Copywriters need to write persuasively. They need words that make the reader take action, be convinced, be in agreement, or order something. The copywriter needs words that help to promote products, ideas, and services. In other words, copywriters need words that sell.
Richard Bayan’s book happens to be called Words That Sell
, and it is an excellent resource for finding just the right word. It is organized into lists within four main categories: Grabbers, Descriptions and Benefits, Clinchers, and Special Strategies.
Let’s say we have a new product, and need a way to spice that up in the copy. Just saying “New and Improved” isn’t exciting enough anymore, but a quick look at the Descriptions and Benefits section of the contents reveals there is a list for New/Advanced. Perfect, because now we have literally dozens of ways to convey newness.
With over 6,000 entries on over 75 lists, this book is a treasure trove of suggestions for not only copywriters, but anyone needing to work with sales or copy, including webmasters, marketers, businessmen, advertisers, salesmen, and others.
In addition to the word lists, this book has some useful additional resources. There is a short crash course in the basics of good copywriting, and an overview of the various categories of copy, such as self mailers and direct mail. The appendix contains a section on “Puffspeak” with alternatives (don’t use “effectuate” when you really mean “bring about”), and another on “Wordy Expressions” ( such as using “at the present time” instead of “now”).
The additional sections on Commonly Misspelled Words, Commonly Confused Words, and a useful appendix of related readings are quite useful. Perhaps best of all, the detailed Key Word Index at the end makes the book even more practical and easy to use. Need another word for “different,” for example? The index quickly points us at the list for “Unusual” which has many similar variations on the term.
|Words that Sell
is a valuable addition to any copywriter’s library, and is a recommended resource.