What’s actually going on in the brain when it processes language? And if words affect the mind in different ways, are some more persuasive than others? Buffer cofounder Leo Widrich dives into what the research has to say about this and more.
Here’s a secret right off the bat and I hope it isn’t too odd: one of the things I fuss about a lot, especially for Buffer copy (for example our welcome email if you sign up!) are words—very simple words, in fact. Should it say “Hi” or “Hey”? Should it be “cheers” or “thanks”? How about “but” or “and”? I’m guessing you might have a similar obsession with this. There are many occasions when [my Buffer partner] Joel and I sit over one line and change it multiple times, until we feel it really sits right. This is partly to improve our metrics for click rate and others. It’s also to simply create an emotion. The one key question we ask ourselves is: “How does this make you feel?”
That question might sound very obvious. And yet, it’s a very different question than, “Which message do you want to send?” or “What is the content of this announcement?” By always focusing on “How will this make someone feel?” when you write even a single line, we immediately improved the amount of responses we got from our users. Let’s dig in to how our brain works and expose some of the most persuasive words in English. [read]