6 Extremely Persuasive Words You Should Use Online
[toc]Writing effective copy is one of the most important skills you can develop if you want to be more successful in any type of online endeavor. Whether we are talking about an email campaign, sales letter or a website, persuasive words can make all the difference when it comes to converting the prospect into a customer.
Research has shown that there are certain persuasive words that have a particularly powerful effect on people. Experienced copywriters are well aware of this, and use these words deliberately. There are also writers and speakers who know this instinctively, and use this type of language without even consciously thinking about it. The reason for this is that people generally make buying decisions emotionally, not rationally.
“People justify purchases by rational thought, logic, facts, figures, statistics, etc. but they make almost all their decisions based on emotion.” –Dan Kennedy
Once you understand the power of persuasive words, you can transform the way you communicate. You can use this knowledge whenever you are writing or speaking in a situation where you want to convince someone of something. So let’s look at 6 of the most persuasive words in the English language!
This one short word, “you,” is one of the most powerful words you can use when communicating with any person or audience. Why is this the case? Because “you” immediately shifts the focus from the writer of the copy to the person reading it. This is crucial, as it lies at the heart of connecting with your reader.
There’s nothing wrong with using “I” in copy. This can be a very effective way to use another time-tested copywriting principle -storytelling. We’ve all read sales letters where the writer describes his journey from poverty to riches or from being overweight to having a great body. Such tales invariably use the word “I.” However, at some point, the focus must shift to the audience.
If you are involved in email marketing, you are probably familiar with the technique of personalizing emails. This is a feature that most email services and autoresponders contain. When someone joins your email list, you can address him or her by name.
This is the same principle as the power of “you,” though even more extreme. Using a person’s name is obviously more personal than saying “you.” It makes the reader feel like he or she is reading a personal message rather than something that’s been broadcast to thousands of others.
The one limitation of personalization, however, is that it’s limited to email marketing. You obviously can’t use everyone’s name when you’re writing an article or creating website copy. The next best thing is to use “you” frequently.
The concept goes beyond merely using the word “you,” of course. It means that the focus of your material is on how it is relevant to the reader. This is a critical aspect of convincing people that what you’re saying is meaningful to them.
“Because” is the answer to any “why?” question. This is one of the less obvious of our persuasive words, as it isn’t directly related to selling or marketing. Yet it has been shown to make a big difference in how people respond to any type of request or appeal. Author and marketing expert Robert Cialdini has tested this, and has shown proof that people are more likely to agree to almost anything when the word “because” is included in the request.
The word “because” gives people a reason to take the action you want them to take. While you want to provide as compelling a reason as possible, the first step is to make sure that you are giving them some reason. That’s where “because” is so important.
At the simplest level, you can use “because” when you want to ask a favor from someone. Most of the time, we do this automatically to make the request more compelling. For example, if I want to borrow $20 from you, I probably wouldn’t just say “Can I please borrow $20?” It’s far more likely that I would say something like, “Can I borrow $20, because my phone bill is due today and I don’t have the money to pay it?” The “because” provides a justification for the request.
In marketing it’s a little more subtle, but the same principle applies. In this case, you aren’t asking for a favor but you are trying to convince people that it’s in their own best interest to take a certain action. So you might write something like:
“Take advantage of this offer today, because it may be gone by tomorrow.”
“Purchase this device because you want to change the way you look and feel!”
This is a word that is especially relevant in today’s fast paced world. People don’t want results soon or at some unspecified date but “immediately.” When you use this word, you are placing everything in the present tense.
There are several ways that “immediately” can be one of the most powerful of persuasive words. The first has to do with the results someone wants to achieve. As in,
“Start using this system and begin earning money immediately!”
Another aspect of the word has to do with the customer taking action right away. This is always crucial in marketing, because if someone procrastinates there’s a good chance that he or she will never return to your offer again. That’s why it’s necessary to create a sense of urgency, such as
“Take advantage of this offer immediately, because the price is going up tomorrow!”
In many cases, the word “immediately” is a bit of an exaggeration. Most people understand this, but that doesn’t prevent them from reacting to the sense of urgency it creates.
There is not much mystery to the appeal of “free,” as it’s one of the best loved persuasive words of all time. People are often worried about risking their hard earned money, but when they see that something is “free,” they lower their defenses.
In many cases, a free offer is merely the first step in a sales funnel. For example, email marketing campaigns often offer people a free gift in exchange for providing their email addresses. The free item may be an e-book, course or trial membership of some kind.
Because “free” is such a well known persuasive word, there is the danger of it being overused, or used in the wrong situations. One possible danger of this word is that you might attract an audience who is unwilling to spend money. If you offer people too much for free, you may find that your paid offers don’t convert well.
You also have to be careful with the word “free” in email marketing, because this is one of the trigger words that spam filters use to label a message spam. In other words, if you use the word “free” in your subject line, or even too often in the body of your message, the email might end up in the spam box. The same is true for the word “money,” which is another of our persuasive words.
These caveats should not discourage you from making use of the word “free,” however. It’s still a solid tactic for getting people to sign up for trial offer, email lists and online webinars.
“Money” is another word whose power is quite well known. There is hardly anyone who is not interested in money. People want to know how to make it, save it, invest it and avoid losing it.
While there are entire marketing niches devoted to making money, those are not the only areas where the word “money” is relevant. No matter what you are selling, people are probably looking for a way to save money on that item or service.
“Money” is another word that must be used with caution, especially in emails. Using it in the subject line can get the message labelled as spam. Yet it should always be remembered that people are obsessed with money nowadays, no matter what your offer may be.
If you are teaching people how to make or invest money, the word will obviously be showcased in your message. If the offer is on another topic, you can still include the word “money” in a more low key manner, such as:
“If you buy now, you can save money on this special offer.”
We are living in a society that is preoccupied with the new and fresh. That’s why major brands like Apple are constantly coming out with new versions of familiar products. It’s also why “new” is another of our most persuasive words.
There is a commonly held assumption that something new is an improvement over what came before. There are some exceptions to this, of course. In some cases, the power of tradition or brand loyalty overrides the appeal of newness. That’s why, for example, the attempt to release a new version of Coca Cola was such a failure.
Unless you already have a universally known brand or product, however, there is usually an advantage to labeling your product “new.” It’s not just the name of your product that should be marketed as new; it should also be the concept or technology behind it.
If you read copy for almost any type of product today, whether diet pills, exercise machines, running shoes or formulas for success, you will see that the seller is pushing some type of new idea that makes the product superior to everything that came before. Everyone is searching for the latest and greatest products and ideas. If you can convince people that you have come up with such a brilliant innovation, they will be eager to be one of the first to experience it.
The power of these six persuasive words can be used in all types of online marketing.
Do you have any favorite persuasive words not mentioned here?
Please share them with us in the comments!