Shhh - Marketing Secret

by Cherilyn Woodhouse 29 replies
Secret tip from me... Keep this one on the DL, it's just for you warriors...

One of the most profitable changes I've ever made to sales copy was very simple. It took me 20 minutes (and that includes the time it took to re-upload the site), and made a 2% difference to conversion.

What was it?

I grouped my bullets in threes. I've yet to figure out the psychology behind this - maybe one of you has this insight.

It has worked in every niche, every time. Not always a full 2% increase, but it increases conversion more than any other grouping. 3, 6, 9, 12 bullets - they all work. 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 - for some reason, they don't convert as well.

There's my secret for all of you... Try it. I dare ya! Another one tomorrow... This one about pricing. It's juicy!

- Cherilyn
#main internet marketing discussion forum #marketing #secret #shhh
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  • Profile picture of the author SpicyRobby
    Hi Cherilyn,

    Do you mean by including 3, 6 etc bullets in one place, then go with some text, then again bullets with 3, 6..?
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    • Any multiple of 3 seems to work, but I'd be sure to test going above 12 (I've never gone above that, because it seems to be overkill - but it would be interesting to test!!)

      On that note, bonuses in 3's seem to work, too. And testimonials... 3 is just a good number in copy I think.

      You can include all your bullets in once place if you want, just add to them until there is a multiple of 3 and it seems to work better.

      - Cheryl
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      • Profile picture of the author Tony Dean
        I was just thinking I should have more bullets only the other day.
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        • There seems to only be one time that adding bullets is a bad thing...

          If you're a good guy, and the bad guy is doing the adding.

          I would encourage it Tony - seems to work for my clients!

          n- Cheryl
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          • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
            Hi Cherilyn,

            It's very interesting you reveal this secret after your test results and the results in your conversion increases too.

            The power of threes stems back from ancient times and is throughout much of the scriptures too.

            Spirit, Soul and Body. (3)

            For instance, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

            God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

            Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Third Day.

            3 were crucified on the cross 3 days earlier.

            Paul had a vision of being caught up to the 3rd Heaven.

            Heaven, Earth and Hell.

            Parables with:

            3 measures of meal and 3 stewards of the talents.

            3 Hebrews not burned in the fire, the chains burned away, no smell of smoke.

            3 that bear witness on earth: water, blood and truth.

            3 that bear witness in heaven:Father, Son and Spirit

            In the mouth of 3 witnesses let every word be established.

            "Where 2 or 3 of you are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst."

            For thine is the kingdom, power and glory forever. (3)

            There are many other prophetic references for the number 3 too and it is very interesting that you have posted this because you are now celebrating your third year as a warrior!

            Congratulations and thanks for the sharing.
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            • Doug - I didn't even think of the third anniversary, but come to think of it, that's pretty neat. Well, if 3 bullets means more profits, lets hope 3 years means more success!!

              Neat post. Many examples.

              - Cheryl
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            • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
              Originally Posted by DougBarger View Post

              Hi Cherilyn,

              It's very interesting you reveal this secret after your test results and the results in your conversion increases too.

              The power of threes stems back from ancient times and is throughout much of the scriptures too.
              But do they talk about multiples of 3?

              I find it interesting that 12 bullet points would do better than 11 or 13, and so on, since that's so many that you can't tell the exact number without counting them.

              If 12 converts better than 11, maybe something in the extra bullet did the trick.

              Statistically, how many times would this have to be tested to know that it's the bullets being a multiple of 3 rather than something else?
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              • Jelasco - 12 would do better than 11 or 13 because it has nothing to do with counting them, and everything to do with RHYTHM. It is the rhythm created by a multiple of 3 that keeps the reader reading the bullets, that obviously has an effect on conversion rate.

                At least, that's my theory on it. I could be dead wrong.

                - Cheryl
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                • Profile picture of the author Frank Bruno
                  My buddy who I contracted with his compnay to build my lagoon style pool told me while I was helping with some landscaping, that planting bushes and trees in three's, rather than pairs, has a much better visual affect.

                  He told me that he learned it from a lanscape architect.

                  So Yes I can understand how bullet points listed in threes could be just as effective.

                  Frank Bruno
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  • Profile picture of the author zapseo
    Okay.

    So, let's say, for grins, that you have a sparkling 5% conversion rate.
    how many more sales is a 2% increase in sales?
    so, .05 x .02 = .0010.
    In other words, 1 additional sale in 1000 visits.

