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The 10 most powerful words in the English language

Discover a powerful way you can get better results from your advertising, marketing & sales copy. This proven guide is guaranteed to work wonders, save you time and bring you a steady flow of new customers.

Some words in the English language are more powerful than others. Learn to use these words on your own or better, with the help of vocabulary software and apply them in your advertising copy, sales letters, landing pages and other marketing materials. Your marketing message will be more compelling and more successful.

The words on this list speak to some of the most basic human needs, drives and impulses. You can use this knowledge to create more compelling sales and marketing copy for your direct mail, email promotions, and landing pages. Good copy writers have known and used these words with great results for over a century but recently Yale University conducted a study within their psychology department to isolate and identify the words that motivate.

This list of powerful words may seem a restatement of the obvious. But, its interesting to see empirical studies like this to reaffirm the importance of using the right words to motivate behavior. Here are the findings from the Yale research on the top 10 most powerful words in the English language, along with some additional comments added by me...

  1. You -- the #1 most powerful word in every study reviewed. Successful advertising copy writing always uses personal nature of advertising copy writing, you should use “you” in your headline, opening line and as often as possible. Why? Because this simple word makes your written copy seem more personal and directed toward the reader. In fact, some old-school copywriters will throw out a headline if “you” is not in it.
  2. Results -- Shoppers, buyers, web surfers all have a common goal They are looking for solutions to problems and answers to questions. This simple word grabs attention and works wonders in rationalizing a purchase.
  3. Health -- Every person cares about their body and health. This word is another attention grabber especially when it applies to a product.
  4. Guarantee --We all want to feel safe! We all want to avoid mistakes! It's simple human nature... Providing a guarantee during the order process gives your potential customers a sense of safety at time of purchase. By providing a way of escape you may be able to overcome one or more of your potential customers objections to making the commitment to purchase.
  5. Discover -- Curiosity may have killed the cat but it can also create a customer because by nature humans are by nature curious. This powerful word is a great way to position your product or service in the context of excitement and adventure.
  6. Love -- Continues to be an all-time favorite. What more can I say... but if your think about it love is the most popular object the previously mentioned quest for discovery, adventure and excitement.
  7. Proven -- A close cousin of our other top power-word... "results". This word helps remove fear from trying something new by suggesting that if it works for others it could work for you.
  8. Safety -- Similar to health this word appeals to fundamental issues of our body, our lifestyle, loved ones etc. It;s use could refer to health but also long-lasting quality of your product or service..
  9. Save -- We humans are definitely acquisitive but not necessarily generous. Our quest for safety and security cause us to want to hold on tight to what we have... and in our time that means hanging on to your stash of cash! Everybody wants to feel like they are saving something.
  10. New -- It's part of basic human makeup to seek novelty. This is a close cousin of "discover".

Now that you have the boiled down version of this fascinating study from Yale University be sure to put it into play in your writing form direct mail, email and landing pages. You might also want to use them liberally in your HTML page titles and pages descriptions.

I used to have a list of these top ten most powerful words for marketing and sales copy printed out and pasted to my wall. After writing this review I'm going to make a new printout and get these gems back on my wall. I've been failing to use my own advice!

I suggest you use this list to constantly check your marketing and sales copy as a way to ensure you write in a way that appeals to the fundamental human behaviors and motivations as they apply to your product, service or message.

Here is the complete series of articles about using power words to improve your marketing and sales copy:


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