How to write a “6-Figure Lead” in under 10 mins

Did you know that the first and most profitable test that 7, 8 and 9 figure businesses will run on their sales page is a new Lead?

(Reminder: The Lead is the start of the sales message – the first few hundred words that you write, including the Headline, Subheadlines, and intro Body Text.)

I have copywriting friends who have written new Leads for big companies, each consisting of only about 200 words, and they’ve made $100k+ in return. Imagine getting paid $500 per word!

Why would a company pay that much for so little? Well, simply, a good Lead returns multiples.

Let’s talk in numbers so you can visualize the power of a better Lead.

Lead A:

  • Say that one sales page with Lead A gets 100 visitors.
  • Of those 100 visitors, 80 leave the page almost immediately – they bounce or barely make it through the Lead. 20 remain.
  • Of the 20 that remain, 20%, or 4 people, make it to the end of the sales page.
  • Then ~20% of those people, or 1, decides to buy the product.
  • That’s a 1% overall conversion rate which could be considered good on paid traffic going directly to a sales page.

    Lead B:

  • Now let’s talk about what happens when even a slightly better start, Lead B, gets 100 visitors.
  • Of those 100 visitors we do just 20% better than Lead A. That means 76 leave and 24 remain.
  • But of the 24 that remain, 50% are pumped to read more (because the Lead is so exciting for them), so 12 people make it to the end of the sales page.
  • If 20% of the 12 people decide to buy that’s now 2 (potentially 3) customers.
  • Lead B has doubled conversions and probably turned an okay promotion into a crusher.

    The really cool part is that the math above is exaggerated, but in a good way, because companies aren’t even looking for a doubling of their conversion rates. With scale, a big win on a Lead is often just a 20% increase in conversions (ie, 1% to 1.2%).

    And the even cooler part is that even though Leads can make a huge difference to how many sales you make, they’re not extremely hard to write or anything like that.

    Most Leads I see only need a little bit of tweaking (which we’ll discuss today) and most of the work you need to do to write a good Lead will be done in your research process and by ensuring you complete your Lead check-list.

    Today I want to show you how to write a Lead with a live example so you see how easy it can be.

    We’ll look at Erik Kennedy’s Learn UX course sales page.

    I’ve used several examples of Erik Kennedy’s courses this week because:

    1. He’s not a copywriter which helps me illustrate that Leads aren’t hard to write.
    2. He sells courses on web design which shows you Leads are used and work outside of the direct response copywriting world.
    3. Most importantly, Erik is a solopreneur doing high 6 figures or over 7 figures per year now, running a simple business with 1 landing page for his newsletter, infrequent email marketing, and 3 simple sales pages for his 3 courses.

    Here’s what the Lead on his course sales page looks like.

(Remember: Leads are made up of your Headline, Subheadlines, and intro Body Text. You’ll see a couple other elements too that I’ve outlined in different colors.)

Now, let me walk you step-by-step through this is insanely short and easy-to-write Lead.

Say that you need to write a sales page for a new course you, or a client, created…

Step #1: Determine Who You’re Selling To & What The Competition Is Saying

In this example, you’ll be launching the course mainly to your email subscribers and social media followers. Not directly to paid traffic.

We’ll pretend you’ve done a little research and you find that there are a few competitors out there that have similar kinds of courses, although not exact.

You also find that most of the promises (benefits) that your competitors are claiming aren’t wildly over-the-top. In other words, you don’t really think that there’s a ton of skepticism in the marketplace.

But actually, you’re pretty confident that your people like you and trust you and that they’ll basically take a look if you’re selling something.

Considering these factors, you decide that a Promise Lead is perfect.

(There are 8 different types of Leads that work well. In this tutorial we’ll only discuss Promise Leads).

Step #2: Figure out your Big Idea

If you’ve determined that you’ll be using a Promise Lead then the next step is figuring out your Big Idea.

Your Big Idea is one super sexy benefit that your competition doesn’t have or doesn’t seem to have.

You want your Big Idea to be up front in your sales page, in the Lead, and most often directly in the Headline.

The Big Idea for the Learn UX course is: Confidently Design Simple, Usable Apps For Web & Mobile.

Step #3: Write A "How To" Headline

Now, take your Big Idea and plug it into the "How To" format.

The Learn UX course’s Big Idea in the "How To" format would be: [How To] Confidently Design Simple, Usable Apps For Web & Mobile.

That’s it.

