10+4 Marketing horror-words

    by Paul Shuteyev
    07.03.2008

    Statistics is the greatest human invention and the most powerful marketing tool. During my researches I've found top 14 most horrible words for all customers. So if you're professional businessman - you should check it for yourself and learn them! Let's start, my friend!

    1. Price

    This may be one of those “unavoidable terms” and in fact is one that seems to be expected in ecommerce sites, however, it might be worth testing different terms, or leaving it out completely (instead of saying “Price: $xxx” consider just listing the price as “$xxx”). Again, this depends on the site.

    2. Cost

    Again, possibly another unavoidable term on an ecommerce site, but one that is worth testing.

    3. Sign

    Do you ask your customers to “Sign In”? If so, you could be scaring them away before they ever complete a sale. If you must speak in terms like that, consider phrases such as “Log in”, “For your convenience, enter your details below”, “For faster checkout, enter your information below”.

    (”Sign in”)

    4. Buy

    Do you have buttons on your site that say “Buy Now”? Consider altering those to something more friendly such as “Add to Cart”, “Add to Bag”, “Put in My Cart”. I’ve even heard conversion tests show that a phrase such as “Proceed to checkout” works (but have not tested it personally).

    5. Expensive

    Just a bad word, everywhere, not only in marketing :D

    6. Deal

    Instead of saying “weekly deals” “monthly deals” etc… consider rephrasing to use the word “Sales” or “Specials” instead. The word “deals” could imply the products on the site might be considered “cheap”. On the contrary, listing some products as deals could cause other consumers to think the rest of the products must be “overpriced” ordinarily. The ultimate perception is in the eye of the consumer.

    7. Sold

    Do you list products as “Sold Out”? If so, consider rewording to say “Out of Stock”, “Not Available”, or removing the product from your catalog totally until it becomes available again.

    8. Charge

    Do you say things like “Charge Information”, “Charge Card”, “Charge Your Account”, etc…? If so, consider rewording to something more user friendly such as “Billing Information”, “Credit Card”, etc…

    9. Try

    When cross selling products, do you say things like “Try these other products you may like”? If so, consider rewording to something like “Other items of similar interest”, “Other products you may also like” etc…

    10. Bad

    Examples of usage you want to avoid are “Bad Login” and “Bad Credit Card Number”. Reword to read “Incorrect Login” or “Invalid Credit Card Number”.

    11. Lose

    Under the right circumstances, saying “You cannot lose” or “You have nothing to Lose” might mean you have already lost. Rephrase to state a bullet list of customer benefits from the product instead.

    12. Complicated

    Instead of describing a product as “not complicated” say it’s “easy to use”

    13. Risk

    Risk is just another bad word, like an Expensive one. Only racers and superheroes love risk :D

    14. Obligation

    Watch out for the double whammy “Risk Free No Obligation” statements.
    Written by:
    Paul Shuteyev
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