Romance 101: How to Use Feminine Words That Sell

Romance 101: How to Use Feminine Words That Sell

Reader Comments (87)

  1. Plain: “Solve Email Problems”
    Heroic: “Battle Your Email Overload”
    Romantic: “Love Your Email Inbox Again”

    Not sure that anyone ever loved their inbox but some good thoughts on how to use language differently to appeal to different audiences.

  2. Lol! I don’t deliberately attempt to gender-focus my writing, but I HAVE noticed that this sort of word choice attracts more female comments/retweets 🙂


  3. Great post of examples! When you do think of feminine words to use, the message becomes wrapped in a hopeful, happy vehicle that exudes a positive vibe. Great technique!

  4. I heart this! I am going to pick up some of our most feminine catalogs and do some reading with an eye for romance. I am going to think about expressing a “feeling” instead of just finding a “word” when I work my copy magic.

  5. I’m a newbie and just starting and one of the first articles on blogging was from Copyblogger and I’ve been a fan ever since. It helped me get some idea of what I was doing. Really enjoyed this article. I get a lot of e-mails selling affiliate marketing products and I’ve noticed that some of them are beginning to use ‘feminine’ adjectives in their headlines.

  6. @Sean Platt – The contrast does highlight how our choice of words affects the impact of our headlines, doesn’t it?

    @Robert Latchford – Wasn’t there ever a time when your heart skipped a beat every time you heard the “ping!” of a new message on your inbox?

    @Venkat – Exactly!

    @Weathertech – “Positive vibe,” I like that! So much better than the blood and gore of masculine copy, don’t you think?

    @AnneRose – Awesome! Let’s put more romance and less violence in copy. “Let’s make love, not war.”

  7. Great tips here. I’m working on a series of vacation articles, and keeping these more romantic terms in mind will help make the tone more upbeat and happy – exactly the kind of writing you want for travel stories. Thanks!

  8. like others, I really appreciated and learned from your “heroic” vs. “romantic” examples. This is definitely a keeper for those brainstorming sessions. Thanks so much!

  9. I’ve never discounted the buying power of women. Being in sales for almost a decade and a half, I’ve seen the power that women have over purchases made by men. Not to mention their own purchases. For large ticket items, you would be surprised at how many women give the ultimate “yes” or “no” on the transaction.

    Sell the woman first and the man will follow…

    You give some lovely insights into ways to “spice up” ones writing… It’s sounds like you broke the woman code by giving up these forbidden secrets women just don’t want men to know about… 😉

    BTW, in today’s society. I bet those words appeal to a lot of the metro men out there too…

  10. Interesting post… I run a women’s network and deliberately avoid using all these feminisations, love, heart, kiss etc because I don’t want the site to appear too girly… looks like I need a re-think! I will try an experiment this week and see what difference it makes 🙂

  11. Good write Lexi.

    What’s really neat about this idea is brick and mortar businesses can benefit, too.

    Jeff Sexton has an audio link of an ad that did just that for a watch store. They sold more watches on father’s day that any other day ever because of it.

    (“Daddy’s little Girl” is the hyperlink text).

    Worth your time to hear the audio file, as hearing it really brings home the point Lexi makes.

  12. I agree with Sean, I like the contrast with the heroic title.

    This is a great addition to how to word a title. You can bet that I’ll be implementing this.

  13. Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes I get stuck in just stating the facts. Because my site caters to women I am sure to create more magical moments for my readers.

  14. @Cindy – Are your readers male or female? Would be interesting to see how differently you’d write the articles if they’re for a male audience, rather than female.

    @Sara – Happy to be of service!

    @BrianJUY – Oh, thank you for reminding us about the “metro” males 🙂

    @Julie Hall – Why avoid feminisations? Why not embrace your and your audience’s girlieness instead? Let us know how your experiment goes, ok?

    @Marvin Wilson – See, now your comment really does stand out now that you’ve used romantic words. It’s simply magical.

