The Bullet Point: The Holy Grail of Copywriting

The Bullet Point: The Holy Grail of Copywriting

If there is one element of direct response copywriting that has the potential to get people to click that “Buy Now” button, it’s the mighty bullet point.

A well-written bullet point, or set of bullet points, has the potential to close the deal faster than almost any other element in your marketing copy.

Why?

Well, because a bullet point is a tool that is quick to read, mentions the pain your ideal client is in, and your solution, all in one neat and tidy package.

Now, let’s talk about the “how” – how do you write a rockin’, take-no-prisoners bullet point?


So you probably know the difference between features and benefits, but just in case: a feature is an attribute of your product or service. A benefit is the “what’s in it for me” of that attribute.

Here’s the key: people buy benefits.

If you buy a book on copywriting, it’s not because you simply want to add to your book collection. So even though you’re buying a book, you’re not actually buying the book. Right? What you’re actually purchasing is the knowledge you will gain from reading the book, which will strengthen your copywriting skills … which will lead to more sales.

Therefore, when it comes to copywriting, it’s important to spend more time describing benefits than features.

The bullet point is the perfect place to make those benefits shine.

Now, before we take a deep dive into bullet points, let’s get really clear on the difference between features and benefits.

Features are the “what you get.” They’re the deliverables.

So let’s take the example above: a book about copywriting. The book itself is a feature. It’s what you get.

If you’re selling a car, the features may include a leather interior, a big engine, and a stereo.

If you’re selling an online program, the features may include weekly video trainings, a downloadable workbook, recordings of every session, and access to a private online forum.

A benefit, on the other hand, is the answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question. (Or, in your case, “what’s in it for the reader or potential buyer.”)

So going back to the car example, the benefit of leather interior is that it resists stains. A big engine means you get where you’re going, fast. And a nice stereo system means you can listen to awesome tunes as a soundtrack to your life.

As I mentioned above, the benefit of buying a book about copywriting is new knowledge that leads to more sales.

If you’re selling that coaching program, think about the benefits of each feature I listed:

  • Weekly video trainings provide information and accountability, so the client stays on track and receives support in implementing what he’s learning.
  • A downloadable workbook allows the client to personalize the new information so he can actually use it to create positive change.
  • Recordings of every session mean the client can access this new information any time, whether it’s relevant now or in the future.
  • The private online forum gives the client a sense of community, as well as access to support, advice and feedback, so he can get his questions answered and continue moving forward.

For every feature you list, you must also list a benefit. I like to find the benefit by asking, “So what?”

Let’s revisit that copywriting book example. The feature is a book. Sixty pages of information. So what? So that you can improve your writing skills and make more sales.

So, let’s get back to the bullet point.

Each bullet point should include a single benefit, and should either move your prospect toward pleasure or away from pain (I recommend a 70/30 ratio of toward pleasure to away from pain bullets).

If right now you’re cringing, because you’re thinking “But Michele! I’m conscious/mission driven/heart-centered! I don’t want to mention my prospects’ pain!” keep reading.

It is actually a disservice to your potential clients to ignore their pain. When you lightly touch on it, you can remind them that they have a choice about whether to remain in pain, or move away from it. (If you want to learn more about how to do this the love-based way, you can check out last week’s article, here. And if you want to learn more about the love-based copy philosophy, go here.)

Below are some examples of benefit-driven bullet points, from my “Why Isn’t My Website Making Me Any Money” sales letter. The benefits are in bold.

* An easy and effective way to transform yourself into an expert (so people will be more likely to buy from you)

[Increasing the likelihood that people will buy is moving the prospect toward pleasure.]

* 7 simple, 5-minute tweaks that add credibility to your site, so people will be more comfortable handing over their credit card and other personal information

[Making people more comfortable handing over information moves the prospect toward pleasure.]

* The one sentence you MUST add to your site if you want anyone to purchase anything from you

[People purchasing moves the prospect toward pleasure.]

* A common, VERY costly mistake you’ve probably made (or are considering making), which leads to your website not making sales (and how to avoid it)

[Making mistakes is painful! So this bullet point shows a feature that moves prospects away from pain.]

Once you’ve mastered the art of the bullet point, you’ll find that your copywriting is more effective, and you’re better able to make your biggest impact.

If this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in the second book in my Love-Based Copywriting series, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires, and Invites,” where I take this information on writing powerful bullet points even deeper. Get the book here to discover a new approach to direct response copywriting that feels good to you and to your prospects!

Free Book! “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back”

      

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