You know that feeling when sometimes you read an article, or a post, or even a few lines of marketing copy, and you find yourself nodding in agreement? Then you find yourself reaching for your mouse to read more, or share the post, or click whatever button you were supposed to click. Next time you do it, take a longer look at the words that the writer used, and read this post again (now would be a good time to bookmark it 🙂 ). You’ll notice that 9 times out of 10, you’ll be taking whatever action you took because of strategically placed power words.
[tweetthis]9 times out of 10, you’re taking whatever action you take because of strategically placed power words.[/tweetthis]
What are power words? Power words are words that attempt to influence our decisions by appealing to our emotions. There are all sorts of power words, depending on what they try to influence. They can be words that appeal to your FUD, words that convince you that you are interviewing the right man for the job. You can even check out this exhaustive list that gives you 317 power words that you can use in your next post.
There are power words for every occasion. So what, you are probably asking yourself, are the best power words to use in my landing page? What power words are the most effective in influencing people to fill out the form and click that ‘Send’ button? Not very surprisingly, that’s exactly what we are here to talk about.
So let’s get started!
Still one of the most effective words in the marketing writer’s arsenal, one that increases conversions when used in the right place.
One of the more famous studies done into the power of using the word ‘free’ was Dan Ariely’s ‘Free VS Awesome Chocolate’ (and yes, I made that title up).
For the study, Ariely opened a candy stand, and sold two types of chocolate. High quality Lindt truffles (normally priced at 50 cents) and standard Hershey’s. He sold the truffles for 15 cents apiece, and the Hershey’s at 1 cent, and people went for the truffles (at a great discount) rather than the Hershey’s. However, when he reduced both prices by a cent, effectively making the Hershey’s free, most people immediately went for the Hershey’s. Because while quality is good, free is excellent.
Of course, you still need to be careful. Take into account that people who sign up for free might not be the same customers who will pay for your product later.
[tweetthis]Attention: people who sign up for FREE might not be the customers who’ll pay for your product later.[/tweetthis]
But it is still a very powerful incentive, and will help increase conversions on your page.
No surprise here. ‘You’ is personal, and addresses the person who is reading the copy in the most direct way. Even for people who know about this trick, it’s still effective.
Take for example this study that shows the effect of the word ‘You’ on larger tips. A group of waiters offered some mints to the people that they served in a variety of ways. There was a huge difference in the amount of tips between them using the word ‘anyone’ and using the word ‘You’.
In a similar vein, if we promise to show our customers how to make ‘people’ rich, they may be interested in hearing. But when we offer to make ‘YOU’ rich – there’s a world of difference. Don’t you agree?
Because we want to know that what we are doing has an effect. A study done a few years ago by fundraisers for various charity causes discovered that their donors would actually give MORE if they saw more results. In their case, 44% of the donors actually said that they had more money to give, but didn’t, because they weren’t sure what the results would be.
In other words, if you show people what sort of results they can expect, they will be more willing to provide their email and details.
[tweetthis]Show people what sort of results they can expect, and they’ll be more willing to provide email/details.[/tweetthis]
Will they see more traffic come to their website? Will the time they spend on reports be slashed by 50%? Combine this with validation (see ‘Proven’ below) for an even greater effect.
You can also use ‘Now’ or ‘Instantly’. Humans are all about instant gratification. For example, most people would rather take $100 right now, rather than take $110 in 30 days. Numerous studies have been done that show that when we hear words like ‘Now’ or ‘Urgent’, specific parts of our brain jump into action, and virtually demand that we get whatever it is NOW because in the future it will be too late.
The huge advantage you have with a landing page, by the way, is that very often the results ARE instantaneous. I really CAN start using your service today, or download that eBook right now. You can even promise to contact them ASAP, and actually do it As Soon As Possible.
[tweetthis]The huge advantage you have with a landing page is that very often the results are instantaneous.[/tweetthis]
The one caveat when using this power word, is that you follow through. Meaning that if you promise something will be delivered now – make sure it is delivered now.
We care what other people think. We need to feel a certain amount of validation, that we aren’t the only ones who feel this way, or need that thing. As with most feelings that we have, this isn’t our fault – that’s just the way that the human brain is designed.
So how can we validate people who come to our landing page? By using words like ‘Proven’, ‘Used by’, ‘Certified’, we help people who come to our landing page realize that it isn’t just them. The product or service is validated by others, ‘proven’ to be effective, as it were.
Power words are another way for you to psychologically drive visitors into action on your landing page. Use them wisely and sparingly, as a page containing too many of them may come off as pushy, or even worse: deceptive.
Avi Kaye is a social media marketing consultant for software startups. In addition to PageWiz, he also writes for himself on his own blog, in between numerous cups of coffee.