Back in the day, subliminal messaging was all the rage.
The (scary) idea was how commercials used “secret messages” that wouldn’t register to the naked ear but would somehow hack into your brain and make you buy things you wouldn’t normally buy or do things you wouldn’t normally do.
Not unlike The Manchurian Candidate, only far less disruptive.
Yet, the psychology behind words that inspire people to take action is fascinating and easy to test.
Truth is, certain words and phrases are scientifically proven to elicit responses.
Some seem obvious.
Sure, who doesn’t perk up at the word “FREE!”
Even if you’re suspicious, if it’s something you may be interested in buying, you’ll at least read far enough to find the “catch.”
Other words aren’t so obviously vying for your attention.
SIDE NOTE: In my research for this post, I came across so many I’ll be soon creating a PDF with more, so look for that.
I distilled down the words I felt would be easiest to incorporate into most types of copy: websites, emails, and landing pages.
… wherever you want to have greater impact…
Evoke more action…
Get more leads…
Make more money.
Look for places to sprinkle them into your copy.
I mentioned this in a prior post but it’s worth repeating…
The word “because” gets a lot of press in the marketing world because the study behind it seems almost unbelievable.
Apparently, justifying barging ahead of line works when you drop “because” into the mix.
In the 1970’s study, people waiting in line to use a copier allowed a woman to cut in front of them nearly by stating “because” followed by a statement.
Her “cut in” rate jumped up from 60% to 94% when she asked, “May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
It was almost as high, at 93%, when she took away the actual reason, “… because I have to make some copies?”
In copywriting, “because” gives the reader legitimacy that you have a reason for your claim or promise.
This may be the most powerful word you can use to attract eyeballs.
People care about themselves, not you. We’re all built like that, and it’s not necessarily bad.
Think about the quizzes on every other Facebook post about what your favorite pasta shape says about you! Or If you use one of these common phrases you may be a raving narcissist!”
Who doesn’t like finding out their craving for bowtie pasta destines them for greatness? (I have no idea if that’s true but it certainly sounds legit.)
Look at your copy and try turning the “I’s” into “you’s” and see what happens.
And yes, even on your About page.
It’s ALWAYS about the reader.
3. FACT IS
Logic ahead! That’s what this phrase signals in your reader’s mind.
Even though we use emotions to make decisions, we like to think we’re using logic. Even when we’re not.
Saying “TRUTH IS…” or “FACT IS…” you allow yourself to justify that what follows will make perfect sense and enable you to justify your next move.
FACT IS… you look good in red so why NOT indulge in that red silk scarf because you deserve it.
No surprise here. We want things now, right now. It’s why fitness and weight loss approaches can be so frustrating.
Words like “instantly” literally light up parts of the brain associated with quick gratification.
Another good word to use is “now,” as in: Write Better Copy NOW.
Being in an exclusive group feeds our ego. We want to be with the other VIPs, the ones who immediately get shuffled to the front of the line.
Exclusive deals and offers make people feel special.
Sephora’s is a good example. If you spend certain amounts throughout the year you earn various levels of exclusivity. Each allows you bigger and better gifts, sales, etc.
The top tier, VIB (for Very Important Beauty) Rouge is for those who spend $1k a year. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Sephora sends you a flashy, red VIB card you present at the register when you buy.
So everyone else in line sees you
have a problem with self-control are a huge makeup fan.
Words that project exclusivity include:
- Members only
- Log-in required
- Become an insider
- Be one of the few
- Only available to subscribers
Until next time, here are other posts you may enjoy:
How to Create Opening Hooks More Compelling than A Legal Thriller (with a real life example pulled from my Inbox)
5 Reasons Your Emails are Getting Banished to the Junk Folder Zone
How to Write Stories that Spark Intrigue, Joy… and Sales
Speaking of exclusive…