Digital Marketing Megatrends 2017
Learn the 5 pillars of multichannel marketing and 9 actionable trendsFREE DOWNLOAD
I recently received a copywriting advice email from Yale University describing the ‘the most powerful words in the English Language’. Here they are:
Although I agree that these are powerful words, I doubt Yale really conducted any rigorous research – and if they did, it’s certainly not something that the University chooses to share on its official website.
What is interesting is how long these types of list have been "doing the rounds". It taps into the insatiable demand for instant solutions. Human nature finds the notion very appealing that all you need do is sprinkle a few magic words into your writing like fairy dust and, Hey Presto, an instant increase in sales pops out of the hat.
Using magic words in the right place in your copy and in the right order is as important as the choice of words. Then they all work together and support other words to help each other which is important.
So do ‘magic words’ exist? I believe they do, but the skill is in how they’re used. For example – here’s a headline made up of seven out of the ten words on the list. Yet it certainly isn’t seven times more powerful...even seems "spammy"
LOVE DISCOVERING NEW HEALTH RESULTS – AND SAVE. GUARANTEED!
The key to using these words, in my opinion, is to use them appropriately to reinforce other parts of the copy. They fall in to three categories
There are words like NEW, EASY, YOU, SAVE, DISCOVER and FAST which are good to use in headlines and opening paragraphs of copy. They offer universal benefits which people are always drawn to – even if they would prefer to think that they’re not!
These include words like SAFE, HAPPY, RESULTS, PROVEN and GUARANTEED. These are excellent words to sprinkle in to the middle to lower half of a piece of copy. Once you’ve got your customer reading, reassuring words like this help to prevent doubts creeping into their mind and stop their interest going cold.
These are words such as NOW, QUICK and HURRY. Use these at the end of copy to urge your reader to act immediately.
Here's one final piece of advice. Even when you place your magic words with, you still need to be cautious with the quantity. Don’t throw throw them everywhere like magic dust from the fairy godmother. Instead, treat them like the hot chillies sprinked by Cinderella into the soup.
Even the most powerful magic words can’t transform poor copy, they just add extra flavour to good copy - but you need to use them sparingly or you’ll spoil the whole dish.
What do you think? Do you have your personal "magic" words to share?
By Mel Henson
Mel Henson is an author, consultant and copywriter specialising in strategy and copy for retail websites and catalogues. She is also head of multi-channel copywriting agency Words That Sell.
Start the discussion on our community and social networks
Recommended Blog Posts
What is the current state of Email Marketing? Email Marketing is one the most effective techniques for digital marketers, so keeping up- to-date with the latest trends in the industry is super important. Our recent research on the State of …..
Popular Blog Posts
Statistics on consumer mobile usage and adoption to inform your mobile marketing strategy mobile site design and app development “Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014” was the huge headline summarising the bold prediction from 2008 by Mary Meeker, an …..
Landing page examples and best practice advice Discussion of web design in companies who don’t know the power of landing pages still often focuses on the home page. But savvy companies know that custom landing pages are essential to maximise conversion …..
Use the RACE Planning System to get ahead in your digital marketing The first edition of my book Internet Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation from 2001 included a popular template for creating what we then called an Internet Marketing Plan. Today, …..