We’ve all heard the old axiom about the pen proving mightier than the sword. As it turns out, it’s true.
Power words prove the rule. A power word (also sometimes confused as a trigger word) is a word that evokes an emotion and a response. It instills in people the desire or need to respond to whatever you’re presenting them with.
That’s great for entrepreneurs and marketers. If you can use power words to boost your conversions and build your following, your business will become healthier as a result.
But what exactly constitutes a power word? And how can you use these words effectively?
We’ve come up with a list of 200 power words that boost conversions and help persuade customers. However, we’re not just going to throw a long list of words at you.
Instead, we’re going to tell you exactly how each set of words can contribute to conversion rate improvements. Whether they inspire greed or vanity or they’re best used in headlines or on landing pages, we’ll clue you in so you’re not left with guesswork.
First, though, we’ll help you better understand the definition and function of power words so you can use them more effectively to your advantage. Let’s dig into power words and how they work.
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What Are Power Words?
Think of power words as the wrecking balls of content marketing. They’re incredibly effective. Instead of destroying things, however, they build them up.
You’ve probably encountered lots of power words over the last week, whether you’ve heard them used in television commercials or seen them in Facebook Ads. Marketers use power words to convince people to respond immediately to a call to action.
Of course, any word could be considered powerful. So how do you identify (and use) them?
In most cases, power words have at least one of five qualities. They’re:
Consider these two words:
The first word is pretty mundane. It could refer to just about anything, from a four-car pileup on the highway to a concert with your favorite musical artist.
The second word, however, immediately evokes a response. You hear the word and you want to know what’s happened, who’s affected, and what can be done to stop the problem.
You don’t yet know what the scam involves or who it’s hurt, but you feel something just by looking at the word.
Now, let’s put it in context with a headline:
“Investment Scam Bilks Millions of Dollars From Retirees”
That’s a newsy headline, but you get the point. Now we have a click-worthy headline because we’ve used more than one power word in context.
If your word fits one or more of the five qualities we mentioned above, you’re probably looking at a power word.
Of course, it’s not always that simple. You have to know where to put those words and how to use them to evoke as much emotion as possible. That’s what we’re going to cover in the rest of this article.
Why Should You Use Power Words in Your Marketing Strategy?
As consumers, we see lots of words every day. In fact, we’re inundated with words, whether we’re reading emails, a novel, or the closed captions on a YouTube video.
Because of this saturation, we need every word to count in our marketing copy. If it doesn’t elicit a reaction, it’s the wrong word.
Power words help bring about action by evoking emotion. They cause readers to feel something viscerally, so they’re compelled to click, buy, or otherwise act.
There are lots of emotions, though. Good marketing copy should cause readers to feel specific emotions that cause them to make decisions immediately.
The best power words trigger emotions like curiosity, anxiety, excitement, and awe.
What Power Words Help Trigger Emotions for Improved Conversions?
Now that we’re clear on the definition of power words and why you should use them in your marketing copy, which words are most effective? We’re going to provide you with 200 examples in the context of specific emotions and situations.
The type of emotion you want to evoke will depend on the situation.
For instance, if you’re targeting consumers who are already brand-aware, you’ll want to engender excitement and urgency. You want them to buy right away.
However, if you’re targeting consumers at the top of the sales funnel, your power words should trigger emotions like curiosity, greed, and anger. It’s not necessarily time for the consumer to buy, but you want him or her to click.
Keep in mind that the term “power word” is sometimes a misnomer. Like “keyword,” it can refer to a phrase instead of a single word. For instance, a popular power word is “Right Away” because it implies urgency. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s two words.
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Everyone is a little greedy, whether they want the last slice of apple pie or they desire a higher salary. Appealing to greed can help you become a better marketer.
Depending on the types of online courses and other digital products you sell, you might be able to capture greed among your audience and convince them to convert. It’s all about suggesting a bargain or helping people attain what they want.
Some of the most effective greed power words include:
1. Save Money
4. Earn More
5. Get More
14. Marked Down
You might notice that we’ve substituted a few complex words for their simpler alternatives. Inexpensive, for instance, is often more favorable than “cheap.” Why? Because “cheap” implies poor quality.
