How To Write Bullets That Super-Charge The

How To Write Bullets That Super-Charge The
Selling Power of Your Copy!
The most important “do or die” copy skill is writing bullets.
If you can write powerful bullets, you can sell anything.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at a few controls from Boardroom, Rodale, Newsmax
Health, Agora, and Healthy Directions and read through the copy.
The copy is filled with great bullets.
Why is the ability to write bullets so important?
There are three main reasons:
1. Bullets are the raw material for your sales copy
2. Bullets are an easy and effective way to keep your prospect reading
3. Bullets “wound”
Bullets Are The Raw Material For Your Sales Copy
Here are ALL the places where you can use the information from bullets in your sales
Reasons why
Handling objections
Calls to action
Order forms
1 Bullets Keep You Reading
Remember, great copy sells…and you’ll get more sales if your message is read.
Great bullets keep your prospect reading. They are short little excerpts in your copy that
• Stimulate curiosity and intrigue!
• Create a burning desire…little by little…that seduces your prospect into the sale!
• Grab your reader’s undivided attention and have them hanging on your every
line…anxiously awaiting your offer!
• And much, much, more!
Bullets Wound
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
An undisturbed prospect will NOT buy!
An effective way of disturbing your prospect is with bullets – bullets emotionally
“wound” your prospect.
Now if you’ve been wounded, what do you seek desperately?
Your Offer = Help, Relief, Solution
We’re in the “hurt em and heal em” business.
We want to emotionally stir up our prospects until they are so hot and bothered – so
emotionally disturbed – that the ONLY way they can ever feel better is to buy our stuff.
Would you like the power to write bullets that skyrockets the selling power of your copy?
If you answered “yes” then keep reading to discover the go-to strategies for powerful
bullet writing.
How to Write Powerful Bullets!
There are three steps to writing powerful bullets:
1. Research
2. Writing
3. Re-Writing
Research is the most important step in writing powerful bullets and responsive copy.
During this phase, you want to soak up the raw data associated with your offer – turning
features into benefits – and bringing facts to life with vivid imagery.
2 Legends like Gene Schwartz would begin reading a book multiple times, highlighting key
points with each read – then go back and type up all his notes – before finally organizing
them and writing bullets as they came.
This strategy takes time and effort (Eugene would sometimes have over 70 pages of
notes!). It goes to show you what it takes to write great copy.
After finishing your research, you can begin writing bullets..
Here’s a simple guideline for writing these little benefit-packed gems:
They should…
• Make a promise
• Point to the product
• Grab attention
• Grab interest
• Create a want, desire
• Quick, simple, easy
• Provoke curiosity
• Issue a warning
• Benefit laden (can’t ever have too many!)
They shouldn’t be…
• Lists of facts
• Lists of features
• Boring
• Dry
• Exceptionally long
They also shouldn’t…
• Use scholarly vernacular (get it?)
• Get your prospect to scream “BULL SHIT” or “SO WHAT?”
So where to find inspiration?
There are two places:
1. Direct mailers
2. Grocery line check out
Direct Mailers
Like I said before - get on at least one of the big mailers lists.
When I needed inspiration for BrainActivate, I bought memory loss formulas from
several mailers to see their entire sales process funnel.
Now you won’t know whether you’re receiving a control or a split test…
…This isn’t a big deal.
3 Why? Because chances are some A-List guy wrote the promotion so it’s worth studying
the copy…not to mention…you’ll now be a hotline subscriber and receive a flood of
direct mail.
It’s the best way to learn direct mail (and the cheapest).
Grocery Line Check Out
You’ll find world-class bullets on the magazine covers at the grocery store checkout.
Why? Because these bullets are:
• Written by A-List copywriters
• Split tested by publishers who spend millions on advertising
• Intended to generate a quick sale
POS sales are the hardest to get.
The copy has to immediately grab the prospects attention and create so much hurt,
want, desire, curiosity that they make an “impulse” purchase.
Here’s a list of magazines covers you should study:
• Men’s Health
• Men’s Fitness
• Women’s Day
• Cosmopolitan
• The Enquirer
• Self
• People
Create your own swipe so you can quickly get inspiration from million dollar bullets.
Now I’ll share with you a few quick and easy formulas for creating world-class bullets.
14 Fill-In-The-Blank Formulas for
Creating World Class Bullets!
“How To”
This is one of the most popular formulas because it’s so effective. The goal here is to tie
the “how to” to the prospects deepest desire/want using a benefit driven statement.
Example: “How to rub your stomach away. The simplest and most natural way to lose
weight is by this effortless two-minute exercise.”
“The Secret”
This works well when you’re writing to an unsophisticated market. What I mean is they
haven’t spent loads of time researching ⎯there are still “secrets” they’re unaware of.
4 These bullets must be based on knowledge not commonly know but use these sparingly
– you don’t want your prospect to become skeptical.
Example: “The Amazing Diet Secret Of A Desperate House Wife” (Example of
a best bullet as a headline from a Gary Halbert Ad.).
What bullets:
1. Give your prospect specific instructions for actions
2. Offer valuable and often exclusive information
Example: “What you must do right after you go over 50 minutes of exercise to avoid
getting belly fat” (this generated above average response in an email promo for one of
my info products).
