11 Worst BuzzWords Used in SMS Messages

by Jeff Haden | Last updated 13th November 2015

11 Worst BuzzWords Used in SMS Messages

If you use text messages to market your business or serve your customers – and if you don’t, why don’t you? – you know how powerful it can be.

While statistics vary, the average email open rate ranges from 20% to 30%; this MailChimp study pegged open rates at just above 27%. SMS messages, on the other hand, enjoy open rates as high as 98%.

As long as those messages are worded correctly, that is. The words you use make all the difference – and some commonly used in marketing and sales are not just ineffective but can even drive potential customers away.

Here are eleven buzzwords that have lost their ability to land new customers, especially in mobile marketing campaigns.

1. Revolutionary

A revolution causes change, so “revolutionary” is only apparent in hindsight. Plus, it’s presumptuous to say yours is a “revolutionary new product” when it’s new. If you think your product or service really will be revolutionary, describe how: quicker, stronger, better quality, more versatile – briefly explain the value it provides. Your customers will figure out if it will be revolutionary.

2. Exciting

Seriously: how many opportunities are truly exciting? How many discounts are truly exciting? Do you, as a consumer, ever get excited by the advertisements or offers you receive? Of course you don’t.

“Exciting” is a word that has been so overused it’s lost its meaning in everyday conversation – and even more so in marketing communications. That makes it filler – and when you’re trying to get your point across with just a few words, you can’t afford to include any filler in your message.

How many opportunities are truly exciting? How many discounts are truly exciting? Therefore don´t overuse the word “Exciting”.

3. Game Changing

As much as you might wish differently, the “game” rarely changes. So don’t pretend you’re changing it. If you want to describe how you’ll change something, describe how you’ll change, even in very small ways, the lives of your customers. That’s what people care about the most.

4. Leading

It’s extremely difficult to be the leader in any industry, much less in any niche. Besides, who defines “leading”? (Oh, that’s right – evidently you do.)

If you’re the best, describe how. If you’re the largest, prove it. Click To Tweet

Show instead of tell and let your customers decide if you’re the “leader” – or similar terms like “premier”, “unique”, “exclusive” and “top”.

5. New and Improved

Here’s another example of how show is much better than tell. Telling potential customers your product or service is new and improved is much less effective than describing how it has been improved – which, by the way, is also a much better way to sell your product or service.

6. Guarantee

While a guarantee sounds good, most customers are used to seeing fine print that turns what appeared to be an iron-clad guarantee into an empty promise. Terms, conditions, “guarantees” that are designed to force you into cancelling the service in order to get your money back in the hope that you will forget to do so … Few people believe that a guarantee truly is a guarantee.

So don’t promise. Instead, deliver.

7. Exclusive

Unless what you offer is only available to one person, it’s not truly exclusive. The word “exclusive” is normally used to suggest VIP treatment, but customers are too smart to fall for that implication. They know you’ll sell as many of your products as you can – after all, that’s why you’re in business. So don’t insult their intelligence.

Focus on how what you provide meets your customer’s individual needs and they won’t care about exclusivity.

8. Creative

See particular words often enough and they no longer make an impact. “Creative” is one of them. (Play a drinking game in which you have to find uses of the word “creative” in random LinkedIn profiles and everyone will lose – or win, depending on your perspective.)

“Creative” is just one example. Others include extensive, effective, proven, influential, team player … Some of those terms may truly describe you, but since they’re also being used to describe everyone, they’ve lost their impact.

See particular words often enough and they no longer make an impact. “Creative” is one of them.

9. Cheap

You may intend for “cheap” to mean inexpensive, but to many people the word “cheap” will mean “lacking value or worth”, and that’s a brand association you simply can’t afford to have. While mentioning a discount can be useful, your overall goal should be to focus on the value of your product or service.

Award-winning. That’s awesome. But which award? If you’re a web-design firm and you won a Webby, that’s impressive; if you received the Timberville Ladies Auxiliary Community Service Award, maybe not so much.

When an award will establish your bona fides with your target audience, name the award.

10. Innovative

Unless you developed a new product, created a new process or are the first to do something, you’re not innovative. And that’s OK. Thousands of companies flourish by doing the same things other companies do, only better.

If you truly are innovative, use “first”. Then people will keep reading.

11. Solutions

We all love solutions, so maybe that’s why everyone seems to provide them; I know an electrician who calls himself a “home power systems provider”.

Instead of providing “solutions”, be who you really are and describe what you do. Name a problem and explain how you’ll solve it.

Instead of providing “solutions”, be who you really are and describe what you do.


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Jeff Haden is an experienced writer, speaker and a LinkedIn influencer. He's written more than 50 nonfiction books, along with hundreds of articles and reports.