We know, we know… “Power words” sounds like something a stereotypical sleazy salesman would say at some overpriced “business training event”… a.k.a. “a thinly-veiled attempt to scam your money out of you”.

But power words do exist. And as tired and overdone some of them sound, they work miraculously well (yes, miraculously is also a power word).

They grab people’s attention. They demolish objections like nobody’s business. And they make your customers crave what you have to offer.

Today, we want to talk briefly about how and why to use power words in your marketing messages: website headlines, copy, email subject lines, your whiteboard videos… anything, really!

We also want to share 10 of them with you – because we know you are awesome, and will use them only to sell valuable products or services, not take advantage of people.

WHY use power words in your messages

To put it bluntly, there are two main reasons you want to use power words.

Take my money

Reason #1. To push people’s emotional buttons. The overwhelming majority of research proves that people don’t reason their way into buying something… they make an emotional call, and then the rational side kicks in and retroactively justifies the buying decision.

If your offer doesn’t resonate on the emotional level, you might as well replace all your messaging with, “Please buy this, I have a business to run”. And power words are an excellent way to invoke strong emotional responses in your potential customers.

Reason #2. To stoke their curiosity. It’s dead simple: curiosity makes people wonder. Wondering keeps them engaged with your message. Being engaged makes them more receptive to the offer… which means they are more likely to take action and buy from you.

When we want to know something, we go to great lengths to satisfy our curiosity. Make people hungry to know more about your offer, and how they will benefit from it – and not only will they keep reading or watching, they will also feel more inclined to buy!

HOW to use power words in an honest, authentic way

Do you want the short answer? Strategically.

As tempted as you may be to fling power words around like there’s no tomorrow… don’t. Just like you wouldn’t dump a pound of sea salt and spices into a stew, you wouldn’t saturate your message with power words just for the sake of it.

In general terms, there are three possible instances you want to include 1-2 power words in your marketing message…

1. When you want to glue people’s eyes to the screen (but not literally – ew!)

To keep potential customers interested and engaged while they skim your content, you want to make certain focal points on the page as compelling as you can. Headlines and subheadlines are excellent candidates for smart and sparing use of power words.

2. When you want to instill unwavering confidence

A doubting customer is a lost customer. When people read, watch, or listen to your message, they will have all sorts of concerns and objections buzzing inside their heads. You need to alleviate those. Power words in your testimonials, FAQs, benefits, and product descriptions will take care of the problem.

3. When you want them to take immediate action

This is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want to show a button or a call to action to a potential customer and see them do nothing…

…or worse, shrug their shoulders, close the page, and move on. You want them to go, “Finally! I need this now!” – and give you their money. To make your conversion rates higher and instill a sense of urgency, use power words where action is required.

“Enough talk – give me the good stuff!”

That’s quite enough theory, isn’t it? Let’s finish strong – with a list of tried-and-true power words you can use. By the way, you may have noticed some of them (and others) in this post! See what we did there?

Anyway, here you go:

For emotion: Fascinating, Insane, Cringe-Worthy.

For curiosity / confidence: (Scientifically) Proven, Guaranteed, Unconventional.

For action: Instantly, Today, Now.

And #10 is the time-tested, all-powerful word we all love… “FREE”!

(It’s been around for much longer than marketing itself… but it still packs a punch!)

There you go – 10 power words you can use to enhance your marketing message today, along with advice on how to use them. Just remember – be strategic about it. After all, nobody likes over-hyped marketing!