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Basic Literature is a corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.
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Powerful Words In Marketing

Friday, July 31, 2009

Part of the marketing process is marketing communication, which involves direct selling or advertising copywriting. These form the showdown- the crucial window of opportunity for you to make your prospective customer act.


A sad truth is that human is so easy to deceive. Even more saddening is only 1 choice of word is enough to get the job done. Even more and more saddening is this is not a secret: traditionally marketers have been using these words for their financial gains, but these word still work, and I bet it still will even millenniums from now.

Basic Literature presents to you, the most powerful words in marketing:


Sales lines like ‘price-cut’, ‘now cheaper’ and ‘sale’ can really  work. Consumers quickly recognize the deal as valuable- admitting by purchasing the item will make them ‘smart consumer’.

“By buying this stuff right now for $50, I save $20!”

A classic deception- consumers will spend more to save more. Business wins.


‘Free! With a purchase of [product]’ or ‘ get another on free when you buy now’ is a popular way of writing-off obsolete stock. No matter how rubbish the free product is (of course they are, otherwise we’d sold them before), the term ‘value’ will transform the consumer into a systematic free-loader.

I don’t care if it works, as long as I get something for free…it’s a value deal.


Using ‘for limited time/place only’, coupled with the call ‘hurry-up!’ are very good to produce a state of hysteric paranoia, associated with having to face the possibility of out-of-stock disappointment.

“Oh no! What happen if I’m too late? Better grab it first before it’s too late.”

This type of thinking makes the customer ‘act first, think later’ which demonstrates the success in increasing sales of crappy products. Combined with a call-to-action tools like telephone number, it will multiply the probability of action taken by the prospect after being exposed to these words.


‘Money-back guarantee’, ‘No-Question asked policy’ plant the perceptions:

“I don’t have anything to loose if I buy this”,

“there’s no risk at all since I can return this”

…..in the consumer’s mind. Given the fact that marketers including physical retailers still use this word in the business, so few customers actually ever return the stuff the bought. Why? Because the regret they get after buying it will not be enough to persuade them through the hassle of returning the product.


Most of the time, it’s not like some credible third-party auditor with a systematic study that certify the product as ‘proven’. More often it’s the in-house, trivial experiments with intolerable standard of error that back up the claim saying the said product has been proven to work.

However, the word is powerful since it actually deliver the message into the consumer’s mind that

“hey somebody has been using it before me, so what the heck.”

With additional lines like ‘try it yourself!’, your sales will jump tenfold.


The word like ‘immediately available’, or ‘ready stock’ make consumers think that the product can be rapidly available for consumption which means the time needed for them to face the moment of truth (to the claims about the product) has been shortened.

Hey I can quickly use the product in a matter of minutes!

…even though the result may take several months to show up, it doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, ‘impulse’ decision is the only reason why so many products are sold.


Well…the bottom line is, consumers are always influenced by impulse decisions in purchasing goods and services.

The words listed above are the fuel for the impulse flame.


Read also:

Retailing: Clever Tactics Targeting The Not-So Clever

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