March 28, 2022

What Makes a Great Podcast Intro (and Outro)?

Tae Haahr

Most podcasters focus on the meat of their podcast.

But creating the most engaging and enticing show can only make a difference if people listen past your introduction. The average podcast loses between 20% and 35% of their audience in the first five minutes.

If your audience doesn't stay past the opening, they'll never get to the part you worked so hard to craft. So it stands to reason that you need to build a solid opening for your show to get everyone to stay. And while you're at it, you may as well build an equally enticing podcast outro to keep your audience coming back.

Intros and exits are key components of every stellar podcast episode. So, here's what you need to know about how to build the perfect ones for your show.

What is a Podcast Intro?

Podcast introductions are about more than just the music you choose.

Your intro sets the overall tone and mood for the show, along with providing consistency and helping listeners identify your show. It's a great way to connect with your listeners right at the beginning of your show, and a unique intro can help encourage new listeners to keep listening.

What’s in an Intro?

The introduction you build doesn't have to be complex, but it does have to be engaging. Your podcast intro needs to include the following basic information:

  • Introduce your show for new listeners (include your podcast name!)
  • Tell the people who you (the hosts) are
  • Give the listener an idea of what they'll be hearing

It's also a great idea to add some sort of intro or background music that listeners can use to identify your show as soon as it starts. 

Tips to Build a Great Introduction

No two podcast intros are the same, but there are a few things that make a good one great. If you're building your first intro or improving the one you already have, here are a few tips to consider: 

1.  Don't Give Away Too Much

You want to give your audience an idea of what they're in for, but you don't want to give too many details. If you're spoiling the episode, what's the point of them listening?

Give them just enough information at the start of the podcast that they're compelled to listen to the rest of it. But keep the good stuff up your sleeve until later in the show.

2. Keep It Short

The length of your introduction depends, at least partially, on your audience — some don't mind a little banter at the beginning, some would rather do without it. So gauge your length on your listeners and the overall show style.

But either way, remember that a big chunk of listeners drop off in the first five minutes, so make sure your opening isn’t much longer than that.

3. Add Theme Music

Theme music is a big discussion topic for new podcasters. Adding some to your intro can help bring a more professional feel to your episode. While getting custom music made is your best bet for unique content, you can find pre-made royalty free music on ThePodcastHost.com or from places like AudioJungle.

4. Take Care of Housekeeping Matters

Best practices dictate that podcasters need to take care of housekeeping matters right at the top of the show. This is especially true if your show or episode contains adult content (or even just something that might be upsetting to some listeners).

But beyond content warnings, the top of your show is a great way to outline where people can find you (social media, your website) and how they can support you (Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee). Many newer podcasters leave this until the end, but at the top of your show is where most people will hear this information.

What is a Podcast Outro?

Now that we've covered building a great intro, let's talk about the podcast outro. The podcast outro wraps the show up and ties it all together.

Outros are often considerably shorter than intros, and really don't have to be more than a few written lines. That said, you still want to make your outro memorable because chances are your listeners have multiple shows on their minds. 

How to Build a Good Podcast Outro

Ready to craft a brand new outro or revamp one that you already have? No problem! 

Outros are as unique as the podcasts they belong to, but there are a few things that can make them a bit more professional:

1. Add Outro Music

Your podcast outro music can be the same as your intro music — honestly, if it's not the same it should be close. Using music at the end of your podcast simply ties the show together into a cute little finalized bow.

2. Tell Your Audience What's Next

I'm willing to bet you want your audience to come back, and the outro gives them something to come back to. Giving your audience a hint of what they can expect in the next episode (without spoiling anything) can be a great idea.

3. Recap How to Find You

Connecting with your audience beyond the episodes is a good way to build a relationship with them, so at the end of your podcast reiterate how else they can get in touch. While not everyone's listening, those that listen right to the end might be more inclined to contact you outside the podcast feed.

Ready to Build Your Podcast Intro and Outro?

While it seems like your podcast intro and outro might be smaller factors in your show, they could make or break it when it comes to attracting and retaining listeners (especially the intro!).

You don’t have to make these components complex, and you really only have to make them once — granted they’ll evolve with your show — but they should be done right. Once you’ve got these pieces ready, adding them into your show is a piece of cake with Alitu.


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