Table Of Content
Words are important.
Power words are more important.
A great choice of words can get someone to read through your article. Or get someone to click through your email.
Just a single word change in a headline can dramatically increase conversions.
Power Words 101
- What are Power Words?
- Power Words List
- Power Words + Marketing
- Why Use Power Words
- Power Words Examples
So what are Power Words?
Power words are persuasive words used to trigger a psychological and/or emotional response. They are called power words because they compel people to take action.
Your choice in words can be pivotal in shaping the way in which people interacting with you behave.
Power Words List
Without further ado, here is your list of Power Words and their associated emotional reactions. Draw from this list to instantly start improving your eCommerce marketing.
We've also put together this power word list into a handy spreadsheet, because who doesn't like a handy spreadsheet? You can grab your FREE copy here.
155 Power Words To Power Your eCommerce Store
Expensive, Glamorous, Luxurious, Upscale, Valuable
Clash, Hazards, Hostile, Rivalry, Strife
Bold, Fascinating, Intriguing, Riveting, Tempting, Thrilling
Adorable, Awe-inspiring, Beautiful, Breathtaking, Delicate, Elegant, Refined, Gorgeous, Stunning
Basic, Cheat-sheet, Easy, Effortless, Hacks, Painless, Simple, Step-by-step, Tricks, Tweaks
Extravagant, Guilt, Guilt-free, Indulgent, Ravenous
Crave, Decadent, Fantasy, Forbidden, Irresistible, Naked, Provocative, Seductive, Sexy, Sinful, Tantalizing
Attain, Challenge, Conquest, Gain, Goal, Highest mountain, Inspire, Intend, Solve, Win
Challenge, Discover, Hack, Innovate, Latest, Life-changing, Pioneer, Magic, Miracle, New, Revolutionary, Sensational, Surprising, Unexpected, Weird
Affordable, Budget, Billion, Bonanza, Cash, Discount, Dollar, Double, Explode, Feast, Fortune, Free, Frenzy, Frugal, Jackpot, Money, No Risk, Prize, Profit, Rich, Savings, Six-Figure, Skyrocket, Treasure, Whopping
Absolute, Authentic, Authoritative, Best-selling, Complete, Comprehensive, Conclusive, Definitive, Expert, Final, Formula, Guaranteed, Ironclad, Legitimate, Official, Protected, Proven, Reliable, Report, Research, Results, Strategy, Studies, Validate
Divulge, Elite, Essential, Emerging, First, Hidden, Insider, LLittle-known, Priceless, Rare, Reveal, Secret, Sneak-Peek, Special, Stealthy, Trend, Truth, You, Underused, Unique, Unseen, Untapped
Power Words + Marketing
Consider Robert B. Cialdini’s bestselling book Influence: The Power of Persuasion, where he describes a social psychology experiment carried out by Ellen Langer in 1977.
Langer’s research assistants were asked to observe people waiting to use the copy machine in libraries, and to then ask to cut ahead of them.
They were to use one of three questions.
- "Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?"
- "Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?"
- "Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?"
Here are the results:
Only the request
"Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?"
60% of people let the researchers skip ahead of the queue.
The request with a real reason
"Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?"
94% of people let the researchers skip ahead.
Request with a nonsensical reason
"Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?"
93% of people let the researchers skip ahead.
Ninety-three percent of people let the researchers skip ahead even when the skipper provided an nonsensical reason. Why? It was due to one simple word change addition they made:
Adding the word "because".
This shows that by changing a lone word and using more powerful words at the right time, you can convince more people to do what you want. In marketing, these persuasive words are called Power Words.
Why Use Power Words
Consider this. You are a junior copywriter for an e-commerce brand. After a few weeks of learning the ropes, you are finally put on a project.
You've been tasked with writing the landing page, product description as well as the marketing emails for a new line of leather boots. But you’re faced with writer’s block - you can’t seem to find the inspiration to create the great copy your agency expects.
You sit there facing a blank screen, you're unable to summon words. Words which will make your reader inspired and take action. In this moment, having a handy list of words which you could refer to would be a godsend.
Powerful words you knew were guaranteed to elicit emotion. Persuasive words you knew would impel the reader towards action. Words which have been proven time and time again in the english language to capture, delight, and persuade the reader.
These are the Power Words. The superheros of the English language. Words which elicit powerful emotions, which are what drive decisions. If your copy can tap into those emotions, you can drive your readers to take action.
Use power words as your salt and pepper of your copy; sprinkle liberally to add and enhance flavor. You should always try to make sure that you’re using power words in your copy, and your conversions will increase.
Power Words Examples
The landing page is your chance to make a great first impression with your shopper. It’s a chance to put your best foot forward, and invite web visitors to take a specific, desired action.
The king of eCommerce, Shopify, makes great use of power words on its main landing page.
"Made for you" implies exclusivity through the word "you", and makes the reader think of a hand made tailored suit or dress, but regarding your business.
"Has you covered" makes the reader feel secure, and the call to action “Get started”practically makes the user’s fingers want to jump and kickstart their store.
The classic power words of "free" and “no risk” also remind the reader that they have nothing to lose, and can get started today.
