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Words That Sell By Richard Bayan

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Sell Typewriter

Notes from Richard Bayan’s handy dandy book called Words That Sell.

This is the revised and expanded edition with more than 6,000 entries to help you promote your products, services, ideas.  It’s enhanced, reorganized, significantly expanded, even though, as Bayan admits, the words that motivate the human spirit have remained relatively constant.

We’re still obsessed with status, security, comfort, fear, money, convenience.  Only, today, copywriting’s much more informal.  Contractions, slang, less lecturing, more attitude, and fewer exclamation marks, for instance.  Cool, let’s begin.

When You Write

1) Remember, you’re writing to sell.  To first persuade readers they need your product or service; and second, to motivate ’em to buy.  The most brilliant efforts are wasted if your audience can’t even figure out what product you’re pushing.

2) Rather than “See how great we are” go for “See what we can do for you.”  Show ’em how they’ll be happier, wealthier, more comfy, more secure.  Always write with their interests in mind.

3) Season your copy with helpful tips, curious facts, colorful phrases – anything to get them involved, interested, excited to keep going.

4) Don’t tell ’em your product’s fabulous, convince them.  Make a strong case for the conclusion you want them to come to on their own.

5) Be accurate.  Get the facts straight.  Truthful.  Never make any statements that can’t be substantiated.

6) Be specific.  Create vivid images with simple, observable details.  For example, would you rather eat a “frozen desert” or a “raspberry ice”?

7) Be organized.  Beginning, middle, end.  Your message must flow logically from headline to clincher.

8) Write for easy reading.  Your style should be clear, punchy, uncluttered, smooth, enjoyable.

9) Appeal to emotions over intellect.  Instead of head nods, go for gut feelings like: “Damn, I gotta have that.”

10) Don’t offend.  Keep a sunny disposition.  Don’t preach.  Aim to please.  That said, humor can be an effective tool as long as you’re careful with it.

11) Use testimonials and reviews.  Get permission first.

12) Ask for the order with a brief high-powered statement that impels them to buy and tells ’em how.

13) Revise and edit your work.  Cut out all dead wood.  Every word should pull its weight.

Alright, now for the meat.  For each section, I’ll list some of my favorite examples Bayan gives.  If you want the rest, go buy the book.

Part 1: Grabbers

Teasers

  • Free
  • Your free ___ is enclosed
  • No obligation ever
  • ___ days only
  • A ___ has been reserved in your name
  • Inside: ___
  • A personal message from ___
  • Photos inside
  • Price break
  • $___ in savings enclosed
  • Take an extra ___% off
  • Outrageous deal
  • Imagine life without ___
  • ___ reasons to ___
  • Startling news about ___

Free/Prize

  • Absolutely free
  • At no charge
  • Free gift with purchase
  • It’s yours to keep
  • It’s your bonus for ordering now
  • Accept this ___
  • This one’s on us
  • A $___ value – yours free
  • Take it – it’s yours

Sale/Discount

  • ___% off discount
  • Prices slashed
  • Prices guaranteed through ___
  • Lowest rates allowed by law
  • Comparable ___s currently sell for $___ or more

Trial Offer/No Obligation

  • No risk now, no risk later
  • Use it for a week in your own home
  • Say “yes” now, decide later
  • If you decide to keep it, pay just $___
  • No salesperson will call
  • We’ll buy it back – no questions asked

Heads/Slogans

  • Switch to ___
  • Turn your ___ into a ___
  • ___ fever
  • The ___ that makes other ___s look like toys
  • Genius at work
  • Child’s play
  • Your move
  • Sinful
  • Straight talk about ___
  • The only ___ you’ll ever need
  • ___ with confidence

Salutations/Invitations

  • Dear ___ client
  • Dear buyer
  • Dear ___ enthusiast
  • Dear ___ buff
  • Dear achiever
  • Get ready to enjoy ___
  • We request your presence
  • Your name has appeared on our select list of ___s
  • Special invitation for ___s only

Opening With A Question

  • Isn’t it time you ___?
  • Are you curious about ___?
  • How many times have you said to yourself, ___?
  • Remember the first time you ever ___?
  • Are you secretly afraid of ___?
  • Tired of empty promises from ___?
  • What’s the safest ___?
  • Have you ever thought about ___?

