Words to avoid in marketing: are you making these mistakes?

September 8, 2020
Words to avoid in marketing

Some words and phrases are no-nos in marketing circles. Are they the ones you think?

Marketing is about building trusted, ongoing relationships with potential and existing customers. But some words and phrases can have the opposite effect.

How many of these words to avoid in marketing are you using in your sales pitches or web copy? This guide will help to banish those content killers for good.   

1. Click here

If you’re still using basic words like ‘click here’, ‘subscribe’ or ‘submit’ for your call to action buttons, it’s time to change. These words are so overused we hardly register them, which is bad news for traffic and conversions.

Replace boring buttons with more benefit-led links by asking yourself ‘Why click here? Why is that good? Why do it now?’ until you uncover the real benefit. Using this strategy ‘Click here’ might become: ‘Grab your free guide’, ‘Get instant access’ or ‘Reserve your discount’. Small changes can make a big difference. 

2. Possibly, probably, maybe

Doubt is a deal killer so words like possibly, probably or maybe are definitely words to avoid in marketing. Instead, focus on data, facts or analysis as much as possible so customers feel like they are making rational decisions based on solid information.

3. Think, hope, believe

In the same way, words like think, hope and believe can be problematic because they represent wishful or speculative thinking. Aspirational words like these are better left for direct quotes or video content where a ‘softer’ approach can make sense. Just keep them out of your sales copy.

For more tips on writing customer-focused content, check out Master the blog: 5 tips for writing great website blog posts

4. Basically

Basically has become a common way to introduce something, but be aware of its potential to offend. Basically suggests there is a more detailed explanation that you are dumbing down – either to save time (being nice) or because it’s complicated and you’re afraid people won’t understand (not so nice).

Basically is also one of those annoying gap fillers, like literally, where basically people say basically all the time and it basically gets really annoying. Basically you should stop using it. Literally. 

5. Overused words

Like gap fillers, there are always some words that get loved to death. For a while everyone was on a journey. Then we all got busy pivoting. While these catch phrases are popular for a while, we soon get sick of hearing them. Be careful these words don’t overstay their welcome in your marketing.

6. Jargon or overly complicated words

The final piece of advice is to keep it simple. Big, complex words don’t make you sound smarter. Jargon is a turn-off. Customers will disengage if they can’t understand or relate to your message. Simply avoiding words and phrases that undermine trust will help you develop more meaningful relationships with your customers.

Want to know more? Try these 4 copywriting strategies to increase customer engagement.

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