“What NEVER”
It alerts your prospect of a possible mistake he could be making and promises the
prospect information that will protect him from this mistake. These are often curiosity
laden and fear driven.
Example: “What NEVER to take along with Vitamin C …”
This is an effective when you want to warn your prospect about the danger ahead. Again,
it’s fear driven and highly effective selling supplements.
You can also use a warning bullet in the salutation or as a lead to qualify your prospect.
Example: “Warning: Avoid these 2 fruits like the plague. Avoiding this single warning
could leave you overweight and at risk for diabetes! (This was my own.
“Are You…Do You…?”
This bullet is intended to qualify. It’s extremely powerful when you get your prospect to
say “yes” ⎯ you build rapport.
Example: “Do you take any of these 16 popular vitamins or supplements? If so, please
read this M.D.’s urgent warning!”
The best time to use this formula is when you have information that is controversial and
surrounded by conspiracy.
I use this formula very specifically, mostly in advanced fitness and diet programs. Why?
They’re two main reasons:
• I know this market best (been in it since 2002)
• I have fitness modeled and truly know secrets to getting exceptionally lean fast,
even in this highly educated (informed) market.
5 Example: “The sneaky ways professional fitness models drop body fat day by day, week
after week, while most plateau…secrets only kept within the industry until now”.
Use this formula when you know your prospect has certain assumptions. You suggest
the assumed belief then shatter their assumption.
Example: “Fruits are always an acceptable meal choice when dieting, right? WRONG!
Eating these 2 fruits is no different than snacking on a candy bar!”
Make a claim then a promise. It’s that easy.
Example: “How to Burn Off Fat, Hour by Hour! Medical Doctors New Discovery Burns
Off More Fat Than If You Ran 98 Miles A Week!”
This formula hooks your prospect with an intriguing question. It’s a surefire way to keep
them engaged.
Example: “What time of day are you at greatest risk for low blood glucose? This
surprising answer will put you on alert.”
This immediately grabs the prospects attention by leading with a requirement. He’ll be
naturally interested in whether he meets the requirement…and…will want to know
exactly what he can expect (benefit).
Example: “If you’ve got just 20 minutes a day 3 days a week, I can guarantee you can
lose weight fast and without struggle.”
“Specific Time”
This is perfect for when you’re promising a benefit with a specific time constituent.
Example: “When it’s safe to eat your favorite carb filled foods while still losing weight”.
You want to use this bullet formula to debunk any doubts or claims surrounding your
offer. It’s your job to demystify a common belief.
Example: “The Truth About Memory Loss. Can you really stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks
or is it a hopeless struggle? Keep reading to find out.”
“Single Greatest”
This works best when you have one single benefit or piece of proof that exceeds all
others (often you can use this bullet in your headline…or…as the premise for the entire
sales message).
6 “The single most important nutrient you’ll ever need for heart health. It’s not expensive
— but there are at least 7 different forms of it and only ONE works. To find out which
one, see page 23.
Now that you have the formulas, start creating bullets on your own, following these
Have fun.
Be creative.
Work towards being clear and concise.
I write around 100-200 bullets per sales letter for my own stuff and upward 300 for
clients (I enjoy gaining deeper insights in client work…something different).
Take Aways!
Whatever you do – don’t be flat!
Follow regulations and don’t make outlandish claims
Write, write, write
Create vivid images – take your prospect there!
Sometimes it’s tough in the nutritional supplements and fitness industries due to
regulations and the skeptic nature of our customers, most of our bullets have to contain
pure benefits.
Our job is to then make our bullets as clear, concise, and above all, interesting.
“You can’t bore people into buying.” – Ogilvy.
Another strategy is to scare - present horrifying alternatives to not using your product.
This goes all the way back to the “bullets wound” segment of this newsletter.
Just like any skill it takes practice (repetition) to get good.
The formulas I presented will shorten the learning curve dramatically but are no
substitution for practice.
Keep a look out for your next Marketing Brawn Letter in the next few weeks…
Until then…
Chris Stella,
Publisher, The Marketing Brawn Letter
President, Stella Media Group
About Chris Stella
7 I’m a direct response copywriter specializing in nutritional supplements, health
publishing, and financial publishing across DRTV, radio, mail, and web (long form and
My ads have been seen on the History Channel, ESPN, AMC, as well as in popular
magazines and retail outlets such as GNC, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Vitamin
My partial client list includes Force Factor, Femme Factor, Probioslim, Bona Clara,
Stages of Beauty, Peak Life, Designs for Health, Agora, A.S Research, KJM Publications.
Those who’ve worked with me have achieved impressive financial results with my
marketing campaigns like:
Generating over $2 million in recurring monthly revenue for a natural products
company in Boston, MA
Sub $100 CPA’s from a DRTV campaign that’s brought in over $1 million in sales
for a male vitality supplement
Increasing customer retention by 76% through a direct mail campaign promoting
a new probiotic supplement, almost doubling the company’s customer lifetime
Creating a fast, cash windfall of over $1 million from a sales letter promoting a
breakthrough nitric oxide formula 8