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Magic Words and Colors to Elevate Your Marketing in 2021

Steve Pulcinella
Steve Pulcinella
Growth Marketer & Chief Digital Officer at ProspectsPLUS! INC.

Implement these words and colors into your marketing plan to get the most out of your direct response campaigns.

Do you know who David Copperfield, David Blaine, Penn & Teller, and Lance Burton are? They are all world-famous magicians – sleight of hand, illusion, card tricks, etc. They often use magic words, "abracadabra" being the most famous among them.  

Do you realize that, as business owners and marketers, you have your own magic words? 

Pulling a prospect or repeat client toward your marketing campaign is easier when you use language that the brain and eyes both instantly understand. By using these words, you are not tricking people into seeing one thing and believing another; you are just tempting them to use your product. When you incorporate these five magic words or phrases into your copy, your sales might just grow like a beanstalk.

The 5 magic words

'Free'

Who doesn't love "free" everything? The word "free" in an offer is brain candy to buyers, whether it's grocery store samples, every fourth tire or every eighth window they buy. If you can afford the giveaway, and it is appropriate for what you ultimately want to sell the prospect or client, go for it.

'No obligation'

When you use the phrase "no obligation" in an offer, you are telling your prospect, "I expect nothing from you in return." Some believe it, while others might be skeptical. But for those who engage with your call to action, you must have a strategy for the next steps that does not involve their commitment, even if you're giving them something free just for listening to your pitch or attending your presentation. The strength of your product or service should be enough for them to want to move forward. 

'Details inside' or 'see inside'

Stoke a little curiosity in your product or service. Multi-page postcards aren't a thing, so this idea works best on landing pages when you can easily direct your prospect to exactly what you want them to read or see. If you prefer direct mail marketing, though, you can still tempt the prospect by crafting the postcard with the right language, visuals, and promise to cure them of the pain point they didn't know they had – but are now curious to learn more about.

'Limited time'

You can use this phrase to target segments of your audience that have been slower to respond in the past, or if you're offering a discount on a product or service, and you can't afford to lose money on whatever it is for, say, an entire year. Put a deadline on a sale or promotion, make it concrete, and stand your ground. But monitor the results: Do you need to extend (or shorten) the deadline the next time you try the promo? If one more week of the special gets you four more clients, does that work with your expected ROI for the campaign? 

'Announcing,' 'at last' or 'just released'

The implication of these phrases is that your prospect or client is on the front end of something no one else knew before you just told them.  Exclusivity and the chance to be on the leading edge of an opportunity, trend, or even knowledge plays well with consumers and can boost your response rate.

You can find plenty of tips about direct response campaigns and postcard marketing across the web, but getting prospects and clients to buy your product or service doesn't require a tuxedo or wand – and it doesn't in any way imply using trickery to get sales. Because the words you use have influence, it only makes sense to use the best, most impactful, and most magnetic words you can.

Did I mention that colors also have an impact on response rates and the success of a direct marketing campaign?

Magic colors

If you had to guess, how many colors would you say there are? I was extremely curious about that, so I did what everyone does: I Googled it. There are actually 18 decillion colors. I have zero idea what a decillion is (I should Google that too!), but I know it has to be a lot

The art world has moved way beyond the giant Crayola 64 I used to make my masterpieces. You can get away with using just one or two colors – think black letters on a white background. But if you want the design to pop, convey creativity, and pull the reader into your offering, you must make it visually interesting for them.

Robert Bly, a giant in this industry, has definite opinions on the colors below:

  • Black: Powerful and sleek; seen as luxurious and sophisticated.
  • Green: Associated with wealth; the easiest color for the eye to process. Used with finance or entertainment companies, as well as for eco-friendly products.
  • Yellow: Optimistic and youthful; often used to grab a viewer's attention.
  • Purple: Soothing and calm (think lavender baby wash or lotion); often relates to beauty or anti-aging products and services.
  • Blue: Creates the sensation of trust and security; often used by banks and businesses.
  • Pink: Romantic and feminine; often used to market products and services for women and young girls.
  • Red: Energy; increases heart rate and creates a sense of urgency.
  • Orange: Aggressiveness; used as a call to action and attention-grabber.

Do you agree with his opinions? Do you have a specific feeling about what each of those colors is said to represent? Have you noticed them, either consciously or subconsciously, in the mailings you receive every day? Are you using any of these colors – alone or in combination – in your marketing campaigns today?

There are certainly many more colors that you can take advantage of when you're putting together a direct response campaign. Whether you want to match the colors to your logo, the season (e.g., autumnal colors to promote your annual fall giveaway), or your product, color is a powerful tool to tie everything together. It helps the reader make an immediate connection to what you're trying to tell them, pushing them to read more and receive the messages their brain is trying to pass along. How can anyone ignore "CLOSEOUT SALE!" in big, bold letters? The reader will instantly have questions: "A closeout sale for what? When is it? How long will it last? Tell me more." 

You have to consider a host of things in marketing: the size, the copy or wording, whether to use pictures or not, etc. Many people take the colors they use for granted, sometimes thinking of them only after the fact. Don't do that. 

Much the same way people associate colors with specific memories (such as the colors of their wedding bouquet), seasons (such as burnt oranges and burgundies for fall), or feelings (such as green for envy), the colors you use in your marketing will become an unconscious association with your company.

That is what using the right colors and words can do – associate you and your business or opportunity distinctly, powerfully, and positively in the minds of your audience. 

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
Steve Pulcinella
Steve Pulcinella
business.com Member
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Business owner, brand specialist and digital media expert. Growth Marketer and multi-channel implementer. Google Certified Partner, Agile Project Manager, Technical Architect, Programmatic Media Buyer, Designer, and Developer.