Think about how your power words will impact people in different ways before you use them.
Did you ever read the Curious George books when you were a kid. If so, you learned that curiosity is a virtue. We all have it — and we all want to satisfy it.
Think about curiosity for a moment. It’s what inspired you to start your business, to learn more about your existing skill set, and to expand your education. It might be the reason you’re reading this article right now.
When we hear or read something intriguing, we’re hard-wired to check it out. We want to know more.
You can use that instinct to boost your conversions through power words. Our favorite curiosity power words include:
You’ll notice a pattern with all of these words. They’re designed to get people to click based on something you’re going to reveal or share. Just make sure you can back up your promise.
Sometimes, it’s okay to be lazy. In fact, laziness can lead us to find better ways to accomplish specific goals.
Let’s say, for instance, that you’re preparing a spreadsheet. Would you rather input all the numbers manually or use shortcut keys to do it quickly? Would you rather calculate the equations or run a formula?
When laziness meets efficiency, everyone wins. Power words can help people embrace their laziness and take advantage of opportunities to find faster, better ways to accomplish what they want.
There are lots of power words for laziness, including:
40. Without [Negative Consequence, such as “Effort, Time, or Pain]
43. Save Time
The goal here is to show people that they can get something done faster and easier without sacrificing the end result. If you can hit a pain point or overcome an objection in the process, you’re ahead of the game.
Feed Consumers’ Lust
We often think of lust in the context of romantic love, but Merriam-Webster defines lust as “an intense longing.” That could be for anything that satisfies a craving or desire.
With that said, sex does sell. Many people make purchasing decisions because a beautiful woman or handsome man was used in the television commercial for the product.
Additionally, a product that promises to improve one’s desirability can sell quickly. You just have to find the right power words to get your point across.
For instance, maybe you create online courses for men who want to improve their dating etiquette. You could use lust power words to convince them you have the answers to their questions.
A few of the best lust power words include:
You can use these power words together or by themselves to help boost your conversions and instantly improve your copywriting.
Appeal to Vanity
No matter how humble we feel, we usually have at least one or two sore spots when it comes to vanity. Whether it’s losing weight, getting fitter, improving one’s hair color, dressing better, or otherwise improving one’s physical appearance, we all have the desire to look nicer.
You can use that knowledge to your advantage.
Many prosperous marketers have used power words related to vanity to help sell more products — and not just in the beauty and fitness industries. No matter your Knowledge Commerce product, if you can appeal to your target customers’ vanity, you might sell more products.
For instance, a photographer might want tips on how to take more appealing self portraits. The same goes for an artist.
On the other hand, a public speaker might want to look better for those occasions when he or she steps in front of an audience. It’s a natural inclination.
Following are some of the best power words for appealing to vanity:
Make People Feel Powerful
When you make someone else feel powerful, you gain their trust. It’s a little-known fact in marketing that helping people feel powerful is more effective than exerting power over others.
In other words, you want to appeal to your target customer’s sense of power and self-possession. People who feel weak often don’t buy products because they’re insecure and vulnerable.
Power words that make other people feel powerful include the following:
94. Upper Hand
Simplify Consumers’ Lives
We all want to find a simpler way to accomplish the goals we set and get what we want. It’s not always possible, but we’re on the lookout for a solution.
When you imply or suggest that your product offers an easier, simpler alternative to the generally accepted method of achieving a goal, more people will buy from you. That’s why it pays to use power words that suggest you can simplify consumers’ lives.
Some of the best power words that suggest simplicity include:
101. Cut Down
103. Save Time
111. Break Down
112. Free Up
While you don’t want to make your audience feel inferior, you do want to gain their respect for your company and products. That’s why it’s essential to exude authority when you prepare marketing materials.
Authority often comes from outside sources, so you can use power words when referencing third-party statements. For instance, if an expert has given you a testimonial, you might use a power word to introduce it.
Similarly, you can use your own data or someone else’s to prove that something is important enough for your audience to stop and pay attention. Adding a power word gives the data or statistic more gravitas, which instantly helps you gain authority.
If you want your audience to see your business as authoritative, use power words like these:
123. Scientifically Shown
127. No Doubt
Everyone wants to feel safe, whether we’re tucked in our beds at night or trying out a new sport. When you use power words related to safety, you make your prospects feel more secure dealing with your business.
