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Aug 22, 2012 | 1 minute read

The Power of the Word Get

written by Linda Bustos

We're not biased because our blog's name is Get Elastic, but the power of the word "get" on persuasion and conversion has popped up at least a couple times in my web travels this year.

In Marketing Experiments' web clinic Headline Optimization: How testing 10 headlines revealed a 3-letter word that improved conversion more than major changes features a case study that tested -- you guessed it -- 10 headlines with various wording:

The top converting headline began with the word "get":

And when arranged by conversion improvement, you can identify the top of the crop as headlines which emphasize what the user "gets" (value-centric), and the second tier focuses on taking action.

This is critical, because we may tend to think of affirmative verbs, or "commands" as more psychologically powerful.

Another example comes from paid search expert Mona Elesseily's post 5 Tips To Fine Tune PPC Ad Copy. Mona advises to incorporate "power words" into copy.

Some examples of words I like to try in PPC testing are try, get, fast, online, etc. Here are some examples (altered to protect client confidentiality) of headlines with and without power words, along with their associated cost per conversion. This is based on a large sample size.

Get Eagle Talons – $7.75

Eagle Talons Fast – $10.24

Eagle Talons – OEM – $7.81

Parts of Birds Online – $12.10

What did we learn? Either “Get” or “OEM” were strong performers as opposed to mentioning speed. While fast shipping may be a benefit, we assume it looks cheesy in a headline or causes a few more hasty clicks than it should.

Is it as simple as start every headline with "get"?

Nope. But consider testing headlines that begin with this three-letter power word against similar value-centric words, and versus your action-centric headlines you're already using. The point is value-centric words are more persuasive than action-centric. "Get" happens to be a good word to use, according to these two examples.