They say actions speak louder than words, but that depends on what kind of words you’re using. Some words are magic. They get people to do things. They have an emotional resonance that hits people hard and encourages them to take action.
These powerful words are the ones you want to be using in your copywriting. They speak directly to readers, drive traffic to your page, and boost sales. In fact, according to Optinmonster, you could see a 12.7% increase in conversion rates by adding just a few power words to your copy.
But, like anything else, words go in and out of fashion. What works one year might be a tired cliché the next. You need to keep your writing fresh.
We’ve picked out the most powerful copywriting words you can use today. But first, what makes these words so powerful?
What’s the Psychology of Power Words?
Power words are those words that trigger an emotional reaction in people, either positive or negative, whether that’s inspiring excitement or triggering anger.
These words aren’t just informative—educating people or conveying information. They make you feel something. They create a certain mood and are usually very direct, simple, visceral, or visual.
Powerful copywriting words are emotionally charged. This makes them incredibly persuasive and good at influencing people.
The Best Power Words to Use in Your Copywriting
Power Words That Create Enthusiasm and Excitement
Many people will be reading your writing while they’re at work or on their commute. They’re bored and want to be entertained. Use words that will inspire them.
- Luxurious, glamorous, magnificent – these words conjure up images of wealth, prestige, and power—all things that generate excitement.
- Life-changing – who wouldn’t be interested in the opportunity to change their life?
- Awe-inspiring, epic, jaw-dropping, spectacular – these dramatic words will catch the reader’s attention with their suggestions of wonder, magic, and the extraordinary.
- Lucrative, cheap, or affordable – anything that equates to making or saving money will make people enthusiastic.
- Celebrate, uplifting, thrive – these words create a positive mood and make people feel good about life.
- Tempting, mouthwatering, alluring – these words are quite visceral, generating a physical feeling in readers that’s very persuasive.
- Bargain, bonus, exclusive, giveaway — these play on our common greediness. We want things and we want them at a good price, so we’ll always be drawn to the promise of saving money. Use these words in promotional materials.
- Unique, special, exclusive, members-only, be the first, become an insider — these all suggest that you’re going to get special treatment. While we like being like everyone else, we’d also rather be better than everyone else.
- Suddenly, instantly – these words create a sense of urgency or immediacy that makes people sit up and pay attention.
Power Words That Spark Curiosity
Humans are naturally curious. We want to know. If you can use words that pique people’s interest, you’ll be sure to keep them reading.
- Shocking, surprising, astonishing – these suggest that people’s preconceived ideas are about to be shaken up.
- Scandalous, controversial – everyone’s excited by the promise of something naughty or taboo.
- Intriguing, fascinating, thrilling, mind-blowing – most of your readers want to be entertained and the promise of having their mind blown will definitely entice them.
- Sneak-peak, little-known, behind-the-scenes, classified – we love the idea of finding out something that other people don’t know or being let in on a secret.
- Eye-opening, thought-provoking – we want to expand our horizons with new concepts and knowledge. These words encourage people to learn and discover, tapping into our natural curiosity.
- Unconventional, unexpected – anything out of the ordinary will get people interested.
- Miracle, magic – these words evoke the supernatural. Even in today’s scientific age, the thought of something that defies the laws of nature is exciting.
Power Words That Reassure
Everyone wants to feel safe and secure. It’s a basic human need. Promise readers solace and support with these reassuring power words.
- Guilt-free, risk-free, no strings attached – create a sense of safety by promising the absence of anything unpleasant like regret, risk, or being trapped. The word free always creates a positive reaction.
- Hack, solution, answer – anything that sounds like it might solve a problem will get people interested.
- Cheat-sheet, step-by-step, guide, how-to – people want answers and they want them in a simple-to-digest format that they can consult easily. Anything touted as a guide or set of instructions will appeal.
- Effortless, simple, painless, straightforward, uncomplicated – who wouldn’t want life to be stress-free and easy?
- Essential, critical, indispensable – people want to be armed with the knowledge they need to improve their lives. If you claim it’s absolutely necessary, they’ll want to make sure you’re right.
- Detailed, all-inclusive, comprehensive, definitive, ultimate – suggest you’re going to save people time and effort by providing them with everything they could possibly need, there and then.
- Fail-proof – people are stressed out by the thought of mistakes, failure, or accidents. Fail-proof is a powerful word, evoking the possibility of being immune to problems.
- No problem, no sweat – calm and soothe readers, encouraging them not to worry.
- Join, become a member, come along – these words create a sense of community, which is reassuring for people. If other people are doing it, it must be good. These words would work particularly well in email signups.
