How to Write Copy That Fascinates Your Readers

fascinating bullet points

Are your bullet points so fascinating they can keep a baby’s attention?

There’s a little-known, but fascinating copywriting trick used by top copywriters and direct marketers such as Mel Martin, Eugene Schwartz, Boardroom, and Agora.

Direct mail may be considered old-fashioned by some, but the writing techniques developed decades ago by top copywriters still work. And, they also work online.

One of these old tricks is fascinations.  They’re called “fascinations” because you just can’t resist reading them.

What’s so fascinating about fascinations?

Fascinations are simply little bullet points. Bullet points by themselves are not particularly interesting, but these are different.  They’re specially constructed to make you curious, to tease, and to tempt you to read more (much more).

The key to writing a successful fascination bullet is to state a fact and then add a benefit. Sounds simple, right?

It is simple.

How to write fascinating copy

First, keep your bullet points short.  Just write a single line, or two at most.  The goal is to make the bullets quick and easy to read.  You don’t want to slow people down or confuse them.  Don’t use subheadings or run-on sentences with lots of commas.  Edit them ruthlessly.

The bullet points don’t even have to be complete sentences.  You want your copy to be easy to read and easy to scan.

Think of them as “mini-headlines”: short, attention-grabbing, and so compelling that your visitors can’t stop themselves from reading further.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • bills it’s OK to pay late
  • the one thing you should never eat on an airplane
  • try this weird old (________) tip*
  • how to quit sending queries and have business come to you
  • the decades-old copywriting technique that still works today

*fill in the blank with the topic of your ad, such as retirement planning, IT management, etc. and yes, it’s been abused in the age of BuzzFeed, but that’s because it works.

All of these promise inside information that will make your life easier.

First they make a statement, and then they add a surprising twist the reader wasn’t expecting.

Two great practitioners of this art were Mel Martin and Bill Jayme.  They’re both gone, but there are two places you can see examples of their work:

Mel Martin swipe file

Bill Jayme swipe file

Why fascinations work

They arouse your curiosity.  They almost tell you something – but not quite.  The only way to find out what those bills are, or the secret weird tip is to click the link, subscribe to the newsletter, or open the envelope.

What do you think about fascinations?  Have you ever tried them?