Copywriting is all about using the power of words to achieve certain outcomes, and the role of the copywriter is to craft words and sentences into compelling copy. But some words have more power than others, and they’re not necessarily the ones you might think of.
The two most powerful magic words are not yours…
..They are your customer’s. The words “Yeah, sure…” are the most likely words to enter your customer’s head upon reading your claims, no matter what they may be. In a world of endless marketing promises this is a natural response to any claim that a product is better, faster, more effective or anything else. Disbelief is endemic in today’s digital world, and hollow unsubstantiated claims often don’t get very far.
To counteract the power of “Yeah, Sure,” what you need is proof and evidence to back up your claims.
The power of numbers
Numbers have power in copywriting too, and if you can provide them then they can go a long way towards supporting your claims. If you have any relevant statistics that you can quote to support the claims you make about your products and services then all the better. These should be truthful, concrete and verifiable, and they should emphasise the benefits to the would-be customer in an easy to understand way. For example your product might kill 99.9% of germs, or increase conversions by x within x number of months.
The best statistics are those that have been independently verified by an official body or respected organisation, for these carry the most weight and are deemed the most trustworthy.
The power of people
People look to each other for proof to back up the claims of sellers, particularly in this social age of the internet. Including genuine testimonials and case studies alongside your claims can go a long way towards supporting them and turning “Yeah, sure,” into “Oh, really? Cool.”
In some instances you might even consider utilising user-generated reviews alongside the content created by your copywriter.
The third magic word of copywriting
The third magic copywriting word is yours, and it is “because”.
According to psychologist Robert Caldini, some words carry a power that compels us to comply, and because is one of these. In his book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ Caldini describes an experiment which was carried out by Ellen Granger. Granger used three different sentences to request that she jump ahead in the queue to use a photocopier. First she simply asked if she could cut in without providing a reason, resulting in 60% of people complying. Then she added, “May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush”, to which 94% of agreed.
But what was surprising was that in the third instance, she simply said, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” to which 93% agreed. Although she failed to provide a valid reason, because she used the word ‘because’, people complied. Cialdini postulated that the word could trigger an automatic compliance response from people because they assume sound reasoning and trustworthy information will follow.
So, ‘because’ can be a powerful word when used in copywriting, particularly if it’s accompanied by proof of your claims. And though the word itself has power, be sure to follow it up with compelling reasons why what you say is true.