Use This “Powerful” Marketers Thesaurus To Electrify Your Writing

by Russ Henneberry

Last updated on March 6th, 2018

Wait a minute.  The title of this article paints the wrong picture.

We aren’t just talking about writing blog posts or sales copy.

All of the following can be improved with this marketer’s thesaurus:

  • Email subject lines
  • Presentation titles
  • Event names
  • Video scripts
  • Podcast scripts

Any time you are communicating with other humans, this thesaurus can make your writing more compelling.

In 2006, McGraw Hill published a book by Richard Bayan called Words That Sell.  Since then, this book has never been more than three feet from my keyboard.

The book is dog-eared and peppered with coffee stains.  It’s become indispensable for me and thousands of other writers.

Choose the right word

How many times have you seen the terms powerful, valuable, or fast used to describe products and services.  Firstly, these words are overused and have lost some of their impact.  But more importantly, they aren’t always the best word (or phrase) choice to communicate that idea.

The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
~ Mark Twain

Words That Sell contains over 6,000 entries relevant to marketing and sales.

For example, instead of using the word powerful a quick look through Bayan’s book will offer words like:

  • earthshaking
  • turbocharged
  • hypnotic

There is a big difference between the terms earthshaking, turbocharged and hypnotic.  A difference that may be the difference between tugging the right emotional string and falling flat.

Test headlines

Consider the headline currently on the Raven Internet Marketing tools home page.

Raven Internet Marketing Tools

There’s no doubt in my mind that the team at Raven Tools has tested this headline and this headline is what is converting best.

But a quick look through Words That Sell will give us a number of variations to this headline.  Which of these would you test?

  • A Dramatic Internet Marketing Platform For Agencies and Professionals – Nah.  Not even worth testing.
  • A Hard-Hitting Internet Marketing Platform For Agencies and Professionals – Now we’re getting somewhere.
  • A Dynamic Internet Marketing Platform For Agencies and Professionals – Worth testing?

Create better email subject lines

Pagelines is a nifty WordPress theme that adds a ton of functionality to WordPress.

When they launched their 2.2 release through their email list, I received this email and subject line:

Pagelines Email Subject Line

The subject line reads “The new PageLines is here.”

Nice subject line and they likely tested it against others.  Regardless, the Words That Sell marketing thesaurus comes in handy when writing subject lines.

If you are writing this subject line, the key word you are trying to communciate is ‘new.’  PageLines is alerting its users that there is a ‘new’ (and presumably improved) version of their WordPress theme.

Here is a quick run-down of some entries from Words That Sell that would be relevant to the launch of this updated product:

  • Introducing… – The possible subject lines here are obvious.  Variations of the following would work – “Introducing PageLines 2.2”
  • fresh off the press – This one is a little goofy but it might test through the roof.  Something like – “Fresh off the press – PageLines 2.2 is here.”
  • The next generation of ____ – This subject line writes itself –  “The next generation of PageLines is here”

What’s so aggressive titanic powerful (see what I did there?) about Words That Sell is that the entries get your brain thinking about the alternatives you have to communicate in a way that leads to action.

Write compelling offers

Words That Sell is a great place to turn when you are crafting the language for an offer.

Many of the email offers I’ve received from GoDaddy are variations of the time-tested words and phrases in this book.

GoDaddy Email Offers

Here are just a few entries from the book that will get your noggin thinking like a professional copywriter:

  • One day only!
  • A steal at these prices!
  • We will beat any price.

Use the tool

Using the right word in your communications is a great way to stand out from the crowd, garner attention and get people to take action.

What’s so aggressive titanic powerful about Words That Sell is that the entries get your brain thinking about the alternatives you have to communicate in a way that leads to action.

Pick up your copy of Words That Sell here.



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Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or on his blog.


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  1. Matthew Ogston says:
    September 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Nice/compelling/useful/awesome article. It’s convinced me to buy the book. The book itself should be converted into a WordPress plugin… I’d buy that too 😉

  2. Unmana says:
    August 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I’m sold too! Buying this right away!

    • Russ Henneberry says:
      August 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

      You won’t be dissapointed.

  3. Joseph Putnam says:
    August 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Russ, you’ve sold me on the book. I’m ordering my copy now. Some people think semantics is petty; copywriters know it makes all the difference. Thanks for the post!

  4. August 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    THANK YOU for this, I’m definitely getting myself a copy of Words That Sell. 🙂 As I was reading your post, I kept thinking, “Shut up and take my money!” Lol.

    • Russ Henneberry says:
      August 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Ha ha. Thanks Francesca. Just so you know, I don’t have any affiliation with the book. I just use the heck out of it. 🙂 It will serve you well.

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