The Easiest Way to Create Great Bullets

Most ETR readers know that a successful copywriting technique is to use lots of “bullets” in marketing copy – short sales points presented in bulleted lists.

But did you ever sit down to work on copy, only to find it difficult to pull out of the product the salient sales points needed to create strong bullets?

If you’re a marketer, there’s an easy way to avoid this problem… and come up with kick-butt bullets that generate more orders and sales from every promotion you mail or e-mail. And it starts way before a single word of copy is written. In fact, for maximum results, this should be done during the creation of the actual product itself.

I’m talking about building bullets into your product. By that, I mean coming up with a list of features that you think would really convince your prospects to buy the product. Or writing a list of bullets you’d love to be able to use in your marketing copy. And then, as you’re developing that list of features or bullets, you design them into the product.

Let’s say you hire a writer to create a how-to e-book on growing a backyard vegetable garden.

One of the things you think your prospective customers will be interested in is a section on growing bigger tomatoes. So you make a list of specific steps that can be taken to make tomatoes grow big and juicy.

Let’s say the list has five steps on it. You give the list to your writer so he can put a few paragraphs on each one in the e-book.

Now, when you (or a copywriter you hire) write the sales copy for the e-book, you know it can include a bullet that says “5 ways to grow tomatoes so big, you can make a dinner out of them.”

I had a client, an industrial manufacturer, that used this technique with great success.

The company manufactured spectrophotometers, instruments used to measure color. Their competitors had come out with a new generation of spectrophotometers, and my client was late to the game. But they used this to their advantage.

They carefully studied the other brands, made a list of their flaws, and designed their new spectrophotometer to provide superior performance in every area where their competitors were weak.

In their product launch, they showed a picture of their new instrument. Call-outs highlighted every feature that made the device superior to what their competitors were selling.

The launch was their most successful ever, because the bullets for their sales copy had been carefully built into the product – and clearly distinguished that product as superior in many ways to all others in the field.

Freelance copywriters rarely have any control over the product that’s being sold, but marketers often do. If you are an information marketer, in particular, it’s easy to design products with great sales bullets built in.

Just write a list of irresistible bullets, make that your table of contents, and then create an info product that covers those points.

And make sure all of those points really are covered. Info product buyers often compare the product to the promotion. If they can’t find content reflecting the bullets that persuaded them to buy, they will complain or ask for a refund.

My mentor, the great copywriter Milt Pierce, tells the story of when he was hired to write a direct-mail package on a book about decorating by a famous author in that field.

He brought in his marketing copy. The publisher and author read it. When they were finished, the publisher said to Milt, “This is incredibly strong promotional copy. The only problem is… that’s not what’s in the book.”

Milt replied: “It should be.” And, according to him, the author and publisher agreed to rewrite the book so it accurately reflected the sales copy he’d written.

When the promotion mailed, it worked like gangbusters… and the book sold like hotcakes.

The old-time mail-order guru Melvin Powers did it a better way: When he wanted to publish a new book, he would write and run the ad first.

Of course, he wrote the strongest ad possible.

If the ad got a strong response, he then quickly wrote and printed a book that delivered all the content promised. If the ad bombed, he never wrote the book and just refunded the money to those few people who had ordered.

[Ed. Note: Now’s your chance to pick the brain of copywriting master and experienced info-marketer Bob Bly in person. Bob is coming out of his self-imposed speaking retirement to present at ETR’s 2008 Info-Marketing Bootcamp. He – along with 11 other business-building and marketing experts – will reveal a proven technique that can help you make at least $100,000 in 2009. Bootcamp begins this coming Sunday, so time is running out to sign up. Do it today.

For expert insights into the world of direct marketing, be sure to sign up for Bob’s free monthly newsletter, The Direct Response Letter. Do it today and get $116 in free bonuses.]

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.