Why: Another Short Power Word

We have already tackled the reason the word ‘because’ is a power word for affiliate marketers, but here’s a twist on that word: why?  Why is the question that often causes the word because to be placed into sentences, but it is deeper than that.  Why is one of the first words we learn, just like the word because.  That deep placement in the logic and language centers in the brain help explain why is such a powerful word, but let’s take a deeper look.

Why Ask Why?  Try Bud Dry

We all remember that marketing jingle from the 90s, right?  Or was it the 80s?  It really doesn’t matter, but the reason that the word why was used twice in a three word span was simple: why is a power word.  Why asks the question: for what reason is something the way that it is, or is not the way it should be?  Why immediately engages the brain in scrambling for an answer, but it can also be used to plant answers.  We’ll cover the planting of answers in a minute, but take a second to appreciate how valuable the word why is from the perspective of a marketer.

You are selling something.  You want people to buy it.  What do they need?  They need a reason, or an answer to a why question.  Why not ask the question and provide the answer for even greater effect?

Instead of:

You want to try Bud Dry because…(it’s less filling)


Why do you want Bud Dry?  Because…{it has a great taste!)

The difference here is that instead of telling the reader what they want directly, you are asking them to ask themselves and then you can even go on to make suggestions.  Suggestions are very powerful, and it is even possible to set up suggestions deeply in a text way before the why ever hits the paper.  For example:

Bob was smart.  He invested in gizmoPizzaMoney.com and got a great return on his investment.  How did Bob know about gizmoPizzaMoney.com?  He asked InvestorsRUs.  Susan was wise.  She invested in NinjaClownShoes.com and made a bundle.  How did Susan know about NinjaClownShoes.com?  She asked InvestorsRUs.  The next big thing is out there, and InvestorsRUs knows what it is.  Why wouldn’t you trust anyone else with your online investment strategy?

Why?  Because…

The link between why and because should never be overlooked.  Why could be a power word simple to set up because, but it has power on its own.  Take the following examples:

  • Why does everyone have an iPhone?  Because…<insert Apple’s sales pitch here>
  • Why do you have problems keeping weight off?  Because…<insert your sales pitch here>
  • Why don’t you have a Honda?  Is it because…

The last is a great example of engaging the reader with a question, and even putting words in their mouths and/or minds.  Psychologists know that this technique works well, and we are often conditioned to do it from the time we are children?  Don’t believe me?  Go to your bookstore and look up a book on parenting, teaching, or interpersonal relationships.  Chances are good that there will be something in that book that suggests that asking and answering questions or suggesting answers to a question prior to asking for a reason why is a great way to put words and ideas into the minds and mouths of the other party.
Why why why?

Think About Using Why

Why lets you communicate with the user and turn their brain on.  Anyone can read with their mind turned off, and it is just like hearing but not listening.  If you want the mind to be jumped started, you have to do something, and asking why is a great place to start. Remember that without why, and without an active mind, there is a seriously reduced chance that the reader will take any action.  This in turn means that the word why could jumpstart registrations, signups, and even spur conversions.

All you have to do as a copywriter is ask: why?

Written by

Chad Weirick is a global traveler, ghostwriter, teacher, and father. His hobbies include reading, languages, mixed martial arts, photography, digital media, blogging, and spending time with his family.


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