Twelve Words that Can Help You Sell More

Last week, FEI marketing guru Marka gave marketing greenhorn Lucy tips on creating a broadcast email headline that stands out from the clutter. This week, Marka teaches Lucy how to use 12 of the most persuasive words in advertising. Remember, fire = print.

One day, Marka was spending her lunch break in her office practicing her O-putting on a rollout green. Mid-putt, someone knocked on her office door.

“Come in!” Marka said, wondering if someone found her ball that rolled into the hallway.

Lucy opened the door. “I need to pick your brain.”

“Shoot,” Marka replied, happy to see apprentice Lucy coming to her for advice.

“I want to send 50 of our top restaurant prospects a letter announcing the ZX10 model torches. Here’s what I have so far,” Lucy said as she placed a letter on Marka’s desk. “Can you help?”

Marka read the letter carefully.

Dear Joe Firebuyer,

FEI’s ZX10 model torches are an excellent product. They will warm your restaurant. More fuel-efficient than regular torches, these torches can reduce your heating bill.

Interested? Please call me at 1-800-FEI-1234.

Yours truly,

Marketing Manager, Fire Enterprises, Inc.

“I see what you mean. I don’t find this very persuasive,” Marka admitted. “This is a good opportunity to incorporate some of the 12 most persuasive words in advertising.”

“Tell me more,” Lucy said eagerly.

“Using certain words—in sales letters, in advertisements, during sales calls—can help you nudge your prospects toward a sale. Thanks to decades of trial-and-error by past marketers, we now know which words are most likely to inspire prospect action. They are…” Marka grabbed a piece of coal and began writing.

  • You
  • Discover
  • Easy
  • Proven
  • Save
  • Money
  • Guarantee
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • New
  • Love
  • Results

“Notice what these words have in common,” Marka continued. “They all appeal to universal human desires. Everybody wants to save money. Everybody wants something that’s easy, guaranteed and proven. Use these words in your copy to connect with your prospects and drive them toward a buying decision.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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