Words Giving a Statistical Advantage to Marketing

James Brausch… or one of his interns… posted today on the statistical consequences of hype. The conclusion was that one man’s hype is another’s enthusiasm. It really depends on the words because people can’t hear your enthusiasm through the computer or paper.

The reason I found this notable is that several of the words that could be associated with hype were ranked with the statistical analysis software James created. A while back, I did the same thing. I took John Carlton’s list of "Power Words" and put them through the same tool. I was surprised by what I found.

If you Google "most powerful words" without the quotes you’ll find a few links to the list of words called the 12 Most Powerful Words in the English Language. One source attributes them to Duke. Another to Yale. I’ll show you what I mean.

You -6

Money 3

Save 16

New -7

Easy -9

Love -4

Discovery 51

Results 21

Health -28

Proven -53

Guarantee 51

Free -27

The numbers that follow these most powerful words are whether they correlate positively or negatively to persuasive sales copy. On that list we end up with only 2 real power words, 2 moderately powerful words, a few that aren’t so hot and 3 you want to avoid in your copy.

How did Carlton’s word list stand up? Out of about 600+ words that ended up being significantly positive or negative, almost 400 were positive and over 200 were negative. Who would have guessed? Before Glyphius, we all did.

Yes, I realize there was testing before Glyphius. How accurate were those test results? Were we testing one word at a time? How accurate would that be? And that’s a point in time result. After a couple of years of seeing ads on the web people probably started gravitating toward different words.

Who would have guessed that "free" would end up a loser?

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