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Why Exclamation Points are Dead and You Should Never Use Them in Your Content Marketing Again

Why Exclamation Points are Dead and You Should Never Use Them in Your Content Marketing Again Blog Feature

Marcus Sheridan

Keynote Speaker, Author & Partner, Author of ’They Ask You Answer”, Presented 250+ Sales, Marketing, & Communication Workshops Worldwide

April 18th, 2014 min read

Guess what?

When you use exclamation points in your web copy, it has the opposite effect you’re looking for!

Really, it’s true!

So the next time you’re thinking about using an exclamation point in your content marketing, don’t do it!

The Death of the Exclamation Point

This article is going to be short and sweet, but because this problem keeps coming up again and again in the content marketing space, I decided to address it today. Here goes…

Almost every day I find myself looking at dozens of blog articles, web pages, and landing page offers that my clients have produced in an effort to teach, inform, and ultimately convert their audiences. And almost 100% of the time, when these writers/content producers are trying to show excitement with their messaging, they end up using an exclamation point to emphasize their points.

Here is the funny thing about exclamation points though:

They cheapen your message.

Why?

It’s an interesting evolution really. Somehow, over time, we’ve all made a psychological connection between exclamation points and “that sales guy” on your local TV commercials screaming, “Boy do we have a deal for you!!!”

It’s because of this reality the best web copy—especially the stuff attempting to convince readers to make an action—should not include exclamation points, otherwise you greatly risk having the opposite intended effect.

This is also why great web copywriters understand how the customization of font, style, bold, sub-headers, etc. are essential to getting their message across in a way that, to the reader, “feels right.”

It’s the Little Things that make the Biggest Difference

Effective content marketing (and communication in general) is full of little nuances that can make all the difference. And although something as simple as using exclamation points may sound insignificant to some reading this article, the reality is we are all, as businesses, in a battle of who can engender the most trust with our prospects and customers.

This is our challenge, and those that make “trust” their ultimate compass in the way they do business—online and off—are ultimately the ones that will likely end up on top.

(Note*** For those of you looking to tell me all the proper applications for exclamation points in writing and literature, please save yourself. I get it. This ain't about that. :-) )

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