Quick Tip:
The "Rule of Three" (Plus Another Power Secret)

When you are listing more than one item or idea within a sentence (we're not talking about bulleted lists, here), remember the "Rule of Three" – a way to subtly but substantially strengthen your copy.

For example, instead of saying "Including three items in a list makes your statement more detailed and more convincing," say "Including three items in a list makes your statement more detailed, more convincing, and more powerful."

If you include only one or two items in a list like this, your reader is left with a nagging doubt that maybe that's all you could come up with. The third example provides a little nudge that says to your prospect, "I really could give you a long list, but I'm not going to bore you with more than this."

You'll see the "Rule of Three" used time and again in direct mail, print advertising, story titles … in fact, just about everywhere.

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Published: July 26, 2004

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