Using Power Words to Sell
When it comes to sales, a high-quality image can go a long way toward making your product or service more appealing. But using the right words can help make or break the deal.
The Most Powerful Word of All
So, don’t be afraid to use the most powerful sales word of all: free. Since the inception of advertising, inclusion of a "free" offer has consistently helped to convert prospects into buyers. This is true for email marketing as well. Rumors of its demise (causing emails to be marked as spam) are unfounded. And it’s more succinct than “complimentary,” which eats up nine additional characters in your space-limited subject line.
If you’re simply looking for new ways to say “free,” the book Words That Sell is a handy resource. Author Richard Bayan provide plenty of alternatives, including “gift,” “at no charge,” “this one’s on us,” “at no extra cost,” etc.
Using Urgency to Spur Action
Beyond that, if you want to make a sale, you need to put a clear call to action in your copy. A direct-mail piece, for example, might read: Call for your free quote. Or, to add a sense of urgency: Call now for your free quote. For even more clarity, try Call 1-800-TOP-WIDGETS now for your free quote.
Adding a sense of urgency may move the customer to making a purchase decision sooner, thus shortening your sales cycle. Using phrases such as “Hurry!” or “limited time only” or “while supplies last” may do the trick. You also can incorporate an expiration date into your offer: Offer expires Jan. 31. Or, to be more specific: Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. EST Jan. 31. You get the idea.
Revealing Radio Spots
If you want to see how the marketing pros do it, listen closely to radio spots. Most radio spots are 30 or 60 seconds max, so these advertisers know they have to make every word count. With no visuals to accompany the pitches, these ads go for clarity and repetition.
Turn on your radio and listen to a few spots. You’ll likely hear a URL and/or phone number repeated three or more times. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should be equally repetitive in your written copy, but you should quickly zero in on the points that are most relevant to your target audience.
Online marketers are faced with a similar challenge. The first 10 seconds a visitor spends on your website are critical. You not only need powerful words, but also efficient navigation, so that visitors can reach their destination in fewer clicks.
If you run an e-commerce site, make sure your product gallery and product descriptions have buttons that promote purchasing behavior: Buy Now, Order Now, and Shop Now are a few examples. Your shopping cart also must make it easy for shoppers to complete their purchases. Phrases such as “checkout” and “complete your order” leave no room for guesswork.
How’s that for some free advice?
Darcy Grabenstein is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.