How to Increase Sales with Magic Words

Want to increase sales? Try using these magic words!

Hi, Sarah Fletcher, Stylaquin founder here. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a catalog design expert for the last umpteen years. I’ve worked with a lot of catalogs you know and love like Harrington’s of Vermont, Mrs. Beasley’s, The Vermont Country Store, L.L. Bean, Jamestown Distributors, and Glendale to name a few.

One of the most interesting things I learned from catalogs is that there are magic words. They always work, they never don’t work, and you can’t overuse them. They are: New, Free, Save, Sale and Sex. So how do you use magic words? First, Don’t over think it, they’re magic, not tricky.


New has big magic. Call out new items with a bold red NEW. You can do this in the product body copy. You can add NEW at the end of the Product name, though Shopify and some platforms don’t allow formatting for headlines. An easy win is to create a NEW collection and set it to show new items automatically. If you don’t have many new items, go with what you have and keep the five or ten most recent in the new collection manually. Some stores have a high turnover of new products, so new may mean they are new within the last month. There aren’t any official rules about what constitutes new, though calling items new for more than a year could make it look like the site is never updated.

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Free is another magic word. It is why free shipping works so very well. Free gift with purchase, and buy one get one free, are other great uses of free. Anything you can give away free is going to resonate with customers. Free upgrade, free class, free case or accessory, free extended warranty, free refill, anytime you can give the customer something free they will love it.


Everyone loves a bargain. Very high end customers won’t respond if save is plastered all over everything, but they love to save as much as the next person. You can tell customers they will save on lots of things that aren’t money, like time, or effort. Save yourself headaches, save more when you buy more, and so on. Saving a dollar amount is usually better than saving a percentage. Customers don’t like to do math. So save $20 will usually do better than save 20% even if the actual dollars saved are a little more with 20%.


This one’s a classic and most companies use it pretty well. Seasonal sales are a tried and true way to reduce old inventory. Regular sales can move customers off the fence for a small discount. Shoppers who love your brand, but not your prices, may be enticed to buy. You can do the occasional store-wide sale and also have a sale category. Adding a popup to the sale category that specifically targets bargain shoppers can be effective. There is a subset of shoppers that simply won’t pay full price, it’s a badge of honor and a lifestyle choice. Don’t try to change them, meet them on their own terms and they can become loyal, though frugal, customers.


You’re on your own with this last one. Though I will mention that when I worked with International Justice Mission on their catalog, “Save children from being victims of sex traffickers” was their most effective headline. Though typically you only need to use one magic word at a time. All kidding aside, if you’re looking for a good charity to donate to, International Justice Mission is doing amazing work in dangerous places.

That’s it for magic words, If you enjoyed this blog and got some good info please join our email list. If you’d like to see a Shopify app that increases the number of items viewed by 180%, increases time on site by 70% and just makes online shopping more fun and engaging, here’s a quick demo of Stylaquin. If you’d like to see the Magic Words video or get more marketing, copy, and design tips check out Hump Day Bar Hopping with Stylaquin

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