Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Marketing Rule 3: Use the magic words

We 'enjoy' literally everything these days. 'Enjoy' has been all over the place for a decade, and we have become completely immune to the word. 

So after Zappos, also a lab at a soft drink giant has discovered the untapped potential of the word 'happiness': its upward trending as key word and the importance we attach to it. 

They go so much all out with marketing based on this single notion and do this so strongly that 'happiness' has become largely connected with Coca-Cola. 

Anyone else who is using it, is willy-nilly, up to at least a distant or vague degree, conjuring up images of Coca-Cola. Almost performing tertiary publicity. The word has become monopolized, so to speak.

'Discover' is another word that is used very much - but in my experience not overused. 

Edit 2015: definitely completely overused by now. Every other commercial uses it. Things go fast, only the first really profit from any insight, so consider this article to be mainly irrelevant now! 

In a website it is still triggering a slightly higher conversion. If I can, and do not have very much inspiration, I always prefer to write Discover more here as a link, rather than Read more

Then again, anything is better than 'Read more about...'. As I pointed out before, online visitors do not read, and surely do not want to go to pages where there's nothing else to find than reading. 

They wanted to discover, be helped, sometimes learn more - even click here is better: at least the latter has got the connotation that something exciting is about to happen, and that the writer caters to the desire to be an active explorer rather than a passive consumer. 

Yes, in online marketing 'God sits in the details' and magic words can cause an increase in the click-through rate.

The power of positivity

It is remarkable that so many of the 'magic words' are part of a very positive vocabulary. 

You might have found that yourself, when reading posts of friends on Facebook. A positive message can trigger dozens of Likes and comments, whereas the friend complaining, mentioning being ill or to not be happy, can find himself left with only one or two quick comments along the lines of 'sorry to hear this'

This does not mean that positivity is a Must. Far from! It's about authenticity in your words. 

Deliver the magical promise

It goes without saying: 'discover' only works when you cater to the promise hidden in that word: it's a word leading to believe something special is about to be shown. 

If behind that button or link there's nothing that satisfies the build-up, there's no sense in using such a word. If anything, it will just switch that button in the visitor's mind that says: to forget and delete! 

Words only perform magic, if they deliver. 

The classic magic words

You know the marketing classics 'new' and 'free'. They're classics right because they keep catching the attention and thus working as magical words. 

As always, also here you can better underpromise and overdeliver. A 'free bottle of champaign' with a hotel reservation of 800 Euro can hardly be named a great converter. In such a case the word is just taken for what it is: a marketing trick. To forget and delete. 

I cannot find the magic words for you - you and me would need a lab filled with cooperators - so what you can remember of this piece of advice is: never be insipid. 

Not in your titles, not in your links, nowhere. 

Always take great care with your content. 
Online visitors can smell a copycat or uninspired writer from a mile. 

You are catering to living and breathing visitors, who are not looking for the next lukewarm brochure, but to find real and actual contact.


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