Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Power of a Single Word

The other day I was involved in an email thread about bulk mailing. While we on the thread generally agreed that bulk mailing was a bulk waste of time I had brought up a process I had used with some degree of success. This process involved sending out post-cards with only one word on them. My theory for doing this was that a post card with one word on it can not be denied, that someone can't pick the card up and not read the one word as they throw it into the trash. With this action I have gained brain-space, even if only for a fraction of a second, I got in through the noise, my "word" was in their brain.

"So what?" you might ask. What does this do for you?

Well consider that you do it a couple of times. That word becomes an accepted data-point. One way to look at it is brand recognition, you know that brand word. Maybe you don't know anything about it but you know the word, it is familiar and in that familiarity it becomes comfortable and perhaps non-threatening. But it comes with a question. What is it?

Remember the book/movie "The Manchurian Candidate"? A post hypnotic set of commands is activated with a single word. Perhaps this is the reverse, a post-hypnotic curiosity is activated by the word.

So you cold-call the individual you sent the cards to and say the "word" in the introduction, the first words you get out before they hang the phone up. Could this stop them from closing their mind? Could this keep the door open long enough to get a second or third word in? Could they be curious enough to ask what it all means? Could you have a dialog as a result? Could it lead to a sale?

One word. What word would you choose?


TKEGroup said...


Subbu said...

You make an excellent point.

A few comments/questions:
- Should this be a single word or can this be 3-4 words?
- Could this word be about the product you are selling or its associations (maybe using a well known brand as the word - say you are selling a PC, you can use the processor brand like "Intel/AMD" or if its an accessory to say an iphone, use the word "iphone/apple")
- Sometimes, if the product/service comes with something free, then the best word to use is "FREE" or "get ******* FREE"

Any comments?