Words that don’t help you sell

Words have an enormous power.

A wrong word has caused wars, not to mention the number of relationships words have broken, also due to those words that haven’t been said.

So I don’t think I need to convince you of their importance when selling on the internet.

Humans are social animals, we use language to communicate and influence people’s behaviour.

That’s why the words you choose to sell with your business can lead to a great success or a resounding failure.

Words suggest sensations, they bring back memories, good and bad, and they can nudge us or not to carry out a certain action.

So, if you want to communicate something concrete with your product or service, you need to evaluate which impact those words you choose will have on your prospects.

Here’s a short guide to help you identify those words that don’t help you to sell, either because they are weak and mean nothing, or because they lack in credibility.

We will also see others which have been used so often they’ve become flat and have lost all their meaning, so it’s better not to use them.

Best is to avoid cliches and try to show your brand’s personality in a clear and simple way, without too far-fetched words, so everyone can understand the essence of the message.

In this guide I also give you examples to replace those words that aren’t helping for others that have a greater impact and help you achieve your goal: to attract the attention of your ideal customer and make her choose you.

Are you ready?

Let’s see those boring words that don’t help you at all.

Free Copywriting Guide


I know it’s tempting to use expressions like “the best saddle for your bike” “the most comfortable mattress on the market” “the easiest app to use”, etc. because you do think your product is the best on the market.

But when a person who doesn’t know your product reads expressions like these, they become suspicious and picture a huckster talking, in the pejorative sense of the word; thoughts like “Of course, what else would you say since you’re the one selling it” and the like come to mind.

Superlatives aren’t credible and don’t say any good about the level of imagination and communication of the writer.

There are other more plausible ways to convey the exceptionality of your product without resorting to superlatives:

Convey the benefits of your product or service and write powerful customer testimonials.

If instead of you being the one who claims how incredible your product is, it’s a customer, it will already be much more credible.

Because that customer has nothing to gain from it and if he says that your mattress is the best on the market, the person who reads it will take it into account and will pay more attention to it than if you say so.


Take advantage of those powerful testimonials from your customers speaking wonders about your product, and of course don’t exaggerate them, because then we would be in the same situation.

They have to be credible.

Another way to say that your product is the best thing on the market today is to provide some data and details of its features and benefits.

For example, if what you sell is an online Spanish course, you can offer data on the percentage of success in the official Spanish exams.

Or the fact that it’s the only course that has individual tutorials, or the completion average, to show how effective it is, since once people start it they don’t quit.

This kind of palpable data is what is going to convince the reader that your course is really the best thing they are going to find on the internet, better than just using superlatives.

Think about what makes your product or service stand out from others and make sure you communicate it well, with tangible details.

These words don't help you sell. Avoid them and you'll have more chances of converting more leads into customers. #copywriting #SmalBiz #DigitalMarketing Share on X

Rounded numbers

We read all the time expressions like “More than 1000 customers use it”, “More than 500 companies have already chosen us”.

But rounded numbers aren’t credible. They give the impression we’ve chosen them at random.

However, if you use a real number, such as “1356 customers have already downloaded our app” or “586 companies have chosen us” it’ll be much more credible because it’s specific.

Copywriting is all about being specific. Spicificity is much more compelling than being vague.

It goes without saying that we shouldn’t lie and exaggerate the real number.

It isn’t a moral practice and, nowadays with the access to tons of data on the Internet, we may even be discovered easily.

And there’s nothing more efficient to destroy customers’ trust and sink a business than to be caught lying.


In literature, to use a variety of adjectives is what will often endow a passage with poetry and literary beauty. Like in this example, from The Time Machine:

Time traveller (because it is convenient to call him that when talking about him) exposed us to a mysterious question. His grey eyes gleamed with sparkles, and his face, usually pale, was lighted and animated. The fire burned brightly and the soft glow of the incandescent lamps, in the form of silver lilies, caught fire in the bubbles that flashed and rose into our cups.

However, in digital language, adjectives are tedious most of the times, because they slow down the rhythm and most of the time don’t contribute much to the message.

Digital language, and especially the one used to sell or educate, must be quick and precise in order to hook the reader from the first moment. Let’s see an example:

Red car, very long and powerful, which runs flush with the road and whose appearance is magnificent, impressive and luxurious.

In the previous sentence there are too many adjectives, it slows down the message and it makes the attention wander away. How could we rewrite it?

High-end sports car, whose appearance causes fascination and desire.

Digital language has to quickly generate an emotion so we don’t lose the reader’s attention.

I’m not saying that you should completely avoid using adjectives.

Sometimes they may be necessary, but you shouldn’t use them a lot.

Try to replace them with verbs and nouns that better convey what you want to say.

These words don't help you sell. Avoid them and you'll have more chances of converting more leads into customers. #copywriting #SmalBiz #DigitalMarketing Share on X


Like adjectives, adverbs slow down the rhythm.

