How does word choice impact your marketing success? A lot more than you may think.
A Nielsen study found ads that provoked a strong emotional response resulted in a 23% increase in sales.
The words you use matter because the customer journey is an emotional one. The top emotional buying motivators are:
- Fear and desire for safety
- Urgency and fear of missing out
Boost your conversions with these 50 top business power words and phrases. Plus we’ll share the 3 best ways to use them.
50 Top Business Power Words and Phrases
Top 10 Overall Business Power Words
Top 10 Inspirational Business Power Words
Top 10 Safe Business Power Words
- Guarantee (“30-day, money-back guarantee”)
- Risk-free (“No credit card required.”)
Top 10 Urgent Business Power Words
- Limited (time, quantity)
- Miss Out
- Never (“Prices will never be this low again.”)
Top 10 Curiosity Business Power Words
- New (all-new, redesigned, reimagined)
- Free (free sample, free bonus, free upgrade)
- Save (save more, save 10%)
- Percent (data, case studies, statistics)
How to Boost Conversions With Business Power Words
While you should use these marketing words everywhere, here are 3 specific ways you can strategically use them to drive conversions.
1. Headlines and Subheadings
This is the most important place to use power words. Why would anyone read the rest of your article or page unless you compel them with a strong, emotional headline? An unquantifiable rule of marketing, though often cited by industry leaders such as Moz and Copyblogger, is the 80/20 rule: 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will click it.
Writing a great headline is easy when you include a power word. See what I did there? I used “easy” to make you curious. “How easy is it? Could I do it?” That’s what I want you, the lead, to think when you read it.
Work emotional words from the lists above into your headlines. This works best when combined with phrases such as “will make you,” or “is what happens.” A Buzzsumo analysis of 100 million headlines found the best small phrases that resulted in the highest shares.
“Will make you” outperformed the next leading phrase, “this is why,” by more than 200%.
Using the “will make you” example, your headlines meant to inspire customers could be:
- X Bold Website Templates That Will Make You Money
- The Strategy That Will Make You a Pioneer
And headlines meant to evoke curiosity could be:
- Steal This: Sales Strategy That Will Make You Close More Deals
- How 90% of Millionaires Live: The Secret That Will Make You Rich
By combining attention-grabbing words with popular headline formulas, such as the “will make you” tip or using a number, you’ll maximize the impact of your content.
2. Calls to Action
There is tons of research out there about how to create the so-called perfect call to action (CTA). SAP says orange CTA buttons raised their click-through rate (CTR) by 32.5%. Performable changed to red CTA buttons and saw a 21% jump in conversions.
So who’s right?
Turns out, everyone is. Don’t switch all your CTAs to orange or red and hope for a miracle.
That’s because what works for CTAs in one industry or for one target market doesn’t always work in another. You can get big results like the SAP and Performable examples above by A/B testing your own CTAs to find what your audience responds the best to.
The same goes for word choice. Sometimes, straightforward is the way to go.
Netflix still uses the classic “Get Started” CTA they’ve used for years. Why? Because it works.
However, you don’t have only one CTA for everything. You have a main CTA to get users to sign up or buy, such as Netflix’s “Get Started.” But you also have all the little things: an email subscribe form, social media links, a button to read a full article and more.
Change up your CTAs throughout your site to include different power words. Then, A/B test each of those until you’ve optimized them all.
Get creative. This example from Huemor is full of curiosity by using reverse psychology to instruct users not to click it.
Examples of calls to action that use power words are:
- Buy now
- Save 50%
- Get instant access
- Don’t miss out
- Exclusive offer
- Get my free _____
- Sign up for free
- Learn more
But again, test yourCTAs on your audience. There is no one-size-fits-all CTA that works for everyone.
3. Landing Page Copy
As well as peppering your headlines and CTAs with the powerful marketing words on our list, work them into your web copy.
Urgent power words are especially potent for driving conversions. A case study featured by CXL shows how adding urgency into copy can be simple and have big results. The small changes below resulted in a conversion rate increase from about 3.5% to roughly 10%.
Urgency is a powerful motivator. But to get that sale, you first need to make your leads curious enough to read more, then reassured by your capability, and finally, inspired by your promised results.
Here are 3 places to work in curiosity, trust-building and inspirational power words to your landing pages:
- Headings and subheadings: As mentioned previously, but it’s important to use impactful words here most of all.
- Videos: Do you create videos for YouTube or social media? Have an explainer or demo video on your landing page? Use power words in the script.
A University of Waterloo study found people are more likely to remember information if they both read it and hear it, versus only one of those scenarios. By using power words in visual communication such as graphics and video along with your copy, you’re strengthening both a lead’s emotional connection to you and their memory of you.
- Testimonials: You can’t choose the exact words your customers use in testimonials, but you can feature the ones highlighting emotional messages.
Of course, you don’t want to ignore the ones that mention amazing results. Those work to build trust, too. Evaluate your testimonials from an emotional lens and see which ones strike the best balance between showing off your product’s capabilities and using emotional power words.
Here’s an example. Which version do you think is most effective?
“After using PageClicky for 1 month, our incoming leads were up 58%.”
“After using PageClicky for a month, it’s clear to me why it’s such a popular app: It’s so easy. I am finally in control of my lead funnel and the results speak for themselves. Our incoming leads are up 58%. Now that I’ve tried it, I can’t imagine using anything else.”
Using a few of our power words above, the second review turns a simple fact into a story.
Tip: Most customers won’t write such a detailed review on their own. Try asking for a testimonial from your top customers over the phone, then write down what they say. You’re more likely to get an emotion-based review like the example above.
This testimonial for OptinMonster shows how a perfect mix of emotional words (“once a disbeliever,” “super easy”) and results (“doubled email signups”) combine to both inform and inspire your leads.
Impactful Words = Impactful Results for You
Using powerful phrases to create an emotional response to your marketing will get you more sales. There are thousands of words out there, but we hope this list of 50 business power words gets you started.
The words we’ve listed evoke positive emotions, such as safety, trust, inspiration and curiosity. You could also go the opposite route and prey on anger or fear. A study by California State University found people can remember fear-based ads better than positive ones.
However, that often isn’t the best strategy long-term. Is your product really that good if you have to badger people into buying it?
We’ll leave you to decide. Whichever strategy you go with, make sure to optimize your headlines, calls to action and landing page copy with power words. Test them often. Tweak. Repeat.
You’ll find the phrases that grab your audience’s attention and compel them to convert. What are you waiting for? Start now. (See? Powerful, right?)