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Words That Make Or Lose Money
Feb 1, 2009
During the recent holiday shopping season, I noticed many stores using terms that seemed to contradict their intended purpose (to generate sales). As I continued to encounter them, it reminded me of a book I read years ago that said words are grouped into two categories: those which lose money and those words which make money.
Since that time, I have carried a partial list of terms from each category, and review them whenever I write. Sales copy should be persuasive and enticing. It should speak to the visitor and encourage them that what you offer is exactly what they want. Anything less may end up jeopardizing a sale.
In reviewing ecommerce sites this holiday shopping season, I noticed a number of words that fall under the "lose money" list being used without regard. In some cases, it may seem unavoidable, I realize this. However, take careful note of the two lists in this article. They outline 14 words which lose money and 200 words that make money. Each list is an invaluable tool you can use to gauge how you have been speaking to your customers. With just a few adjustments in your wording, you can turn what might have been a lost sale into a closed sale.
14 Words That Lose Money
- Price. This may be one of those unavoidable terms, and, in fact, is one that seems to be expected on e-commerce sites. However, it might be worth testing different terms, or leaving this one out completely. Instead of saying "Price: $xxx," consider just listing the price as, "$xxx." Again, this depends on the site.
- Cost. Possibly another unavoidable term on an ecommerce site, but one that merits testing some substitutes.
- 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 these terms, consider phrases such as "Log in," "For your convenience, enter your details below," or, "For faster checkout, enter your information below."
- Buy. Do you have buttons on your site that say "Buy Now?" Consider altering them 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 well.
- Deal. Instead of saying "Weekly deals," or "monthly deals," etc., consider rephrasing to use the word "Sales," or, "Specials." The word "deals," could imply the products on the site might be of lesser quality. 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.
- 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.
- Charge. Does your site say things like "Charge information," "Charge card," "Charge your account," etc.? If so, think about rewording to something more user friendly such as "Billing Information," or, "Credit Card," etc.
- Try. When cross-selling products, do you say things like, "Try these other products you may like?" Adjust the copy to something like, "Other items of similar interest," or, "Other products you may also like," etc.
- 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."
- Lose. Under the right circumstances, saying, "You cannot lose," or, "You have nothing to lose," might mean you have already lost. You can turn this around by focusing instead on the benefits the product offers to the customer. Consider rephrasing to state a bullet list of customer benefits from the product instead.
- Complicated. Instead of describing a product as "not complicated," say it is, "easy to use."
- Obligation. Watch out for the double whammy, "Risk Free, No Obligation," statements.
The above is only a partial listing of words to look out for. They are the terms I most frequently see misused on e-commerce sites.
200 Words that Make Money
I placed in bold those words which you might want to consider using in various areas of your ecommerce store.
The results you get from use of the various words will vary based on your target market, user demographic, product offering and other factors. The key is to test different combinations to determine which work best for your market. Use your imagination to find terms that more appropriately speak from the customer's perspective and fit your needs, but don't over do it, that can have an unpleasant effect.
Eric Leuenberger is an ecommerce conversion expert and author of a leading eCommerce Optimization blog (www.zencartoptimization.com). He coaches etailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers on how to increase their website sales through skillfully crafted online paid search advertising, targeted marketing strategies and website sales strategies. He can be contacted at 1-877-481-2323 or visit www.enhancedconcepts.com for more information.
Topic: Business Strategies
Article ID: 926
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