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Words that Sell, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Thesaurus to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas Paperback – Apr 5 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (April 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071467858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071467858
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 0.8 x 22.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Bayan spent over two decades as an award-winning advertising copywriter and copy chief. He is the author of three other books, including the companion to this book, More Words That Sell.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Let's face it, we are all in the business of convincing, presenting, positioning, negotiating...call it what you want, but at it's root we are all selling.

This book is the revised of the original (Ver 1 has been a staple in my library since mid 90's) I have used it on so many projects with success that it keeps being used.... and is in my top 5 of ongoing references.

If you've ever racked your brain for the perfect synonym word...you will love this book! Especially copywriters and marketers.
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By R. Widdowson on Oct. 5 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must have book for copywriters.

Simple, Actionable advice. Since online marketing is always changing, for beginners as well as experienced copywriters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide would have been a lot more helpful with some real-life usage examples, with comparisons for reference. Still, useful to have around.
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By Daniel Vaudrin on July 4 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's already given me more confidence in writing copy to attract even more customers. Thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 186 reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Very Helpful Feb. 6 2007
By Roger Bauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently I bought this book and immediately made some textual changes to my company website based upon the contents of this and "Hot Button Marketing" by Barry Feig. The two mixed together have already begun to pay dividends in terms of conversions of visitors into prospects which will lead to customers and/or partners.

The lessons I learned as I read some of the material:

1) You may believe you're using the right words to sell (as I did prior to reading over the book), but there are always improvements that can be made.

2) Have fun--if your current campaign isn't working as well as you'd like, tweak the copy by using some of the suggestions in this book to see if a different word sprinkled in here and there improves things. It's interesting to see what a little change can do as enough of them can add up to one big success over time.

In a nutshell, this book is a great reference to have handy regardless of what you're selling.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A Copy Writing Thought Stimulator Oct. 3 2000
By Dan Poynter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite references. Whenever I have to draft copy, I page through it for ideas. To sell your product (in my case books), you have to describe it in (glowing) terms that relate to the needs of the potential buyer.
Bayan describes Grabbers (heads, salutations, invitations, openings, transitions), Descriptions and Benefits, Clinchers (persuasion and decision), Terms & Offers (discounts, freebies, trials, guarantees), and Special Strategies (company image, justifying a high price, knocking the competition, using demographics, flattering the reader, and appealing for contributions). Each section has pages of suggested phrasing. The appendix contains puffspeak-and its alternatives, wordy expressions, commonly confused words and more. This is not a book you read; it is a quick reference.
Richard Bayan is a full-time copywriter who shares his collection of WORDS THAT SELL in these pages.
As the author of 113 books (including revisions and foreign-language editions) and over 500 magazine articles, I highly recommend this volume to book publishers. DanPoynter@ParaPublishing.com.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A Treasury Of Gripping Words That Grab Attention! Nov. 20 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
     The Internet has presented opportunities for many people to market their products, services, and other information. Because many desire to generate an income or provide essential services online, it is imperative that Web developers, online business owners, and others present themselves in the best possible light.      Richard Bayan has produced Words That Sell to provide us with a treasury of gripping words we need to effectively promote ourselves in whatever marketing circumstances we find ourselves in. This book lists over 2,500 high-powered words, phrases, and slogans that will grab the attention of our audiences. After a brief primer on writing in which the author lays down basic writing principles, readers are free to comb through the book to find the words they need to make a big difference in the way they communicate with others.      The range of categories includes topics relating to message crafting and the fulfillment of our basic felt needs, expectations, and sensory qualities. Categories include headers, slogans, salutations, appeals, challenges, clinchers, grabbers, invitations, persuasion, questions, services, statements, transitions, convenience, discounts, improvements, money-making, money-saving, peace of mind, pleasure, reliability, satisfaction, excitement, experience, and more. There are words in this book for every need!      Although this book was written a number of years ago (1984), it is still available and is an essential tool for meeting a variety of marketing needs. It is extremely easy to put to use and will result in a dynamic improvement in the way we present ourselves to others. You have my new selection of words on it!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
"You'll wonder how you ever got along without it". Nov. 7 2003
By Harinath Thummalapalli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I was looking for a title for this review, the word that came to mind was 'Indispensable' but I felt it was too cliche to use for this purpose. So I opened up the index of this book, looked up 'indispensable', went to page 38 and looked down the list of expressions till I found the title I felt comfortable with!
That's how this book is meant to be used. If you are writing copy for any type of advertising or promotional purposes, you will find this 'Thesaurus' style book very handy. This isn't strictly a thesaurus since the words in each section aren't necessarily synonyms but more like related words. If you are new to the world of copy writing, 'copy' generally refers to any type of writing associated with sales material. For example, when you read an advertisement for a soft drink, the art of writing the ad is called 'copy writing'.
You can find other uses for the content in this book as I did above with the title for this review. But in general, most people use this book to come up with writing that is compelling enough for the reader to perform the intended action whatever that action happens to be.
The book is split into 6 sections - Grabbers, Descriptions and Benefits, Clinchers, Terms & Offers, Special Strategies, and an Appendix containing miscellaneous sections. There is a 2 page copywriting primer included that has 8 tips to learn before you start writing copy. The Appendix has several miscellaneous topics like 'Categories of Copy', 'Puffspeak - And Its Alternative', 'Wordy Expressions', 'Commonly Misspelled Words', 'Commonly Confused Words', 'Selling Yourself', 'Sample Order Forms', and 'Further Reading'.
The book is filled with pages and pages of words and in some cases expressions that are categorized into different headings under each chapter. The largest chapter is Part 2: Descriptions and Benefits, taking up more than half the book. You can go through the table of contents and find the section with the relevant words. You could also go through the index and find a word that seems to fit approximately and then go to that page to read through the related words and expressions till you find the perfect fit.
Recently, a follow on book by the same author 'More Words That Sell' has been released. The fundamental difference between the two books is that this book is intended to be used for general purpose copy writing like your basic services and the new book is intended to be used for more specific and detailed copy writing. That's the best way I can describe the differences and this is also corroborated by the author at the beginning of the second book.
Overall, I believe this is a valuable resource to have if you are even remotely involved in coming up with 'sales copy' for your company. The low price of the book is well worth the value you get by using this book. Before buying this and other books on copy writing, I used to do a decent job in coming up with the sales copy for my company's services. After reading this book and others like it, I have decided to completely revise the sales copy of my services! I do believe that good copy writing takes practice and these kinds of books are helpful guides in that process. I wish you the best of luck!
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The most-used writing reference tool on my bookshelf May 29 2006
By Janice King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Words that Sell" has long been the most well-used reference on my bookshelf ... I use it more often than my thesaurus. It is particularly helpful for finding just the right adjective, which is key for any kind of promotional writing.