Marketing Secrets: Use these 4 Powerful Words to Increase Sales

Putting a great product or service on the market is one thing—actually selling it is another. To do that, you have to communicate its value to your customers through effective copy.

Maybe you have a great offering but you haven’t been hitting your sales targets. The culprit may be that your ad copy isn’t persuasive or engaging enough for your market to commit to spending money on your site.

Marketing research shows that there are “magic words” that consumers find more compelling than others. Try the four words below in your headlines, buttons, product descriptions, and calls to action—you just might see an increase in your sales.

1. “New”

Think about all the things we associate with the word “new.” When a product is marketed as “new,” we automatically think it’s better than its predecessors. We think the product might be the result of the latest technology, the most recent innovations. We naturally prefer the latest gadgets.

Scientists have found that an innate “sense of adventure” makes us easy targets for advertising. They found that choosing novel, unfamiliar options activated the same parts of our brains that seek pleasure. This suggests that trying new things, and keep with the current innovations, helped the first humans survive and thrive.

Today’s consumers are still swayed by the same promise of novelty and its connotation of a better product. Make sure to point out a “new and improved” development in your product when applicable; maybe a new recipe or formula—this just might be the hook that finally closes your sales.

In the example below, customer engagement app Intercom, highlights their “All-New” approach to customer onboarding.

Petal, a financial services company, boasts about being a “new kind of credit card company” in their site copy.

2. “Instantly”

Now that virtually everything is accessible within a couple clicks, consumers’ patience has grown thin. Your customers want to know that your product will get them the results they want—quickly.

Studying the purchase behavior of consumers in the Air Miles Reward Program, the Spiegel Research Center found that the loyalty program’s low-spending members spent 22% to 68% more when they were offered instant rewards.

It’s a fact that we know all too well: we naturally prefer instant gratification to delayed rewards. If you incorporate “instantly, “now,” “fast,” “immediate,” and its synonyms in your copy, you show your customers that you can deliver results quickly. This has multiple applications—buyers can get an offer now, or buyers can see results from their purchase right away.

Another way to take advantage of consumers’ fixation on immediacy is to create a sense of urgency. Marcus Taylor wrote about how he increased his sales by 332% by, among other things, including a countdown on a discounted price. Adding a “Time Left” countdown for a sale item on your website can give you the boost that you need to close more sales.

Getaround, which allows users to book car rentals, uses “Instantly” predominantly in their headline copy that reads “Instantly rent cars near you.” This emphasizes how easy it is to book their services.

3. “Free”

Everyone loves a steal. Think back to every time you’ve fallen for adding more items to your cart just to reach the “free shipping” threshold, or how many times you’ve picked up something you wouldn’t normally buy just to get free samples. It’s a tried and tested trick.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studied how offering freebies might influence buyers’ decisions. The study asked a group of buyers to pick between a 15-cent Lindt truffle or a 1-cent Hershey Kiss. Believing that the Lindt truffle held more value as a superior chocolate, 73% of buyers went for that option.

Then, the researchers reduced the price of both chocolates by 1 cent. The Hershey Kiss was now free. A second group of buyers was asked to pick between the 14-cent Lindt truffle and the free Hershey Kiss. This time, 69% of buyers opted for the free Hershey Kiss!

More often than not, buyers are motivated by avoiding loss, not by gaining value.

“Free” is one of the most powerful words in any copywriter’s arsenal.

Adding a free item isn’t as costly as you might think, especially considering how many sales it can drive.

Four Sigmatic, an online store selling mushroom tea, uses the word “free” in two important parts of their homepage. The welcome bar on top of the page has a “Subscribe at $49 and Get Free Chai Latte ($20)” offer. 

And if you don’t like their products they offer a money-back guarantee which they’ve phrased as “Feel the difference or it’s free.”

4. “You” (This one is important!)

Customers love when a product feels like it was made for them. What better way to achieve that than to speak directly to them? Research shows that using “you” in brand copy (advertising material) increases consumer involvement because it gets the brand to interact with consumers.

This doesn’t just mean sprinkling second person pronouns anywhere you can fit them. It also means writing from the perspective of your customer. You should write your copy with a focus on addressing your buyers’ needs, not just speaking to them.

For example, there is a world of difference between “buy this new stabilization-optimized camera” versus “finally, you can take steady videos of your adventures.”

Speaking directly to your consumers and showing them that you’re on their team may be the missing link that makes the difference for your sales.

Dropbox uses the word “you” extensively in its body copy, such as in the section below which highlights their features:

The project management app Basecamp also uses the word “you” in the copy immediately below their headline. They even go a step further by labeling the reader’s feelings, such as “stressed,” and quoting their ideal inner monologue by writing, “hey, we got this.”

Words that sell

Recall all the purchases you’ve made because the copy grabbed your attention. Odds are they’ve used the words above! Try them on your own copy, apply the principles behind why they work, and watch your sales GROW!

PS: I know some of you may have not read my free business tips in my eCommerce Cheat Sheet. If you have not, please read it!

Thank you, see you in my next post!

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