Here’s an advanced tip directly from Breakthrough Advertising: If your prospects are aware of your company and of the product and generally what it will do for them (because you’ve mentioned it in your email marketing), you can include the name of the product in the headline.

Look back at that page and it all comes together in the Headline and Product Imagery of this Promise Lead: Learn UX Design: Confidently Design Simple, Usable Apps For Web & Mobile.

We have our product name, then our Big Idea, hitting the customer directly to start the message.

Step #4: Determine some additional benefits aside from your Big Idea.

With your Headline done, it’s time to layer in some other benefits (and promises) to create your Subheadline.

Erik has some simple visuals and this copy:

  • Design Patterns & Best Practices
  • Wireframing
  • User Research
  • Usability Studies
  • And More…

    These are actually not benefits but features so I’m counting this as product imagery. In other words, there’s no Subheadline in this Promise Lead.

    So thus far, we’ve really only written a Headline that was already our Big Idea: "Learn UX Design: Confidently Design Simple, Usable Apps For Web & Mobile."

    Step #5: Restate your Big Idea in the "If-Then" formula and include that as your intro paragraph in the Lead’s Body Text.

    Next, we need to start our Lead Body Text. For Promise Leads, the "If-Then" formula is the way to go.

The "If-Then" formula reads like this: "If you’re experiencing X problem, Then this will be the most exciting thing you’ll read today."

Erik flipped it to "Then-If" which is perfectly acceptable.

"Only read this if you want to design intuitive and easy-to-use web and mobile apps, but you currently struggle to do so."

Step #6: Gather Proof

The last important part of a Promise Lead that we’ll cover today is Proof. When you make a direct Promise (ie, "the course will do THIS for you") there will always be an underlying degree of skepticism that is unavoidable.

You need to back up that you know what you’re talking about even if people already know who you are.

Hence, that’s why you see the "Trusted by thousands of students" text and the company logos.

If you don’t have proof like that, a good option would be to add proof about the course creator, immediately after the If-Then statement in your Body Text.

And that’s it!

Promise Leads can start an end this quickly. You can have a Headline and then one paragraph of Body Text because the job of the Lead is this:

Your Lead simply needs to compel people to read the rest of your sales copy while also making that same copy AFTER the Lead more exciting. A great Lead amplifies your entire message.

In the simplest terms possible: write a better Lead and more people will read the copy you write that describes your product, and you’ll sell more of those products in the process.

The word count for this Promise Lead adds up to 38. 60 if we generously add in some of the product imagery and proof.

60 words of copy is all Erik needed here to help facilitate hundreds of thousands in sales.

I love this example because it shows you all the necessary ingredients that go into a Lead and it shows you that it doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Again, Leads can be short and to the point.

Now, there are all kinds of questions that emerge from this, but a big one is always: "How do you determine what type of Lead is best to use to start?"

I’ll get to that one and some other questions tomorrow so stay tuned!

– Derek

P.S. There’s really only one hard copy physical book I recommend every business owner and copywriter keep on their bookshelf ready and waiting – and that’s Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz.

If you’ve heard a truly top-level marketer talk about Breakthrough Advertising, it swear it almost sounds like they’re describing a religious text. They’ll talk about how much money they’ve made because of the book and how shocked they are with their rapid improvement in copywriting skills.

Great marketers talk like that because Breakthrough Advertising is the most advanced copywriting book on the planet. It will only make full sense to you if you’ve already achieved some success in copywriting – and until then ~90% of it will fly over your head.

But when you’re ready, I can guarantee Breakthrough Advertising will hit you in ways you can’t imagine and uplevel your copywriting faster than anything else available.

You’ll gain deeper insight into what takes a promotion to 6, 7, or 8 figures over just 200 pages than any 20hr+ course on the market could teach you.

Now, the problem with the Breakthrough Advertising book has always been how difficult it is to find – copies on Amazon sell for over $400 because it went out of print long ago (this makes sense because the market for the book – advanced copywriters – is so small).

But fortunate for us, Brian Kurtz (marketing legend) got the rights to the book from Eugene Schwartz’ estate and he publishes it on his website, off of Amazon, for $125 (or a little extra for the Mastery version, which I recommend).

What this means is that NOW is the perfect time to get a copy of the book. When I was coming up, the only copies available sold for over $1k.

You want to get the hard copy while Brian has the rights to publish it.

Even if you’re not ready for it, one day you will be – and you’ll see it on your shelf, flip it open, and have your mind blown.

Grab it through my link here: