Effective Use of Bullet Points

Effective Bullet Points

Instinctive Fire

Eric Haney was a former member of Delta Force, America’s renowned counter-terrorist unit responsible for saving hostages and executing high-risk missions.

Haney shared his experiences in his book “Inside Delta Force,” where he introduced the concept of “instinctive fire.”

This shooting technique, taught to all Delta Force operators, involves focusing on the target rather than the gun sights, making it incredibly effective, especially in combat situations against moving targets.

Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with online business and marketing. Well, just like instinctive fire, copywriting has its own version of this technique.

It’s a form of persuasion and copy that is immensely powerful and convincing, to the point that some of the greatest copywriters in history have filled more than half of their sales pages with it.

I’m talking about bullet point copy. Bullet points carry significant weight in copywriting.

Ken McCarthy, a highly influential marketer, once stated that “writing bullets is the single-most important copywriting skill.”

In the next paragraphs, we will delve into this fascinating topic because here’s the truth: if you can master the art of crafting compelling bullet points, you will sell more of whatever you’re offering.

On the other hand, if you struggle with creating effective bullet points, your sales are likely to suffer. That’s how influential they can be when executed correctly.

Throughout these forthcoming sections, my aim is to guide you on how to create exceptional bullet points.

Get ready to dive in because we’re leaving no room for self-proclaimed gurus or excuse-makers.

This content is strictly for those who are driven, determined, and committed to taking relentless action.

Rule #1

When crafting sales copy, it’s important to use bullet points that tease rather than reveal everything.

The key is to be specific about the problem and vague about the solution.

Customers pay for the solution, so bullet points should focus on teasing the “secret” or benefit.

Let’s discuss two types of bullet points commonly used in sales copy.

1) The Blind Bullet:

These bullet points don’t reveal the solution to the problem outright. Instead, they tease a desired outcome or benefit that the prospect wants.

The goal is to pique their interest and persuade them to purchase the product to uncover the teased secret. Here are some examples:

– Discover the only sure-fire way to get instant traffic to your websites on autopilot for free within the next 5 minutes! (Page 42)
– Uncover 3 often overlooked, drop-dead simple ways to effortlessly build an email list. (Page 27)
– Learn my never-before-revealed method for making an extra $500 a day with minimal effort. It’s so easy, I almost didn’t want to share it! (Page 56)

2) The Half-Blind Bullet:

Similar to the blind bullet, these bullet points also tease a benefit or outcome. However, they reveal a portion of the solution without giving away everything.

Maintaining an air of mystery and capturing curiosity is crucial. Here are some examples:

– Find out why YouTube traffic is the best free traffic source for your website right now. Inside my book, I’ll show you the exact 5 steps to start taking advantage of it immediately! (Chapter 3)
– Discover the secret to writing highly profitable emails that convert. I’ll reveal the exact method to write 500-word emails that will bring in sales daily! (Chapter 6)
– Learn a simple 3-step foolproof method to ensure you always get the perfect amount of sleep at the perfect time, avoiding the biggest cause of failure in entrepreneurs worldwide. (Chapter 4)

These two types of bullet points are effective in sales page copy, email copy, and any other sales-related content.

However, there’s much more to learn, and I’ll be sharing additional insights below.

Give it Away Now

In the year 1991, the band known as the Red Hot Chili Peppers was poised to take the world by storm with their debut single “Give it Away Now.”

However, now I’d like to divert our attention to a different kind of “Giveaway” – Giveaway bullets.

These bullet points offer a unique approach, providing a hint of valuable information instead of solely teasing the reader.

To effectively utilize Giveaway bullets, it is important to use them sparingly, offering readers a sense of genuine value in the content that compels them to continue reading.

Similar to a delicate seasoning, you can sprinkle these bullets throughout your writing.

Here are a few examples of Giveaway bullets:

– When it comes to achieving maximum engagement on social media, my favorite platform is Tumblr. Just remember to tailor your content to your target audience.

– Are you interested in discovering three highly effective yet underrated sources of traffic? Reddit, Rumble, and Medium are three low hanging fruits that can yield remarkable results. Take this information and make the most of it.

