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 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.

About the Author: Jamie Turner is an internationally-recognized speaker, author and business thought-leader. You’ll find him on the 60 Second Marketer and as an expert commentator on CNN. He is the founder of SIXTY, a marketing optimization firm that helps clients get more bang for their marketing buck. 

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