This landing page for Topshop’s new line implies exclusivity with "elevate" and "superstar status". "Shop the story" appeals to the reader’s curiosity to explore and be engaged.
Your product description is a key step in making the sale, and the words you choose matter. Strategic use of power words can can lead to more cash in your pocket.
Consumers don’t buy your products, they buy a better version of themselves and your product description is an important step in helping the shopper see this better vision of themselves.
Dollar Shave Club is a treasure trove of great copywriting, and their use of power words in the copy selling their starter kit is just one of the many great examples through their brand.
"Daily Essentials Starter Set" makes every man think that their bathroom is incomplete without this Set. “Executive” lends an undeniable gravitas to the product.
Moving to the opposite sex, look at the power words used in a Victoria’s Secret product description headline.
"Very Sexy" already gets the shopper thinking of how they’ll feel when they put on the product. “New!” gives a young and adventurous feeling.
And the product description is littered with power words. "#1" lends social proof, gravitas and credibility. “Plush”, “softer”, “natural” connect with the customer’s sensual side.
Email Subject Lines
Email subject lines are one of the most important places to use power words. Which is good news - emails are one of the easiest pieces of copy to test, tweak and test again. To get your readers to open your emails, email to use power words that elicit curiosity.’
Brian Dean over at Backlink.com pumps out amazing subject line after subject line with his email marketing:
And who doesn’t want to click and read the advice that Andrew Warner of Mixergy "almost missed".This power words create a fear of missing out:
And here are some other subject line incorporating power words from other big brands:
IKEA: Deals for a fresh new look
Topshop: Shop now. Save big.
Sephora: You’re invited: 10% off for Beauty Insiders
De Beers: Uncover your bridal style
Sephora: Get insider tips on our Facebook page
HP: New must-haves for your office
Your marketing emails are a waste if they don’t engage the reader and make them take action. Power words can invoke curiosity throughout your copy to keep them reading and absorb all the information, plus persuade them to their the desired action.
Ebay sprinkle power words all throughout their welcome email. "Global Marketplace at Your Fingertips" is a clever slogan which immediately makes the user visualise the benefits. The call to action of "Find out More" does a good job of inviting the reader to click on after they’ve been tantalised with all the previous copy.
Airbnb do a good job of setting the reader’s imagination alight with the power words of "inspired," “collection,” and reminding you that you don’t even have to hop on a plane with “near you.”
Abandon Cart Emails
Abandon cart emails (see our awesome blog post all about them) are a great opportunity to use power words. The goal is to persuade the shopper to take action and buy, and the right words will do just that.
French Connection do a good job of persuading shoppers to take action here. Opening with "forgot something!" taps into fear of missing out.
For their call to action they could have just gone with the classic "buy now" but instead went to go with “continue securely.” A good choice, as security may have been a reason the shopper abandoned cart.
The point of your advert is to hook and persuade the viewer to click through and look at your product. A perfect chance to use power words.
M.Gemi don’t hold back with Power Words in this advert. Their shoes are given an exclusive feel with the use of "handcrafted" and “direct from Italy”.
The ad also invites the reader to be part of something new and exciting with "pioneering," and finally the feelings of quality are evoked with “impeccable” and “specialist”.
Canva’s ad is simple yet powerful. Create "stunning, professional" images.
The unspoken feelings are made louder with these power words - the feeling the user will get when they wow their clients or employers with jaw dropping design.
Instagram adverts place a heavier emphasis on images than copy, but there is still room for power words. Check out how Samsung does it in this ad for the S6 Edge.
Here the phone’s camera is being highlighted. What budding photographer can resist the chance to "exquisitely" "capture" situations and memories.
Content marketing will plays a powerful in many eCommerce marketing strategies. And if you want to get your market to read your content, you’re going to have to use power words.
Buzzfeed aren’t an eCommerce store, but they are one of the leaders in content marketing on the internet. And something they’ve perfected is writing click worthy headlines.
This showcase of trending Amazon products could have been written with a boring headline like *"*Products That Are Selling Well on Amazon." Who’s going to click on that? No one.
Instead Buzzfeed use the power phrase "Right Now" to convey a sense of urgency. "People" also lends the headline social proof.
But how would an eCommerce store use power words?
Field Notes use clever phrases and a few power words to add value to their film shorts.
"Reinvent" and "classic" gets the reader wanting to see what’s special about this product. And the bold use of "inspiration" tells you what to expect, but yet you still want to click and watch.
Lush’s slogan already contains the power words "fresh" and "handmade," but when used to describe their blog it makes the reader think of it as a hand-curated collection of inspiration.
Final Powerful Thoughts
Words matter. Look at the power words (in bold) in John F Kennedy’s famous "We choose to go the moon" speech,
"There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, becausethat challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
These skillful speakers merged power words, amazing storytelling and passion into their iconic speeches.
You’re probably not trying to save a nation or put a man on the moon, but you are in the business of inspiring and persuading your customer, just like these speakers. While not all the power words they use are applicable to improving your store, it’s still important to take a lesson from these greats, and this great blog. Use the same strategy they used to make your copy better.
So start today. Look at your email marketing. Look at your landing pages. Look at your email subject lines. How could you add more punch? More gravitas?
Slip some power words into your copy today.