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“Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Save” Could Doom Your Sales Promos

NEW YORK — A recent study of words used in promotional emails, analyzed by an artificial intelligence platform, has uncovered the best and worst performers based on consumer click-through rates.

According to findings from Persado, which offers an AI platform that generates personal communications at scale, the 10 highest-performing words used in more than 8 billion message variations for retail, finance, travel and other brands between Jan. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, were:  announcement, re:, dropped, scored, confirmed, ASAP, earned, arrived, thank and redeem.

Each word also is tagged to an emotion with the words “scored” and “earned” associated with achievement, while “dropped” and “arrived” align with fascination. Other emotions evoked by the leading words were attention, curiosity, safety, urgency and gratitude.

The 10 words that turned up on Persado’s list of underachievers were: don’t, chance, save, miss, great, last, check, shop, over and savings. The emotion tied to “don’t” and “miss” is regret, while “last” and “over”, which may be used in fear-of-missing-out messaging, bring on a sense of urgency.

In a blog about its research, the company noted marketers should stay away from FOMO phrases such as “last chance” and “don’t miss out,” because consumers aren’t responsive to ultimatums. The better urgency-related words to use would be “ASAP” and “redeem,” which imply immediacy but in a less restrictive way.

“Rather than ask your customer to take an action, let them know it’s already done on their behalf,” explained Lisa Spira, vice president of content intelligence. “The least-performing words put the onus on the consumer to take an action, but consumers don’t want to expend effort.

“Looking at the top-performing words, I’m reminded to make action easy for customers. Reassure them that the hard work has been completed for them: deals are confirmed, new products have arrived, points are already earned. There’s nothing like a sure bet to motivate engagement. Of course, added thanks is always welcomed.”


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