Ever wonder why some websites pump out viral post after viral post?
Or why some brands have products that fly off the shelves while their competition falls flat?
Or why you couldn’t resist clicking on a link you knew was a sleazy sales page?
The answer is simple.
These brands have smart marketers. Marketers who use power words.
These power words trigger an emotional response and pack some serious punch, getting us to click on ads, share blog posts and buy from sales pages.
But how do these power words work?
Watch the video below, then read on to see our full list of power words with specific examples of how to use them.
Why Power Words Amp Up Your Marketing
Power words crank up your marketing effectiveness by:
- Evoking emotion: People connect to emotion, not words. Studies show that content that elicits emotion (anxiety, amusement) is more likely to be shared than those that aren’t “emotionally charged.” Power words are key to evoking these “high arousal” emotions. Examples include words like “Instantly”, “Mistakes”, and “Hilarious”.[*]
- Triggering curiosity: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it makes the marketer’s life easy. Research found curiosity to be one of the most powerful triggers for virality. Since we have a hard time resisting our curiosity, strategic use of power words makes it almost impossible for us not to click, share, and read. Power words that trigger curiosity include words such as “Reveals”, “Proves”, and “Ridiculous”.[*]
Take this BuzzFeed headline:
The power words “Cringeworthy” and “Poor” both elicit emotion, and their combination triggers curiosity (“Why are these notes so cringeworthy?”).
If this headline just said “14 Funny Sibling Stories”, you probably wouldn’t be that interested. But 14 cringeworthy horror stories? What entertaining surprises this article must contain!
The best thing about power words is that there are hundreds to choose from.
Check out the list below.
The Massive 401+ List of Power Words
Want our personal Power Word list for creating epic headlines?
Feeling dizzy? I hope it’s from excitement because now you’re armed with all the power words you need to turbo-charge your marketing, and have a few hundred in your arsenal.
Now you just need to use them. Here’s where you can use power words on your site:
8Email Subject Lines
9Your Business / Domain Name
10Calls to Action
Power Words in Headlines
Whether you’re crafting the perfect headline for your sales page or writing a viral-worthy article, power words can take a headline from mediocre to irresistible.
The magazine industry is notorious for their use of power words in headlines. Magazines like Elle, OK! Magazine, InTouch, GQ, and Seventeen use power words religiously to entice consumers to pick up their products.
Cosmo has some of the most click-worthy headlines out there:
Without power words, these headlines would be boring. Removing the power words (bolded below) makes the headlines above instantly less enticing:
- Watch This Baby Do Push-Ups and Instantly Feel Like the Laziest Person Alive
- Ariana Grande Debuted a Shocking Silvery New Hair Color
Us Weekly uses power words in almost every single headline they publish:
The words “Reveals”, “Sports” and “Show Off” pique curiosity and trigger an emotional response that acts as a magnet for clicks.
Use power words in your headlines to make them so irresistible readers can’t help but click.
Power Words in Sub-headlines
People don’t read your content. Research shows that they didn’t in 1997, and they certainly don’t now.[*]
Instead of reading, they scan. Unlessyou can catch their attention.
How? By including power words.
Power words in your subheads capture attention and draw the reader into actually reading the content rather than just scanning over it.
My recent article about persuasive words had a 65% read rate (the average is 15-20%):
I used power words in my subheads to keep people moving down the page:
Use power words in your subheads to keep the reader’s attention on the page and ensure they’re actually reading what you’ve written.[*]
Power Words in Product Names
You have two choices when you’re naming your products:
- Be boring: Use words in your product name that simply describe the product (i.e. blue nail polish) but are otherwise boring.
- Use names that pack a punch: Give your product a descriptive name, but kick it up a notch with power words.
Almost all product names fit into these two categories.
A company that leverages power words wonderfully in their product names is the nail care company OPI.
OPI could have just named their product after its function: “nail strengthener.” Instead, they used a power word (“Nail Envy”) to make the product more appealing.
OPI also uses power words in the descriptions for their products.
Their lacquer color could have just been “dark red”. But instead, they used a power word (relentless) to invoke emotion.
Another example of power words mastery in the online space is that of David Siteman Garland, who created a course on how to create online courses.
He could have just named his course “Create Online Courses”, but he spiced things up with a power word:
The word “Awesome” makes the product memorable and stand out in a crowded space.
Power Words in Popups
Power words are currently underused in the beloved email list building tool, the popup.