Quickly, correctly, probably, badly, well, a lot, a little, etc.

They are words that complement verbs and adjectives to give them a greater meaning but turn the text dense.

While they can help to give a greater precision in the description and to intensify the impact, the reality is that they make the text soggy.

And you know, the more dense a text is, the fewer chances the reader will stay to read it to the end.

People are in a hurry so you have to make it easy for them not to go elsewhere.

Replace adverbs with action verbs that give the message a precise meaning or an adjective that replaces two words.

This is another of the premises of digital language: you should save on characters and say the same thing using as few words as possible.

Let’s look at some examples:

Instead of saying “walk very fast”, you can say “hurry”.

Instead of saying “very nice”, you can replace it with “special”.

Focus on saying with as few words as possible what you want to convey to your prospects, using words that grab the attention and provoke a feeling.

Another example:

“Our designs are incredibly attractive”

Better say:

“Designs that leave a mark”

These words don't help you sell. Avoid them and you'll have more chances of converting more leads into customers. #copywriting #SmalBiz #DigitalMarketing Share on X

Hackneyed Words

Some expressions are used so often that they have lost all their meaning and make your prospects run away.

We hear a lot – especially in advertising and digital marketing – that originality is overrated.

Nothing has come out of nowhere.

Every creation has been inspired by other things that already existed, moreover, every artist has relied on works they admire to project their creativity and produce their own work.

Austin Kleon nailed this concept in his famous book Steal Like an Artist. 

However, there are expressions that someone devised at a given moment which worked quite well back then, but by hearing them millions of times later, they have lost their power.

Sometimes people repeat expressions thinking they sound professional and convincing, but in reality, they aren’t, moreover, they produce the opposite effect, they make people yawn.

Let me give you an example.

Which of these 2 sentences do you think is more persuasive?

“Aki mattress, the firmest on the market”


“Aki mattress, even your children jumping won’t deform it.”

That’s right.

The first sentence conveys nothing because it’s an expression that has been used hundreds of times, while the second is original and provokes an emotion.

When reading, it comes to our mind, either the image of us jumping on our beds when we were little, or that of our children if we have them.

Let me give you another example to settle the concept.

Which of these phrases is more convincing?

“We offer excellent customer service.”


“Do you have any doubts? Call us at 0856 12 521. We will answer in less than 1 minute. Guaranteed”.

Think of concrete examples or situations to demonstrate what you say without resorting to hackneyed expressions that convey nothing.

Your customers (and your income) will thank you.

Conversion copywriter contact

Spelling mistakes

I’ve left the most important point for the end so, if you forget all the others, you can at least keep this one.

Pay attention to your spelling as if your life depended on it.

People no longer read books and communicate through WhatsApp by cutting words and neglecting spelling.

But, let me tell you something.

You can lose a sale if the person who has landed on your website sees spelling mistakes in the copy, simply because he will lose all respect for you.

Not only do we buy a product because we need it or like it, but because the brand that sells it seems serious and conveys trust.

Would you really trust someone who writes “definetely” or “acomodate”?

I bet you won’t, so pay close attention to how you write.

There’s a vast variety of resources that make spelling easier, such as free auto proof-readers, word processors, Apps, etc.

But these are not 100% infallible, so you should always reserve some time to edit your copy.

Read it all over again at least twice to make sure no mistakes have sneaked in.

If possible, ask someone you trust, to read your copy, because as they say, four eyes see better than two.

It might sound ironic but this post has probably some spelling errors.

I don’t use a proof reader for my blog, only for my web copy and my clients work.

The reason is because I prefer to write a lot of posts and share my knowledge with you than to write only a few posts a year because I need to invest time and money in paying a proofreader.

I hope you forgive me.

These words don't help you sell. Avoid them and you'll have more chances of converting more leads into customers. #copywriting #SmalBiz #DigitalMarketing Share on X


Words are a very important part of your business.

They can make you sell like hot cakes or produce a more terrifying silence than in the film A Quiet Place.

Pay attention to your words and try to sound natural, without overstated expressions or empty words.

The copy of your website should sound like a conversation with your ideal customer.

Picture this person coming into your shop or office and asking you about your product or service.

What would you do?

Wouldn’t you try to convince them of the benefits of your product in a clear and simple way?

Wouldn’t you answer their questions and give examples?

Wouldn’t you be honest about its features?

Well, that’s how you should write web copy, as if it were a conversation with your best customer.

See you around!

These words don't help you sell. Avoid them and you'll have more chances of converting more leads into customers. #copywriting #SmalBiz #DigitalMarketing Share on X

Sobre Elena de Francisco

Siento un placer inmensurable aplastando textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformándolos en textos llenos de vida que provocan muchas ventas.

About Elena de Francisco

I find real pleasure in crushing zombie copy that doesn’t provoke any emotion and turning it into vivid words that convert prospects into smiley paying customers.


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