– Allow me to share a valuable tip with you, free of charge. If you want to boost your sales, focus on creating an exceptional offer.

These examples illustrate the concept of Giveaway bullets.

Incorporate them alongside blind bullets and half-blind bullets to enhance curiosity and captivate your audience.

Give these Giveaway bullets a try and observe the difference they make in piquing curiosity and engaging your readers.

Just like adding a pinch of salt and pepper to your favorite supper, these bullets can enhance the overall appeal of your offers.

Finger on the Trigger

In our previous discussions on bullet points, explored various types that can effectively enhance your sales copy, email content, and other promotional materials.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the specific wording to use within your bullet points.

It’s important to note that certain words and phrases have been scientifically proven to trigger action in people, known as “trigger words.”

These words are not necessarily endowed with special meanings, but rather relate to human emotions and capture attention. Here are a few examples:

1. Inspiring
2. Verified
3. Factual
4. Limited time
5. Astonishing
6. Best
7. Proven
8. Limited availability
9. New
10. Exhausted
11. Certified
12. Remedy
13. Disappointed
14. Exclusive offer
15. Offer expires
16. Boost
17. Ultimate
18. Outstanding
19. Now
20. Reliable

These are just a few examples, as there are numerous words and phrases that fall under this category.

However, it’s crucial not to overuse them or make it obvious that you are simply trying to incorporate “trigger” words into your content.

Authenticity is key. Let’s consider some blind bullet examples that effectively utilize trigger words:

– Discover the most reliable method to generate affiliate sales within 24 hours. It works like magic!
– For the next 4 days, I’m offering a special opportunity exclusively to my private list. Act quickly as it’s extremely limited.
– Experience the only proven technique that consistently generates hundreds of leads within hours. It has never failed me!

Conduct thorough research on these trigger words or “power” words, as they evoke various emotions such as fear, excitement, joy, or sadness.

It’s essential to be aware of lesser-used trigger words, as the more frequently they are employed and encountered, the less impactful they become.

An example of such a word is “free,” which is overly used and has lost some of its appeal as a trigger word.

Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider the context in which you use it.

Ultimately, incorporating trigger words into your bullet points will enhance their persuasive nature, which is the ultimate goal.

So, be sure to integrate them thoughtfully in your copy.

Thirteen Bullet Point Formulas PT1

Let’s explore different styles of bullet points for effective content:

1) Disproving Myths

In this style, we challenge common beliefs and debunk them. For instance:

– Contrary to popular belief, the money is not in the list. On page 64, I will explain why this is a misconception.

– Many people think that a great sales letter and a professional sales page are essential for selling products. However, I have personally disproven this multiple times, and on page 75, I’ll show you how you can too.

– It is a myth that hard work and a great education are necessary for online business success. I have succeeded in various niches without prior knowledge, sometimes within weeks of starting. Discover my secrets on page 24.

2) Testing the Benefits

Here, we present benefits as challenges and offer a guarantee:

– I have so much confidence in my book that I invite you to put it to the test. If you can’t generate 100 leads within 7 days using the techniques on page 24, I will provide a full refund.

– Take the challenge! Page 54 will reveal how you can earn affiliate commissions within 24 hours of reading. If it doesn’t work for you, I’ll refund your money 100%.

– Let’s put it to the test. The first 3 pages of Chapter 3 outline a simple business model. If you can’t make your first online money within 30 days, I will refund every dime!

3) Easy Solutions

These bullet points emphasize achieving benefits or solving problems in an effortless manner:

– Want to lose weight? Discover a method on page 11 that allows you to shed up to 5 pounds a week without exercise and eating whatever you want!

– With just 5 minutes a day and the ability to click a button, you can learn the exact 5-step process on page 32 to make an effortless 10k a month.

– Generate expert-level content on autopilot and sell it for massive profits without lifting a finger. Start earning within 3 days on page 87!

4) Identifying Problems and Offering Solutions

Here, we highlight specific problems and tease the solutions:

– Many people struggle in online business due to a lack of understanding in building an email list. I have a surefire solution that I’ll reveal on page 54.

– The absence of a proven system for high-quality traffic is why most affiliate marketers fail to make commissions. I’ll address this issue in the first chapter of my book.