If you have List Builder, include power words in your descriptions and offers on the popup.
Check out how Onnit uses the power word “Ultimate” for their grocery guide freebie on their list builder pop-up:
Another example is Rick Mulready:
He uses power words like “Mistakes”, “Avoid” and “Free” in his popup to convert visitors from casual readers to subscribers.
You can get a free Sumo account to create popups like this.
Power Words on Landing Pages
Landing pages are an effective way of blocking out all of the extra noise on your website and ensuring that the visitor is just focusing on one specific call to action.
Using power words on your landing page can get your conversion rates from “not now” to “gimme!”
Amy Porterfield is a landing page genius, and she strategically uses power words all over her landing pages:
“Free”, “Live”,“Master”, “5-Figure”, “Profitable” and “Strategy” are all power words, and they work together to make Amy’s landing page far more convincing than the power word-empty alternative:
Class: How to Create and Deliver Your Webinar (Even If You Don’t Have a List!)
Join me as I walk you through what it takes to create a webinar.
Did that make you fall asleep? Well, wake up, more power word goodness ahead.
Power Words on Buttons
If you think you’re running out of places to include power words, think again. We haven’t even talked about using power words in button text.
We use power words in our button text on the Sumo homepage by inviting visitors to try Sumo for free:
Without the word “Free” that button would go needlessly unpressed way too often.
We’re not the only ones who do this. Bulletproof does as well on their shop button:
The power word in this case is “Now” which works double duty by providing a sense of urgency.
Power Words in Testimonials
Remember how we told you testimonials are the granddaddy of social proof?
One company tested using testimonials on their sales page and it increased conversions by 34%. They add invaluable credibility to your brand.
Make your testimonials work overtime for your business by featuring the ones including power words.
Marie Forleo does this on her testimonials page:
The words “Unique” and “Perfectly” take this testimonial light-years ahead of one simply containing the words “Great” or “Well”.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit tacky to ask your clients to use power words in their testimonials.
Do the next best thing by featuring testimonials that include power words more prominently on your page.
Power Words in Email Subject Lines
You work your ass off to grow your email list. You hustle to create content they’ll love, yet still only 20-35% of your subscribers open your emails.
And you begin to wonder…
Is your email list disengaged? Is it the content you’re putting out there? Is something wrong with their spam filters?
But it’s probably your subject lines.
To turn up the heat on your email subject lines and attract more opens, clicks, and engagement, use power words in the subject line.
Pat Flynn uses this method in his email autoresponder series:
See the power words “Super” and “Secret”? Feeling intrigued, aren’t you?
Jaime Masters from Eventual Millionaire does this too ("Create", "Lucrative"):
Use power words in your subject lines to entice your subscribers to open your emails. You worked hard to write them, so they might as well be read by as many people as possible.
Power Words In Your Business or Domain Name
For all of you who have been considering starting a business online, one great place to use power words is in your business’s name.
Using a power word that describes what you do or who you do it for can make your marketing far more effective. For example, Elite Daily uses the power word “Elite” in the name of their business, which brings to mind exclusivity or high-quality.
Melissa Ramos puts power words to work in her business name, Sexy Food Therapy:
Derek Halpern, founder of the popular online training resource Social Triggers included a power word (“Triggers”) in his business’ name as well. Makes sense, since Derek teaches the psychology behind marketing, after all:
For your next rebrand or business (for all you serial entrepreneurs), incorporate a power word into your business’s name to ensure that you trigger (see what I did there?) an emotional response the second your customers stumble across your brand.
Power Words on Calls to Action
One of the most important places to use power words in your marketing is in any call to action.
For example, we use “Masterclass”, “Free”, “Best”, and “Step-by-Step”.
On AppSumo, they use one power word (“Kick-Ass”) on their Welcome Mat popup:
On Snowy Joey, they use the power words “Profitable”, “Fun”, and “Free” for their free video course:
James Clear uses power words in his menu as a call to action (“Free Newsletter”):
Start Incorporating Power Words In Your Marketing NOW
I just gave you hundreds of power words and showed you ten places to use them to make your marketing work on overtime for your business
Don’t just skip past this article and move on with your day. Take action and start including power words in your marketing today.
Choose one option from the examples in this post and apply the power words now.
