Small Words = A Big Difference in Marketing Copy
You might not spend much time thinking about the emotional impact of everyday words, but when you hear or read them, they have a subconscious effect on you.
For instance, look at the difference between “eager” and “anxious.”
“Eager” creates an image of happy anticipation, while “anxious” indicates that you’re apprehensive or worried.
Here are two more pairs that can make a big difference in your readers’ response:
Let’s begin with “if” and “when.”
When you write “If you want an agent who will …”
You convey an entirely different thought than you do when you say: “When you want an agent who will…”
“If” assumes some doubt on your part. In other words, the person may or may not need or want you.
“When” assumes that at some point they will want or need you.
Here’s another example:
“If you call, I’ll either answer immediately or return your call within 1 hour.”
“When you call I’ll either answer immediately or return your call within 1 hour.”
Again, there’s an assumption inherent in both sentences. The first is that “You might not call,” the second is that “You will call – it’s just a matter of when.”
Of course there are times when “If” is appropriate, because there really is an “if” involved. But it doesn’t hurt to use “when” anyway. That might apply when you’re talking with or writing to a person who has not yet made a firm decision to relocate to your area.
And who knows, saying “when” just might be the subconscious trigger that causes that prospect to choose your city over another one.
Psychology is a funny thing…
Take, for instance, the words would and could:
“Would” and “could” are important words in fundraising copy, but can be important to you in real estate as well – especially when you’re making a request for feedback or testimonials.
Consider these sentences:
“Could you fill out the enclosed form?”
This one is easy to answer negatively. They could, but you haven’t actually asked them to do it, so why bother?
“Would you please fill out the enclosed form?”
This is a direct request – not to do it means saying “No, I won’t.” (How rude!)
So – Watch your words – you don’t want anyone’s subconscious working against you!