No, don’t ignore this powerful word when copywriting

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No, don’t ignore this powerful word when copywriting



Did I get your attention immediately with the headline? If I did, you are like most others in the world. For a moment, replace that headline with the following:

A highly effective word when copywriting”

Does it have the same impact as the original headline? Probably not. The reason for that has to do with how our brain processes certain words. Cognitive experts have proved that we are more sensitive to words that have negative connotations than to words that have positive connotations.

It has to do with our survival instinct. In order to protect us from lurking dangers in the early days of humanity, our brain conditioned itself to be more susceptible to threats. Despite our modern advances and largely safe environments, our brain processes any negative information as a life threatening situation.

So, what’s the most powerful word in copywriting?

It’s NO. Yes, the very word at the beginning of this blog post’s headline. According to Psychology Today, fear provoking words like ‘no’, ‘illness’, ‘death’ etc. immediately trigger a worry response in our brain. When we worry, our natural reaction is to make ourselves safer.

Imagine the possibilities of ‘No’- a simple two letter word that you probably use every day. Visualize the different ways you can influence your customers’ brains; think about your sky-rocketing sales- all with the help of this humble word.

Did you actually start imagining all that for a moment? If you did, you just discovered another powerful word in copywriting- Imagine!

The word ‘Imagine’ is not processed as a command by our brain. Instead, it is seen as something fun, like a game.

Thus, when you ask someone to imagine rather than buy, you get a brain that’s more receptive to your words.

Make them imagine the consequences of buying or not buying something

Genetically, we are predisposed to playing it safe. When you ask your customers to picture how comfortable their life would be if they buy your product, you immediately tap into their brain’s predisposition to look for safe, comfortable havens.

On the contrary, if you ask them to picture how miserable their life would be without your product, you are again forcing their brain to look for the safer option, which is, to buy your product.

Look at the most popular marketing campaigns by financial services. You will notice how they subtly instill fear in our brains and make us look for options that will safeguard our future.

The next time you sit down to write headlines for your Facebook ad copies, try using ‘no’. In all probability, it will have an immediate impact.


Vaibhav B.

Vaibhav B.

London, England, United Kingdom

A proficient writer with more than 5 years of experience in digital content creation, who has worked with prestigious clients such as Educomp in the past. Well-known in ghostwriting circles, he now has a byline to his name as well. He has created content for children's books, ...

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