Opening With A Statement

  • Let me ask you a simple question
  • We’ll change your mind about ___
  • The results are in
  • It’s not every day that ___
  • Within 30 days, you could be ___
  • Believe it or not, ___
  • You’re in for a pleasant surprise
  • If you’re like most people, you probably ___
  • It’s a fact of life that ___
  • It’s never too late to ___
  • Let’s talk about why you need ___

Opening With A Challenge

  • Fasten your seat belt
  • Meet the ___
  • Recapture the ___
  • If you think you’re good enough, ___
  • For once in your life, ___
  • ___ like a millionaire

Snappy Transitions

  • That’s where ___ fits in
  • Imagine:
  • Fortunately, ___
  • Here’s how it works:
  • But first, ___
  • What does this mean for you?
  • Simply stated, ___
  • One thing’s for sure:
  • To show you what I mean, ___
  • And this is only the beginning!
  • But before I say any more, ___
  • Sounds incredible?
  • A miracle?
  • Now for the surprise:
  • Last but not least, ___
  • So remember:

All Purpose

  • Bargain
  • Now
  • You/your/yours
  • Famous
  • Avoid
  • Solve
  • By popular demand
  • It’s true!
  • The first ___
  • The only ___
  • At last:

Part 2: Descriptions And Benefits

Appealing

  • Delightful
  • Charming
  • Yummy
  • Hearty
  • Huggable
  • Picturesque
  • You’ll fall in love with ___
  • A gem

Authentic

  • Actual
  • The way ___ used to make it
  • Certified
  • Backed by ___
  • We’re the ones who ___
  • We started it all

Belonging/Membership

  • Mingle
  • Buddies
  • Your ticket to ___
  • Meet the movers and shakers
  • Swap stories with ___
  • You’ll join a very select group
  • We’ll treat you to these special perks:

Big/Many

  • Mammoth
  • Jumbo
  • Man-sized
  • Colossal
  • Towering
  • Lofty
  • The mother of all ___
  • Husky
  • Burly
  • A ___ bonanza
  • A bottomless supply of ___
  • ___ galore!
  • You get all this:

Choice/Control

  • Whatever your pleasure
  • Puts you in charge
  • You’re in control
  • Adapt it to your needs
  • You decide
  • Do it your way
  • We can handle any request

Comfortable

  • Soothing
  • Snug
  • Airy
  • Down-home
  • Country casual
  • Restful
  • Unhurried
  • Tranquil
  • Cushiony
  • Velvety
  • Cottony
  • Stretchy
  • It breathes
  • Like floating on a puffy cloud
  • It just feels right
  • Toasty-warm

Competitive

  • Scrappy
  • In-your-face
  • Daring
  • Tough-as-nails
  • Seasoned warriors
  • We take on the big boys
  • We consistently beat them at their own game

Complete/Thorough

  • All ___ included
  • It’s all here!
  • Definitive
  • Exhaustive
  • Meticulously prepared
  • Scrupulously researched
  • We’ve taken great pain to ___

Convenient

  • Practically runs itself
  • No more rummaging
  • No more standing in line
  • No more waiting
  • No more headaches
  • Say goodbye to ___
  • With the flick of a switch
  • Eliminates the need for ___
  • Intelligently designed to ___
  • Wherever and whenever

Distinguished/Status

  • Prize-winning
  • An icon
  • The Harvard of ___
  • The most talked about
  • The most imitated
  • The choice of connoisseurs
  • Preferred by people who make a difference
  • A symbol of ___
  • Identifies you as ___
  • Enjoy the view from the top
  • Isn’t it time you treated yourself to ___?

Durable/Solid

  • Beefy
  • Robust
  • Structurally solid
  • Ruggedly built
  • Scuff-proof
  • Can take a beating
  • Tough enough to ___
  • Scoffs at ___

Easy

  • Foolproof
  • Great for beginners
  • It’s a snap
  • It’s a cinch
  • All you do is ___
  • No fussing
  • No more struggling with ___
  • Jargon-free
  • So advanced it’s actually simple

Exciting/Stimulating

  • Spontaneous
  • Pulse-pounding
  • Spellbinding
  • Gripping
  • Riveting
  • Titillating
  • Sexy
  • Spicy
  • Racy
  • Sassy
  • Juiced
  • Wow!
  • A knockout
  • Slam-dunk
  • Tickles the mind
  • Rouses your senses

Experienced/Expert

  • Capable
  • Exacting
  • Veteran
  • A crack team of ___
  • Flair for ___
  • Endowed with ___
  • The stamp of creativity
  • Top-drawer talent
  • There’s simply no substitute for ___

Fabulous

  • Sublime
  • Majestic
  • Smokin’
  • A ___’s dream
  • Defies description

Fast

  • Brisk
  • In-a-flash
  • A same-day solution
  • Zips along
  • Scoots
  • Whizzes past
  • Whoosh!

