Skip to content

The Guaranteed Contrast Lead Formula


Your customers used to have a need, but now your product or service resolved that need. Contrasting between where your customer used to be and where that customer is now will capitalize on gaining new leads.

An Intro To Contrast Leads

There is a simple formula for creating alluring introductions to your customer stories. This process will save you time and capture more leads. It stems from this idea called a contrast lead.

A contrast lead contrasts two opposites. Let’s flashback to kindergarten for a review of opposites: old and new, poverty and wealth, stress and relaxation, tough and easy.

That’s the foundation of the formula: contrasts two opposites. Here’s a few made-up examples to help you understand the concept:

60 years ago, Oprah Winfrey was a troubled teen in a small farming community with very little hope for the future. Today, this television icon is the world’s only African American billionaire, an active philanthropist, and an advocate for children’s rights.

This example contrasts time (60 years ago and today), status (troubled teen and billionaire), and mood (little hope and philanthropist/advocate).

The city’s school bus drivers went on strike for the second time this month, but the students were still required to attend school and find their own transportation.

Did you notice the trend of contrast? This fake scenario contrasts people (school bus drivers and students), work (not working while on strike and having to go to school despite the strike), and time (second time this month and attending school daily).

As a child, Benjamin spent every free moment tinkering with his car in the garage or any other electronic device he could get his hands on. Today, Benjamin still works with his hands, although now he fiddles with elements of NASA space crafts at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

I hope you’re catching on! This last example contains contrast of time (child and today), devices (car or electronic device and NASA space crafts), status (child and NASA engineer), and location (garage and John F. Kennedy Space Center).

Why Contrast Leads Work

Whether you’re a psychologist or a marketer, you can probably tell that contrast leads curiously attract people. It boils down to “the information gap theory of curiosity,” coined by George Lowenstein.

This “gap” happens when there is a chasm between the information that we do know and the information that we want to know. It’s kind of like a mental itch that must be scratched.

When your lead is reading your material (like the examples above) and there is a hole between the contrasting information, their curiosity is piqued. Their mind naturally wants to fill in the opening, which is why that lead keeps reading.

The Contrast Lead Formula

Like in algebra, let’s simplify the contrast lead formula:

[X years ago/at x age], [customer name and brief description] was [facing this problem (before they discovered your product or service)].

Today, [customer] is [describe how your product or service resolved their problem, and how it has positively impacted their life].

Obviously, you can elaborate the details or change the sentence structure to fit your needs. But the essential elements to include in your formula are dates (the past and today), the customer’s previous problem, and how your business provided a solution.

How to Guarantee Success With the Contrast Lead Formula

This seems like a simple enough pattern and an amazing effective marketing concept. When using the contrast lead formula, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Emphasize the customer’s challenge, not your business or produce, in the initial section. In fact, you shouldn’t even mention your product, service, or company in the first part. Focus on the customer instead.
  2. The second section should make a stark contrast. It’s the opposite of the customer’s original state, described in the first sentence(s). Remember that the gap of information between the two paragraphs is what prompts the reader’s curiosity.
  3. Always include “time” words. Begin with “X years ago” or “before XYZ” or “When [customer] was X age.” Then contrast with “today,” “now,” or “since X year.”
  4. Give specific details in both sections. These elements are what provide the contrast. Although some details may seem unnecessary, include the descriptions which paint a vivid picture to enhance the contrast. In the examples above, Benjamin tinkered in his garage and later worked at the Space Center. You could have said that Benjamin simply tinkered without listing a specific location, but the atmosphere of the garage is vastly different than a Space Center laboratory, making it a helpful detail.
  5. Personalize each contrast lead! Don’t feel bound by the formula; rather, apply the idea of contrasting the story of each customer’s before and after with a gap in the middle. Allow your company to present itself as the solution to your customer’s needs.

We’ve had clients struggle to make their marketing tactics personal; their customers wanted more reviews and additional customer stories. After working with the MindShift Agency, those same clients have seen an improvement in lead conversion, and have also had more existing clients share their reviews!

If you are looking to implement contrast leads into your marketing strategy, the MindShift Agency is the crew to help your team! Fill out the form below so we can work together to convert more leads into customers!