The Key to Effective Bullet Points

Bullet points can actually be really difficult to get right. It seems easy, and you might think you already know where to put them and how to use them. However, the fact is that you can’t readily slot bullet points into any piece of copywriting and have them fit perfectly.

If this scares you, don’t panic. Simply read on to find out whether you are really using bullet points correctly; and if not, discover how you should be applying them.

Tip #1: Place the Most Important Information Strategically

The first and last bullets in the list will usually attract the most attention. Unless your bullets are in a logical order, then you should place the most important items first and last in the list. That way, you will cleverly convey what is most important.

Tip #2: Make Them Match

Ensure that each bullet in the list follows a similar grammatical construction. For example, it can be helpful to start each bullet off with a verb. Having the same pattern to follow throughout makes it much simpler for the reader, which is the whole idea behind bullet points in the first place.

Tip #3: Ensure Each Bullet Follows on from the Platform Statement

A platform statement refers to the introductory words that lead on to the bullet point lists; it usually ends in a colon.

Every time you write a bullet point, it should read on cleanly from the platform statement as a normal sentence. If it doesn’t read on without a break, or if it doesn’t make sense, then change it so it does.

Tip #4: Keep Your Punctuation Consistent

There are no perfect rules about how to style your bullet points. If you want to start each point with a capital letter, ensure that all points have a capital; if you want to end on full stops, ensure that all points have a full stop. This is a matter of proofreading that you should not neglect.

Tip #5: Stylise Your Points

There are many different types of bullet points. Circles, ticks and checkboxes are all very common, as are arrows, and they all convey different things. Circles are good for lists and simple information, arrows convey a sense of action, and ticks signal to the reader that they are getting a list of benefits.

Depending on what you are writing, you might want to change up your bullets. In copy, for example, you could use ticks to symbolise benefits of products and crosses to signify drawbacks. This is completely up to you, but it’s something to think about.

Finally, you should also consider the text. If you have huge blocks of text in each bullet, its best to embolden, italicise or underline the first part of the bullet, summarising the general information. For example, in copy, you could write something like:

  • Free shipping: and then go on to say something about the company’s shipping costs and where they ship to.

As a summary of this point, don’t be afraid to experiment with how your bullets look; style is an often overlooked, but important, aspect of how effective your bullet points will be.

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