Power is one thing everyone longs for; the ability to exert control and influence on others has long held mass appeal. Throughout human history, words have been at the center of the rise of many to power. Maybe your dream isn’t to command a great army, however, you can still effect change in your community by using the right combination of power words in your writing.
These words will make you seem more convincing, trustworthy, and give you leverage to push ideas and sell goods you otherwise would have failed at. As intimidating as it might sound, most of us are already familiar with them, but it’s time to finally learn how to use them to your advantage.
The Use of Power Words Are Common Than We Think
The best way to think of a power word is as the key that unlocks the desired effect from readers in your writing. Also called trigger words, these words spark a reader’s reaction, causing them to interact with your work. These power words are common, and you have likely seen them used and responded to them in TV commercials and internet ads.
Another common usage is news headlines, where news outlets use them to get you to click and read the full story. Although the substance may not always match the image painted by the words, they keep using them because they are just that effective.
Qualities of a Power Word
Power words notably carry distinctive qualities that are useful in writing. To identify if a word is a power word, it must meet at least one of these five qualities.
The idea here is, a power word must make the reader feel something. It can either command a sense of uniqueness and exclusivity like Join, Hidden, Secret, or a sense of action with words like Save Time, Decode, Break Down.
Power Words Connect You To Your Audience And Create Lasting Impressions
If you are just getting familiar with power words, you may think it is tedious to sprinkle them in your writing. But because of the emotional and mental effects they carry, these words offer many benefits that make the extra effort worth it. Additionally, once you have gotten used to them, they become second nature and part of your regular vocabulary.
Whether it is content marketing, copywriting, or any other kind of writing, here are a few benefits to using power words.
They Help You Achieve Concrete Goals
Whatever you might be trying to achieve, whether you want to sell a product, gather donations, or earn a click, power words are great tools. The rightfully placed power word will transform your writing from a combination of hundreds of letters to readable achievements on a spreadsheet.
For example, take a look at the power word ‘Inexpensive’ in this headline, ‘Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Phone Last.’ It will not only force a click from most people but also expose whatever product you are suggesting to more readers and result in additional sales.
Helps you leave a Lasting Impression
As humans, we are inundated with words everywhere. Whether it is TV commercials, emails, or social media, we consume thousands of words daily. But despite the volume we encounter daily, very few of them leave a lasting impression on us. Often, those that leave an impression are the essays, articles, and ads that creatively used power words.
With these words, they force us to connect with their content emotionally and viscerally. And because things that draw this kind of interest in us command greater attention from us, they leave a more lasting effect on readers.
Brevity is the soul of wit. Several of the most powerful speeches or ads ever written have leveraged this rule to great results. Power words are often deployed to achieve this because of their ability to evoke the reader’s imagination. Thus, you can create an image in the reader’s mind with one or two words that would have required a lot more if you went into detail.
There is also the additional fact that you cannot know or describe the most effective image for every reader. Even if you knew, it would make for a long read to cover every intended reader. However, the intrinsic conciseness benefit of power words means you can capture an idea and let each reader’s personality and history fill in the blanks.
There is no value to knowledge unshared or unread. That is why driving curiosity is why news outlets and marketing specialists regularly deploy power words in their writing to attract the attention of readers and potential customers. The greater the ability to trigger the curiosity of every eyeball, the more successful you will be.
After all, how many times have you clicked on a news article or promotional post you otherwise wouldn’t have just because of the headline? Exactly. Power words are an integral part of this phenomenon, and applying them can help you drive interest in your work too.
Project Confidence and Authority
People respond to confidence and authority. You could go as far and say we are biologically wired to do so. As a result, you must convey authority in your writing, and power words offer this benefit. Rather than going through the arduous task of convincing others of your credentials, the use of a few words can cut through this barrier.
Words like foolproof, confirmed, accurate, and flawless convey that you have the necessary knowledge to make sound judgments and reach conclusions. It can be valuable in increasing traffic to your website, attracting customers, or lead a movement.
Words That Help You Wield Influence and Control in Your Writing
We have covered the definition and importance of power words, and now it is time for you to learn about the words you can use in your writing. We have provided up to 70 words to help you target and achieve specific emotions from your audience.
