Want a magic bullet for writing copy? What if I told you there is a list of words that speak to the human condition in a dependable way? What if there’s a list of words that are guaranteed to evoke feelings in your reader?
In a lot of ways, I think power words can serve you as your personal magic bullet. Power words are list of words that you can come back to time and time again and at least have an idea of what emotions you are targeting in your audience. And at most, you can evoke a real emotional response in your readers.
What Are Power Words?
Power words are words that have been identified to evoke emotion on a psychological level. Entrepreneurs, copywriters, and marketers are the main users of power words. But like most concepts, power words are not limited to only business applications.
Let’s just see if they work on you. What would these fake headlines maybe your feel.
10 Ways Your Children May Grow to Hate You
Lazy Self-Serving Con-Artists Are Probably Cashing Out On Your Marketing Budget
Angry for sure. Ripped off? Cheated?
Ironclad PPC Fraud Protection Endorsed by 3 of the Top 4 Technology Firms
Trust. Authenticity. Authority.
Brand New Technology As Easy To Use As The Internet You Will Regret Not Using Now
A little anxious? Maybe a little greedy?
Surprisingly one of these headlines very well could be true.
If you are in the marketing industry and you belong to a large enough company, there probably truly are lazy, self-serving con-artists cashing out on your marketing budget.
According to Marketing Specialist Matt Bailey, as many as 2 out of 3 video ads are watched by bots. And programmatic ad fraud is probably worse than you think.
Now hopefully you want to know what are the power words so that you can use them.
My List of the Most Useful Power Words
I want to give you a quick list of the power words I think you can use all the time everyday. And I want the list to be short enough that you can practically memorize it right now.
You probably already use these words, but this is my quick list for you to use right now if you have a space to fill.
I’m sure every one of us has looked up
It’s so fundamental to our psychology.
These are simple words everyone knows and loves, and that’s why they’re powerful!
Categories of Power Words
Ironically, the categories of power words just about line up to the categories of the seven deadly sins so be a good steward of this powerful knowledge.
The categories are:
Emotions Motivate the Search so Emotions Should Motivate the Click
Many times these emotions motivate the searcher in the first place. When the emotion you are selling matches the emotion searcher already has, that’s a match made in hell.
When you need to make an important decision in life you need expertise, authority, certainty. You want your medical advice to come from WebMD, medically validated no less. Or from your actual doctor no less.
When you are looking to buy a gift for your spouse, you want luxury. You want the brands that will make them feel worth a million dollars.
Now on to the master list of power word you’ll want to use.
Examples of Power Words
- Above average
- At the top
- Trade Secret
- Well respected
- Bull shit
- Morally bankrupt
- Piece of cake
Some of these words and feelings are stronger and more relevant in different scenarios. Use complimentary feelings.
For example, “easy” or “quick” and someone pressed for time will always align.
Or fear will always align with certain health problems (of course be ethical with these situations, either way, good luck outranking the established medical blogs…).
I prefer the power words that stir up emotions immediately instead of words that describe how readers should feel. For example, saying “intriguing” when you could instead actually intrigue the reader.
I think power words can provide marketers and entrepreneurs and probably countless other professionals a type of magic bullet.
But remember not to overuse power words especially when they don’t make sense or appear spammy or else they can lose their power because people won’t believe you.
For one thing, I think using these words is very powerful psychologically and emotionally for people.
For another, knowing what emotion you are trying to evoke in your reader I think is a very powerful insight. What emotion or need brings your readers to you? What are they looking for you to deliver?
Why is your audience coming to you? What do you need to deliver?
Here’s a list of words that aren’t necessarily emotional, but they are powerful words to the human psyche.
- How to
“Because” is a very powerful word. People are much more inclined to believe you or help you if you have a reason to back up your statements or requests. In fact, just saying the word “because” even without any additional information makes people much more likely to side with you.
In a 1978 Harvard social experiment, Ellen Langer demonstrated the power of the word “because.” The experiment goes as follows. A researcher would ask to cut a long line of people waiting to make copies. They would either simply ask to cut in line, ask to cut in line explaining “because I’m in a rush”, or ask to cut in line with a nonsense reason like “because I need to make copies.”
The experiment found that 60% of people complied with no additional reason (seems like a nice group of people). 94% of people complied “because I’m in a rush.” And surprisingly, 93% of people still complied with the nonsense reason “because I have to make copies.”
Key takeaway, bend over backwards to provide reasoning to people you want to persuade or inform. Secondly, be careful when people are explaining their own reasoning to you. Even if it’s flawed or baseless, you are still inclined to believe them.
See James Clear’s article on this subject here. I highly recommend his content on productivity, personal habits, and business.
Increasingly, people are typing questions into search engines.
They are asking “how to change my oil”, “why do celebrities hire personal trainers”, “what are the best colleges near me”. Things like that.
See Neil Patel’s article on this subject here.
Thank you sincerely for reading! My name is Evan River Welch. I’m a digital marketing learner with Simplilearn, learning SEO, content marketing, analytics, and social media marketing. Feel welcome to write any comments that popped up for you. And do not hesitate to contact me!