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The 14 Most Powerful and Effective Words in Marketing.

In Go Mobile, the book I’ve written with Jeanne Hopkins from HubSpot, we review a list of the 14 most powerful words in marketing so that readers can use them in their mobile marketing campaigns. This post gives you a sneak peak at the list that’s included in the book. Enjoy.

Have you ever bought a product that you didn’t really need? You know the kind — they’re often found in the aisle displays at Lowe’s, Walmart or Barnes & Noble. You grab it off the shelf, pay for it, then get home and say, “Why did I just buy something I didn’t really need?”

Or, you may have been told about a deadline to buy concert tickets, join a health club or even buy a car for 0% interest. The sheer power of the deadline or the false sense of scarcity get you to pull out your wallet to buy the tickets, join the club or drive off in the new car.

Why does our brain buy stuff that we don’t really need? What powerful triggers are being used to get us to do that?

This week, I’ll be posting blogs on this very topic. Partly because how the brain works is very interesting to a lot of people, and partly because, as a marketer, you should know how to use these trigger points to increase demand for your product or service.

101 Digtial E-book 2.001

Below, you’ll find the 14 most powerful and effective words in marketing. I first came across these in a book called 2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success (affiliate link). These are the 14 words that direct marketing agencies (like 60 Second Communications, who sponsors the 60 Second Marketer) have known about for years. They’re based on decades of A/B split tests that have proven which words get people to buy stuff and which words don’t get people to buy stuff.

With all that in mind, here are the 14 most powerful and effective words in marketing:

  • Free
  • Now
  • You
  • Save
  • Money
  • Easy
  • Guarantee
  • Health
  • Results
  • New
  • Love
  • Discovery
  • Proven
  • Safety

After decades of testing, these words have proven to be the ones that are the most persuasive at encouraging people to choose Brand A over Brand B.

What do all these words have in common?

Each and every one of them taps into an emotional trigger that originates from Sub-Cortical and Limbic areas of the brain. These areas are more commonly known as the “Lizard Brain” where our deepest and most instinctive impulses originate. (We’ll be talking about the Lizard Brain in a post scheduled for later this week.)

In addition, these words tap into the 13 Most Important Emotional Triggers for Consumers, which is what we’ll be talking about in tomorrow’s post.

How should you use these words in your marketing campaigns?

For starters, I’d encourage you to do an A/B split test with a paid search, direct mail or email marketing campaign. Use words like Free, New and Proven in one of your ads, and don’t use them in the other one. Then compare the results and you’ll see how much more revenue you generated from Version A vs. Version B. Will there be a huge difference? That depends on your product or service. But I can guarantee there will be a difference.

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow where I’ll be writing about the 13 Most Important Emotional Triggers for Consumers. That’s going to be a fun post to write and to read.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of  60 Second Communications and is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer.  He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi, thanks for sharing the 14 powerful and effective words in marketing, they will surely catch the eye of those marketers. A good content is important, but it is equally important to get the emails to the inboxes of targeted audience. For example, Comm100 Newsletter can send free emails to the inboxes with 95% delivery rate or even higher. I think this means a lot in a successful email marketing campaign.

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  • Tom

    Started an account at sxsw…to vote for you…your link brought up a 2011 proposal…could not find a vote for location…Sorry…

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Hi, Tom —

    I’ll have to update this blog post — the link above is for the 2011 SXSW (which I was fortunate enough to speak at). As soon as the 2012 nominations happen, I’ll update it with a new link.


  • GrumblingHeathen

    So how does one navigate to “tomorrow”?

  • USMC

    I think the entire infomercial and in many respects most of the companies selling these impulse type products could and would not survive without impulse buying, and the accompanying failure to follow through when a customer finally realizes they have been duped… never actually returning the product rather they pile up in a spare room or basement.

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Hi, USMC —

      Thanks for stopping by and making your comment.

      Certainly, there are a percentage of people who feel duped when they buy a product via infomercial, but I have to assume that the vast majority of them feel as though they got good value. After all, if everybody felt duped, then infomercials would have gone away decades ago.

      All that said, we appreciate you stopping by and making a comment.

      — Jamie

  • Infrasoft

    I wonder if in five years, they remain the same – or they would be switched to other words like – quality, seo, social etc.

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Very good point, Infrasoft. I wonder the same thing!

  • manish

    that really nice but some other words are also importand for long term growth that are quality ,approved,importantetc

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      “Quality,” “Approved” and “Important” all see like nice additions, Manish. Thanks for your suggestion.

  • Beth

    I also find the word VALUE to be important – often more important than FREE …

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  • The Traction Dr.

    Let me see if I understand how to apply what you are saying…

    The most IMPORTANT DISCOVERY of your life is here.  NOW YOU can get your own copy of the guaranteed system that’s designed to give YOU supreme self confidence.  I make it EASY because today YOU will SAVE 100% of your MONEY and get your own copy of my NEW book absolutely FREE… enjoy my full GUARANTEE that the healthy condition of your self confidence will start to produce the same PROVEN RESULTS that are typical of everyone who does the EASY steps this program lays out.