The easiest way to start? Incorporate power words into the calls to action and headlines in your List Builder tool, like this:
Set up a simple popup to trigger 5 seconds after someone visits your site. Make a “FREE” offer for visitors to get your most popular article, video, or something else that’s quick and easy for you to start growing your email list with power words.
You can then track your performance inside Sumo, like this:
Get this set up on your site now. This link will give you a free Sumo account to do it.
Then, sit back and watch as your email signups take off.
If you want our personal Power Words list to print out and quickly reference on your desk for when you’re writing content headlines, landing pages, and email capture forms...
P.S. Want to learn the 10 growth hacks we’ve used to grow our email list to over 100,000 subscribers with power words + Sumo? Click here for our most actionable growth hacking ideas to grow your email list and traffic.
- #10. STRUGGLE. Struggle is a precious gift. ...
- #9. ADVENTURE. This is a topic which is always sure to excite me, my next adventure. ...
- #8. NATURE. There are few things in life from which I gain more satisfaction than being outdoors. ...
- #6. CURIOSITY. ...
- #4. CREATIVITY. ...
- #1. FREEDOM.
What are the twelve powerful words? Trace, Analyze, Infer, Evaluate, Formulate, Describe, Support, Explain, Summarize, Compare, Contrast, Predict. Why use the twelve powerful words?What are the 5 power words? ›
You can't go wrong with these 5 power words and phrases:
- Please and thank you. ...
- I'm sorry. ...
- How may I help? ...
- Appreciate and acknowledge. ...
- Use a person's name in conversation.
- Stake Your Claim and Own Your Own Power. Women are too often reluctant to claim their own power. ...
- Gloria Steinem—Michele's Professional Role Model. ...
- Hear More Stories and Read Michele's Blogs and Books. ...
- Order Dr.
Then You Need To Buy “The two most powerful words in any language: “Thank you!”” And Put A smile On Someone's Face Today!What is the strongest word in the universe? ›
The Greek word, 'Agape,' is heart transforming and, when applied, word empowering. It has the power to resurrect, to create, to transform, to forgive and to remove obstacles. Though experienced by relatively few, it is available to all through Jesus.What is a powerful one word? ›
all-powerful, authoritative, capable, compelling, dominant, dynamic, energetic, forceful, impressive, influential, mighty, persuasive, potent, robust, vigorous, able, almighty, authoritarian, cogent, commanding.Which is the strongest word in English? ›
Why is yet the most powerful word in the English language? Because when you add yet to the end of a sentence, you completely change the connotation of that sentence. You can say, “I don't understand it,” or you can say, “I don't understand it YET”.What are the eight powerful words? ›
- team player.
As author Yehuda Berg states, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity… Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” The words we choose and how we use them can build others up or tear them down; bring the community together or ...
In that case, what's the longest word in the English language dictionary? It's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.What are some smart big words? ›
- Word: Sesquipedalian. ...
- Word: Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobic. ...
- Word: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. ...
- Word: Floccinaucinihilipilification. ...
- Word: Antidisestablishmentarianism. ...
- Word: Boondoggle. ...
- Word: Circumlocution. ...
- Word: Gasconade.
1 mighty, sturdy, brawny, sinewy, hardy, muscular, stout, stalwart. 4 talented, capable, efficient. 5 valiant, brave. 7 bold, intense. 8 persuasive, cogent, impressive; conclusive.What is the 3 magical word? ›
What are the three magic words? They are: Are. You. Correct.What words get people's attention? ›
- Immediately. The word "immediately" conveys a sense of urgency that you should do something right now. ...
- Sharp. The word "sharp" may create different visual images depending on the other words in the sentence. ...
- Renewed. ...
- Instantly. ...
- Invigorated. ...
- Unleashed. ...
- Unlimited. ...
The most commonly-used word in English might only have three letters – but it packs a punch. 'The'. It's omnipresent; we can't imagine English without it. But it's not much to look at.How can I make my words more powerful? ›
- Lose the Extra Weight. If you have long sentences, take a good look at them. ...
- Break It Down to Smaller Pieces. If you still need many words, don't frame them into a long sentence. ...
- Use Shorter Words. ...
- Stay Positive. ...
- Write With Self-Esteem. ...
- Avoid repeating Yourself.
