Words have power; we all know that. But do you know which marketing words encourage subscribers to act, customers to buy, or donors to give? We read through dozens upon dozens of emails and compiled a list of “sales-boosting” marketing words and a list of “sales-deflating” terms. Keep these lists handy the next time you craft an email or social post.
Boost sales with these powerful marketing words:
1. Sale – It’s the Old Faithful of marketing words. While a lot of businesses use the word “sale,” it has the power to motivate customers. Who doesn’t love a good deal?
2. Off – If you can offer your audience an incentive like “50% off,” or “$25 off your next $75 purchase,” you’ll pique interest quickly and give customers added incentive to buy. Take a look at the Coach offer below.
3. Now – This handy word encourages people to act. It creates a sense of urgency. Usually “now” is used as part of a call to action. Examples include: “Shop now” (see above!), “Act now,” and “Subscribe now.”
4. New – Customers are intrigued by the newest gadget, product, or offer. It’s an attention-grabbing word that’s effective in emails.
5. Best sellers – People like knowing what items or services are popular, so creating a list of best-selling products is a great way to capture additional sales. After all, word of mouth is still one of the most trusted influences on consumer buying behavior.
Here’s an example from home goods store, Wayfair. The subject line reads, “Best-selling accent furniture to find that missing piece.” The body of the email also uses the word “best sellers.”
6. Be the first – Customers like exclusive access. Give your audience a sneak peak at new products, upcoming offers, and high-quality content.
7. Your – Words like “your” or “you” show customers that you’re thinking about them. It’s a simple, personalized touch that can go a long way to increase sales. Take a look at the three subject lines below. Each one includes the word “your” or “you.”
8. Thank you – A little goes a long way. Show your customers a little love by showing your appreciation. When you reach a new goal, thank your customers with a new deal, host a customer appreciation event, or send a kind email thanking new subscribers for signing up.
9. Remember – Your customers are busy, so it’s always a good idea to send reminder emails. Maybe you want to remind customers about an event or to use the reward points that they’ve accumulated. An example is, “Remember, you have three hours left to redeem your offer!”
10. Tips – Everyone can use a little help once in a while. Send emails that are full of tips to help your customers use your product or improve their business in some way.
10 Words that can deflate your sales:
1. Hurry – Yes, you want to encourage customers to act fast, but this word is overused and doesn’t pack as much punch as “Act now” or “Limited-time offer.”
2. Look inside – These two words are commonly used in subject lines. It’s stating the obvious. Of course, the recipient has to look inside to read the content or claim the deal. Skip these two words, and just get to the point.
3. Guaranteed – Nothing in life is guaranteed, so it’s best to stay away from this word. You can back your product or service with statistics, testimonials, or your word, but refrain from using this blacklisted term.
4. Groundbreaking – Much like “guaranteed,” “groundbreaking” is a term you want to steer clear of. While it may sound impressive, it’s not as helpful as you might think. Unless you’re selling jackhammers, or have indeed created a brand-new technology or offering, “groundbreaking” is just another buzzword customers have learned to be wary of.
5. Huge – Every sale and event is huge. Think of alternatives to use. For instance, “Our Biggest Sale of the Year,” is more descriptive.
6. Cyberspace – It’s not 1980. If you refer to the Internet in any way, avoid outdated terms like “cyberspace,” or “information superhighway,” unless you’re being ironic.
7. Hassle-free – Sure, the phrase seems positive, but you’re still associating the word “hassle” with your business or brand. Not a good idea. Go with “easy” instead.
8. Once in a lifetime – Cliché, and typically untrue phrases like this don’t help your sales. Be original.
9. Final days to save – This phrase is vague. How many days are left in the sale? Give your customers a specific time frame on all deals.
10. SAVE UP TO 25% RIGHT NOW!!! – There are two red flags in this statement. For starters, don’t use all caps; it makes people feel like you’re screaming at them. Keep your punctuation to a minimum, too. The sale isn’t any more enticing with three exclamation points.
Do you have a go-to marketing word that stimulates sales through email? Or do you have a list of marketing words that are pet peeves? Check out our most overused words in PR and Marketing, and the worst email subject lines, ever, to see if they’re included.
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Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and relevance.
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