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What Are Power Words?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

To some, words are simply there to fill a page, a mere wireframe exercise for those who create content online. However, words are in fact a meaningful tool in which you can craft any narrative of your choosing. When visitors land on your page or even read your brochure, it’s a golden opportunity to speak to them by carefully curating the language you use. The right words can inform, entertain, persuade or engage an audience.

One such type of word you need to consider is power words. As the name suggests, power words are words that hold weight or value when used. They are the big guns of copywriting and marketing, therefore are something every content creator should know about. Let’s take a closer look to find out more.

Power Words: An Overview

what are power words

Quite simply, power words cut through the mustard. They can best be described as words that are used to incite an action in response to their usage. Whether that be a physical action (such as buying something) or even getting someone to think differently about a topical issue.

Taking online retail as an example of using power words for persuasion, when words such as ‘sale’ or ‘last chance’ are plastered across the homepage, it catches your attention. The language isn’t just saying ‘well there are a few price reductions you might like’. Instead, the use of power words makes one word/two word phrases that are a call to action.

The Psychology Of Words

words conversions

How we think, feel and react are entwined with language, and how marketers use words within their content is no exception. Words can be used in a wide variety of ways to grab attention, generate excitement, or create a sense of appeal. The psychology of words is also linked with the lifestyle of a product and its value. The descriptive language creates an image of what the customer is buying into, and while the visuals also play a part too, so do the words that are written and spoken.

Power words can be emotive too, even when the goal isn’t financially motivated. For example, when you see a sign that says ‘danger’ on it, it grabs your attention. You immediately check your surroundings and warn others. Often, the warning will be accompanied by a red coloured sign, which humans associate with hazards too. Yet, if that sign said ‘go ahead!’ it would be very confusing because we look for visual clues within the language just as much as we do with colours.

Why Are Power Words Useful?

what are power words

When used correctly, power words can dramatically boost your conversion rates. They are quick-fire pieces of communication that direct the audience to do something or informs them that this deal won’t be around for much longer (‘unmissable!’) etc. In essence, power words aren’t subtle, they are direct and informative.

The usefulness of power words is the same as why you’d need to use anything powerful. Say you need to clean your drive so you use a powerful jet wash. If you are feeling sleepy, then you can have a strong (powerful!) coffee to wake you up. Words also follow that same mantra, in that they can be very powerful too. You use power words when something milder simply won’t do.

The reason behind opting for power words would be to create actionable results because you want the user to follow up and do something. Whether that be to purchase from your store, take your cause on, sign a petition etc. Power words are essentially saying that this cause or offer cannot wait and that the user needs to do something.

How To Use Power Words In Your Content

what are power words

When you write content you need to keep the focus of the piece in mind when choosing your words. If the language sounds unsure, then so too will be your customer. The context will determine which power words will work best in your content, but some effective examples include words such as: last, now, final, extreme, high-performance, strong, unmissable, unbeatable etc.

In a digital sense, marketers will usually have space in the form of a headline or an advertising banner to make a power word top of the agenda. However you use power words, it’s all about making them stand out and not just in a visual sense but by writing clean copy too. So, less waffle and more direct hard-hitting language that takes the user to the next point of call.

To Sum Up

Power words are useful when a gentle approach just isn’t going to cut it for whatever reason that may be. These short and sharp phrases are there to remove any hesitation from the customer or user. After all, most people think about a purchase before they make it. Power words speed this process up, and is there to say ‘yes’ in their minds, rather than ‘I’ll think about it’. When power words work effectively, they create more sales, traffic and ultimately conversions.

Need a little help making your copy more powerful? Here at Imaginaire, marketing whether it be with power words, SEO or website design is what we do. We’re passionate about helping businesses attract more leads. Drop us an email or call us on 0115 971 8908 to find out more.

I write about all things marketing and love to focus on data. You'll see topics from SEO and PPC to web design and CRO.

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