Actions speak louder than words, but words are usually how we introduce our product or service to prospects. So those words have to be powerful. They have to make people act.

When it comes to email marketing, we often think that it’s all about creativity. If we cut through the general buzz, we’ve got a better chance at making an impression. The problem with overly creative email messages is that they challenge us to think – at least think harder than we want.

Marching towards cognitive overload

We’ve only got so much thinking capacity. Combine that with the fact that we’ll get an average of 120 emails by the end of the day. It pushes us towards what’s known as cognitive overload. It’s when we just have too much input, and the idea of having to process creatively worded emails is more than we want to deal with. Just tell me what you want me to do with this information, our brains are yelling. There are five words that help chart that course, which is to get someone to engage.

Now

Now defines a time. Your brain gets that. No further cognitive effort is necessary. Now also invokes urgency and action. Use “Now” in your subject line to increase open rates. Put it in your call to action (CTA) to increase click-through rates.

You or Your

Email marketing is usually based on the assumption that you have permission to communicate with the recipient. Take advantage of that relationship and avoid third-person writing. Personalize the message by using “you” and “your.” There’s only one thing more powerful in getting attention, and that’s using a person’s name.

Thanks

Politeness counts, and “thanks” is a short word that has the ability to generate brand loyalty. Use it to humanize your company. It communicates that you appreciate the time – and the cognitive effort – they put into reading your email message.

Free

In his book Predictively Irrational, author Dan Ariely writes that humans are programmed for loss aversion. We harbor a natural instinct to go after easily obtainable things. What could be more obtainable than free? We’ve learned to guard ourselves from obligation. Use this word to give the green light for taking action.

Easy

Our brains are already on the lookout for anything that’s going to contribute to cognitive overload. We really don’t know how much we’ll have to think until we start reading an email, so coming across the word “easy” early on in the message gives us reason to relax. Use it as a subheading or put it in bold. Even better, make it a part of your CTA.

These five words have three things in common: they’re specific, clear, and brief. Learn more about how we can help you get the right message in front of the right target with our suite of services.