The Best Letter of the Alphabet?

Did you know that the human brain prefers certain letters over others?

This is good to know because email, texting, and instant messaging have become a big part of how we communicate.

With only words on a screen, we lose the face-to-face dynamic, but we gain the ability to think more carefully about what we say.

I'm continuously experimenting with how to use "magic words" to create more connection and be more influential through written communication.

One obvious way to do that is to use people's names (don't worry, that's not the tip today). Dale Carnegie once said, "A person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

He had no idea just how right he was.

Modern science has shown that the human brain not only over-focuses on the sound of one's own name, but it also gives extra attention to the letters in that name (particularly the first letter).

For example:

  • People whose names begin with T are more likely to purchase Toyotas than Hondas.
  • People whose names begin with J are more likely to live in Jacksonville than Albuquerque.
  • People whose names begin with C are more likely to prefer Coke to Pepsi.
  • People whose names begin with K are more likely to marry Kim than Lori.

Magic letters? That’s crazy, right?

Maybe not. Here's some research and a possible explanation WHY:

Okay, back to our discussion. Want to grab someone's attention in an email?

Use their name, AND use more words that prominently feature the same letter as their name.

For example, tell Fran that your product is fabulous, fantastic, or affordable, and tell Gary that your company is great and going places. Tell Tom that it's a time-saver and tell Mike that it's a money-maker. Offer Dan a deal but offer Barbara a bargain.

Simple, but powerful.

(And yes, this article contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. I made sure to include everyone.)

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