A study done at Yale University identified 12 words that people responded to the most. Thus we have 12 very powerful words; “power words.” As one might expect, the first five have to do with basic human desires. Desires are junctions in our deeper places that are always ready to respond to something.
These words, when people are exposed to them, register with their emotions to cause attention and response. The first five are: Health, Money, Love, Safety, and Save. Any of these words, used to describe benefits in a promotion will draw attention because they “strike a nerve.”
There is another basic human yearning in a number of potential clients to experience something new, or to be on top of what’s new. The first cause is boredom; the second is a result of self-image- wanting to be perceived as “hip.” The three power words that apply to this concept are: New, Discovery and Breakthrough. These terms should be placed in an opening statement or at an angle for emphasis.
There are three words that were found that instills a sense of security and credibility: Easy, Guarantee and Proven. These words cause people to trust that they will not have a problem with the product or service, nor will they be disappointed.
The last of the 12 words is You. This does make sense, remembering that the best ads scream “what’s in it for me (you).” Remove the word “I” from your ads, replacing it with You’s instead, with direct connection to the benefits. This delivers more impact.
You may have noticed that the headline referenced 13 words. Well, Yale missed one. I can guarantee (there’s one of those words) you (another) that it’s a proven (another) fact that “FREE” is one of, if not the most powerful word in the English language in terms of marketing. “Two for the price of one,” does not work as well as, “buy one, get one free.”
Watch your own reaction to power words, and assume that your reaction level is normal – because it likely is.
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