Ways to Market Without Sales Hyperbole

sales hyperbole

Under a constant barrage of advertising, customers simply don’t like pushy marketing. They don’t trust it, they don’t like it and in the end, super pushy, hype-filled sales hyperbole marketing is only going to make your brand seem a little bit desperate – not exactly the best way to win anybody over.

Marketing without sounding “salesy” can take a little bit more thought and creativity, but in the end, it’s worth it, thanks to better sales and an improved brand image. Find yourself slipping into cliché and sales hyperbole a little too often for comfort?

Below are three things that you can do to shape up.

Chuck the Sales Vocabulary Out the Window

You know what I’m talking about. The words that make you cringe a little bit when you see them on someone else’s ads (and let alone as part of your own). They just scream sleazy, salesy, trying-to-sell-you-something. I can’t think of a single business owner I’ve met who wants to have that image.

Some words you might want to permanently ban from use include amazing, life-changing, revolutionary, cutting-edge, awesome and fantastic and there are countless other ones that I’m sure you have your own qualms about.

Steer clear of buzzwords, too, whenever you can. I know I can be guilty of swinging around ROI (return on investment) and “grow your business” like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s never too late to adopt some new vocabulary.

Say What You Mean When Using Limited Time Offers

Brief sales are a great way to drum up urgency and get people buying, but you have to follow through. Otherwise, things get a little bit “boy who cried sale,” once you start sending out emails that look something like “Limited Time Offer!” or “1 More Day of Limited Time Offer!” or “Limited Time Offer Extended!” and “Act Quick, Limited Time Offer Still Going – But Barely!”

Catch my drift?

Limited time offers can easily become overblown and all hype if you don’t cut the sale off when you say you will. Extending it might work the first time or two, but eventually your customers will stop jumping on sales because they know it’s really more like constant pricing.

Ride the Waves

Keeping an eye on trends can help you better position your own product or service within part of a larger movement. After all, a potential consumer might not trust what you say in your marketing materials, but a big trend can essentially do your marketing for you.

Then, all you need to do is alert the general public to the fact that your business fits their wants and needs.

Sales Exaggeration Photo via Shutterstock


Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

14 Reactions
  1. Amie,

    Great tips!

    To add, I am a big fan of Inbound Marketing and I think it’s the best way to market without sales hyperbole.

    Instead of saying the typical “Can I have 1 minute of your time?”, let’s just say “Can I give you this free booklet – no catch?” and so on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Definitely 🙂

      I’m glad you brought up the free booklet thing. This is something very specific to your demographic/sales audience. For example, my company works with SEOs and internet marketers so they are much more wary of putting in their email address. So the CTA has to include something about not getting spam or you will receive this to your email, etc. Otherwise I don’t see the conversions I want.

      The general public has picked up on this and their impressions vary, so when you have an offer like this on your site think about where your audience falls in this spectrum. If you mention “no spam” or something to a complete internet newbie they will balk, since they will just see the word “spam” and freak out.

  2. Want to know if you use too much sales hyperbole? Record your next networking encounter or one-to-one meeting. Listen to it on your way back to the office. Count the number of “sales pitches” or “sales words” you use. Take the same approach with all of your marketing material, email messages and elevator speech. Also, if you wear a plaid sports coat with a clashing tie…..

  3. Well said, Amie. It’s time to eliminate the ridiculous and senseless adjectives (given that was a bit ironic). This isn’t the 90s anymore, we now have several ways to showcase our products without overusing exclamation points and explosive speech bubbles. Just keep it simple but give a complete thought at the same time.

    • Exactly Ava 🙂 With the extensive amount of data we have available about how people are using the web in general and our sites specifically we don’t need such hoops.

  4. Let’s face it. People are getting immuned to traditional marketing. They know you want them to buy from you and you think that you’re the best but can you prove it? The more you stick to traditional cliches, the lower your chance to get a sale. So please do your clients a favor and be a little creative.

  5. Yes, the sales vocab. Whenever I see a page like that, I immediately switch off. And it’s not just the predictable language, but can also be how a sales page is designed. I see a loooooong run-of-the-mill sales page and I run a mile.

  6. Coach Maria Marsala

    I have saved over 1000 emails in the last 3 months. (I’m doing an experiment and some testing. ) I am amazed at the titles and how they have no bearing on what’s in the email or that the title seems like a lie.

    Yet, those titles do get me to open them. I wonder how I got to the point where lies and nonsense make me open mail quicker.

    • lol, I love it.

      It makes you wonder how people can put their energy into selling those type of products. I’m a huge fan of picking my clients and firing those I don’t enjoy. If I had to “trick” someone to buy from me… I would be stuck with a bunch of dumb clients. Which are likely the same clients that create the most hassle and spend the least amount of cash.

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