There are 250,000 words in the English language. Yet, marketing and advertising has been disproportionately responsible for over-using the power words and, in so doing, cheapening ideas and de-sensitizing customers to the concepts that sell. Those concepts, those emotions and desires that drive human decisions nonetheless must remain central to your messaging. What ideas engage readers and compel them to respond or act?
- “You.” Yes, it’s an ego-centric world. The more your messaging exists in the second person, the more assurance you can have that you’re directing your narrative toward the person who matters the most.
- Saving Time. Straight up saying that you will save your prospect’s time no doubt has been over-used, but there are other ways to make the same point. Pull out the thesaurus and lean on concepts like “efficiency,” “streamlining,” and “productivity.”
- Money. It’s why “free” is both one of the most powerful words and a sure-fire SPAM filter trigger. Look to words like “wealth,” “fortune,” and “income” to guide you toward new ways to suggest or imply that a product will make or save your prospects money.
- Security. Fear is one of those primal urges that drives decisions, but few outside of Saul Goodman want to be accused of preying on people’s vulnerabilities. There is plenty of room to maneuver in this area beginning with concepts like “guarantee,” “safety,” and “protection,” before finding ways to more subtly and gracefully get your point across.
- New. Another word that is sure to trigger SPAM filters, but just ask Don Draper, something shiny and new drives attention and sales. Want to imply “new” without using the exact word? Begin with words like “innovative,” “modern,” and “cutting-edge.” All have been over-used themselves, but will take you to some alternatives to imply “new.”
- Exclusive. A twist on “new,” but people love the idea of special access, being part of a select group, and/or getting VIP-level treatment. Several years ago, a client accidently sent a VIP-only email to the wrong list and got his best-ever response rate. He’s repeated that “mistake” hundreds of times since then.
- Urgency. Over-use of the word no doubt can turn you into the “boy who cried wolf” and can diminish your credibility over time, but deadlines and degrees of insistence are what compel people to action. There are thousands of ways to get there, but pushing the fierce urgency of “now” is key to converting prospects into clients.