The perfect marketing email is a complex thing. From your subject line down to your design, there are myriad factors that can make or break your email marketing.
But one of the most important factors is your power words. The words you choose have a powerful effect on influencing your customers and making them convert. Here we break down exactly what power words are, and how you can use them to drive conversions in 2019.
What are power words?
As the name suggests, power words are words with impact. Power words create copy that shines, that makes even the most ad-weary consumer sit up and take notice.
This is no pseudoscience either — the importance of your email copy been proven. For example, did you know that using the word ‘donate’ in your subject line can actually reduce your open rate by 50% or more? The words you use in your emails can make or break your email marketing, bringing you success or failure because of a single word.
At the same time, using the right words can boost your conversions. By using power words that play into your customer’s subconscious feelings, you can create effective emails that generate more sales, get more subscribers, and boost your business.
The different types of power words
Power words can be divided into several broad groups. Let’s break down some of the most common, and look at some examples that you can use in your emails.
Kill it with curiosity
Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it thrills your conversion rate. The key to an email that successfully converts is one that gets your customers to click through, and curiosity power words are what makes this happen.
When presented with an alluring unknown, customers cannot resist learning more about it.
Curiosity power words you can use include:
- Members only
- Be the first
- Sneak peek
Takeaway tip: new product launches, behind-the-scenes peeks, fascinating insights — these are all great curiosity-piquing ideas that will lure your customers to your website and into converting.
Everyone loves a freebie
Nothing compels customers to make a purchase than a freebie. From free samples to huge discounts, customers are always drawn to the thought of getting something for nothing.
You can further exploit this desire for a freebie by highlighting the limited supply of a product, or by increasing the perceived value of something.
Power words to use here include:
- Last chance
Takeaway tip: even if what you’re offering isn’t necessarily the deal of the century, highlighting that aspect with power words emphasizes it in your customers’ minds.
Feel the fear (and convert anyway)
It might sound mercenary, but fear can be a powerful weapon in the marketer’s arsenal. Needling your customers’ fear is an effective way to compel them to purchase.
If dangling the carrot won’t encourage your customers to buy, the stick will. Your shoppers’ fear of missing out (FOMO) can be exploited to push them to buy.
Take this further with a timer counting down to a special offer deadline, and your conversions will shoot through the roof.
Fear power words include:
Takeaway tip: yes, fear is a strong tactic to boost email conversions — but use it sparingly. Excessive use of fear power words will paralyze your customers rather than push them to purchase. Include a solution to the fear in your email to give them an out and compel them to buy.
Don’t get your customers mad — get them madder
With the whole spectrum of human emotions available to you to exploit, it makes sense that you should use anger power words as well.
Playing to your customers’ sense of anger and indignance is a perfectly valid way of boosting your conversions.
Angry power words to needle your customers with include:
- Raise hell
Takeaway tip: riling up your customers is great for getting their attention, but remember to deliver on it. Provide a solution to your customers’ anger in the form of a product, downloadable ebook, or similar.
It’s okay to be lazy
Your customers are lazy — fact. When presented with two options, they will always take the path of least resistance.
But your customers’ bad traits are your opportunity. Using shortcuts, handy hacks, and crafty cheats are a great way to boost conversions by making their life easier, even if it’s only perceived as such.
Power words that appeal to your customers’ desire for an easy life include:
- In less than
- No problem
Takeaway tip: laziness power words can be used for virtually any business. Use them to highlight how your product can make your customers’ lives easier, or show why your new content is an absolute must-read.
Beyond power words: taking it to the next level
Ultimately, the power words you use depend on your brand personality. If you’re a quirky ecommerce brand selling unicorn apparel, curiosity and freebie power words are perfect for boosting your conversions.
Similarly, if you run a niche blog about motherhood, using fear or anger power words will alienate your readers. You know your audience better than anyone, so you know which words will work best for your brand.
Just as important as you the words you choose is where you use them. Your email design plays an important role in influencing your customers. Our first impression of something is 94% design-related, and the interplay between that and your power words is what drives conversions.
The most important element of this is your call-to-action (CTA). This is what literally tells your customer what to do, so place it front and center and make it visible. For example, a CTA of “Claim Your Free Sample Now!” is a strong CTA that will get you click-throughs.
And don’t forget the powerful interplay between words and visuals. Pair your power words with striking images to deliver emails with real impact. They don’t need to be 100% unique and original — simply finding a beautiful snap from a free photos site and pairing it with some evocative power words is enough to boost your conversions.
It’s worth knowing too that people generally read content in an F pattern. Consequently, your email should contain the most important information at the top, using power words to keep the reader hooked.
Finally, less is more. Excessive visual noise is bad practice, and a busy, cluttered design will repel your readers. Keep it sleek and minimalist, and you’ll retain your audience’s attention.
Power words are the little things that carry a powerful punch. When used correctly, you can transform your email marketing into a conversion powerhouse that will grow your business from strength to strength well into 2019 and beyond.