SOURCE: Unbounce


March 30, 2017 13:26 ET

Words that Convey Joy may be Bad for Business, Unbounce Study Reveals

Unbounce Releases Results from In-depth Study of Over 74 Million Landing Page Visitors

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - Mar 30, 2017) -

Industry-specific findings from machine learning powered study include:

  • Words that convey joy can negatively impact a campaign's conversion rate
  • Copy written at a 6th grade reading level is more likely to drive conversions
  • Words associated with fear and trust may have the greatest impact on conversions

Unbounce, the world's leading landing page and conversion marketing platform, today released findings from a landmark study that analyzed the behavior of over 74 million visitors to 64,284 landing pages.

Published today in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, the study's findings prove that the words businesses use to market their product and services have a quantifiable (and sometimes dramatic) impact on their ability to drive higher conversion rates. The study found that the emotion, sentiment, and reading complexity of words can significantly influence a business' potential to convert web traffic into potential customers.

Oli Gardner, Marketing & Optimization Expert, and Co-Founder of Unbounce, believes the study will re-shape business decisions going forward. "The data and insights in this report will fundamentally change how marketers communicate. It will empower agencies to show clients they're surpassing industry averages," said Gardner. "Credible, scientifically-grounded insights into how the words we choose drive user behavior, is something we've never had access to, until now. This report paves the way for the future of data-driven marketing, and the future is conversion automation."

The study leveraged Unbounce's proprietary machine learning technology to analyze the enormous pool of data held by the Vancouver-based tech company and aimed to clearly uncover the often subtle differences between success and failure of marketing campaigns. The Unbounce R&D team, made up of data scientists, data engineers, marketing experts and business leaders, analyzed the behavior of 74 million visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages created by Unbounce customers using the Unbounce landing page builder.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

1. Words that convey joy can negatively impact a campaign's conversion rate for businesses in the home improvement sector. Landing pages in the home improvement, vocational studies and travel sectors that contain less than 1% of copy that communicates feelings of joy, show up to 35% higher conversion rates than pages with more than 1% of similar copy. Words such as "safe," "friendly," "clean," "comfort," "excellent," "happy," "success," and "confidence" are examples of words that can negatively impact conversion rates.

2. Copy written at a 6th-grade reading level is more likely to drive conversions in real estate. The study found that within the real estate industry, landing page copy written at a 6th-grade reading level (using simple and accessible vocabulary) correlated with a 200% higher conversion rate compared to copy written at the university level. Six out of the ten industries the study examined showed better conversion rates when the reading level was appropriate for a 9th-grade reading level or lower.

3. Words associated with fear and trust have the biggest impact on conversion rates across three out of the ten industries the study looked at. Fear-inducing words used on landing pages in the travel, legal and health industries can negatively impact conversion rates by up to 5%. For example, words used on landing pages within the legal sector such as "problem," "risk," "difficult," "emergency," "change," and "worry" were shown to negatively impact conversion rates.

"Some of what we found was as we'd have expected it, but other findings were seemingly counterintuitive -- joy can decrease conversions -- and therefore even more valuable data-driven insights for marketers and businesses," said Rick Perreault, CEO, and Co-Founder of Unbounce. "We hope this report gives marketers and agencies the critical information they need to drive even higher converting campaigns in the future."

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About Unbounce
Since 2009, Unbounce has helped digital marketers and agencies increase website and campaign conversions. Unbounce's landing page and conversion marketing platform allows marketers to quickly create, launch and test high-converting landing pages and website overlays without developers. With unrivalled security and customer support, global hosting and 99.99% server uptime, Unbounce powers 9 million conversions per month for more than 14,000 customers worldwide. Visit for more information.

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