Do you dream of writing content that is so powerful and thought- provoking, that your customers simply can’t wait to purchase, sign up or subscribe to your products or services?

It is every marketer or copywriters dream to come up with content that is so inspiring and so tantalising that it convinces readers to instantly take action.

There are many studies, theories and well-researched articles that provide us with clues and rules as to what makes good copy.

These fundamental rules of writing good copy will tell us that the content must:

1. Stimulate emotion and feelings

2. Tap into the psychological reasons as to why consumers need the product

3. Explain the benefits and features of the product

Along with these factors, effective copy also needs to contain graphics, images and be written in a particular format that will speak to readers- ie. a list style post, epic post or an infographic.

While these are all tried and true techniques, we are going to take you a little deeper into the amazing power of language and how it can be a powerful tool to drive sales.

When used correctly, language can enrich your content and inspire action, helping you to boost conversion rates and sales.

This can be achieved by using our list of 60 exclusive and psychologically backed power words, which can help motivate your readers to enter their personal details, take out their credit card and move through your entire sales funnel in order to get your product or services.

Power words have the ability to make a strong impact and get readers excited about what it is that you have to offer.

These power words can be broken down into six different categories, which you can use according to the objective and style of your content.

These six categories are:

1/ Fearful Trigger Points

2/ A Sense of Urgency

3/ An all Exclusive Feel

4/ Reassure Me Please

5/ The Art of Temptation

6/ That Personal Touch

Fearful Trigger Points

When it comes to grabbing the attention of your prospects, unfortunately nothing does it as well as ‘Fear’.

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions used by marketers in order to get attention and motivate readers to believe that they need the product or service that is being offered.

While it is not recommended to instil fear into anyone, let alone your prospective customers, the right balance of fear and truth can help your copy to be powerful, engaging and inspiring.

Some key power words that tap into fear based motivation include:

  1. Failure
  2. Hate
  3. Afraid
  4. Danger
  5. Humiliation
  6. Lonely
  7. Alone
  8. Vulnerable
  9. Stress
  10. Death
  11. Pitfall
  12. Mistake
  13. Risk
  14. Devastating
  15. Stupid
  16. Warning

Using these words sparingly can help your copy to stand out and can grab the attention of your audience. Of course, it’s not good enough to simply state these fears, your copy also needs to provide a solution as this will be the selling point.

For example:

“Don’t risk it. Over 50 percent of 65 year olds will develop some type of heart disease. Don’t be a statistic, start your heart healthy diet regime now.”

This example highlights the fear of developing heart disease and balances it with a truth by showing the statistical evidence. It then proceeds to inform readers that there is a solution (conveniently contained in the product), which they can then sign up for.

Fear based power words are great to use in headings, in the main text of your copy and when highlighting the benefits of your product or service.

In order for it to be most effective, your copy has to really drive the fear in an honest and truthful way and then your product has to be able to squash the associated fear or provide a solution.

Creating a Sense of Urgency 

Take a moment to think about the last purchase you made and ask yourself-

Did you purchase the product because you really needed it, or because you felt as if you would be missing out on a good opportunity or a good deal?

Chances are if you ask yourself honestly, majority of us would have purchased the product under the motivation of of not wanting to miss out.

This theory has also been backed up by scientific research. In a famous study, participants were asked to value cookies that were placed into two different jars. One jar had ten cookies in it whereas the other jar only had two.

Even though the cookies looked identical, surprisingly the jar with the least amount of cookies was deemed to be of a higher value.

Researchers believe that this was due to the fact that participants viewed the jar of two cookies as scarce and were perhaps fearful of missing out seeing as there were only two left.

The study also proved that interestingly, even though the jar of 10 cookies could be worth more, people were more motivated by the fear of missing out.

Creating scarcity is a great way to build excitement for a product and to get customers to take immediate action.

Here are some golden power words that you can use to help highlight scarcity and increase desire:

  1. Now
  2. Hurry
  3. Quick
  4. Limited
  5. Running Out
  6. Fast
  7. New
  8. Deadline
  9. Last Chance
  10. Final
  11. Never Again
  12. Expires

These power words all help to convey that immediate action must be taken otherwise the customer may miss out on an amazing opportunity.

In order for these power words to be used most effectively, the copy has to paint the promise of a glittering, golden opportunity.

This opportunity could be presented as a discount, as a product feature or as a limited edition option. Whatever you choose, your copy clearly needs to highlight that there is something out of the ordinary that is up for grabs.

Then from there, your copy must pain the picture of scarcity by using one of the power words listed above.

For example-

“Be spontaneous. Book your flight to Fiji now and get a huge 50% off! Hurry offer expires in 5 minutes and will never be repeated again!” 

