The Secret Power Of The Words “Just” and “Only” (And 6 Other Tips To Help You Write More Compelling Copy)

copywriting secrets

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Gail Axelrod at gaxelrod@drift.com.

We all write copy. Copywriting isn’t just for direct response marketers or ad men from the 1960s. Sales, marketing, customer success, and entrepreneurs, it doesn’t matter. From a cold prospecting email, to highlighting product updates to your best customers, the better you can write copy, the more successful you’ll be. Here are some tips I’ve picked up to write better copy that can help you out no matter your role.

Just and Only Are Very Dangerous Words

One thing I did early in my career, and I’ve seen countless others do is say something along the lines of, “I’m only an account coordinator” or “I’m just an SDR”. You’re an integral part of your team, and the words ‘just’ and ‘only’ greatly devalue yourself.

On the other hand, you can use these words to make your ask less intimidating.

  • Would you like to book a demo, it’s only 30 minutes?
  • Our pricing starts at just a dollar a day
  • Tickets are only $199
  • I only ate 6 cookies, it was just 300 calories

Learn and Discover Create Curiosity

If you’re getting caught up with an old friend over dinner and they say, do you know what I just learned? Nobody in the history of humanity has ever said no and goes back to eating their meal. Learning something is tactical and measurable as well, which makes it easier to process. Think about the last conference you went to, one of the first questions was likely; What were your biggest takeaways? or What did you learn? Learning helps to make things tangible.

The same goes for the word discover. Discovering things is exciting. Dinosaur bones, a new restaurant, a scientific breakthrough, a new piece of tech that gives your team a competitive advantage.

  • Discover a new way to do (hiring, sales, book demos, etc.)
  • Go behind the scenes to learn how Drift runs their chatbot playbooks
  • Marketing teams are learning a more efficient way to generate qualified leads

Use $100 Words Sparingly and With Purpose

Remember that student who had three highlighters and every book was a shade of yellow, orange, and pink? They didn’t really highlight anything. The same goes for $100 words like irresistible.

High emotion words, or $100 words as I like to call them, can be very persuasive but a couple will go a long way. If everything is irresistible, delightful, or flawless, nothing really is.

Exclusivity Creates Urgency

One of the hardest things to do is create urgency with real constraints. We’ve all seen the end of the month/end of the quarter deal that will end at the end of the month. It won’t. One of the best ways to create urgency is to make something exclusive.

  • This webinar is only available to our customers
  • Most marketers will ignore this blog post, but the ones who don’t will see the results
  • Join our insider newsletter for weekly tips and tricks
  • This mastermind dinner is reserved for customers on our top plan

Leverage the Trust You’ve Earned

There is a reason toothpaste commercials use dentists and cigarette commercials used to use doctors. They’re trustworthy experts! If you have an industry leader joining you on a webinar or contributing to an ebook, maximize their trust.

  • Highlight your case studies
  • What are industry experts saying
  • What are the accomplishments of the guest on your webinar, podcast, or ebook contributor
  • Have an expert answer questions through your Driftbot as a way to generate leads

The Medium is as Important as the Audience

Have you searched for a recipe and had to scroll through a life story of how the author discovered avocado toast? The reason for this is to pump up the content to help with their page ranking.

The way we write a tweet will be different than a text message. The way we write an email will be different than a proposal. The script of a webinar will be different than the script of a demo. Even if all of these things say the same thing.

  • Learn the nuances of each platform you’re writing on
  • Generally, shorter is better. One word sentences? Great!
  • Write with purpose, every sentence and every word should have purpose

Free is an Incredibly Powerful Word

Do you know why so many sales reps offer a “free” demo? Because it works! Free is one of those words we’re attracted to. Free beer, free shipping, double the order for free, free trial, or create a free account. People love free!

Free is also one of those words it’s easy to overuse. Of course, your demo is free, you’re trying to get people to come to your sales pitch!

  • Sell the benefit as being free. It’s not a webinar, it’s a free insider training course
  • Don’t devalue what you’re giving away. If you’re bringing on an SE or someone from your professional services team, let your prospect or customer know the value of what they’re getting for free
  • If you’re including something for free – itemize it on the quote then put FREE

These are some tips that have helped me improve my writing and communication skills immensely, in both sales and marketing. As more and more leaders are looking for excellent writers, I hope they’ll help you too, in your emails, proposals, ads, chatbots, and even on Slack, even if you don’t write copy in the traditional sense each day. If you want to get even better, I highly recommend checking out the Drift Insider course on copywriting here.

Get in touch with me on Twitter and LinkedIn to let me know how you’re using these newfound skills to your advantage – no matter what your job might be.

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