Sweat the Details, Then Reap the Profits
Marketers these days have to worry about big, important issues ... branding, click-through rates, website "stickiness," you name it. But as we all know, marketing success ultimately hinges on how you handle all the little details. In other words, how you execute.
So let's jump from the strategic to the tactical level and take a look at an extremely narrow, seemingly trivial subject. Why? Because I want to try to demonstrate that when you're writing a letter, e-mail, ad or for a website, a whole lot of thought can and should go into the nittiest of gritties.
Let's first talk about bullets.
DEFINITION: A bullet is a dot, or other symbol, followed by a short sentence or phrase that's used to communicate information very quickly.
+ This is an example of a bullet.
"Big deal. So what about it?" you ask.
The answer is, even a humble list of bullets can be transformed into an extraordinarily powerful selling tool if you handle it the right way. And many marketers don't.
Let me give you an example ... Let's pretend that the publisher of a new Contact Management software product is writing a lead-generation letter to prospects. She is trying to get the reader to request a free brochure entitled "Unlocking the Power of Contact Management Software."
Here is how the bullet list, positioned in the middle of the letter, might be written the WRONG way:
"Call right now for your free brochure. It explains a number of important features our new product has to offer:
+ Increases your productivity.
+ Tracks all activities within every account.
+ Allows you to manage the sales process.
+ Keeps you in touch with valued customers.
+ Fully web-integrated.
+ Works on the PC, Mac and PalmPilot platforms."
What's wrong with this copy? The set-up lines, leading into the bullets, are flat and unmotivating. And the bullets themselves are dead. There is no SELLING going on. Who the heck is going to request the free brochure when the benefits are so darned bloodless?