Please Don’t Hesitate

I saw this in a resource box today: “Please don’t hesitate to visit my website at: “ (actual name of URL changed to protect)

My point: Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate.

What are you thinking about? Most people would say they are thinking, “Hesitate or Hesitating.”

Little NLP (Neuro Lingquistic Programming) for you on this fine Sunday: As children, we grew up learning to ignore the word “don’t” because we often wanted to do exactly what our parents were telling us to “don’t” do. This means that most people would hear this message: “Please hesitate to visit my website at:…” … because it’s human nature.

Therefore, if you’re going to give commands in your Resource Box copy: state it always in the positive: Visit my website at: or Please visit my website at: or Surf [website URL] to get more of [insert benefit here].

Make sense, now doesn’t it? Yes. :)… as you smile.


Albert Hallado writes:

Amen, Great point Chris!


Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 1:49 PM




I have such a hard time explaining to writers I work with the difference between positive and negative language.

Case in point:

“Buying diamonds shouldn’t be difficult, and that’s why we make your shopping experience as easy as possible.”

The writer wholeheartedly defended using positive language. “But I wrote write there the company makes it easy!”

“Yes. But you also used the word ‘difficult’ in the same sentence. Why didn’t you just say ‘buying diamonds should be easy?'”

“But I did!!”


Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 1:52 PM



Hi Chris

Nice touch!

Some would say that it is “only semantics.”

I would say that it is all semantics.

Language is everything, don’t you agree. :)


Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 2:08 PM


Fran Civile writes:

Very interesting observation Chris and I agree
with all the comments above.


Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 2:26 PM



How about something hypnotic, like “When you visit my website at…”?
Yes, I’ve been reading Joe Vitale’s stuff.

Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 2:55 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

Or, you could say something like: “Whatever you do, don’t visit this website” and it will have the reverse effect.

The curiosity factor kicks in and they must know what it is they are told not to do.

I wouldn’t advise doing this though. :)

Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 3:01 PM


Hope Wilbanks writes:

I totally agree. I’ve learned to be more careful about my choice of words b/c I’ve been known to use those “negative” connotations often. :) Great tip!

Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 3:06 PM



Yes! Being a psych major and also the parent of an ADHD kid, I learned both in school and first hand the power of a ‘positive’ suggestion versus a negative one. Our brains really process things at a level we were completely unaware of, and this is a very excellent tip to offer to article promoters!

Love and stuff,

Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 4:17 PM


Dianne Kneller writes:

That was an excellent tip, Thanks, Glad it wasn’t my resource box, “had a bit of a giggle to be honest” had never thought of the don’t disappearing like that, & I have studied NLP in the past, also great comments too.

This is my first time visiting the blog here, so will have to make sure I get back & learn some more great tips.

Cheers from Dianne in NZ :)

Comment provided October 14, 2007 at 11:27 PM



Hi Chris!

Good advice!

Every good marketer knows that there is a list of negative words that he/she shall never use!
What Michelle said about our brain is correct.

Only positive words and positive suggestions can have positive results.

Comment provided October 15, 2007 at 5:01 AM



Hey Chris,

I do agree with the idea that marketing should hit a positive note and try to avoid expressing things in a negative manner. However, I will add that if the person’s article captivated me enough, I *wouldn’t hesitate* to click the link no matter what method he or she used to try and get me there in the resource box. A single line would not “make or break the deal” for me I don’t think.

Comment provided October 15, 2007 at 10:09 AM



Yes Dina, you are right. I wouldn’t care for the presentation if I was interested in something I read, like you.
However, the point is that in your resource box you have to encourage the reader that is not so sure he shall visit your site to do so!

A good ad or marketing message is the one that attracts people that are not interested in your offer.
You have to help them care for what you are showing them and make them want to learn more about it, the best way you can. The details are very important!

Comment provided October 15, 2007 at 12:02 PM


Samantha Rangen writes:

And never underestimate the power of the word “please”!

One time almost 10 years ago while looking at the number of views different ebay auctions were getting, we noticed that titles adding ‘please view’ or ‘please look’, or some variant of ‘please’ got a lot more views.

Go figure.

Comment provided October 15, 2007 at 1:24 PM



Great point about the ‘don’t’ conditioning. The ‘please don’t hesitate’ is often used to politely let someone know ‘I’m here for you’ but why risk the override, especially online? ;-)

Comment provided October 15, 2007 at 1:37 PM


Ann L. writes:

I remember the example from my NLP training: “Don’t think about purple elephants”. I’d love a little edit reminder in my text editor, something like ‘watch your negative suggestions’. :-)

Comment provided October 17, 2007 at 5:45 PM



I DON’T understand but fully comprehend your point, LOL. Always better to provide the affirmation rather then a pre-condition that fails to invite openly to your site. Thanks for the point.

Comment provided October 17, 2007 at 8:06 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

These reverse psychology strategies have been statistically proven over and over again. In fact, in Little League they make sure no one tells the kids “Don’t Strike Out” because invariably they will. It is human nature to take risks and do what they are warned not to do. Don’t triggers an deep innate need to Do. There are many academic studies on this, it is real and therefore this is very good advice and well, it is proven too. Try it out sometime you will see.

Comment provided October 22, 2007 at 12:56 AM


Steve Tromans writes:

Hi Chris
‘Don’t hesitate’ will tend to act as a double negative and encourage people to take action so it’s not as bad as it may initially appear.

As an NLP Trainer and hypnotherapist for more than 10 years I speak from some experience here (I don’t always get these things right myself, naturally).

I, myself, prefer the phrase ‘please feel free’

Comment provided October 25, 2007 at 9:54 AM


Belinda writes:

I’ve been amazed with how resource boxes are written with so much negative language.

Things like “don’t forget” really frustrate me when it is so much easier to say “remember” and it has a much better result.

When you’re inviting people to your website why bother saying hestiate? It’s much easier to say “Come visit us at ….” or “Come shop at ….”

All the best!

Comment provided October 28, 2007 at 5:21 PM


Benedict Aloysius writes:

Verbally, casually ‘don’t hesitate’ makes sense.

Logically, as you put it, makes a point.

Comment provided October 29, 2007 at 6:29 AM


Nate Moller writes:

I really believe effective copy is all about the positive voice. If you show doubt in your wording or “hesitate”, you’ll lose. Ask the visitors or clients to do what you really want them to do, and many times they will do it if the offer is a win/win.

Comment provided October 29, 2007 at 6:22 PM


Nick Moreno writes:

So very true! Keep it positive to get a positive result. No “do nots” only “PLEASE DOs”
Nick Moreno
Head Coach
National Sales Center

Comment provided November 3, 2007 at 4:28 PM


Allen writes:

I believe you are correct in your ramblings.

Comment provided June 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM


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