When we take the time to consider all that language has helped us achieve, it’s pretty astonishing.
Uniting nations, forming alliances, bolstering the economy, reading our history, building the internet. I could go on.
It fluctuates and it develops along with us. And it’s perhaps our most valuable, malleable, and powerful tool.
Having the power to communicate effectively is often underestimated. Our choice of discourse shapes the world’s perception of us; it’s a manifestation of our personality, our reputation, our intellect, and our dreams.
Perhaps that’s why content is finally being recognised as the marketer’s most valuable asset.
If we consider shorter form copy, for example, email subject lines, download buttons, headlines, pop-up messages - it’s often those smaller nuggets of text that hold the make or break power. So, if it’s down to a handful of words whether you lose or gain leads, it’s essential to get them right.
Email subject lines are a feat for many of us. How do we know which words, in which order, and which format?
Or meta-descriptions. How do you encourage a prospect to click on your site on SERPs when you’ve only 300 characters to play with?
That’s why I love coming across articles like this one from Hubspot, which looks at how the power of one word can impact your entire message, and in some cases, completely alter its meaning.
For example, if we replace the word ‘but’ with ‘and’ in the following sentence, it sparks a completely different reaction to the statement:
“I see you only have a budget of £50,000, but let me tell you why our software costs £100,000.
“I see you only have a budget of £50,000, and let me tell you why our software costs £100,000.
You see? Which variation would encourage you to stay and hear the sales pitch, if you were a prospect?
"Customers don't care about features and benefits, they only care about value and achieving their objectives." And that's pretty much the backbone of the Inbound philosophy. Through effective selection and manipulation of language and word choice, you can evoke the desired reaction from your audiences.
This is definitely an article worth bookmarking for reference when building landing pages, conversion copy and email newsletters. Or even when writing a 70 character headline.
It always pays to experiment, test, and call for a second opinion when constructing your copy, so don’t your word choice become arbitrary.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Which is good, because you probably don't want to threaten prospects into buying at sword-point. As the primary "weapons" to convert prospects into customers, words are incredibly important to salespeople. How sales reps deliver their messages and converse with contacts can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a conversation. Using the wrong phrase might cast a negative shadow on the proposal, while tweaking just a few words in the pitch might induce a client to buy immediately. The underlying message is certainly critical, but the words used to deliver it are equally so.