    In the SAFETY of my expert guidance YOU will discover the key that unlocks your ability to attract the opposite SEX, make far more MONEY, set your feet on the path leading to continuous improvement, wipe away your fears, create more loving and connected relationships, live with better HEALTH, and take on challenges that previously seemed too difficult.  YOU might choose to lose weight, overcome bad habits, live a longer and more fulfilled life, become famous for what YOU do, etc.  YOU will be among the elite and highly successful but relatively few who have taken advantage of these guarded secrets.  YOU will erase the uncertainty and doubt that has previously held YOU back.  E-mail TractionTraining @ yahoo.com today and my NEW and recently improved book “The Traction Guide to Supreme Self Confidence” is yours for the asking.  It’s loaded with value.  It’s written with the highest QUALITY content.  This is the most IMPORTANT book YOU will read in the current century.  YOU will absolutely LOVE getting EASY RESULTS with this step by step and completely PROVEN and guaranteed system.  Awesome! Limited time offer – act now while it is still available.

    Jess Mickelson
    The Traction Dr.

  • http://wwww.digital-online-marketing.com/ Digital Online Marketing Team

    I enjoyed this blog, I always kick myself when I buy the
    items that are placed near the check out so that you pick them up while waiting
    in line to pay, we all do it..

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Glad you enjoy what we’re going here at the 60 Second Marketer. We have a lot of fun providing tools, tips and tutorials for people. Come back again, okay?

      • http://wwww.digital-online-marketing.com/ Digital Online Marketing Team

        Ok, will do Jamie

  • http://twitter.com/JLWatsonConsult Jim Watson

    Very interesting article – thanks for sharing that list of 14.

    I’m curious about something… how would that list change, from one demographic to another?  For example, many of  those words (free, easy, new) seem like they’ll appeal to a more simple-minded consumer (pardon the value judgement :)).  A more thoughtful consumer may be turned off by such words.

    What do you think?

    Jim Watson

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Jim —

      You make a terrific point here. I agree, certain words would appeal to certain segments more than other segments.

      I don’t have any data or research on this, but if you’re interested, I’d encourage you to consider writing a guest post on the 60 Second Marketer about this topic. I think it’s something our readers would enjoy.

      You can see our writer’s guidelines here: http://www.60SecondMarketer.com/SubmitContent


      — Jamie

  • Dave

    wouldn’t some of those “effective” words be considered spammy?

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Hi, Dave —

      Yeah, you could probably argue that some of them are spammy, especially by today’s “build a relationship first, then gently sell” standards. So it would probably be smart to use these judiciously.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      — Jamie

      • http://www.whatsthebigidea.com whatsthebigidea.com

        That’s what it’s all about; building trust, then sell. More importantly is if you use some of those words in an email broadcast, they’ll end up in a spam box. Thanks for your feedback. 

      • sylvie

        every ad i ever saw had either one of theses words in it.

  • http://businesstips.ph Vic @ Business Tips Blog

    I agree with those words. However, we should still need to use them in the right sentences and phrases so that our customers can truly trust our words.

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      You’re exactly right, Vic. In a similar fashion, a musician knows that there are 12 notes, but it’s how you USE the notes that counts.

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  • Michel

    You forgot the word NOW in your G+ call to action! 😉

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

       Michel, you’re correct! LOL.

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  • Manning
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  • http://www.facebook.com/shakeelasghar1990 Shakeel Asghar

    This is amazing! great work

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Glad it was helpful, Shakeel!

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  • chat alex

    that the healthy condition of your self confidence will start to produce
    the same PROVEN RESULTS that are typical of everyone who does the EASY
    steps thi http://www.chatalex.com/

  • Kara

    Bummer. Do not see the article at all on a tablet…just the comments. You should probably fix that concidering a lot of social networking is done via mobile.

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Hi, Kara — It sounds as though this may be an isolated issue. The site should render on tablets, desktops and smartphones. Please double check and let us know if you still have issues. Thanks!

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  • venkyiyer58

    I get the feeling free is a badly jaded word. Would you agree?

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Hi, Venkyiyer — It’s certainly used a lot, but the data still suggests it’s one of the most powerful words available to marketers.


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  • http://juleswebb.com/ Jules Webb

    This is a good list, but I’m not convinced they’re the most effective.

    Effective needs to be persuasive and I imagine 😉 the top 6 would looking something like this:



    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Hi Jules —

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for circling around and sharing your own list.

      See you,

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  • http://www.backlinkfy.com Backlinkfy

    Guarantee trumps almost any important word in marketing, especially when running an online business.

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Great point, Backlinkfy. People are much more likely to plunk down a credit card online if they know they have a money back guarantee. Thanks for sharing your insights.

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  • http://www.goskygo.com CHEN

    This is really a cool topic and cool blog i Loved it. But even though I have some suggestion to addbout the words “Trust” “Believe” “Instant” “Cool” “Awesome”

    • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

      Excellent thought, Chen. Great input. Thanks for sharing!

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