Have you ever sat in front of a blinking cursor for 20 mins trying to come up with a great way to describe your product or service?
You know it’s good and you know that people need it, but how do you tell them in a way helps them to understand its value?
After spending hours writing your copy, you test it and soon realise that it isn’t getting the results that you had hoped for.
Frustration leads to hopelessness and then, as your determination kicks in, to desperation.
“What do I have to do to get these people to realise that this is for their own good? Hold a gun to their heads?!”
No Sir! You need a copywriter’s help.
In this article I will show you how you can use bullet points in your writing to make more sales.
It can be just as effective as doing what the desperate psycho in your head was telling you to do. And you won’t even have to go to jail afterward.
Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me… What psychopathic thoughts?
Let’s get stuck in.
How A Good Copywriter Uses Bullets to Keep People’s Attention
Again, it’s not what you think! Remember, the pen is mightier than the, er… Gun?
It’s impossible for any of us to take in all the content that we come across. These days, we can’t even scan through all of it. There’s just too much flying around.
Your target audience is in the same boat. The internet is one sea and… Ok enough with the analogies.
You need to be able to grab their attention with a relevant and well-constructed headline and then keep it using bullet points.
An experienced copywriter will use bullet points to keep his/her readers moving through their copy.
To make sure this happens the bullets need to be:
- Filled with promise
Brevity is the hallmark of good writing. Anything you write needs to be void of fluff.
If you can say something using fewer words, do it!
This is true for bullet points as well.
They’re there to give scanners a snapshot of your content and a reason to read more. If they are too long, the effect is lost.
Let’s look at a few more bullet point basics before we dive deeper.
5 Bullet Point Basics to Keep your Audience Reading
- Make the benefits clear and obvious. Like when writing headlines.
- Keep the bullet points symmetrical. i.e. one line each or two lines each.
- Avoid bullet points within bullets within sub-bullets. We want clarity, not confusion.
- Start each bullet with the same part of speech (here, I’ve used verbs).
- Keep the sentences grammatically similar. It creates continuity.
One final point about bullet points.
Never, ever use them to make promises that you can’t keep.
Besides it being just plain wrong, the message you convey using bullet points is so clear and deliberate that people will find it impossible to give you any benefit of any doubt.
Their fury will be absolute, and your reputation will (rightly) be dragged through the mud.
Just don’t! It’s not worth the risk. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.
Ok, serious-and-slightly-condescending warning over, let’s move onto the different ways that you can use bullet points to improve the readability of your copy.
6 Types of Bullet Points & How to Use Them
Not all bullet points are used for the same reasons. Some appear on sales pages, others in blog articles and still others in emails.
These three marketing channels are used for very different reasons because they represent different stages in a marketing funnel.
So, you can’t use bullet points in the same way for all three.
Here are 6 types of bullet points, where you should use them and what they do (Courtesy of Brian Clarke, CopyBlogger):
- External Fascinations
- Also known as “blind” bullets, they hint at the content of a product or service and create curiosity without revealing the actual substance.
- Use them on Sales Pages to drive action to somewhere else (like a checkout page).
- Internal fascinations
- Internal fascinations are pretty much identical to external, except they’re designed to persuade people to continue reading the content they’re currently reading.
- g. “by reading this article you’ll learn: Reason 1, 2 and 3”.
- Bullet chunking
- Turning a long, complex paragraph into a series of bullet points is a great way to improve the readability of your content.
- Use this in highly technical articles or white papers.
- Authority bullets
- Authority bullets are used to recite the data and proof that support your argument.
- Try to turn dry, factual information into interesting reading if at all possible.
- Cliffhanger bullets
- These tease and foreshadow what’s coming up next or in the near future.
- You can also use cliffhanger bullets to lay the groundwork for an upcoming promotion, newsletter series, launch, or special content event.
- Give-Away Bullets
- Like cliffhanger bullets in that they tease the reader with part of the information they need.
- Great for promoting eBooks and How-To guides at the Opt-in level.
Pro Copywriter Tip
Create each bullet point as if it were a headline.
- Grab people’s attention
- Make them want to know more
- Promise value
- Qualify readers
Bullet points do the same, only they do it once the reader is already “inside”.
We really want you to be successful so here is a podcast that you can listen to on the go. It will reinforce what we’ve already taught you and you can listen to it while you’re driving or at the gym.
We know you’re busy being awesome!
You can even download it for free and listen to it anytime.
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- Too many leads
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Over to You
Tell us what you think about Bullet Points now.
Did you know that there was so much to them? What successes have you had?
We’d love to hear from you. See you in the comments!