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February 20, 2012

Mastering the Art of Writing Sexy Bullet Lists

From short e-commerce product descriptions to enormously long sales letters; ask any copywriter and they’ll quickly tell you
that bullet points are one of the most valuable tools in their skill set. Why? Because they almost always get read.

Most people (and many professional copywriters), however, struggle with writing captivating bullet points. Follow along, and I’ll show you one quick process for cranking out an endless list of persuasive bullets that will help your copy convert.

What’s So Special About Bullets?

There are two notable features of bullet lists that give them their might.

First is the formatting. Just because bullet lists are formatted differently than the rest of the text on the page makes them more eye-catching. Without a thought, readers will gravitate to a bullet list just because they stand out more than copy within paragraphs.

Second is the copy. Getting people to notice a bullet list is the easy part. Once you’ve captured their attention, you need to give them a reason to keep reading. That’s where your copywriting comes in.

The Ingredients for Baking Up Sexy Bullet Lists

There are several different types of bullet lists. You can have a standard features list (that you see frequently on e-commerce sites). There are bullet lists for information products, for events, for services and more. While each style is a bit different, they all have a few ingredients in common.

Here’s what you need when you set out to craft bullet lists that engage people. A list of power verbs and adjectives is mandatory. Next, you’ll want to name the specific features and benefits pertaining to your product/service.

Last, you’ll need to conjure up some end results that buyers will enjoy after they’ve used those features and received the benefits.

Here’s how you put it all together.

This is from a piece of copy for a video-making conference I found online. Start with one feature (in this case about the event itself). Don’t be too broad.

Feature – Interactive workshops during the conference.

Benefit – You go through the process right there with the instructor so you know you’re doing it right.

End Result – Get the technique down cold before you leave the event.

Bullet Draft – Learn skills directly from instructors during live workshops so you can create lots of videos.

That’s an OK bullet point. It gets the message across and would certainly be interesting to a reader who wanted to learn to make videos. But it’s not sexy. To make it a bit more appealing, we can switch out some ordinary words for more powerful ones.

Sexy Bullet – Master professional-level skills during interactive workshops and confidently create an unlimited number of eye-catching videos.

See what happened? I swapped out “master” for the less intriguing “learn” and “unlimited” for “lots.” I added adjectives in front of “skills” and “videos.” I also inserted “confidently” before “create.” Big difference!

Let’s try it again.

Feature – PowerPoint 2010 session.

Benefit – Learn the new video-based features included in PowerPoint 2010.

End Result – Add interest and save time when making videos.

Bullet Draft – Go through all the new video-based PowerPoint 2010 features so you can save time and add more interest when making videos.

Sexy Bullet – Discover amazing, new features in PowerPoint 2010 that let you create sales-converting videos in a matter of minutes without a video camera.

The same process unfolded here as before. I replaced ordinary words with more captivating ones (“go through” went to “discover”) and added power adjectives (“amazing,” “attention-grabbing”) for more oomph.

If you haven’t been taking full advantage of your bullet lists, go back and have another look. It could be, with a few minor tweaks, that you’ll get significantly better results.


Article By Karon Thackston. Still need help? My “Step-by-Step Copywriting Course” is designed to guide you quickly and easily through writing high-converting web and SEO copy. With practice exercises and answers sections, you’ll know you’re on the right track. http://www.CopywritingCourse.com

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