The Ten Most Powerful Words in Advertising

[Mark Twain once said, “The difference between using the right word and almost the right word is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.” In advertising, the idea is very similar. Imagine if you could use words in your advertising that could change your advertising from good to great!
There have been numerous studies conducted over the years on this subject. Each one was designed to find those words believed to be the most persuasive in advertising. We thought it would be interesting to compare those studies to determine which words consistently made it to the top of the lists. Then we refined the lists to include those words that we have found to be the most persuasive during the past twenty-three years that we have been creating advertising campaigns.
The result is the following list of what we feel may be The 10 Most Powerful Words in Advertising*:
1. NEW””Having something new and knowing something is new has incredible intrinsic value.
2. GUARANTEED””We are all reluctant to try something new because of the risk. Take away that risk by guaranteeing a sure thing.
3. PROVEN””Another no-risk word that assures your target audience that your product has already been tested by others.
4. RESULTS””This is the bottom line, where you tell your prospective customers what they will get, what will happen and why they should care.
5. SAFETY””The idea of safety is very comforting and is a core need.
6. SAVE””Even the wealthiest people shop for value. It’s not just money that entices; people also want to know about saving time.
7. YOU””You’re more likely to get your target audience involved if you address them directly.
8. NOW””This creates a sense of urgency for your future customer.
9. EASY””Most people want a quick and uncomplicated solution.
10. FREE””Who can resist the granddaddy of them all?
Obviously, there are many other powerful words, and your list may vary depending on what you are selling. Try one or more of these words in your next advertising communication and see if it turns your lightning bug into lightning.
* Please note that most of these words should be avoided in your e-vertising campaigns, as covered in last month’s issue.
Until next month…

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