– Sticking to a healthy diet plan is a challenge for many trying to lose weight. Inside my book, I present a drop-dead simple 3-step approach on page 36 that will make it incredibly easy for you.

Thirteen Bullet Point Formulas PT2

In this content, I will present five different bullet point styles that can make your product or service more captivating.

The first style is called “Polarize the Mundane Bullets.” It involves taking mundane benefits and making them more exciting.

For example, instead of saying “Professional sales copy,” you can say “Professional sales copy that writes itself!” Moving on to the next style…

The second style is called “Story Teasing Bullets.” These bullets start with a brief story that introduces a benefit and then teases the discovery of that benefit.

For instance, you could say, “Last year, we tripled our opt-ins with a simple tweak to our squeeze page. I’ll show you how to do it in this book!” Another example is…

The third style is the “Proprietary Name Drop Bullet.” Here, you tease a benefit while also mentioning the name of your unique method or tactic.

For instance, you could say, “My Fast Draft Copy Method is the easiest way to write effective sales letter copy. Find out more in this book!”

Moving on to the next style…

The fourth style is “General to Specific Bullets.” This style takes information that applies to many people and makes it feel personal by specifying a particular audience.

For example, instead of saying “The massively effective lead capture page,” you can say “The massively effective lead capture page for stay-at-home entrepreneur moms.”

Let’s move on to the next style…

The fifth style is “The Secrets Bullet.” This involves teasing a specific secret that will help your prospect achieve a desired result.

For instance, you could say, “Discover the secret I used to take my business from zero to 100k a year. It’s simple and can be executed in less than a week!”

Please note that these are just a few bullet point styles, and there are many more to explore.

Thirteen Bullet Point Formulas PT3

Here are some effective techniques for creating persuasive bullet points in your sales copy or promotional content:

1. Classic How-To Bullets:

These bullets grab attention and captivate interested readers by offering specific benefits.

For example, discover how to gain a million followers on YouTube in less than six months (Chapter 7), learn the secrets of affiliate marketing on Facebook Groups for massive commission payouts in just ten minutes a day (Chapter 10), or build a profitable email list in a week (Page 64).

2. Shock and Awe Bullets:

These bullets focus on using shocking numbers and stats to grab attention and evoke curiosity.

For instance, uncover 105 valuable under-the-radar traffic sources (report), access ten proven money-making email marketing templates that generated over 500K in profit (personal experience), or explore 33 affiliate programs paying up to $8,000 in commissions (neglected by the masses).

3. Pumping Result Bullets:

These bullets increase the assumed results, even if the prospect is currently not experiencing any.

Examples include tripling lead generation with five simple steps (Page 27), doubling online income using AI and an undiscovered social media platform (Page 67), or quadrupling affiliate commissions effortlessly (Page 45).

4. Better Bullets:

These bullets focus on solving problems faster, cheaper, or easier than other solutions.

For instance, learn a trick on page 48 to speed up list-building at warp speed, discover a secret resource in Chapter 6 that drastically reduces autoresponder expenses (Page 76), or find a surefire way to make writing sales-converting emails enjoyable and profitable (Page 54).

These techniques can be used across various platforms like YouTube, podcasts, blog posts, and more.

They have a proven track record of delivering results even before the internet era.

Nothing is Impossible

“Nothing is impossible for a man who refuses to listen to reason…” – Gary Halbert

Gary Halbert, renowned as the highest paid copywriter globally, is known for his exceptional sales letters that have generated billions in revenue.

His book, “The Boron Letters,” consists of insightful letters he wrote to his son during his time in prison and is highly regarded among copywriters.

While there is much to learn from this book, our focus is on Gary Halbert’s 3-Step Plan for mastering Bullet Point Writing.

It may seem straightforward, but it requires dedicated effort on your part.

Step 1) Obtain a compilation of expert bullets – Find a collection of 100+ bullets crafted by a skilled copywriter.

Step 2) Transcribe the bullets – Write each bullet on a notecard, reciting it aloud twice, then rewriting it by hand. Repeat this process before moving on to the next bullet.

