How To Write Effective Ad Copy Using The Promise Lead


What is a promise lead?


The promise lead is the most common type of lead. It’s a little less direct than the offer lead, in that, the product/offer is mentioned later on in the copy.


This lead opens with your product’s best and biggest benefit. Whatever this big benefit is, it has to tie in with your prospect’s core desire.


Drayton Bird once said, “Advertising works best if you promise people something they want, not—as many imagine—if you are clever, original or shocking.”


So make a bold promise to your prospect that you’re going to give him what he really desires.


In a classic promise lead, the promise is found in 3 main places: the headline, the first line and often, the last line too.


Here’s an example of an ad that uses the promise lead:


The promise is clear in the headline. The agency guarantees to outpull your best ad.


If you read through the rest of the ad, you’ll see that it’s centered around this promise of guaranteeing results.   


The formula for writing a good promise lead


First, make a list of your product’s best features in order of relevance.


Then, translate those features into benefits. Simply put, what do these features mean for your customer?


And out of all those features, which one is the most original and most unique? Because that’s your Unique Selling Point (USP)


Reeves first wrote about the USP in his book, Reality in Advertising. In it he gives a 3-part formula for writing effective promise leads


1. Introduce the product


2. Explain what the product does. It has to be something original that your competitors’ products can’t do. This is your USP.


3. Finally, your promise to the reader MUST target their core desire. They have to want what you’re promising. You can’t create desire. You only awaken what’s already there.



But what if a promise seems too big that your reader becomes skeptical?


For example, you could promise to grow your audience’s $250 to $3.5 million.


That seems too good to be true. Most people will think you’re a scam.


In such a case, acknowledge their skepticism before they have a chance to. Turn the big claim into a question. Something like this:


Can You Really Grow $250 into $3.5 million?


With that, you reframe your prospects’ thought process. Now you’ve piqued their interest. They want to find out if it really is possible.


When to use the promise lead for best results


Depending on how aware your customer is, this lead would work best on the fence sitters. The ones who are product aware.

They know what they want. They are almost ready to buy. But, they aren’t sure your product is right for them. They just need a nudge in the right direction and they’ll fall into your corner.


This nudge comes in the form of a promise lead that’s original and relevant to them.


They haven’t bought because they keep hearing the same thing everywhere. They’re confused about which to product to go with. The only way you win them over is if your promise stands out from the rest.


So do your research. What has been promised before in the market? Strive to beat that. Learn everything you can about your prospect’s desires and what their expectations are so you can meet or beat them.


Keep in mind that the most effective part of the promise lead is not so much what your product will do for them, but how it will make them feel while using it. Even better, how others will see them while using it.


For example:


“Build Your Memory In 4 Short Weeks—So Powerfully Your Family Won’t Believe It”


In addition to having a powerful memory, this headline is promising admiration and respect from family members for having a new skill.


So dig deeper. How will your product make your prospect feel? Maybe they want to feel confident. Maybe they want to feel secure. Maybe they want to be free from worry. How will others perceive them in this new light?


Whatever it is, make sure you’re making a strong promise that you know you can deliver on.


If you would like my help in applying this and other strategies to sell your high ticket products and services, just click the button below to apply for a complimentary consultation.

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