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The Rule of Three

“Third time lucky!” we all say.

“Bad news comes in threes.”

Just what is it about the number three?

We have the Holy Trinity, the Three Musketeers, a ménage à trois … the three witches in Macbeth … spells and incantations from all religions use the magic number of three … and so it goes on …

It’s a number that crops up all the time in everyday speech: listen closely, next time a friend or associate is ticking off options, it will nearly always be along the lines of, “… first, there’s A,; secondly there’s B and thirdly, there’s C …” or “I can give you three good reasons why we should X …”

(Even the ellipse … the dots used to indicate a pause … is a series of three dots, no more and no less!)

So, if the number three IS such a powerful force, how can we harness this for our advertising purposes?


You should always use bulleted lists, to make your key points stand out in your advertising, so organise your material into threes:

  • give your buyers three reasons to buy your product
  • suggest three benefits
  • offer three different ways to purchase your product

And lastly, don’t forget testimonials … give three testimonials from satisfied customers. (Yes, I know there are four points here … even the best system falls down occasionally!)

Any little advantage you can gain over your competitors helps you to increase your business. Try enforcing the Rule of Three in your next advertisement!