Step 3) Regularly review – Read through your stack of notecards daily for 30 consecutive days. Read them aloud slowly and clearly, giving yourself ample time to contemplate the composition of each bullet.

Gary Halbert himself provides a list of over 100 bullets that he personally created.

You can access them at thegaryhalbertletter.com/new/b/0495 

While many may hesitate to embark on Halbert’s 3-step plan due to its demanding nature, it begs the question: if you’re not willing to commit to this, are you genuinely serious about achieving success in your online business?

Most individuals claim they will do whatever it takes to thrive, but only a select few truly mean it.

Take a moment to reflect on this and answer honestly while looking in the mirror.

The USP Bullet…

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP), also as the distinguishing factor, is what sets your business or product apart from competitors.

It’s similar to a game of chess – easy to grasp but challenging to master. Let me provide you with some illustrative examples of successful USPs.

Take Uber, for instance. Unlike traditional taxi companies, Uber doesn’t own the taxis or employ the drivers.

Instead, it acts as a platform connecting passengers with independent contractors who share a portion of the fare.

This unique approach differentiates Uber from its competitors.

Nike’s USP revolves around inspiring athletes and sports enthusiasts to surpass their limits and achieve greatness.

Their iconic slogan, “Just Do It,” embodies the notion of determination and self-belief, which is evident in their advertising and marketing campaigns.

Nike focuses less on the shoe quality or technology and more on the motivation behind their products.

Fiji Water stands out by emphasizing its untouched origin. Their website proudly states, “UNTOUCHED BY MAN. FIJI Water comes from a sustainable ancient artesian aquifer deep within the earth, protected and preserved naturally from external elements.”

Rather than highlighting the technology or filtration process, Fiji Water sets itself apart by showcasing the source of their water.

These are just a few examples of how different companies have established their USPs. Now, let’s discuss how you can craft a remarkable USP for your own product.

It should clearly highlight what sets your product apart from competitors and be presented as compelling bullet points.

Let’s look at Uber’s USP as an example:

– Be your own boss!
– Drive your own vehicle!
– Earn on your own terms!
– Choose when and how much you work!
– Enjoy 100% flexibility!

Now, let’s consider Nike:

– We create shoes for individuals determined to make a positive impact in the world!
– Our footwear is designed for sports enthusiasts who believe in reaching new heights!
– We cater to those ready to achieve greatness!

Lastly, let’s explore Fiji Water:

– Our water remains untouched by human hands!
– Sourced from sustainable ancient artesian aquifers deep within the earth, naturally protected and preserved!
– Experience the exotic purity of water from ancient aquifers in the Fiji Islands, savoring every drop!

As you can see, a strong USP can generate powerful bullet points that effectively communicate the unique aspects of your product.

The Warning Bullet…

Warning bullets are a powerful tool in content creation, as they tap into the fear of the audience.

This approach, though somewhat overused, remains effective because the fear of losing something is always stronger than the promise of gaining something.

So, it’s no wonder that warning bullets are frequently employed.

But what does a warning bullet look like? Here are a few examples to illustrate:

– Discover why mailing your email list less than 5 times a week can slowly destroy your business, and why you should never do it. (Page 55)

– Before you spend another dime on expensive autoresponder fees, ask yourself a simple question that could save you thousands. Don’t miss this warning! (Page 36)

– Uncover a simple 3-step method for boosting your email sales that the gurus don’t want you to know. They are profiting from your ignorance, but this report can change everything. (Page 66)

To write effective warning bullets, focus on addressing a fear or problem that the prospect may not even be aware of.

Your product will then serve as their educational solution.

The most powerful trigger word of all time…

Gary Bencivenga is widely respected the field of copywriting, with numerous testimonials attesting to his exceptional skills.

Renowned companies like Rodale Press and Phillips Publishing have praised him as the best copywriter they’ve ever worked with.

Brian Kurtz of Boardroom Inc even goes so far as to call him “America’s best copywriter.” Clearly, Bencivenga possesses a profound understanding of the written word.

I mention Bencivenga because he introduced me to the most powerful trigger word of all time.

In a previous section, we discussed power words, and now I want to add one more to the list.

