What You Can Learn From a Lands’ End Rapid-Fire Bulleted List

I’m a scanner. I speed read to get to the bottom line. If you want to persuade me, just highlight the essentials – short and sweet.

That’s why I like bulleted lists. You simply tell me what you do and why it’s important to me. In other words, you itemize the features and the benefits, then move on.

Lands’ End did exactly that in a recent catalog. The ad made it easy for me.

Features Are Important. Benefits Are Essential.

“Here’s why we’re still King of the Oxfords,” it headlined, followed by a “rapid-fire” 4-bullet list (a feature, then the benefit within each bullet):

  • British split back mitered yoke: the fabric is cut on the bias so it has more natural give, and you get more comfort of movement.
  • Seven-button front: prevents unsightly gapping. Our buttons are tough as bowling balls (made of the same resin).

And so on.

Small business advertisers should follow the same principles. Most of the time, you give me features. I want to know the benefits, too.

Tell Me Why You’re the “King” or “Queen” of Your Market

So you’re a landscape contractor who builds brick walkways. So what? So do many other landscapers. Tell me why you’re “King of the Brick Walkways.” Give me a quick description that triggers my imagination. Help me envision my beautiful new walkway by listing benefits and features.

Whatever your business, tell me why you’re the “King” or “Queen” of your market. Explain what you do and why the way you do it will improve my life.

And, please, use a bulleted list.

Don’t Waste Your Advertising Budget On Weak Ads

Let’s say I’m in the market for kitchen cabinets, but I’m clueless. I want a new kitchen and I need help.

When I look for a supplier, I’m going to find a creative specialist who will provide honest advice about cabinetry that fits my budget.

Brand may be a factor. I don’t know. Remember, I’m ignorant about kitchens. Mostly, I want a nice, good looking, functional design for a fair price.

Why A Weak Advertisement Failed

So, one of my local kitchen retailers ran a print ad last week. The half-page ad (7”x5”) gave me just two reasons to choose them above all others: name brand and discounted price. That’s it.

Next to a photo of a Merillat (brand) kitchen was their offer (through April 16): “10% off Merillat Masterpiece and 5% off Merillat Classic Cabinets.” (price)

The retailer assumed I know something about Merillat. They assumed that price will be the only deciding factor. And they assumed I’ll be ready to make a significant decision within a week. They were wrong on all counts.

Key Elements of A Great Advertisement

Please, Mr./Ms. Retailer, to improve your ad, to get response from me and many others, give me confidence. I need to believe that you have the best overall solution for me.

In your ad:

  • Get my attention with a benefit-filled headline.
  • Include a story-telling image.
  • Tell me how you will help me in ways that no other retailer will (your “Unique Selling Proposition”). Tell me about your process. In other words, I can buy a name brand like Merillat from just about any supplier. Explain why your approach is different.
  • Give me proof of past successes – provide specific examples of projects, with testimonials.
  • Make a promise – give me some kind of a guarantee.
  • Make an offer that inspires me to take action (maybe a discounted price).

Ultimately, I’ll think about spending my money at your store when I believe that you are committed to my best interests. And then you won’t waste your valuable advertising money again.