    @Todd – Try it!

  15. Fantastic piece, Lexi, and I’m honoured to have inspired it! 🙂

    Some of these words I’d naturally gravitate towards; others aren’t very me, but I can completely see them working for many women (and many men too, I’m sure).

    Words like “temptation” and “kiss” and “love” make me think of chocolate adverts, and I’m a sucker for those. 😉

  16. Since I have a heavily-weighted feminine audience I appreciate the distinctions that you give here. There can definitely be a male tone to copywriting that most women just have to “deal with” and move one.

    I’m excited to try these new techniques in my upcoming posts to see if there is a change in the way comments come in, and more importantly, conversion.

    …definitely going to try and see if I can incorporate the masculine and the feminine in my copy. Is that possible?

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  17. Hey Lexi,

    You’ve certainly demonstrated the opposing perspective to Ali’s article! I enjoyed both thoroughly because though one focuses on heroic language and the other on feminine, I think the most important takeaway is to approach your copy from a different perspective.

    Too often, we become comfortable with the same, redundant and uninspiring copy we produce that we forget to appeal to the audience and their unique sensibilities.

  18. An interesting blog post for sure. I’ve written to predominantly female markets many times — and you have to use a very different tone to connect with them.

    Each market seems to be a little bit different (for instance, coaches vs. homeschool moms).

    I like the Plain / Heroic / Romantic examples at the end. Helps to see them side by side.


  19. Ouch. You were right, these do offend my feminist sensibilities. The examples are helpful, but definitely smack of Cosmo. And these days, not all women are Cosmo women. It definitely requires a fine balance between adding a little romance and relying on outdated stereotypes that will insult or turn off the very people we’re trying to reach.

  20. A wonderful reminder to all of us that “the hands that rock the cradle rule the world”. In my business, women make up 65 % of my clients. I try to balance my writing to reflect that. However, I’m getting a takeaway from this article that maybe I need to split off my site into two distinct sites with the same product. Then, I can use more hooks that appeal to a female audience on one site and use more macho, ego building hooks on my male focused site. It’s worth a try, as I believe those 10 romantic hooks could cut both ways. Guys like words like bold, control, dominate, winner, etc.

    I’ll report back.

  21. What a great post, Lexi. I’ve seen copy tie-ins of this sort before but never really gave much thought to how engaging it could be as an entire theme, and to women audiences. And I love your comparison to Ali’s “heroic” copy with your own “romantic” version – the examples really help to drive the idea home. I’ll have to try this sometime. 😉

  22. @Casey, I hear you. A few points that jump to mind. 1) I actually don’t find “Kiss procrastination goodbye” to be very “Cosmo” unless I put it in the context of this post. 2) The cover of Cosmo magazine is actually one of the best resources you will find anywhere to rework for headlines, and interestingly, the reworks don’t turn out to feel girly or stereotypically feminine.

    An example: on the current issue (you can get the cover at without buying the mag) there’s a headline that says The New Male Sex Habit that Can Hurt a Relationship. That could be tweaked for a Copyblogger headline to read The New Online Reading Habit that Can Hurt a Blog.

    Obviously, every writer has to adapt the techniques to her own readers, her own audience, and what they care about. But I did find some of Lexi’s examples a refreshing antidote to the “Buy My Product and Dominate Your Whatever” headlines that are out there. They didn’t seem all that girly to me, they just seemed more approachable.

  23. Hi Lexi-
    I’m a business coach and I tend to write in heroic language. It just occurred to me that I actually write the majority of my articles with men in mind. Hmm- I wonder why that is? You’ve given me something to think about today.
    Perhaps I’ll sprinkle a little romantic language in the next article and see what happens.