If you go to marketingbullets(dot)com/archive/, you’ll discover a collection of 29 valuable insights from Gary.

While these bullets differ from the ones I’ve been teaching you here, they offer invaluable marketing lessons.

Bullet point 10 is particularly interesting as it focuses on the trigger word “Because.”

Bencivenga explains that by incorporating three specific “reasons why” into your sales pitch, you can increase your response rate by 50% to 100% or even more.

These reasons are as follows:

1. Compelling reasons why your product surpasses other alternatives, including doing nothing.
2. Compelling reasons to believe in the truthfulness of your claims.
3. Compelling reasons to seize the opportunity immediately.

However, it is the word “Because” that truly works its magic.

Bencivenga shares an experiment from Harvard where a young woman asked to skip the line for the Xerox machine.

When she provided a reason using “Because,” her success rate skyrocketed to 94%. Her simple phrasing was, “Excuse me, I have five pages.

May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” In contrast, when she omitted the reason, her success rate dropped to 60%.

The change in phrasing was minor: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

This small alteration resulted in a 34% decrease in success rate. Surprisingly, the reason itself was not elaborate or unique.

Being in a rush is a common occurrence for everyone. However, the point remains: providing a reason, no matter how simple, can make a significant difference.

A 34% difference could be the determining factor between success and failure.

So, how can you apply this to your bullet points? It’s quite simple. Focus on the “reasons” why people would want to purchase your product. For instance:

Here are five reasons why you should have purchased my book YESTERDAY:

1. It’s based solely on my personal experiences, not second-hand information.
2. I’ve priced it at its lowest ever, ensuring exceptional value.
3. It addresses 13 of the most significant challenges in internet marketing.
4. The book’s strategies hold immense value, and even just one successful strategy will more than compensate for the cost.
5. Page 55 alone contains a proven blueprint that can turn individuals into millionaires within a year.

Now you understand the power of “Because.” This trigger word reminds us that people respond more favorably to persuasion when given reasons to act.

Give this method a try and make sure to read Gary’s Bullets. They’re renowned and will provide invaluable insights if you invest time in studying them.

How many and what order?

“Your reputation is built one act at a time, and a lifetime of good work can be squandered the same way. Respect is earned by consistent behavior.” – John Carlton

In his book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your Shit Together,” John Carlton emphasizes the importance of building a reputation through consistent behavior.

With over 30 years of experience in writing sales copy, Carlton is widely regarded as an exceptional copywriter.

He has been hailed as “the most respected and ripped-off copywriting wizard alive” because many marketers still use his ads as templates, even those predating the internet.

I want to focus on Carlton’s insights regarding bullet points and address two key questions. First, how many bullet points should be included for a product?

Second, what is the optimal order for arranging these bullet points?

During a live speaking engagement for his Simple Writing System, Carlton shared his approach.

After identifying the features and benefits of a product, he would write approximately 20 pages of bullet points, totaling around 100 bullets.

From this extensive list, he would then select the top 20 bullet points and arrange them in order of quality.

It’s important to note that even the “worst” bullet points from the selected 20 are still quite impressive.

Carlton’s emphasis on bullet points highlights their significance in sales copy.

For further reference, you can watch the video titled “Simple Writing System: Bullets” on the “MarketingRebel” YouTube Channel.

Now, here’s a challenge for you. Choose a product, whether it’s one you currently have or a random selection in your niche.

It could be a movie, book, or anything of your choice. Apply what you’ve learned from the previous sections and write out 100 bullets for that product.

Then, try to narrow down your list to the 20 best ones in your opinion. By doing this, you’ll be following John Carlton’s simple formula for bullet point volume.

Final Words

Merely possessing knowledge is not enough. It is crucial to apply what you have learned and take action.

Whether you succeed, fail, or end up in a tie, the experience gained from it is invaluable.

In fact, experience outweighs everything else. And the only way to obtain it is by stepping into the arena and facing challenges head-on.

According to Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, courage is often a skill acquired through practice.

Initially, it requires willpower and self-control, but with regular exercise, it becomes almost instinctual.

Teddy Roosevelt’s statement emphasizes the importance of taking action and how it gradually becomes a natural part of who we are.