Friday, September 3, 2010

The 12 Most Powerful (Copy)Words in the English Language

As a copywriter, there are times when I am asked by clients why I use certain words when writing an advertisement. Whether it is for an ad in a publication, online, a direct mail piece or even a radio ad, they don't always understand what words or groups of words work best when marketing a product or service.

Let me explain. Copywriting isn't like other writing. You won't find good copy in a newspaper article. Hopefully, you will find great writing known as journalism. Writing copy is based on getting the reader's attention as quickly as possible and stating your case for purchase of your product or service as clearly as you can.

With ads of any type, you have less than 2 seconds to grab the attention of whoever is reading or watching your advertisement. Not much time to state all the positives of your product or service. That's why a good headline is important in a print ad. Or why the first second or two of a television commercial is critical. (Does anyone still watch them now that the commercials almost outlast the show? Plenty of time to get that snack, do the laundry or take that much needed bathroom break.) Or why a billboard advertisement needs to state its case in a short, but impactful way.

There are specific ways to write effective copy. Some words draw the reader's attention to your offer more than others do. At times, the writing that will create the most impact with the reader isn't proper or a correct use of the English language. Copywriting isn't the English your elementary teacher taught you. It isn't for those who are compelled to strictly stick with only correct grammar. In fact, quite often the words for a great ad aren't correct or proper at all.

There are also those words that are more powerful to use than others are. These are the most profit producing words you can use in any marketing campaign. Copywriters know about them, but few others know how commanding these words really are. When used effectively, they can increase the results of your marketing.

The twelve words below aren't going to surprise you because you see them in ads all the time. Now you know why. They are the most powerful words used in copywriting.

1. You
2. Save
3. Money
4. Easy
5. Guarantee
6. Health
7. Results
8. New
9. Love
10. Discovery
11. Proven
12. Safety

These words have been studied and have shown they elicit the strongest response by people seeing or reading an ad. If you combine them, such as " You Save Money", they become even more powerful. Don't be afraid to use them multiple times in your advertising.

You may wonder why the word "Free" isn't included in this list. When used correctly, it can be even more effective than the twelve words listed above. The word "Free" has been overused though, especially on the internet. Some of its benefit has been eroded because of this.

Keep these twelve words in mind when you (or someone on your behalf) write an advertisement. They could drastically improve the response to your direct mail piece, online blog, newspaper ad or whatever marketing vehicle you are using.

Let me know what you think or if you have questions about these words and writing effective copy.

Cindy Neky
Email Cindy
cneky@marketingpathways.com
Marketing Pathways

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