How to Use Power Words in Content and Copy
Power words are terms and phrases that move prospects to
These words have been tested and proven to elicit an
emotional response in readers. Because they arouse passions and feelings, the
prospect is propelled to take action and give.
In print (way before the internet had ever even been invented), copywriters include these words in ads, direct mail, and brochures as a tried and true strategy to boost response. Copywriters have since discovered that these same words also have an impact in online copy, too. They help prospects step over the line while online – and take the next step in getting engaged with your nonprofit.
Power Words Are ... Powerful
- These words have an immediate impact. They stir up urgency.
- These words arouse emotions. They get people excited about
your work and your cause.
- These words motivate. They help people overcome inertia and take positive
What Are They? Let's Name Names
Dozens of words are powerful in copy. Here are three lists
to get your started.
12 easy-to-use power words
These are words that you can weave into the copy for almost
any piece for almost any nonprofit.
12 words of urgency
These words spur prospects to action and motivate him to
take the next step.
- How to
12 words that arouse emotion
These words make juices flow and the blood boil. They’re
particularly effective in headlines, your hook, and subheads.
The Most Significant Word
Of the words on these lists, “You” is likely the most
significant. Writing the word “you” in the copy personalizes the
experience for the reader. It’s a word that has proven to be incredibly
powerful in both the online and offline copywriting world to raise conversion
rates. Further, by writing in the second person point of view and using “you,”
your copy becomes a conversation. (Read more about this in How to Make the “You
Rule” Work for You.)
Where to Use Them
- In headlines, titles, subject lines, and the first and last
paragraphs of your copy, these words inject immediate urgency
- In the call to action, close, and P.S., these words help
close the deal.
- When sprinkled throughout the copy, these words strengthen
pull and heighten emotion.
- Pay attention to how many places you see these words in web
copy and direct mail, or hear them in radio and television ads. You may be
surprised how often you notice them. They work.
- Don’t be heavy-handed as you use power words. It’s easy to
overdo, and then these words lost their impact. Treat these words like salt.
Use them enough to enhance the taste of your piece, but don’t let them dominate
More power words in content and copywriting
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"In Other Words": Use This Phrase for Writing More Powerful Content ...
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The Power of "New: It's not a gimmick - it's science ...
How to make the "You Rule" work for you ...
The Power of "Because": persuade by explaining why ...
It’s "Easy"! One Word That Makes Writing Powerful Key Phrases Simple...
5 magic words that open doors for your nonprofit ....
10 nonprofit buzz words with staying power ...
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Content by award-winning content writer and author Kathy Widenhouse, who specializes in writing for nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
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