A Headline Writer's Toolkit: The 12 Most Powerful Words in Advertising

As far as copywriters are concerned, the best thing to come out of Yale might be the famous study that once pegged the 12 most powerful words in English-language advertising. As follows:

  • You
  • Save
  • Results
  • Health
  • Love
  • Proven
  • Money
  • New
  • Easy
  • Safety
  • Discovery
  • Guaranteed

And most would tack on "free" for good measure.

Working words like these into your copy can definitely make benefit-laden headlines even stronger.

But a warning: Magic words may have power … but, like taking aspirin for a brain tumor, they're not a cure-all for limp copy or weak products. Consider the big picture first. Good headlines clarify good marketing messages.

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Published: July 7, 2003

1 Response to “A Headline Writer's Toolkit: The 12 Most Powerful Words in Advertising”

  1. Here's a headline that uses all 12 words. Don't think it's any good, though:

    You can enjoy improved health and a superior love-life with this easy, proven, guaranteed, new discovery! What’s more, if you order today (in complete safety) you can save a lot of money!

    Guest (Graham)

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