In this example, the customer is offered the golden opportunity of a hefty 50 percent discount, but are also told that if they don’t act now they will miss out. This helps customers who are on the fence or who are perhaps wavering with their decision to take the plunge immediately.

An All Exclusive Feel 

Have you ever wanted what you can’t have?

Sadly, we have all been there. The minute you go on a diet you want that chocolate donut, the minute you decide to start saving you want a new iPhone. It seems like we are predisposed to want what we can’t have, especially when restrictions are in place.

This is why the luxury market exists today. Even though there may not be a quality difference in a product, the price is often far higher in order to cater to a smaller, elite group and to appear more desirable and more exclusive.

Creating exclusivity is a great tool that marketers can use to increase the perceived value of their products and services and to motivate customers to desire the product or service.

It also highlights that your product or service is only available to a smaller percentage of the population and is therefore, more unique or original.

One way to do this is with price, but it doesn’t have to be. Sites like Kickstarter also have an exclusiveness about them as many people want to back projects in order to be one of the first adopters.

Google also did this with their Google Glass product by only allowing customers who had an invite to purchase the product. And food ordering site, EAT24 only offers discount coupon codes to members.

Offering an exclusive deal, product or service can be a very powerful way to drive sales and increase revenue, and here are the top power words to use:

  1. Members Only
  2. Request an Invitation
  3. Become of the first few
  4. Become an insider/ Get an exclusive behind the scenes look
  5. Be the first to…
  6. Only available to existing subscribers
  7. Limited
  8. Class Full
  9. Login Required

In order for this strategy to be most effective, your copy has to make your products or services feel important, popular, unique or luxurious in some way.

Basically, your customers have to feel intrigued enough to want to know more or to spend the time to investigate how they can get their hands on your product.

From there you can hook customers in by creating some sort of exclusiveness, whether it is through price or a membership club of some kind.

For example-

“Amazing deals on designer brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci for club members only…..Interested in becoming a member? Limited spots available. Find out more here.”

One thing that you may want to note with this strategy is that exclusiveness can also scare customers away if not done correctly.

Of course, the success of your exclusiveness strategy will really depend on the type of brand and service you are offering, but if you make it too difficult or too tedious to purchase the product, then consumers may lose interest.

This may be something you need to test and assess to see whether exclusiveness will hinder or help your conversion rates and sales.

Reassure Me Please

One of the biggest conversion killers out there is a lack of trust.

In fact, 77 percent of online users worry that their data is going to be misused in some way and over 48 percent of customers check for security indicators before entering their personal details.

A lack of trust can simply be conveyed by your site layout, the popularity of your brand or a rogue comment on social media. Sometimes the lack of trust may have nothing to do with your site and everything to do with the mindset of the consumer.

This is why building trust and establishing a solid reputation as a brand is so important.

This is done through always performing best practices and offering solutions to common concerns that your customers may have, such as return policies and secure checkout options.

Reassuring your customers using your content is a great way to motivate them to purchase and using these power words can help:

  1. Warranty or guarantee
  2. Refund/ A Full Refund
  3. Authentic
  4. Genuine
  5. Certified
  6. No obligation
  7. Cancel anytime
  8. Dependable
  9. No Risk
  10. Proven
  11. Secure
  12. Verified
  13. Safety
  14. Endorsed/ Backed
  15. Protected
  16. Unconditional
  17. Money Back

The most effective way to use this strategy is to identify some of the top concerns that your customers may have when purchasing your products or services. From there, you can then use these power words to tailor a no risk solution for them.

For example a Manuka Honey brand worked out that their top customer concerns were:

1. If the manuka honey was natural and ethically sourced

2. If the manuka honey actually contained the medicinal benefits of active cultures

3. If they would be able to change their mind if they didn’t like the taste of the manuka honey

They then addressed these main concerns in their copy-

“Our Manuka Honey is 100% natural, ethically sourced and is guaranteed to contain active cultures. If you are not completely satisfied with the purity or taste of your honey, we will refund you in full, no questions asked.”

This example highlights a guarantee and then supports the guarantee by offering consumers the opportunity to get their money back if they are unsatisfied. This instantly removes all the risks associated with purchasing the honey and can help to boost sales.

The Art of Temptation

Are you easily tempted?

Humans are curious beings and most love the idea of succumbing to temptation.

Temptations can be a powerful marketing tool as they feel sexy, dangerous and alluring and all of these factors can help to drive the effectiveness of your copy.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you want to tempt your customers to do anything wrong or illegal, but more often than not, people are curious about those who are different from them, those who have chosen the ‘wild and free’ path, those who have broken the rules and those who seem to live a glamorous or notorious life.

This goes back to the theory of the forbidden apple. It is the temptation of doing something “wrong” that makes the apple seem all that more appealing and exciting.

