ou know those things called bullet lists?
Where it’s a list… with bullet points?
- Bullet point A
- Bullet point B
- Bullet point C
You might’ve heard other copywriters or internet marketers say you need to use them in your copy…
Or maybe you’ve seen them on other people’s websites…
But you may still be thinking, “Why? What’s so great about a bullet list?”
The thing is – bullet lists are a critical tool when it comes to formatting your copy for the web.
Formatting your copy is about mastering little tricks of the eye and mind – making it easier for people to read, re-catching their attention if they start skimming, setting the pace, etc.
First of all, bullet lists break up the pattern of “paragraph – paragraph – paragraph.”
That means it stands out.
That means, if someone is skimming rather than reading your page, a bullet list has a better chance of re-catching the reader’s eye. Because these handy little lists are easier to read.
And because it stands out among all your paragraphs, it has a better shot of getting read.
That means a bullet list is prime real estate for using your most engaging + persuasive techniques.
Also, bullet lists are…
- powerful ways to communicate the benefits of what you’re offering or talking about.
- influential in helping people buy your product because it’s an easy way for them to see the “list” of what they’re getting, and why each item is so friggin’ awesome.
- straight to the point (teehee, couldn’t resist).
Now, there are a few strategies behind these lists that, when used correctly, can have a major impact on your sales and engagement with your readers.
So, let’s talk about how to make YOUR bullet lists persuasive and sparkly!
First, there are several kinds of bullet lists.
Let me introduce you first to our little friend…
The Short Bullet List
The goal of a short bullet list is to break a long sentence with 3-4 parts into smaller, easier-to-read chunks.
For example, take this sentence:
When decorating your room, it’s important to use various textures, create a focal point, consider displaying your collectibles, vary the scale, and pay attention to lighting.
The reader may miss some of those points (‘cause let’s face it – we all skim when we read content online).
And now see what happens when you break it up into a bullet list:
When decorating your room, it’s important to…
- use various textures
- create a focal point
consider displaying your collectibles
- vary the scale
- attention to lighting
And here’s your first BONUS TIP:
If you use the “finish a sentence” method, make sure each bullet point would logically finish the sentence. Above, each bullet starts with the same part of speech – a verb – in order to finish the phrase, “When decorating your room, it’s important to…”
Next up, meet my friend, the big sister to the short bullet list…
The Long Bullet List
Long lists (I’m talking long, like 20+ bullet points) have their uses, too.
It’s likely that only your most interested prospects will fully read a crazy long bullet list. (That’s good.) And for the people who don’t read the whole list, it’ll still look really impressive. (That’s good, too.)
Some examples of this kind of list might include:
Top 20 Reasons to ____
35 Powerful Ways to ____
The Top 50 Tricks to ____
Here’s your next BONUS Tip:
Use ODD numbers when possible. It gives the eye a clear “middle,” which means there’s a greater chance the eye will actually read that middle bullet that it would otherwise skip over.
And if you’re doing a short list, try to do 3 (or 5 points).
It’s tried and true: things sound better + are more memorable when in groups of 3!
When you know what kind of list you’ll be using, it’s time to start thinking about the points themselves.
The Order of Your Bullet List Matters
Most people write bullets in order of importance. They put the most important bullet first, then work down until the final bullet is the least important.
Or they put the bullets in chronological order (“They learn this… and then they learn this…”).
Sounds logical in theory…
Humans don’t read bullet lists that way. We read the top 2 bullets. Then, unless we’re super interested, we’ll skip down to the very last one, often without ever reading the middle bullets.
So, to make sure your reader sees your strongest points, put your bullets in this order:
- 2nd most important
- less important – it’s okay if this one gets overlooked
- less important – it’s okay if this one gets overlooked
- 3rd most important
People assume that the last point will be the least important one. So when they see something that knocks their socks off in that final position, they think the overall product must be friggin’ amazing if THIS is the least important thing.
Now that you’re becoming a pro on the ins and outs of making your bullet lists POP, we’re ready to level up.
Meet the quirky, cool cousin of our short and long bullet lists…
The “Fascination” Bullet Point
Fascination bullet points are considered an “advanced” type of bullet point.
The fascination bullet teases you without giving everything away. It fascinates you until you HAVE to know the rest – even if that means buying the product.
How to write a fascination bullet point:
- Mention a compelling benefit… without revealing how to GET the benefit.
- Ramp it up by mentioning an undesirable result they’ll get if they DON’T learn the rest.
- Handle an objection they might have by tacking on an “even if” phrase.
It’s a pretty flirty little trick!
Here are some examples of fascination bullets in action:
- The #1 “big mistake” people make on their blogs that absolutely kills their sales. Page 239
- The secrets to approaching VIPs at live events – what to say and do, so they don’t just dismiss you along with the rest of the crowd trying to get their attention.
- The psychology of busy, influential people – what you need to know BEFORE you reach out to them.
- How to get decision makers to pay attention + take you seriously – even if you have no experience working in corporate yourself!
- The most IMPORTANT thing to do after you name your price. (If you don’t do this, it could easily cost you thousands of dollars.)
From there your content will be in GREAT shape…
But you’ve got to reel in your potential client’s attention early on!
So last but not least, meet…
These are questions that you ask the reader. And the answer in their head should be “yes.”
- Do you miss the relationship you had with your daughter when she was a sweet 9-year-old (before she turned into an attitude-toting teen)?
- Do you want to know the BEST ways to engage with VIPS and influencers?
- Do you wish there were a magic button to press that added more hours to the day?
You usually want these close to the top of a page.
This will help the reader identify herself early on, so she knows she’s in the right place – that you understand what she’s dealing with or dreaming about.
Avoiding infomercial language will help here.
You know the type of cheesy pull question…
Are you struggling to ….?
Have you ever been inconvenienced by…?
Aren’t ______ the WORST ?!
Instead, try to use HER language for these. As in, try to use specific language and phrases she uses to describe her situation. (Check out this article for tips on how to do that.)
It will help you connect, communicate, and hopefully… work together!
With all of these tools in your toolbox, your bullet lists are sure to be…
When done well, your lists can handle objections, relationship-building, selling points, and common questions all in one place.
That’s a lot of power in one little list.
Good luck, list-makers! And happy writing!
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