  24. I own a local real estate blog, called Real Estate Gourmet, for İzmir, Turkey. I have been writing on that blog for over 2 years. The only time I get any substantial traffic to the site is when I spruce up the typically boring real estate article with some female stuff, ie; why my fiance was always right when looking for a new house,or, facebook-real estate & women triangle…
    I loved your article, or should I say I envy your article 🙂

  25. a great lesson in the importance of understanding your audience and crafting a message that resonates for them. Other comments have pointed to the fact that not all women are Cosmo women. This point underlines the idea that you can’t a catch all fish with the same bait. Clearly then, as is the case with all copy, connecting emotionally to the reader and understanding what motives and interests them specifically is key to catching and holding their attention.

  26. You’ve touched my heart with this post.
    However 70% of my audience is male. Do you think they will respond positively with the feminine touch?


    Pam Mark Hall

  27. Overall theme really brought out the importance
    of not only targeted copy but the need for good copy.

    Makes me think What would be the right slant for my
    “gender” would be? Baby Boomers Re-Fund 101 – How to Recapture that spark as you Return to work to Re-fund your Retirement?

    Life is great and great articles put the icing on the cake!

  28. All of these terms are great–and absolutely true. As an Indep Avon Sales Rep/Advisor for almost 10 yrs the only term I see missing is ‘women inspire’–Of course, seems it might be hard for anyone in these economic times to be inspired by their 401K balance as of late–but the reality is: almost every action men have taken/acted on/accompished in history (including soem wars) seems to have been ‘inspired’ by some woman, somewhere. I still find this so interesting–except for the fact that Avatar was one of the best films this last year–due to the romantic theme (of course).

  29. Wonderful!
    I’m in medical research, and today I tried to convince my fellow group-members to use more heroic (and romantic) words, but they wouldn’t do it ‘because it sounds stupid and it isn’t science-like’. Hate it.

  30. Lexi, I love this post! I have used heart and love in my copy but had not thought of why I was using them, nor considered any of the other words. This was a fresh and original piece that was eye opening! Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to future installments of Romance 101! 😉

  31. Well said Lexi !

    I LOVE my ‘work’, follow my HEART and it’s an open SECRET that I’m the KING of eco-friendly landscape designers: My aim is to inspire you to create a piece of PARADISE in your own backyard, and KISS those nasty pesticides good-bye.

    Which reminds me, as Oscar Wilde once said: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the STARS.”

    I may not know how to become a VIRGIN (again), but I sure know how to create a MAGIC, ENCHANTED garden.

  32. Good one, Lexi. Such a useful wakeup, with entertaining and instructive examples.

    Next stop the basically male, warfare/militarily biased language of sales and management training?

  33. There are some days when I might not love my inbox, but this post certainly reminds me not to miss out on the magic of great communication. Good work, Lexi!

  34. PS I forgot to add that (as Oscar W. once said), I can resist anything except TEMPTATION.

    And for FORBIDDEN fruit, as Captain Beefheart (aka Don Van Vliet) once sang: It tastes so good, you gotta eat it.

  35. I love this, Lexi! As a non-mushy type woman when I first started to read your article I was thinking I can’t do this. But as I kept reading and then saw the examples it all made sense. Very creative and loving the psychological feminine spin!

  36. Holy cow, this is the best article I’ve read in a while. Would LOVE more articles like this at Copyblogger. I hate making comments as shallow as this, but seriously, great article.

  37. I love this idea – it definitely stands out from the usual posts about writing great headlines. I have another one – how about words like ‘diamond’ or ‘platinum’?
    Thanks again for the post – I’ve already used it to change the title of the piece I’m currently working on!

  38. Hurray, you have touched the right nerve & i believe your article wll surely enable understanding the sellers about the best buyers around.

    I am loving your post, nice one and great thought.

    Best of luck.

  39. I still could not think, brilliant idea kenepa always be with you, you are great, clever in using words that can pierce the reader feeling. I love this!

