So what is it exactly that makes lists, whether in the form of blog posts, articles in e-newsletters or elsewhere so appealing?
I’m a list fanatic myself so here’s my take on why lists help make your messages stick with readers.
1. Lists Are Digestible
It’s easy to get intimidated when you see a blog post that has more than 4-5 paragraphs unless it’s a topic that strikes an exact chord with your interests or is specific to whatever you’re searching (case in point – Tamar Weinberg’s Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009 masterpiece). ‘Top 5″ or “Top 10” lists give you immediate insight into what you’re getting yourself into. Psychologically, you already know there is an end to the list and thus, are naturally more inclined to take a chance on reading the content.
2. Lists Are Easy On The Eyes
Seems superficial but building off of point #1, numbered lists are much easier on the eyes than a list of 10 bullet points. Humans are methodical. We like things to be in order. Take the work off of your readers by listing content in order of significance, removing reader anticipation of having to assess and analyze a series of randomly made points.
3. Lists Are Sharable
Particularly in social media world, everyone loves to share. Lists make for easy content to share that will help ensure you connect with the right audience. In essence, you’re creating the perfect recipe for re-tweetable, diggable, forward-worthy content. Tamar harps this point when discussing strong content submission ideas for social news sites in her book, The New Community Rules: Marketing On The Social Web.
4. Lists Prompt Further Insight
Particularly with blog posts, lists open an avenue for discussion as readers naturally have additional ideas or perspective about what’s worthy of being included within the topic at hand.
5. Lists Demonstrate Thought Leadership
Lists are a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and compile your thoughts about a particular topic into a structured format. Assuming others agree with your insight, you’re providing sticky content that is going to resonate with your key audience.
Go ahead, feel free to add to the list or try pulling together your own topical list for your next blog post or company e-newsletter.