distinctive music with a few short lines introducing the show name, tagline and the two hosts. There’s also a couple of early calls-to-action for their Patreon and social media channels, all done and dusted in under a minute.
- My Brother, My Brother and Me’s intro combines a bespoke voiceover and title music, making the episode feel really strongly branded. In just under two minutes, we’ve met all three hosts and have a really good feel for the tone and structure of the episode.
- Still Processing’s outro rounds off each episode perfectly. The hosts thank listeners personally for contributing and there’s a strong call-to-action to follow along on social media.
- Ologies’s outro summarises the whole episode in host Alie Ward’s distinctive style. There’s a couple of strong calls-to-action to check out the show notes and the website, where you can access transcripts and bonus episodes. There’s also a strong focus on thanking the listener community for their input and contribution.
Your podcast intro and outro is prime real estate for engaging, persuading and motivating your listeners. On top of high-quality, structured content, these two segments are extremely important for winning new subscribers and growing your audio brand. To recap:
- Your podcast intro is the first impression lots of listeners will have of your show. Make it short and to the point, and most importantly, tell your listener what’s in it for them.
- Your podcast outro is your chance to convert new listeners into subscribers, ask for reviews or drive traffic to your other channels.
- Both segments are equally important to growing your podcast audience. Make sure both are structured, well-produced and impactful so listeners come back for more.
- Creating a strong intro and outro is a marker that your podcast is high quality and worth listening to – a massive advantage in a world of 3+ million podcasts (and counting!)
If you still need more guidance, no sweat. Read on for a free download you’ll find useful…
Create Your Podcast Intro and Outro Script from Scratch with Our Free Crib Sheet
Building your podcast’s assets, like your trailer, intro and outro, and cover art, are all extremely easy once you’ve set strong foundations. After 1300+ episodes, we’ve learnt a thing or two about podcasting and how to build a successful show from scratch, even when you’re strapped for cash and time.
We built our Podcast Launch Accelerator crib sheet to make it easy, accessible and fun to start your podcast. Instead of jumping straight into recording, we make sure you cover all the bases of designing your show so you know exactly who your podcast is for, why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve.
It’s simple, fully guided and completely free – so if you’ve got a great podcast idea and no idea where to start, start right here!