Most importantly, you don’t want your prospects to think they’re taking a risk by buying from you or by testing out your strategies and tips. They should feel as though you’re protecting them from harm by providing safe, actionable information.
Try these power words related to safety:
144. Free of Danger
151. No Risk
153. Sure Thing
It might sound the same as safety and authority, but trust is actually an entirely separate concept. You build trust with your prospects and customers over time, so trust-related power words should remain consistent across your marketing copy as well as your informational products.
The idea is to suggest that other people can rely on you over and over again to deliver what you promise.
Try these power words related to trust:
Anger and rage can ignite passion and fuel action. You might already know this if you’ve ever gotten angry and taken immediate action, whether you yelled at someone or told other people about the experience.
While anger is technically a negative emotion, it’s also very persuasive. For instance, if you tell people that someone is taking advantage of them, they’re going to want to know who the perpetrator is and how they can stop the injustice.
Similarly, if they know that they’ve been duped, they’ll want to remedy the problem. When you provide the solution, you build trust (as noted above).
You can help ignite anger in a safe way using these power words:
179. Hate or Hated
You might think that engendering fear in your audience would be a bad thing. After all, why would you want to scare people?
The reality, though, is that there are different levels of fear. You don’t want your prospects to fear for their lives, but a little anxiety can go a long way to boosting your conversion rates.
For instance, maybe you create online courses about photography. Your potential customers are worried that their customers or family members won’t like their images.
You can hit that pain point using fear-based power words. Let them know that you recognize their anxiety, but that you also have a solution.
Try these fear-related power words in your marketing copy:
189. Take Advantage
190. Miss Out
191. Lost Opportunity
Power Words Examples
Now that we’ve given you 200 power words to chew on, let’s take a look at a few examples. How can you use these words to boost conversions?
For the purposes of this article, we’ll use a specific example. Let’s say that you create online courses on public speaking. Following are a few ways in which you might use power words for headlines, product names, landing pages, and calls to action.
Power Words in Headlines
When it comes to headlines, you want to grab your prospect’s attention fast. The easiest way to do this is by presenting the promise right up front.
You can take a boring headline and spice it up with power words. Adjectives and powerful verbs help create momentum and encourage people to click. Combine these headlines with powerful CTAs to boost your conversion rate even further.
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Power Words in Product Names
When naming a Knowledge Commerce product, use power words to suggest what your product will deliver once the customer converts. How will you help improve or accentuate the customer’s life?
Power words help elevate a boring product name to one that evokes emotion and demands attention.
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Power Words on Landing Pages
Whether you use power words on your landing page headlines, body copy, or bullet points, you can benefit. Landing pages are designed to be conversion machines, so you don’t want to give up the opportunity to make a sale or gain a new email subscriber.
Don’t be afraid to A/B test your choices. Landing pages often don’t work as well as you’d hoped on the first try. Mix them up and compare results so you’ll know what words work and which don’t.
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Power Words on Calls to Action
Your call to action (CTA) needs to be powerful if you want to get the click. Using power words can help attract attention and encourage prospects to click through rather than click away.
Remember that a CTA has fewer words than a headline or other similar piece of copy. You can make it longer if necessary, but shortening it with snappy power words can make your job much easier. Additionally, you can add commas between power words to pack and even stronger punch.
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Using power words isn’t just some psychological hack. It’s a proven way to boost conversions on your Knowledge Commerce products. To help you out, we’ve given you 200 power words that you can use in your headlines, product names, landing pages,and calls to action right now. Mix and match to your heart’s content.
Keep in mind that certain power words evoke specific emotions. We’ve categorized our words into several different areas, including curiosity, laziness, vanity, powerfulness, authority, simplicity, safety, trust, anger, fear, lust, and greed. Sometimes, these emotions overlap.
Start by reviewing the power words we’ve listed. Which ones do you think would appeal to your target audience?
Next, apply them to the different areas listed above. Some might work best in headlines or subheads, while others could prove more powerful in calls to action or product names. You can experiment and A/B test your choices to figure out what works best with the people who buy your products.
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