Research reveals how a single word makes all the difference. These aren’t just any words. They are words that convert.
You likely know that specific words matter. You click on a headline because a single word strikes you. You click a signup button because a word creates an emotion.
Researchers have found that, for example, the word you use to describe a car accident (“contacted” vs. “smashed”) paints the way eyewitnesses view the event. Another study found that simple stock names that are easier to pronounce lead to quicker gains post-IPO.
Social psychologist Ellen Langer tested the power of a single word in an experiment where she asked to cut in line at a copy machine. She tried three different ways of asking:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” – 60% said OK
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” – 94% said OK
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” – 93% said OK
I don’t know about you, but I thought Langer’s third request was rather elementary. Yet it didn’t matter. The trigger word “because” was all she needed. The takeaway: When you want people to take action, always give a reason.
Below are some of the top words that convert. Learn them. Use them.
Top 10 Most Influential Words
Good for headlines, bullet points, subject lines.
Top 10 Cause & Effect Words/Phrases
Good for closing paragraphs, transitions
Top 10 Phrases That imply Exclusivity
Good for signup forms, links, calls-to-action, subheads.
Top 10 Words/Phrases That Make You Feel Safe
Good for payment forms, signup forms, testimonials.
Source: 189 Words that Convert
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