Blend Bullets and Benefits to Boost Buyers

    July 28, 2003

One of the greatest tools used by top copywriters is a little known secret that can multiply your response ratio. It’s the use of bullets within your marketing copy. Bullets are captivating, short and sweet, intriguing, and pleasing to the eye. But most important, they reinforce the offer, deliver straight-to-the-point benefits, and are clustered for greater impact.

An effective way to use bullets within the heart of your sales copy is when bullets follow the words “you get” or “reasons why.” Since people are always looking for what’s in it for them, this grants the reader the ability to know exactly what they are getting out of responding to your offer.

Also, keep in mind the copywriter’s greatest secret: Long copy always outsells short copy — this has been proven in my own efforts as well as those of other copywriters. However, bullets, especially in long copy ads, help to give the read a visual break along with strengthening the offer.

Features Versus Benefits

Here’s an example. Let’s say you sell an exercise machine called the “Abdominoflex.” You can say: “With your special Abdominoflex Toning Machine, here’s what you get,” followed by a set of bullets that list the various benefits one would receive with your machine. If you list the features, always follow each one with its equivalent benefit. Take the following example:

“With your special Abdominoflex Toning Machine, you get:

– A toning system that provides an easier yet intense workout that will burn off unwanted calories more rapidly and enjoyably;

– A scientifically designed exercise machine that laser-targets specific areas of the body for a faster, firmer, and more shapely figure;

– A compact, lightweight, easy-to-assemble, space-saving tool that can literally be stored under your bed and pulled out only when needed;

A free special bonus videotape (valued at $19.95) offering unique workout tips as well as ways to make the best use of your machine”
A feature from the previous example would be the fact that the machine is lightweight and compact. The equivalent benefit would be the fact that it’s easy to use. In other words, you can store it under your bed, pull it out when needed, and use it almost in an instant, without the hassle or inconvenience often associated with larger toning machines.

Ease-of-use is a feature. The feelings that will stem out of the machine’s ease-of-use are the benefits. This is why bullets based on “reasons why” is so important. In essence, you are telling your reader the reasons why he or she should take advantage of your offer (and do so now). For example: “Here are the reasons why you should buy your Abdominoflex today.”

Magic Words Versus Tragic Words

When describing the benefits of your product or service, try to be as simple and as specific as possible. Even with the headline, the copy, and the offer, use specific descriptions or words. Give detailed benefits and tell the reader what you want him or her to do specifically. For example, use odd, non-rounded numbers instead of generalizations. Odd, non-rounded numbers are more credible and have pulled more than even or rounded numbers.

For example, “Amazing new system helped me earn $3,956.75 in 29 days!” is much more credible than simply “$4,000 in 1 month!” That’s why, for example, Ivory is 99 and 44/100% pure. If Ivory said 100%, it wouldn’t have been as believable. If one of your benefits states that your offer helped to improve the results of over 1,000 people, use 1,163 people instead.

With your bulleted benefits, use “you,” “your,” and “yours” rather than “I,” “us,” “our,” or “we.” Implicate the reader and infer that he or she has already responded to your offer. Present your benefits as though your prospects are already enjoying them, in other words.

Here are some words you should use or emphasize when describing benefits. They are called magic words, such as: Free, new, you, discover, save, sales, guaranteed, introducing, money, results, benefits, easy, proven, love, alternative, now, win, gain, happy, trustworthy, beautiful, comfortable, proud, healthy, safe, right, security, winnings, fun, value, advice, wanted, announcing, people, and why. Use picture words as well so that people can easily visualize and understand the benefits of your offer. (For more on the use of picture words, see

On the other hand, tragic words are: Buy, purchase, obligation, failure, bad, sell, loss, liability, difficult, wrong, decision, deal, hard, death, order, fail, cost, worry, and contract. Essentially, avoid negative words or words that could potentially negate the positive effect (and the effectiveness) of your benefits.

In conclusion, by clustering and focusing on specific benefits through the use of bullets, and by using magic words that positively impact the reader, your chances of a greater response to your offer will multiply exponentially.

Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter and consultant dedicated to turning sales messages into powerful magnets. Get a free copy of his book, “The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning,” when you subscribe to his free monthly ezine, “The Profit Pill.” See now!