Marketing Tips

Small Changes. Big Impact. Language Matters

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Michelle Fournier

"Don't ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs." -Hamza Yusuf

It’s no secret adoption decisions are largely rooted in emotion. According to a PetHealth and APPA survey with 10,000 responders, the love of animals is what drove 70% of people to take action and adopt a pet. With emotional decisions words matter and have a magnifying effect on how adopters perceive your animals.

For example, it has been proven that a bio description along with a clear call to action can directly influence people’s decisions to adopt. According to the survey, the most effective messages highlight available animals, had a positive spin, and had a clear call to action.

Writing a positive message resonates much better than a straight plea. In the example below, 63% responded more favorably to the second message over the first:


  • We are running out of space! Come adopt a pet so we don’t have to euthanize animals; OR
  • We have so many great animals, that we are running out of space! Come adopt a pet today!

Small changes to language can go a long way towards positively impacting the success rates of adoptions. In the below example, by simply including a reference to “love”, 10% of survey respondents favored the message which can lead to an action taken.


  • Lucky was hit by a car and lost her leg and left eye. She needs a home quick! Adopt a pet today!; OR
  • Lucky was hit by a car and lost her leg and left eye. She has a lot of love to give and need a new home quick! Adopt a pet today!

When creating messages specifically to drive a call to action, focus on these three key points:


  •   Health of the pet
  •   Specific endearing traits or characteristics
  •   A reminder of the life-saving nature of the adoption.


Remain positive, be descriptive, and celebrate the successful connections you create!


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