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Word Research for Copy Writers

Here is an interesting article that came in this week:

Marketing Research: Individual Words

We all know that phrases like "Who else wants to know" in a
headline can improve our sales. Have you ever thought
about the individual words and their impact on your

I recently performed a statistical analysis on several
thousand ads while looking at individual words and

The first task was to determine the profitability of each
ad being analyzed. This was done using the age-old
mailorder marketing method. Basically, if you see an
advertisement month after month and year after year, it is
probably profitable. If you see an ad only once or twice
and then it changes or disappears completely, the
advertisement was probably not very profitable.

The next task was to simply look for the occurence of a
list of words in each ad while noting whether the ad was
profitable or not. The results were tallied and lots of
words were removed from the list because there simply
wasn't sufficient data to come up with a statistically
significant result.

I won't bore you with the rest of the details. Here is a
list of some of the words found much more often in
profitable ads than in ads that didn't produce a profit:

accessories, an, best, blue, buy, by, causes, cheap,
discount, discover, easily, fast, find, guaranteed, has,
improve, increase, lower, more, nationwide, near, need,
of, on, one, order, payments, powered, pricing, rates,
reduce, stop, superb, the, view, what, with

Here is a list of the words found much more often in ads
that were NOT profitable:

affordable, after, and, as, at, before, better, help,
here, how, else, excellent, experience, for, led, listings,
loan, method, money, mortgage, naturally, now, options,
photos, search, secret, secrets, sell, step, to, try,
unlimited, us, who, you, your

Now keep in mind that correlation can not prove causality.
This research isn't saying that all ads that use the word
"excellent" are doomed to being unprofitable. However, it
is saying that a statistically significant percentage of
ads that use the word "cheap" are profitable and a majority
of those that use the word "affordable" are not profitable.

If your ad copy currently uses the word "affordable" (a
word from the "bad" list above) and you change that word
to "cheap" (a word from the "good" list above), will your
profitability increase? There are no guarantees. There
are an unlimited number of factors that could impact that
result. Not ALL ads that use the word "cheap" were
profitable. Not ALL ads that use the word "affordable"
were unprofitable. However, the use of the word "cheap"
instead of "affordable" is more likely to improve your

You still need to split test to find out the answer in any
particular situation. But, why not start out with the most
likely words to be profitable in ad copy generally

Take a look at your current ad copy and see if you can find
any of the words in the "bad" list that have good
replacements in the "good" list. Run a split test and see
if your profitability increases. What can it hurt to put
some math on your side?

James D. Brausch is the creator of,
a step-by-step coaching membership site to help you build
an Internet business with residual income that will help
you QUit That Job! is based on James'
actual method of building his own business and real
research like you found in this article.

Some of the 'bad' words, such as 'cheap' jar on this side of the Atlantic but there is a lesson there too because most of our visitors come from the US - could we be falling between the two stools of a supposedly common language?

Some food for thought...

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