One final thing, you are likely to find examples that have two words. There is no reason to be confused. Think of power words as an occasional misnomer like keyword, which everyone knows can sometimes be a phrase. With that settled, here are examples of power words you can use to exert control and influence in your writing.
Words to Inspire Curiosity
‘Curiosity killed the cat’ is a famous saying, often said to discourage people from pursuing dangerous endeavours. Since we were children, we have had a lasting curiosity that has propelled us towards many of our choices. It is an unavoidable human feeling, and tapping into that can result in a boom for your business or transform you into a thought leader.
Interestingly, most people do not know the final part of the saying, ‘but satisfaction brought it back’. So, if you manage to trigger curiosity and offer satisfaction at the end of it, you will become unstoppable. You can start by using these power words in your writing:
- Members only
To Activate Greed
A lot of people would say they have managed to keep it in check, but the truth is, we are all a little greedy. How we express it and what we want may differ, but the underlying desire remains. Triggering it can be an effective way to boost sales and increase your conversion rates.
There are several power words you can infuse into your writing to capture greed, but here are a few of them.
- Earn More
- Save Money
If you already get the picture, you might notice we opted not to add the word ‘Cheap.’ After all, it is a simple word that conveys a lot of the idea behind the listed words. However, that is because an unspoken role of using power words is to avoid words that can be interpreted negatively.
As much as cheap can mean inexpensive, some people can also interpret it to mean poor quality. So, before you settle on that power word, be sure a large portion of your audience will not have a negative interpretation of it.
Power Words to Trigger Sloth
Even the most hardworking people have days when their slothful side takes control. Our differing levels of motivation mean most people will do the bare minimum they need to achieve their goals. In other words, there is a little bit of laziness in all of us.
It is a feeling you can tap into to make your copy more enticing, your headlines more attractive, and increase your click and conversion rates. Here are ten power words to help you get started.
- Ridiculously Simple
- In Less Than
Words to Feed Lust
The word lust is one word commonly associated with romantic or sexual desire. And while it is not incorrect, it is a limited view of its meaning. Lust, as defined by Cambridge English, also means a strong desire for something. That desire is something everyone has, though in differing levels.
This means you can tap into the feeling behind these words outside of a sexual context. However, that is not to say you cannot use them to trigger sexual or romantic desire. After all, more than half of print and TV ads play on the very notion that sex sells. Here are a few power words to help you trigger lust in your readers.
Vanity Power Words
Only a fraction of the general population would ever admit they are vain. There is a strong likelihood that you do not consider yourself to be. However, studies have shown that vanity is one of the leading forces driving purchase decisions. Whether you buy things because of how they make you look or make others see you, there is a bit of vanity behind our choices.
Knowing the right way to key into that in your writing with power words can be the difference between sold out stock and slow sales. Here are ten words you can use to trigger your reader’s vanity, either to make them look more successful or attractive.
- Ahead of the Game
Words to Elicit Trust
The bottom line of every effective marketing or campaign speech is the ability to sell trust. If people trust you, they will keep coming back to you and hang on to your every word. The more you cultivate that trust, the stronger it becomes and the deeper your relationship with your customer or audience.
However, it doesn’t come cheap, and you have to get started somewhere. The correct use of power words is always a good step to cultivating that trust between the consumer and your brand. There is no shortage of words with this effect, but here are ten of them to get you on your way.
- Best Selling
- According to
- Cancel Anytime
- Scientifically Proven
Words to Make People Feel Powerful
Another secret to gaining trust and becoming an authority enough to exert control and influence over their choices is to make consumers feel powerful. It doesn’t matter what you are selling. Whether they are physical or abstract products, helping people feel powerful is more effective than exerting power over others.
With the right power words in your writing, you can connect with your customer’s sense of power and self-possession. Check out ten of them to get you started.
- Upper Hand
Power Words Can Be Used On Multiple Platforms For Different Capacities
We have touched on several power words and their best fit in your writing. We have also mentioned various professional capacities where writers use some of them. However, do not think their usage is limited to the aforementioned capacities. There are several ways you can use power words in your writing, and here are some of them.
- Email Marketing
- Speeches (Campaign, Weddings, Burials, Anniversaries)
- Donation Pages
- Campaign Slogans
- Product Descriptions
- Website Design
This list could go on and on, but hopefully, you get the idea. You can use power words anywhere there is an available audience to connect with them.