There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to converting your target audience into loyal, paying customers—design, user experience, quality of service etc. But by and large, given the medium that you’re using to communicate with, content, particularly the written word, is still king.
It’s not the ONLY thing to consider, sure, but it does play a massive role.
To that end, know that not all words are created equal as well.
There was a study conducted by Ellen Langer, who wanted to test the impact of phrasing in terms of people’s willingness to let others cut in line. In her social experiment, it was revealed that a big number of the people involved in the study let her cut in when her reason for doing so was qualified.
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” – 60% said OK
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” – 94% said OK
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” – 93% said OK
There are words that are more forceful and prove to be more effective in elliciting emotions that drive results. There are words that draw out desired action from potential shoppers. There are words that help build trust and therefore push conversions. There are words that have demonstrated positive results when it comes to convincing people to make a purchase. And that’s what this post is all about—
In our years in the industry, we have discovered that there are certain words that are more effective in terms of building rapport, engagement and interest among our users. Take note that there are no absolutes in eCommerce. It still helps to get to know your audience and test what kind of copy and tone works best, but these should help you get started.
The top most persuasive words
These words are ubiquitious for a reason—because they work. They capture your attention, imply a direct advantage and trigger a sense of gratification.
Remember that eCommerce is all about selling—selling a product, selling its benefits and its perks. It’s not as much about your brand when you’re trying to make something resonate and stick to a user. While your company’s credibility is an important factor that users consider, establishing that personal connection through words that offer a sense of quick gratification makes what you have to say more persuasive and convincing.
Give it a try. Tweak your copy on your call-to-action, headlines, email subject headers and try to incorporate these words in your body copy.
The top words/phrases that build exclusivity
You want to build engagement by establishing a sense of community—but in order to do so, you have to lend a sense of exclusivity to your product or service. It should imply that only a select group of people can have access to certain perks, and they could easily be one of them.
These words and phrases should be enticing, but not alienating, inclusive but still build appeal; and they are best used to convince users to sign up or opt in. Try using the following words on your forms, call to action, banner ads or subheads—
- ASK FOR AN INVITATION
- EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
- BECOME AN INSIDER
- BE ONE OF THE FEW
- GET IT BEFORE EVERYBODY ELSE
- BE THE FIRST TO HEAR
- ONLY AVAILABLE TO THE FIRST…
The idea is to build sort of like a club or a community that can convince and drive users to make more decisive choices and take affirmative action.
The top words/ phrases that imply scarcity
In the same vein, a good technique for eCommerce sites is building on a user’s fear of missing out. Good deals are hard to come by online. If you don’t get access to them by being part of an exclusive group, you gain access to them for a very limited time.
To communicate the fleeting nature of a particular offer, try these words or phrases—
- LIMITED OFFER
- ONLY (X NUMBER) LEFT/ AVAILABLE
- WITHIN THE NEXT (X NUMBER) OF HOURS
- TODAY ONLY
- SALE ENDS SOON
These are best used for exit pop-ups, headings and other promotional copy to help raise demands or at least pique interest.
The top words to indicate safety
It’s hard to make decisions on purchases when you don’t have access to a particular product right then and there to study it, try it on, inspect it—basically all the things that you can do if you were buying it in a physical shop instead. Then there’s also the matter of having to provide important financial details in age of scams, phishing, identity theft.
With that in mind, eCommerce sites should go above and beyond to ensure the safety of their users data and the quality of their purchases and to effectively communicate this, you can try incorporating these words and phrases to build that sense of safety and trust—
- BACKED BY
- CANCEL ANYTIME
Try it for copy on your payment forms, signup forms, reviews and testimonials and see if it improves your conversions.
While these have proven itself to be effective for us, it always helps to test. Remember, nothing is absolute in our industry—so it’s still a great idea to see what really resonates with your particular audience.
Still, if you want to take a step towards raising conversions for your eCommerce site, you can get yourself started by trying out these words and see how well they work for you.
And as always, if you have questions or comments about this post, feel free to leave a message below.