Fresh/Wholesome

  • Pristine
  • Invigorating
  • Makes you feel brand-new
  • Untainted by ___

Fun/Cheerful

  • Hilarity
  • Jubilant
  • Feel-good
  • A joyride
  • A pleasure feast
  • Glee
  • Whoop it up
  • Belly laugh
  • Knee-slapping

Gift

  • A gift that will be used and appreciated
  • Impeccably correct
  • Won’t go back in the box
  • For every ___ aficionado

Good-Looking

  • Head-turning
  • Ravishing
  • Glowing
  • Sensuous
  • Big on looks
  • Haunting beauty
  • A visual explosion
  • Dapper

Healthful

  • Banishes pain
  • Eases tension
  • Stress-busting
  • Makes you feel good all over

Honest

  • Candid
  • Evenhanded
  • Plain English
  • Cold hard facts
  • We probe ___
  • We don’t pull punches

Improved

  • Beautified
  • Spruced up
  • The best just got better
  • Now with more ___

Indispensable

  • Incalculable
  • The ___ no home should be without
  • The heart of ___
  • The hub of ___
  • The nerve center of ___

Informative

  • Newsy
  • Mind-opening
  • Dishes the dirt
  • The answers you’ve always wanted
  • Hard-won wisdom
  • We bring it all into focus for you

Luxurious

  • Plush
  • Opulent
  • Posh
  • Swank
  • Palatial
  • Intricate detailing
  • Sinfully rich
  • Wraps you in glamour
  • For those who demand excellence

Made

  • Forged
  • Conceived
  • Made the old-fashioned way
  • Lovingly crafted
  • Masterfully sculpted

Money-Making

  • How rich people get that way
  • Sells itself!
  • Megabucks
  • Turn your free time into profits

Money-Saving

  • Thrifty
  • Invitingly-priced
  • No middleman!
  • How’s that for value?

New/Advanced

  • Sleek new
  • Up-to-the-minute
  • Makes the ___ obsolete
  • Technological wizardry
  • Don’t ___ today with yesterday’s ___

Plain/Natural

  • Plainspoken
  • Unfussy
  • Small-town
  • Neighborly

Pleasure/Satisfaction

  • Ecstasy
  • Heaven
  • Your spirit will go “ahhh”
  • Your passport to ___

Popular

  • ___’s favorite ___
  • The ___ Age
  • Everybody’s talking about ___
  • A box office smash
  • As big as Elvis
  • You can’t argue with success

Powerful

  • Gut-wrenching
  • Bone-crushing
  • Intense
  • Mighty
  • Erupts
  • Packs a punch
  • Never lets up
  • Heavy artillery
  • Juju
  • Primitive power
  • Built like a tank
  • Like a charging rhino
  • An Arctic blast
  • Stoke your inner fires

Reliable

  • Unerring
  • Comes to grips with ___
  • Will serve you faithfully
  • Made to our exacting specifications

Results/Performance

  • Zaps
  • Foils
  • Stamps out
  • Halts
  • Won’t loaf on the job
  • Comes through in the crunch
  • Whisks away ___

Romantic

  • Smoldering
  • Smitten
  • Crackling fireplace
  • A sultry samba
  • Rain on the roof
  • Surrender to the spell of ___

Security/Peace Of Mind

  • Strictly confidential
  • Shelters you from ___
  • Safe and painless
  • Avoid embarrassing mistakes
  • Why take chances with ___?
  • Sleep secure
  • ___ with confidence

Self-Improvement

  • Recapture your ___
  • Go for it!
  • Pick up vital new skills
  • Skills you’ll use your whole life long
  • Wake up the ___ inside you
  • You’ll feel great about yourself
  • Win admiring glances

Sensory Qualities

  • Pastel shades
  • Vivid hues
  • A rainbow of color
  • Balmy
  • Crinkly
  • Stubbly
  • Oily
  • Buttery
  • A fine mist
  • Frothy
  • Salty sea air
  • Tart
  • Succulent
  • Fizzing
  • Hissing

Service/Help

  • A real lifesaver
  • Our job is to help you ___
  • A good friend to have by your side
  • Each of our team is hand-picked
  • At ___, we do all that and more

Sexy

  • Flirty
  • Scandalous
  • Shapely
  • Ripe
  • Fondle
  • Goddess
  • Hottie
  • Like a long, slow kiss
  • Like a slow dance in the dark
  • The sway of her hips
  • Sun and sand
  • Decidedly sinful

Small/Less

  • Mini ___
  • Nano ___
  • Cute little ___
  • Pocket-sized
  • Purse-sized
  • Lightens your load
  • Small wonder

Sophisticated/Smart

  • Worldly
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Suave
  • Drop-dead cool
  • Brainpower
  • The thinking person’s ___

Stylish

  • Impeccably tailored
  • Low-key
  • Sporty
  • Splashy
  • To die for
  • Spiffy
  • Street-smart
  • A dash of panache
  • The epitome of elegance
  • It’s now.  It’s wow.

Suitable

  • Just right
  • Just the thing for ___
  • Blends beautifully with your ___

Superior

  • Five-star quality
  • Unequaled
  • Outshines
  • The crown jewel

Timely

  • On time, all the time
  • It’s about time ___
  • Just when you thought ___

Traditional/Classic

  • Time-honored
  • Centuries-old
  • Nostalgic
  • Never to be forgotten
  • Souvenir
  • Remember how you loved ___?

