When it comes to advertising, we encourage testing the waters with creative and eye-catching offers. (In fact, here are some ways to kick start that creativity.)
But, sometimes there’s a line in the sand that shouldn’t be crossed.
We’ve been at direct marketing long enough to see what works and what doesn’t work.
So, learn from those who the learned the hard way and steer clear of these phrases that either don’t get results or could scare off customers.
- “No Gimmick” – Ironically, this screams gimmick. If you want to imply credibility or great value, add a real testimonial from a customer. Nothing speaks louder than the words of a happy customer.
- “For all of your needs” – There is no way your product or service can fulfill all of your customers’ needs, so be specific. Try “For all of your landscaping/automotive/decorating needs.”
- “Really” and “Very” – These words are fairly meaningless and don’t add any value to your ad. With limited space, get straight to the point and use powerful words or numbers.
- “Free Money” – Does this really need an explanation?
- “Opportunity of a lifetime” – As wonderful as your product or service is, it is not likely to be the best opportunity of someone’s entire life. If your offer is this irresistible, it will speak for itself. If not, incorporate a testimonial.
- “What are you waiting for?” – Questions like this actually make the customer stop and think about why they should hesitate. Just stick to the “WIFM” – what’s in it for me – for the customer.
Here are some phrases we have seen work more effectively:
- “No obligation” – Customers will be glad to know that they can try your product or service without a commitment.
- “Free” – Only if it actually pertains to your offer.
- “Offer ends on …” - Giving a tangible end date makes the offer seem more legitimate as it encourages customers to act quickly but also gives them ample time to make a decision.
Do you have any phrases to avoid that we should add to our list? Have you ever tried any of these phrases and how did they work for you?