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Every good copywriter knows the magic word(s)

We all learned the magic word for getting our way when we were children. But copywriters learn that there are several. Cleverly placed, they increase conversion rates exponentially. Here’s an Oxygen guide to the magic words to pepper your copy with.

Magic word #1 – ‘You’

This is the number one magic word. It’s far more important than any of the others. Even ‘money’ and ‘sex’. Most of us know the secret of being popular. It is simply to get people talking about themselves. And it’s no different with copy. Customers don’t want to hear about you, your company or your product. They’re busy people and are bombarded with hundreds of advertising copy every single day. No, what they’re interested in is how your product or service will benefit them. Make them feel that you understand their problems, and have the solution, and you cannot fail. Peppering your copy with the word ‘you’ reminds you to focus on your customer and their needs.

Magic word #2 – ‘New’

Humans are curious creatures. It’s what led us to to fly to the moon. We’re constantly learning and adapting and that drive is fuelled by our curiosity. Social media researchers have recently discovered that it’s this insatiable urge which drives our addiction to Facebook and blogs because the thrill of finding something new triggers a dopamine rush in our brains. Even the mere promise of something new will do this – which is why the word ‘new’ is so powerful. What you’re writing about doesn’t have to be new. It only has to be new to the reader. Using the word, ‘announcing’ or ‘discovery’ will do the same thing. Place the word ‘new’ in a headline and you’re far more likely to get them to read on.

Magic word #3 – ‘Easy’

Humans are also lazy. This is also what drives our ability to learn and innovate. We’re never satisfied until we’ve made life as easy as possible. And we’ll invent gadget after gadget to take the toil out of things. Your customers are busy, tired and frazzled. They want you to make things easy, from the shallowness of the navigation on your e-commerce page, to the simplicity of the product itself. But they’re never going to find out how you’ve spent hours making your product or service easy to use if you don’t tell them. ‘Quick’ and ‘simple’ are other words which will have the same effect.

Magic word #4 – ‘Guaranteed’

When it comes to committing to buy, your customer becomes acutely aware of the possibility of loss. For as start, they’re about to pay money over to you. That is a form of loss. And they don’t want to make a mistake or be made a fool of. That’s why the word ‘guaranteed’ can make the world of difference at the point where they’re committing to a sale,. After all, you’ve made it so that they have nothing to lose. To make this work however, you must honour your guarantee promises. Other words which build trust in your customer are ‘safe’, ‘results’, ‘proven’ and ‘approved’.

Magic word #5 – ‘Now’

When your prospect reads your copy, there’s every danger that they’ll get distracted or simply forget to act. You have to provide some sort of urgency or there’s every chance they won’t act at all. Words like ‘now, ‘quick’ and ‘hurry’ all inject pace and encourage the customer to act promptly. These are even more powerful when used in conjunction with a limited offer.

Magic word #6 ‘How to’

Life hacks never lose their appeal. As we’ve already worked out, your customer is busy and probably tired. Anything which gives them the information they need fast and all in one place is welcome. That’s why the phrase ‘how to’ will grab their attention. Smart copywriters manipulate the ‘how to’ format to convey the information they want the customer to hear.

Magic word #7 ‘Free’

All of us like to get something for nothing. Whether we want the item or not, it just feels good to our hunter-gatherer instincts. People will buy more just to get free shipping or choose a free gift over and extra that costs them a nominal amount, even if the latter is worth many times as much. Crafting a good offer around the word ‘free’ is a great way to grab attention. Just be careful that you don’t trigger spam filters by using a spam check tool before you hit send.

 

Sadly, making your copy magic isn’t just a case of re-arranging the magic words. If you’re still stuck for copy that gets results, give Oxygen a call today on 0845 2606 255. We’ll give your copy the magic touch.

 

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.