The phrase bullet points brings up images of long, boring days stuck in a room trying to concentrate on a Power Point presentation. But it is different for email marketing. We use them to go out and take hold of our customers.
Online definitions vary to a greater or lesser degree but in the main they suggest that the purpose of bullet points is to put over information in a concise and easily remembered form. This does not apply to an email though.
It is a truism that readers scan. In other words they don’t start at the top, work their way through the headlines, pictures and copy, and finish at the end. A reader will check the headline, glance at the pictures and then run their eyes quickly through the rest of the email. And this is where bullet points come in. Their function is to:
• Grab their attention
• Keep them reading
• Encourage click throughs
The whole point of email marketing is not to entertain or enlighten but to sell. You do not want readers to remember what is in the email. You must encourage them to click through to the microsite. The only question is how.
Say you want to sell an upmarket bicycle, an Eddy Merckx EMX-3, which retails for £3000 but you are offering for £2200, including free UK delivery.
You need to put yourself in the place of those on your email lists and consider its main selling points. The Merckx name would, I assume, be one, the carbon frame another and the groupset has a good call for a slot. Now choose a keyword or brief phrase for each.
The name stands on its own but as this would be a repetition of the heading it needs a little extra fizz. Perhaps:
• Inspired by Eddie Merckx
You can buy carbon fibre framed bikes in the high street so that alone would not be enough. If someone is considering paying £2200 one would assume it would not be on a whim so they should understand:
• 30HM 12K carbon fibre frame
If they don’t then they will make out they do.
In email marketing the trend has been to have the third bullet point as the least important with the last one being a big hitter. So the groupset, available on slighter cheaper bikes, should come next. Important, but not overwhelming so.
• Shimano Ultegra groupset
And finally the price.
You know how those on your email lists will respond but I cannot help but think that:
• £800 off
Sounds so much better than:
• Reduced to £2200
The purpose of the bullet points is to excite the recipients and keep them reading. Those who know the particular bike should be given an option to click through early on in the email. If they need more encouragement then there is the next bullet point right up to the final throw of the price reduction.
Each bullet point is there to sell. Every word counts so choose them with care and parsimony.