How “bullets” can bring business of Biblical proportions
Were you aware that the Bible, as originally written, wasn’t broken down into the convenient chapters and verses we’re accustomed to?
It gets more daunting. There weren’t even spaces between words.
Yes, the letters all ran together, which made dealing with those scrolls a tedious task for priests, scribes, and later translators.
Can you imagine the typical 21st-century reader (his attention span diminished by glossy brochures, pop-up online ads, scrolling TV blurbs, 10-second radio jingles, billboards, flashing signs, bumper stickers, product-promoting T-shirts, etc.) relishing the chance to dig into such an overwhelming block of text?
If he thought anything at all about two tablets, it would be two tablets of Tylenol instead of two tablets of stone.
Of course, today’s Bibles have large print, red letters, maps, illustrations, marginal notations, dictionaries, concordances, and other features to make them more accessible and user-friendly.
Certainly, if you’re a businessman with a product or service not quite as urgent as escaping Egyptian bondage or fighting Philistine giants such as Goliath, you’ll need a user-friendly message, too.
They’re not quite as attention-grabbing as burning bushes, but well-done bullet points (with the right mixture of bold fonts and italics), paired with a headline that speaks directly to the customer, can be the secret to making your ads “pop.”
Notice I said “well-done.” When a prospective customer devotes a few precious seconds to scanning even the most graphically pleasing message, he is not going to be impressed by vague, trite blurbs such as “Unbelievable prices,” “Friendly service,” or “Wide assortment.”
Your prospective customer had already heard such claims ad nauseum since he was a toddler. He has probably been stung by assurances such as “it’ll pay for itself” and “high quality.” He has probably hired an incompetent, unmotivated employee or two based on a friend of a friend assuring him, “Charlie is a good guy.”
Sure, a clever pun might buy you an extra split-second of attention; but if it’s superficial, you still won’t make the sale. Thou shalt not put all thy eggs in the cute wordplay basket.
If your prospective client thinks of you at all as he tosses your flyer into the wastebasket, he will assume (a) that you are too lazy to write better copy, (b) that you are taking his business for granted, or (c) that you really don’t possess any substantive advantages to differentiate you from your many competitors.
Whether you prefer to break up your text with big dots, asterisks, numbers, letters, or emojis is a matter of personal taste. The real secret to bullets is providing specific, verifiable, customer-oriented information in bite-size chunks.
From all indications, the honey-like manna that the Israelites ate while journeying was both easily digestible and gave them the strength to do what needed to be done. Your message should offer the same benefits.
I have faith that you really do have a message. Because a run-of-the-mill, face-in-the-crowd operation with nothing unique to offer would just plug along with mediocre sales no matter how much it spent on advertising.
You, on the other hand, if you are justifiably proud of your business, should be able to articulate the reasons for your pride and fortify your ad with a barrage of easily understood selling points that make you invaluable to the customer.
Not every point is going to convince every prospective customer that you are the Promised Land they have been seeking, but something should make the waters part and reveal you as just what they’ve been looking for.
Even without Charlton Heston’s booming voice, you can draw business with true statements such as:
- “All products 100% made in America.”
- “Zero percent interest for 48 months.”
- “All mechanics are up-to-date on manufacturer certification.”
- “Named mid-state’s best restaurant by the Daily Tribune for 15 years in a row.”
- “Not 100% satisfied? We pay return shipping!”
- “We are the city’s exclusive authorized dealer of (insert brand name) products.”
- “The city’s only automotive shop with this year’s Hunter alignment system.”
- “Yes, shoes up to size 17 are guaranteed to be in stock!”
- “Styles or models out of stock in our showroom? We will deliver them to your door within 24 hours.”
- “All equipment is plug-and-play, with free 24-7 technical support.”
So, for example, one prospect might be planning to pay cash and couldn’t care less about your financing options; but if he has been railing against the influx of foreign-made goods, your “American-made” blurb is going to compel him to take a second look.
Another prospect might not demand a particular brand from you, but a chance to avoid paying through the nose for returning defective products would really resonate.
And so forth.
Don’t leave your potential customers wandering in the wilderness.
Your advertising should show concisely and convincingly that you can work miracles for them.