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Social Media Marketing for Business



May 24, 2013

The 15 Most Powerful Words in Marketing

May 24, 2013 | By | 3 Comments">3 Comments

powerful words in marketing

You’ve probably spent significant time reading through books like: “Words that Sell”, “More Words That Sell”, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, and a handfull of other books where you feel, by reading, you’ll stumble across a holy grail combination that magically leads to marketing success.

Well, it’s never that easy. The good news is that identifying the words that increase conversion rates the most is not a shot in the dark. Marketers have been executing A/B tests for years and patterns have emerged that you can take advantage of. Most people think they are immune to “powerful words”, but it holds true that the persuasive power of certain words does indeed shift behaviors no matter how stubborn the person.

As Seth Godin puts it: “The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It’s real, and it’s living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.”

The following 15 words play directly to the lizard brain. That is, the subcortical and limbic areas of the brain. Our most impulsive instincts originate from this part of the brain and creating impulses is a marketers dream.

1. Free: The most powerful four letters in marketing. Nothing short of a conversion god, free never loses its power.

2. You/Your: Everyone cares most about themselves. Play into that weakness and make it about them.

3. Now: Creating urgency is critical. Use now in headlines to drive higher CTA’s.

4. Results: In an online world where everyone questions quality, results have become less reliable. Use “results” to confirm benefits that are long lasting and concrete.

5. Health: No one wants to die. You stay alive by staying healthy. People are interested if you can help them not die.

6. Safety: Like health, no one wants to be in danger. Using the word safety will trigger emotions in any human brain associated with the last time the person felt in danger. If you can pair your solution to curing that emotional anxiety, you have a winner.

7. Urgent: Like now, urgency implies limited. Humans care more about losing things than gaining them. If they don’t act urgently on your offer, they might miss out.

8. Proven: Another juxtaposition you can use against a consumers overall thoughts of an internet full of unproven things. Show supporting data that your solution works, then reduce anxiety through use of this word.

9. Discovery: Humans are naturally curious creatures. Create something remarkable and new and then share the discovery. Folks want to make sure they know what’s new. Implies unfair advantage.

10. Save: Like grandpa. Steady and reliable.

11. Money: Everyone wants it. Most people need more. Use sparingly.

12. Love: There’s never enough of this in the world. Give it aggressively.

13. New: Humans naturally get bored. New cures boredom. Always a plus.

14. Easy: Better than hard. Make the experience easy. Make everything as easy as possible.

15. Guarantee: Chief anxiety reducer. Use sparingly in most uncertain times.

Boom. You’re now armed and dangerous. Get out there and market your passions to the world.

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes in the comments below.



Nathan Latka has supported the growth of over 100,000 small businesses using social media and data driven campaigns — all without a college degree.