What is a Power Word? A power word is a word relates to the theme of your year or current focus in your life. The word resonates with your being and reminds you that you have the power to change! When you have found it, the power word helps you to feel expanded, inspired and empowered.Do words have powers? ›
Words have power. Their meaning crystallizes perceptions that shape our beliefs, drive our behavior, and ultimately, create our world. Their power arises from our emotional responses when we read, speak, or hear them.Who made the 12 powerful words? ›
Larry Bell's 12 Powerful Words
These are the words that are used on assessments.
Mother, bark and spit are some of the oldest known words, say researchers. Continue reading → Mother, bark and spit are just three of 23 words that researchers believe date back 15,000 years, making them the oldest known words.What is it called all powerful? ›
having or exercising exclusive and unlimited authority; omnipotent.Is powerful a real word? ›
powerful adjective (CONTROL)
having a lot of power to control people and events: The president is more powerful than the prime minister. She's the most powerful person in the organization.
- Abnegation /abnɪˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n/: Renouncing a belief or doctrine. ...
- Aggrandize /əˈɡrandʌɪz/: enhance power, wealth or status. ...
- Alacrity /əˈlakrɪti/: Eagerness. ...
- Anachronistic /ənakrəˈnɪstɪk/: misplaced chronologically. ...
- Archetypal /ˌɑːkɪˈtʌɪp(ə)l/: quintessential of a certain kind.
- Literally. If you know a language purist, watch out. ...
- Ironic. Here is a word that has confused almost all English speakers – native or otherwise. ...
- Irregardless (instead of regardless) ...
- Whom. ...
- Colonel. ...
- Nonplussed. ...
- Disinterested. ...
- furious. adjective. extremely angry.
- irate. adjective. very angry.
- seething. adjective. feeling extremely angry without showing it much.
- infuriated. adjective. extremely angry.
- incensed. adjective. extremely angry.
- livid. adjective. ...
- apoplectic. adjective. ...
- murderous. adjective.
Research has found that the choice of words can cause specific areas of the brain to activate and can affect a person's subjective experience of pain. People use word associations to perceive neutral events as positive or negative. Words can hurt, but they may also heal.How can I speak success in my life? ›
- Hold yourself powerfully. ...
- Reframe forward. ...
- Avoid absolutes. ...
- Don't apologize for your opinion. ...
- Shelve the “shoulds.” ...
- Express commitment. ...
- Limit the labels. ...
- Rephrase problems as opportunities.
Words are powerful. They can change lives for the better, shift minds, uplift and inspire, educate, heal, elicit feelings of immense love and joy. And, words can destroy, smash hearts, devastate, and fracture relationships.
"Post Office" starts with 'P', ends with 'E' and has a million letters in it. Explanation: Sometimes, Logical questions are not so complicated to answer, just logical thinking is necessary to find out the answer.What is shortest word in English? ›
The shortest word is a. Some might wonder about the word I since it consists of one letter, too. In sound, a is shorter because it is a monophthong (consists of one vowel), while I is a diphthong. Both do consist of one letter in the English writing system, and in most fonts I is the narrowest letter.Which word has all the alphabet from A to Z? ›
Pangrams are words or sentences containing every letter of the alphabet at least once; the best known English example being A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog .Which is the most powerful word? ›
Is this the most powerful word in the English language? The most commonly-used word in English might only have three letters – but it packs a punch. 'The'. It's omnipresent; we can't imagine English without it.What are the 10 most important words in English? ›
"Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the Lord." "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good: His love endures forever." "For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble and salvation." "God promises to make something good out of the storms that bring devastation to your life."What are the 1000 most common words in English? ›
- base. pick.
In that case, what's the longest word in the English language dictionary? It's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.What are the 50 most common words? ›
- All. The whole number of. ...
- And. Also, in addition to. ...
- Boy. A male child or a young male person. ...
- Book. A set of printed pages that are fastened inside a cover so that you can turn them and read them. ...
- Call. ...
- Car. ...
- Chair. ...
All through the Bible He is standing with outstretched arms, crying unto men, “Come unto Me.” This is His favorite word, the word “Come.” It is a simple word, but all the wonders of heaven and earth are wrapped up in it. III. Let us look at some of the times the word “Come” is used in the Bible. I.
Omnipotence. The term omnipotence refers to the idea that God is all-powerful. There are many stories in the Bible which reveal the power of God. An example of God's omnipotence is found in Genesis chapter 1 that describes the creation of the world.What is the word for God is all-powerful? ›
Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence
Omnipotence means all-powerful. Monotheistic theologians regard God as having supreme power.