“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Were you ever told that growing up?
It was probably after someone’s words hurt you.
Because, words are powerful.
What we say can elicit a lot of emotion.
Some of it positive and some of it negative.
Word choice makes a huge difference in how we take action.
It can change whether or not we take an action.
That is the key to its use in marketing.
People will tell you to use power words in your blog headlines and email subject lines and opt-in forms because they get better conversions, opens, clicks, etc.
It looks for Power Words as one of the categories in its search.
Using power words gives your headline a better score which should lead to more clicks and if you translate it over to email subject lines you will also get more opens of your marketing emails.
One of my favorite blogs on the topic is by Buffer on The Psychology of Language.
It’s a great primer on how we process words and how to ask questions.
It also cites, Gregory Ciotti’s 2021 blog on Copyblogger that shared the 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language.
I like Gregory’s Warning in the blog:
Warning: I can’t stress enough — just as in the application of writing headlines that work — you must understand why these words are persuasive, and you must use them in the contexts that make sense for your audience and your business. If you just start slapping them on every piece of content you create for no apparent reason, you’ll quickly see just how unpersuasive they can be.
I agree with him.
Any “rule” in marketing or writing needs to be taken in the context of you and your organization.
Here are the words he says are the most persuasive in the English language:
If you look at these words, you will see that it really is all about your reader.
Now, if you are reading this blog, you probably want to get down to what are power words so that you can start using them, but again, be sure to be careful with how you use them, as they may not have the result you are seeking.
Let’s start with the word free as an example.
Who doesn’t love to get something for free?
However, if you use that word, you may attract audiences you don’t necessarily want like bargain hunters that will never return to buy your product unless you offer another deal.
Think about your target audience or the person you are advertising to, writing to, whatever you are doing when selecting words. Don’t miss our blog on personas if you want to create a better understanding of your target audience.
Now, let’s get into some examples of power words you can use in email marketing, blog writing, and advertising:
- Behind the scenes
- Cheat Sheet
- Don’t miss out
- Invitation Only
- Last Chance
- No Risk
- Pay zero
- Save (time, money, etc)
- While they last
Now, before you go adding all these powerful words into your blogs and email subject lines.
Who are you writing to?
If you are writing to a person who is a risk-taker you don’t want to talk about how they can “Safely Secure X, Y, or Z.”
Rather, you might want to offer them the “Ultimate Guide to Conquer X, Y, or Z.”
How do those phrases make you feel?
Just because you prefer one over the other is how they affect you.
Always think about who you are writing for and make it easy for them to relate and want to click, open or sign up.
Think about your target audience and what they are looking for and then create your headlines and subject lines and see how they rate in the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.