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:
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.
Consider the headline currently on the Raven Internet Marketing tools home page.
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:
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”
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.
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.
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.
- How To Remove Ugly URL Parameters from Google Analytics Reports - March 29, 2013
- View Only Mobile Traffic (And 3 other uses for Google Analytics profile filters) - February 26, 2013
- How To Use Google Analytics New Attribution Modeling Tool (And how to get it) - February 7, 2013