Using this emotion in your copy can be very powerful and can help your product or services to seem all that more desirable.

Here are some power words that you can use to help tempt your audience:

  1. Secret
  2. Confidential
  3. Private
  4. Forbidden
  5. Controversial
  6. Insider

In order for these words to be used in the most effective way, your product has to offer some kind of temptation or curiosity that your customers can discover after they have made their purchase.

For example-

“Order your copy of Kim Kardashian’s controversial new book and discover her most private secrets.”

Or alternatively, can simply create the tone or emotion of this in your copy in a more subtle way.

For example-

“Do you want to live the life of a multi millionaire? Discover the insider secrets on how John Smith made $5 million in just 12 months.”

Both these examples offer a tempting opportunity to catch a glimpse into the lives of someone else in order to learn their tricks of the trade or secrets. Of course, for this to be effective you will have to discern what temptations your audience may be excited by.

That Personal Touch 

Consumers don’t just want to feel like a number in the crowd. They want to feel that they are being spoken to directly and that your products and services are tailored just for them.

In order to do this, your copy has to focus on two of the most important power words-

  1. You
  2. Because

Good copy should always contain “You” and should be written with a single person in mind as this helps your customers to feel valued and important and therefore, more likely to purchase.

When you are writing email or more personalised copy, you can also go that one step further and use your customers name directly if you have access to it.

Studies have found that when people hear their own name, a part of their brain activates which helps them to become more engaged and more interested in what you are saying.

To use this strategy most effectively, it is important that your “You” statements are backed up with a “Because.” This gives your consumers a reason as to why they need to purchase and why this product or service is the perfect thing for them.

For example-

“You need to stop hand washing the dishes because your time is precious. Order a new dishwasher today and have it installed just in time to enjoy the weekend.”

When you give someone a reason to do something, they are more likely to follow through, especially if the reason resonates with them.

This theory is supported by a study conducted by Robert Cialdini. He conducted an experiment to work out what it would take to allow someone to cut in while waiting in a line at a photocopy machine.

He tested out three statements-

Statement #1: Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox Machine?

This statement resulted in a 60 percent success rate.

Statement #2:  I have 5 pages, may I use the Xerox machine because I am in a rush?

This statement resulted in a 94 percent success rate.

Statement #3: Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?

This statement resulted in a 93 percent success rate.

Statement number two was the most effective as people were able to justify why letting him cut in front of them would be a good idea.

The more powerful your reason, the more powerful your copy will be so you may have to investigate and study your demographic a little to work out what is going to work best.

Summarising Your 60 Power Word List 

We covered many power words that you can use to make your copy infinitely more effective. Here is the entire list of 60 words for your convenience-

  1. Failure
  2. Hate
  3. Afraid
  4. Danger
  5. Humiliation
  6. Lonely
  7. Alone
  8. Vulnerable
  9. Stress
  10. Death
  11. Pitfall
  12. Mistake
  13. Risk
  14. Devastating
  15. Stupid
  16. Warning
  17. Now Hurry
  18. Quick
  19. Limited
  20. Running Out
  21. Fast
  22. New
  23. Deadline
  24. Last Chance
  25. Final
  26. Never Again
  27. Expires
  28. Members Only
  29. Request an Invitation
  30. Become of the first few
  31. Become an insider/ Get an exclusive behind the scenes look
  32. Be the first to…
  33. Only available to existing subscribers
  34. Limited
  35. Class Full
  36. Login Required
  37. Warranty or guarantee
  38. Refund/ A Full Refund
  39. Authentic
  40. Genuine
  41. Certified
  42. No obligation / Cancel anytime
  43. Dependable
  44. No Risk
  45. Proven
  46. Secure
  47. Verified
  48. Safety
  49. Endorsed/ Backed
  50. Protected
  51. Unconditional
  52. Money Back
  53. Secret
  54. Confidential
  55. Private
  56. Forbidden
  57. Controversial
  58. Insider
  59. You
  60. Because

While this list of 60 power words is a great starting point, we really recommend that you work on creating your own power list with words that work exclusively for your own brand and demographic.

You can source your own power words by reading different types of copy from a variety of sources to see which words stand out for you or motivate you to take action.

Get into the habit of reading each line of copy out loud and highlighting or dissecting the words that stand out to you and make you feel compelled or emotional in some way.

Eventually, over time you will soon have your own list of power words that speak to you and resonate with your brand, products or services and consumers.

Having your own go-to list can not only help you write more effective copy that is more meaningful and influential, but it can also help you better target your overall objective.

Once you have your list, work on breaking it up into categories that cover some of  your main marketing goals and strategies and then monitor their success in order to save time and money.

Over time you will soon learn what words are money makers and engagement boosters and what words do the opposite.

Language, when used correctly can be a powerful sales tool, are you ready to harness the power?