Top 10 ways to write great lists

Getting it done: Top 10 ways to write great lists

Thomases, Hollis

Management Network’s “Getting it Done” addresses a few simple steps or pointers related to a concern or trend in the credit union industry. This month, Hollis Thomases gives tips on how to write great lists.

Marketers can make great use of lists on the Web. In addition to making information easier and more compelling to read, lists can be a great way to drive traffic to a site, when used as a teaser in an e-mail marketing piece.

Here’s how to make your lists great.

1 ) Either number or bullet your list. Without this formatting, you’re really not distinguishing your list from regular text paragraphs.

2) Start each bullet or number with a subject header. Just like with an e-mail message, the most critical thing to get people to continue reading is the subject. It needs to be powerful and must quickly communicate your message.

3) Make each point easy to understand. You want everyone to “get it” because chances are, your list is being published for people needing the education your brief list provides.

4) Use simple language. The folks who publish the “Dummies” books have it down to a science. If you want people to understand, you also have to talk in a way everyone relates to.

5 ) Create a logical flow. Nothing is more confusing than a list that jumps around in either chronological order or order of importance. As you compose your list, think of the order in which things belong.

6) Don’t try-to put too much information into one paint. Remember, lists are easily digestible. With great lists, each point is made quickly and concisely. _ . . .

7) Draw upon your own expertise. If you’re good at what you do, there’s bound to be something you know that most people don’t. That’s what you can write about.

8) Don’t be stingy. Don’t be so afraid about “giving it away.” The more forthcoming you are with what you know, the more you will establish your own credibility and build up your own worthiness (this applies to individuals as well as companies).

9) When at a loss, throw in a statistic or two. Statistics are great “fillers,” but they can also be great information. If you’re hurting for content for your list, go to an industry source and quote a statistic.

10) Spellcheck! No one’s perfect, but you should make an effort to check for spelling and grammar errors. It’s more professional.

Hollis Thomases is a marketer and public speaker with more than 12 years experience. She is president of Web Ad vantage Inc. ( Her articles appear regularly on eMarketer and

ZDTV com. She can be reached at Hollis Thomases, Web Ad vantage, Inc. Used with Permission. .

Copyright Credit Union Executives Society Aug 2000

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