Unusual

  • Slightly eccentric
  • Maverick
  • Mystifying
  • As individual as your fingerprints
  • Delightfully different

Useful/Practical

  • Adaptable
  • Multipurpose
  • A rugged performer
  • As functional as it is handsome

Valuable

  • Integral
  • Prized
  • Revered
  • The finest ___ of its kind

Part 3: Clinchers

Persuading Your Audience

  • You get all these benefits:
  • You can’t lose
  • You owe it to your family to ___
  • We stand behind our claims
  • Does all this sound too good to be true?
  • Remember, time is running out
  • You’ll wonder why you waited
  • The sooner you act, the sooner your ___ begins
  • There’s just one conclusion:

Minimizing Risk

  • Send no money!
  • Test our ___ for ___ days – then decide!
  • You don’t risk a cent
  • If you decide it’s not for you, pay nothing and keep the ___

The Moment Of Decision

  • Intrigued?
  • Convinced?
  • It’s time for action
  • We’re expecting you
  • Your move
  • Put our ideas to work
  • You be the judge

The Call To Action

  • I urge you to act at once
  • I’ll start service as soon as I hear from you
  • Right now, I’m inviting you to ___

The P.S.

  • Did you know that ___?
  • Let me emphasize that ___
  • To claim your free ___, simply ___
  • Don’t forget:
  • There’s even more:

The Lift Note

  • If you’ve decided not to order, please read this brief note
  • Frankly, I’m puzzled
  • Maybe you don’t believe ___
  • Is that what’s holding you back?

Guarantees

  • 100% satisfaction or your money back
  • We back it up with our ___ guarantee
  • You have my word on it
  • You have my promise
  • I stake my reputation on it

Order Information

  • Yes!  Please send me ___
  • Yes!  I want to enjoy ___
  • Rush me the ___

Following Through

  • Congratulations!  You’ve made a smart choice
  • Welcome aboard!
  • Here’s how to get started:
  • You’ve joined over ___ other smart ___s who ___

Part 4: Special Strategies

Enhancing Your Company’s Image

  • Our distinct style of ___
  • We don’t play games with ___
  • Despite what you have heard, ___
  • We’re familiar with every nuance of ___
  • You can rely on ___ for ___

Justifying A High Price

  • For people who can have whatever they want
  • Because you’re worth it
  • The Rolls-Royce of ___
  • A practical luxury
  • Just this once, let yourself go wild

Knocking The Competition

  • Don’t be deceived by ___
  • Pale replicas of ___
  • Fly-by-night
  • Shoddy
  • Questionable
  • Dull
  • Boring
  • Inflated claims made by ___
  • Other ___s may try to copy us, but ___
  • We’ve caught the competition napping

Using Demographics To Impress

  • Serious people
  • Committed to their careers and families
  • Financially astute
  • A most attractive audience
  • Aware

Flattering The Reader

  • Doers
  • Adventurous
  • Trendsetting
  • For people with high standards
  • You’re the toughest critic we know
  • We refuse to insult your intelligence

Selling Yourself: Personal Traits

  • Accurate
  • Alert
  • Capable
  • Dynamo
  • Fluent in ___
  • Good listener
  • Ivy League
  • Poised
  • Sound instincts
  • Solid values
  • Spirited
  • Stamina
  • Upbeat

Selling Yourself: Achievements

  • Aided
  • Attended
  • Broadened
  • Headed
  • Negotiated
  • Oversaw
  • Pinpointed
  • Spearheaded
  • Trimmed
  • Worked with

Selling Your Ideas

  • Forecast
  • Inaugurate
  • Measurable
  • Paradoxical
  • Payoff
  • Recoup
  • Status
  • Wisdom

“Puffspeak”; Alternative

  • At this point in time; now
  • Brand awareness; popularity
  • Conceptualize; think
  • Cost-effective; profitable
  • Downsizing; layoffs
  • Optimal; ideal
  • Parameters; limits
  • Prioritize; rank
  • Terminated; fired

Wordy Expressions; Alternative

  • At the present time; now
  • At that point in time; then
  • Subsequent to; after
  • Owing to the fact that; because
  • Pertaining to; about
  • In the event that; if
  • Come to a decision as to; decide
  • Be cognizant of; know
  • In close proximity; near
  • He is a man who; he
  • Is of the opinion; believes

Summary

A computer companion.  Keep it close, take a peek whenever you peck the keyboard.  Also see my book bullets for The Boron Letters.

About the author: Cory Johnson likes hip-hop, comedy, cold beer, curvy women and writing. His net worth is $11 million. Here’s how he did it.

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