  40. I took notes and will re-write some blogs in a more “romantic” style. I enjoyed the samples supplied. Thanks.

  41. As a technical writer I usually try to do it just the other way round, that is translate emotional texts into straight forward ones. But I will remember your hints when I have to write the next marketing stuff – great approach.

  42. I have always found women identify with feelings more than facts. Most marketers know that purchases are made more based on emotion than statement of fact.

    The contrasting examples you used were amazingly clear about how just a few emotional words can totally change the feeling of a statement.

    Do you think it is okay to mix dragonslaying with feminine or should they be used solo?

  43. I find writing descriptions to be one of favorite parts of selling – it’s like the test to see hwta your work has to say for itself. This was an excellent and cohesive article, thank you!

  44. I though this was a great post on an over-looked marketing angle. Great examples and inspiration. I market B2B, but still 50% of those using my products are women!

  45. 90% of my customers are women…. We sell educational software. Last night I was doing the numbers and as much as 90% (or even more) are senoritas/senoras. Any other advice from this enlightened crowd for my business?
    Great post!!!!

  46. I just did a search to try to find more examples of “feminine” adjectives and all you get are pages about feminine gendered words in foreign languages!

    Your examples were great Lexi. Don’t spose anyone knows of any resources or other examples of feminine words?

  47. I agree that romantic wording can add something to text but just watch out that romantic wording doesn’t read as patronizing. Like “Make Your Bad Habits Disappear Like Magic.” Personally I preferred the hero language. It felt empowering. I am woman, hear me roar. I am the master (or mistress as it were) of my own fate! The whole disappear like magic thing? It reads sort of like I am not the driving force behind it when in reality I have to be in order for it to work. Just an example.

  48. Lexi, I loved this post. Sounds odd, but it magically appeared in my inbox just now. I was tempted to hit delete due to its age, but, on second thought – touched open, and your words rained down on me like falling stars.
    —Yes, my poor attempt at being funny, even though that’s how it happened. I’ve been on the computer too long today. Your article convinced me about the use of feminine words, and I probably needed to read this, since I sometimes think such words are turn offs.

  49. I heart your tips. I’m going to create some magic this week and use some romantic words. I’ve experienced more feedback from men when I related something to sports. Thanks

  50. What a great piece! I just read this today and used the advice on a whim while writing a (supposedly) serious blog about sales and marketing. My article was chosen and I earned $80 from it! That is the most I have ever earned for one post. Thanks so much for this.

  51. Lexi, great post! The art of writing in a compelling and persuasive way is very important in copywriting. And using the “language of love” is one of the most effective ways to write a compelling and persuasive copy that converts.

    I have found that I am easily “sold” to an idea or a product/service when the copy appeals to me as a woman, through the use of some feminine, gentle and loving language.

    As you rightly pointed out, it is women who make most purchasing decisions, so a winning copy must certainly appeal to the feminine reader, to some extent. I like the examples you have provided, and they show that with just some tweaks here and there, a copy can be transformed to appeal to the feminine audience. As they say – all we need is love – so, adding some emotion and romantic tones to a copy can bring amazing results. Thanks again, Lexi.

  52. Really really clever article and so true!

    Great to look at the power of words and how they impact on the women’s market.

    thanks so much for sharing, keep the wisdom coming 🙂

  53. “Love” the article, romantic copy has found a new place in my “heart.” I can definitely see how “secret” would be appealing, and not just to women. Sounds mysterious and inviting 🙂

  54. I know I’m late to the party, but this is something I’ve long felt passionate about. Masculine-Feminine balance and interdependence in all arenas, including marketing/copywriting — I love it. Good for you for painting this in such an enlightening way, Lexi!

  55. I keep coming back to this post. This time it was for the copy for the app I’ve just released: I managed to get in magical, secret, enchanted, bewitched, heart(felt), king/queen, virgin hopefully w/o going OTT!

    Might I add for consideration:: sooth, serenade and sophisticated…

    Anyway, thanks again and please excuse the shameless plug!

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