Convertasuarus’ response to “The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language”

When a new article pops up talking about persuasive copy, everyone at SpyFu headquarters swarms to it, like bees around advertising honey.

DATA!! Gimme dat sweet sweet data!!

That’s because it is the single goal of our newest project, where you can take two phrases and compare them side by side to see which phrase is more effective in the advertising world.

So our office was buzzing when we read copyblogger’s “The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language” article , and we started doing our research.  We concluded that though it seems that the implications behind these words are pretty solid, when it comes to actual ad copy 4 out of 5 of them might benefit from a little bit of tweaking.

Can you guess which ones?

1.              You – Okay spoiler alert, this is that one that is pretty solid.  In most cases personalization is great, in a lot of top ad copy we see the word “you” being used.  Including “saves you time”, “you shop at” and even “you quit” (which I’m guessing is used in ads like, “Helping you quit smoking.”)

2.             Free – This is a good example of where some tweaking could be helpful.  Though we completely agree with the sentiment that “everybody loves free”, the actual word “free” is not the most enticing way to say free.  Words like “No Cost” and “Complimentary” are much more attractive to customers who are looking for things that are free.  We can make the assumption that it’s because there is an over-saturation of the word “free” and people start to gloss over it when it’s written.

A more detailed explanation on the word “free” can be found here.

3.             Because – Don’t get me wrong, “because” in verbal communication is a great way to give a reason for your actions/suggestions.  However, when it comes to ad copy, especially regarding billboards or online ads, “because” performs poorly.  Very poorly.  It’s kind of an ad killer.

Why is this?  In the advertising world staying concise is hugely important, and “because” is a long word.  Not to mention the feeling behind the word can very easily be replaced with a simple comma, or a line break.

Buy this phone because it will make your life easier.
Buy this phone
It will make your life easier.

This turns an explanatory suggestion into a call to action with a claim, all while saving 7 characters of text.  More effective persuasion with more concise text.

4.              Instantly – Once again the idea behind this is great.  People like things free and people like things fast, it excites all of us for that instant gratification.  But, in ad copy, there are better ways to say immediately.  Convertasaurus tells us that words like, “quickly”, “in minutes” and even “now” are stronger to use than “instantly”.


5.              New – “New” is a pretty good word to use, even in print.  People are attracted to new, but just like in “Free” and “Instantly”, there are a few phrases you might want to consider instead such as, “Cutting edge”, “State of the Art” or even “Newest” beats out “New” one on one.

Ironically “current” also beats out “new”, so don’t discount what’s currently hip for what’s up and coming.

I think the ideas behind persuasion are consistent in verbal communication and while writing ad copy, but sometimes you can sweeten your exact phrasing a bit.  This will help entice people to act, make your brand more attractive and increase your overall conversions.

Whoa!! This sweet ad copy is making my eyeball-tastebuds all kinds of happy.


For more side by comparison of phrases and ad copy check out


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