Power Words That Inspire Trust
If your audience doesn’t trust you, they simply won’t buy from you. That’s why the best brands concentrate on becoming the trustworthy compadre of their customers.
- Authority – we instantly place confidence in the authorities and using the word can create a mood of trust.
- Bonafide, guaranteed, authentic – nobody wants to be conned so including words that promise legitimacy will inspire trust in readers.
- Best-selling – we often look to others for recommendations, trusting the opinions of peers more than businesses themselves. If a product or service is best-selling, it’s proof that it’s good.
- Certified or endorsed – endorsements or certifications are reliable evidence that readers can trust what you’re saying.
- Dependable – any words that suggest trustworthiness and honesty will help win a reader’s engagement and loyalty.
- Moneyback – this is an incredibly reassuring phrase for people to see if they’re going to contemplate parting with their hard-earned cash.
- Well-respected – similar to ‘best-selling’, ‘well-respected’ comforts people with its suggestion of reputability, integrity, and popularity.
- Scientifically – science seeks to be objective so we put a lot of trust in scientific facts and figures.
- Recession-proof – in unstable and uncertain times, the phrase ‘recession-proof’ will always make people feel safe.
Power Words That Evoke Fear
In general, you want to evoke positive feelings in your readers. People won’t stick around if you’re stressing them out.
But there are exceptions to this rule. Evoking fear or playing on people’s worries can also be a powerful way to hold their attention. If you can make people consider a problem and then provide them with a solution, you’ll win their trust and appreciation.
Here are words that can create a sense of threat and motivate people into action.
- Warning, caution – readers’ eyes will be drawn to anything that promises to help them avert danger.
- Tragedy, tailspin, catastrophe, meltdown, collapse, nightmare – these words all make us worry. Use them sparingly, avoid hyperbole, and always follow with a way that you can help readers prevent such disasters.
- Fooled – no one wants to be scammed, tricked, or mess up. Warn readers about potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
- Embarrass, cringeworthy – similarly, we all harbour a fear of looking silly. We want to read about embarrassing or cringeworthy things so we can make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to us.
- Mistakes – if you can help someone avoid mistakes, they’re going to want to hear from you.
- Beware – this highly charged word immediately gets people’s attention.
- Stress – people are overworked and exhausted. They don’t want any added anxiety. Talking about stress and how to avoid it will pique their interest.
- Limited, running out, sale ends soon—play on our sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) with this classic sales technique, using these words evoke a sense of scarcity and urgency, getting people to act fast.
Imperatives: Powerful Words to Motivate People
Getting people to take action sometimes requires a command. But while you don’t want to boss your readers around, some imperatives are more casual and gentle, encouraging people with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
- Discover – this taps into our inherent curiosity, encouraging people to learn something new.
- Kickstart, supercharge, power-up – these words are incredibly visceral with their engine-like imagery, promising to elevate, enhance, or energize.
- Imagine – this highly persuasive word gets people to picture a scenario, creating a mood and emotional resonance.
- Help – we like the thought that we might be able to help people out.
- Learn – people want to educate themselves and stay informed.
- Win – we all love the idea of winning something.
- Save – the possibility of saving time, money, or effort is instantly alluring.
Two Simple Power Words to Definitely Use
If there any words to definitely include within your copy, they are the two extremely important ones below…
- You – addressing the reader directly always has an impact. People want to feel that you’re speaking to them personally.
- Because – always give people a reason to do something. Back up your claims. Explain yourself.
Weak Copywriting Words to Avoid
As well as trying to get as many powerful words into your copy as possible, there are also dull, clichéd, and uninspiring words that you want to avoid or risk immediately losing your reader’s attention. For example:
- Best – anyone can claim to be the best. Can you be more specific about what makes your product or service superior?
- Interesting – using the word interesting is a sure indicator that what you’re talking about isn’t interesting at all. Instead, lay out the facts and let people decide for themselves. Or choose a more powerful substitute from our list above.
- Nice – possibly one of the blandest words in the English language. There are endless alternatives here. Work out exactly what you’re trying to express and find a more specific alternative. Avoid great, amazing, or awesome.
- Innovative – this word has become rather hackneyed over time. See if you can find a substitute or explain exactly why your product or service is game-changing.
Where Should You Use These Copywriting Power Words?
A better question would be: where shouldn’t you use power words?
Sneak in these high-impact words everywhere you can, from headlines and product names to testimonials and landing pages, as well as email subject lines and calls-to-action.
Think about the emotion you want to inspire in your reader and use language that will do just that.
The easiest way to do this is to write a first draft of your copy. Then go back over it and try and replace every boring, run-of-the-mill, or uninspiring word with something from this list, transforming your content and giving it an edge.