    I have to wonder if there's enough data to have sufficient
    statistical confidence levels that what you say is actually
    a cause-effect relationship or simply noise.

    Live Joyfully!

    Judy
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    • Judy - I'm sorry, I didn't explain that right - the conversion rate went up by 2%. The original rate had been 1.7% or something close, it jumped up to 3.7%.

      I'm just too tired to do the proper math. But thats a 100%+ increase in that particular instance with no other changes, and I've seen similar (albeit slightly less spectacular) results in other niches.

      Hope that helps!

      - Cheryl
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      • Profile picture of the author zapseo
        Ahhhh!!! Yes, indeed!

        Double the conversion rate, for better than double the profits, since
        your fixed costs are already covered in the first 1.7% (we hope, anyway!)

        Okay!

        Congrats! And thanks for the info.
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        One of the brightest WordPress "Whisperers" hangs out here: http://wpshine.com -- I'm lucky enough to hang out with him. We clean up hacked websites and help you beef up your website & WP security. check us out.
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    • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
      Or did you mean that there was a full 2 percentile increase, meaning your would have gone from 5% to 7%? That would be much more attractive! He he!

      Regardless, the idea of bullets is always a great suggestion and I have to say that i usually group mine in 5s, so switch to a 3 then 2 (or add something so I get a 3 then3 situation) and see what happens. Why not? Worth a shot!

      Thanks for the tip and I'll post if I see a change in conversions.

      Cheers!
      Will
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      Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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      • Excellent. And now, for sleep, after 37 hours awake. Zzzzz...

        - Cheryl
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      • Profile picture of the author zapseo
        Originally Posted by King Seesar View Post

        Or did you mean that there was a full 2 percentile increase, meaning your would have gone from 5% to 7%? That would be much more attractive! He he!

        Regardless, the idea of bullets is always a great suggestion and I have to say that i usually group mine in 5s, so switch to a 3 then 2 (or add something so I get a 3 then3 situation) and see what happens. Why not? Worth a shot!

        Thanks for the tip and I'll post if I see a change in conversions.

        Cheers!
        Will
        I'll try and bold-face my comments next time.
        5% to 7%, in terms of additional income, isn't as impressive as going from 1.7% to 3.7%.
        Going from 5% to 7% you aren't doubling your revenues. (Though going from 5% to 7% is nothing to sneeze at.)

        Going from 1.7% to 3.7% you are more than doubling your revenues, and therefore, your profits.

        Live JoyFully!

        Judy Kettenhofen, Profit Strategist, Numbers Analyst & Copywriter
        NextDay Copy
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        • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
          Originally Posted by zapseo View Post

          I'll try and bold-face my comments next time.
          5% to 7%, in terms of additional income, isn't as impressive as going from 1.7% to 3.7%.
          Going from 5% to 7% you aren't doubling your revenues. (Though going from 5% to 7% is nothing to sneeze at.)

          Going from 1.7% to 3.7% you are more than doubling your revenues, and therefore, your profits.

          Live JoyFully!

          Judy Kettenhofen, Profit Strategist, Numbers Analyst & Copywriter
          NextDay Copy
          Doh! Right you are Judy! Although perhaps I would venture to say that I would rather have a 7% conversation rate over a 3.7% one, but that probably goes without saying... he he... (for the same amount of traffic anyway)

          And all this is semi dependent on the amount of traffic you get. Conversion rates of 3.7% for a site that gets 100 hits a day wisn't the same as 1.7% for a site that gets 1000 hits a day. Still, the trick is merging all the methods within reason of time and money spent and staying on top of them, so I am still off to change my sites and see what happens.

          Cheers Judy and Cherilyn!
          Will
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          Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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        • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
          Originally Posted by zapseo View Post

          I'll try and bold-face my comments next time.
          5% to 7%, in terms of additional income, isn't as impressive as going from 1.7% to 3.7%.
          Going from 5% to 7% you aren't doubling your revenues. (Though going from 5% to 7% is nothing to sneeze at.)

          Going from 1.7% to 3.7% you are more than doubling your revenues, and therefore, your profits.

          Live JoyFully!

          Judy Kettenhofen, Profit Strategist, Numbers Analyst & Copywriter
          NextDay Copy
          Doh! Right you are Judy! Although perhaps I would venture to say that I would rather have a 7% conversation rate over a 3.7% one, but that probably goes without saying... he he... (for the same amount of traffic anyway)

          And all this is semi dependent on the amount of traffic you get. Conversion rates of 3.7% for a site that gets 100 hits a day wisn't the same as 1.7% for a site that gets 1000 hits a day. Still, the trick is merging all the methods within reason of time and money spent and staying on top of them, so I am still off to change my sites and see what happens.

