The String of Pearls Copywriting Formula Explained

In this post, we’ll look at the string of pearls copywriting formula and how you can use it to write like Tarantino.

While most movies focus on one narrative, some tell multiple stories which fit together perfectly in the end. Tarantino films are great examples. Each storyline in Pulp Fiction can stand on its own, but the way they intertwine is what makes the movie so memorable.

You can also use this technique in your copy.

What is the String of Pearls Copywriting Formula?

Unlike the AIDA formula and most other copywriting formula, the string of pearls doesn’t have any clear steps. It is an overarching guide on the structure and layout of your copy.

The goal of the string of pearls formula is to highlight your product, service, or idea with a series of short stories or details. Each “pearl” should be self-sufficient, while also building upon the other pearls in the string.

The String of Pearls: The Art of Telling Short, Compelling Stories

The keys to using this formula effectively are the stories or details in your string, called pearls. They have to engage readers, connect to later stories, and contain the thematic throughline connecting all pearls together.

You want your stories to be easily digestible, so keep them as short as possible. Sometimes, this could mean a pearl is only a few paragraphs or even a few sentences long. The longer a pearl, the less likely a reader will be to move on to the next one.

Creating emotional copy is also important for your stories. People should feel a burning need to continue reading onto the next pearl in the string. You can make your copy more compelling by using contrasting emotions between pearls.

Finally, you need a string to connect all of your pearls together. In most cases, this string will be your call to action (CTA). Every pearl should contain a part of the string.

How Does the String of Pearls Formula Work in Practice?

What does a string of pearls look like in copywriting, though? It can be just about anything.

As an example, we’ll consider how to use the string of pearls copywriting formula for an imaginary restaurant. The head chef has crafted a new menu item and they want to raise more awareness and appeal for it.

We could decide on the string of a blog post write-up for the new dish first. In this case, it is the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the dish. Every detail we include should point toward this argument.

The ingredients are a good choice for pearls. Each one can stand on its own as an important detail, especially if the restaurant has high-end suppliers, but they also show the craftsmanship put into the dish when seen all together. Highlighting the personal journeys of each ingredient can inject some emotional attachment as well.

Deciding on your string before your pearls can be helpful, but there is no particular order. Again, this formula is simply a guide for your writing process. Adapt it for the needs of each of your copywriting projects.

When to Use the String of Pearls Formula

Lists and listicles are great examples of the string of pearls copywriting formula. Each item in the list is a pearl and the list itself makes for the string. They are where you’ll see this formula being used most often.

The string of pearls formula also works well with testimonials and reviews. One positive testimonial can be compelling, but several strung together has a greater impact and shows consistency. 

As shown by our restaurant example above though, the string of pearls formula can work well with many different kinds of copy. Use your best judgment in deciding whether it fits your projects.


The string of pearls copywriting formula is a loose guide for creating compelling and engaging copy. It uses short stories and small details to leave large impressions on potential buyers.

While this formula is naturally more suited to lists, it can be surprisingly effective in other copy as well.

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About Grant Simpson

Grant Simpson is a professional content writer with experience in SEO and B2C content. He also works as a freelance creative writer and is a published poet under the name g.c. simpson. Outside of work, he enjoys reading good books and has a cup of coffee within reach at all hours of the day.

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