          Cheers Judy and Cherilyn!
          Will
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          Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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          • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
            Sorry folks! I have no idea why it posted this entry twice! Just ignore one or the other one. They are the same...

            Thanks!
            Will
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            Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
    Hi Cherilyn,

    I remember reading a tip about grouping sidebar menu links in threes which apparently resulted in visitors reading more pages... Looks to be something in this "list of three"...

    I can't remember the details (where are those notes when you need them?), and if I remember correctly it's to do with absorbing information "at a glance" and not overwhelming the reader with too many options/ideas at one time.
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    • Profile picture of the author ibringjoy
      This is certainly an interesting fact! Every little bit helps, and in this case, it could even double some of our conversions. I'll take that any day!

      I had been striving for 7 bullets, because 7 is a good number. Some lady on the radio who is a numerology expert said that 7 is a good number. 7 is also a good number in the Bible.

      The number 8, however, is considered the money number.

      I never tested how the number of bullets affected conversion. It's great to know this trend of 3s. Thanks for letting us know.

      Kathryn
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      • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
        Okay folks!

        I just rearranged my review sites to have thing in threes (or at least in three where applicable - all initial bullets and lists are now in threes). Five sites, three niches.

        I'll post my dramatic increase in conversions as they happen!

        Thanks Cherilyn!
        More soon,
        Will
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        Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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  • Profile picture of the author ghoti
    Thanks for the tip! There's a fairly well known copywriting rule about 3's when used in a list of benefits, eg. "faster, cheaper and easier to use" or "bigger, harder and stronger!"...
    well, you know.

    Never thought of applying that rule to bullets, though. Great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post

    I grouped my bullets in threes. I've yet to figure out the psychology behind this - maybe one of you has this insight.

    - Cherilyn
    Cherilyn,

    There is a definite psychological reason...but TESTING is what gives you ammunition. We have 35 years and mountains of evidence that says you are right...almost.

    Try alternating 3 bullet points, 3 short paragraphs, 3 ideas, with FIVE.

    And highlight the one in the middle with some eye candy...something that pulls the eye to the middle bullet point.

    You could use BOLD.
    YOU MAY WANT to ty to make it a little bit longer.
    You could highlight it.

    Not enough time now to get into the CADENCE of subvocalization (poet's know all about it) and how it effects your brain waves.

    Also, ask any LANDSCAPER in your neighborhood why they plant in 3s and 5s and not in even numbers. It has to do with upsetting balance on purpose, to force the eye to look where you want it too.

    There is OVERKILL in using too many bullets, unless that is your intent...to SHOW a lot of information that mostly gets skimmed over BEFORE the committment to buy, but often gets read when the product is delivered or after purchase.

    IF your buyer can find just ONE bullet point that isn't in your product, it is grounds for a refund and/or a slap in the face.

    Bullet points are used to UPSET and Interrupt with purposeful intention the reader's unconscious cadence and to bypass certain CONSCIOUS elements that could prevent them from buying...add emotion to your bullet points and watch another increase.

    gjabiz

    Three is good
    Five is good
    ALTERNATE THEM FOR MAXIMUM PROFITS
    Evoke emotion-Bitches! (used for example sake)
    Make them purposeful
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    • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
      Thanks for that Cherilyn!

      I'd like to add that for a product in the personality development niche, No. 4 worked best for me.

      I split tested 2,3,4,5,6,7

      And the salesletter with 4 testimonials, 4 case studies, 4 bullets, 4 ebooks and 4 audios worked the best for me.

      Although I didn't really chage the contents of the product, I had to repackage it in the end!
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      • Profile picture of the author King Seesar
        Hi there all,

        Brief update: Not a single conversion on my sites since I changed groupings to threes! Yikes! I am going to give it another period of time, though, to see what happens. Maybe another week or so...

        Just an update. I assume as with all internet oriented things, there is a ramp up time involved. I also changed several of my random ads and discussions in articles in various locations to groupings of threes when presenting ideas that related to enticing a reader to do something like click on a link or spend their money.

        As before, I'll post when something happens. Fingers crossed!

        Thanks again Cherylin!
        Will
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        Percussionist / Ethnomusicologist, living and working in London with his wife, dog, cacti, Lovecraft tomes, bad sci fi movie collection, and Xbox.

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