It’s amazing what a word can do. One word can evoke a feeling of trust, while another can evoke a feeling of dread. Using words that appeal to many people is key to a strong ad. Here are some power words to include in your next ad. Try to use them in your headline, but if nothing else, use at least one in your body copy.
Basic Power Words
Free – this is the “magic word” – not “thank you”! Most people are trying to get something for nothing, or at least wouldn’t mind it! When you can offer something for free, that’s one of the best ways to get people to try something. When something is free, it takes away the risk of losing money, which makes people more apt to try it. Just make sure that whatever you are advertising as “free” really is free. There’s nothing more irritating than seeing the word “free” with a little asterisk next to it. If you’re having a buy one get one free sale, be sure to make that clear and not just accentuate the “free” portion of it. Consumers will only fall for this type of ad from you once. Then they won’t even give you a second chance.
Save – this is powerful because everyone wants to save money and/or time. If you can help them gain either in their lives, they’ll flock to you.
Secret – knowing a secret makes people feel powerful. They feel like they are part of an elite crowd. And, people are naturally curious, so they want to find out what it is that you know that they don’t. People don’t like to think that they’ve failed at something because of their own effort – but failing because they didn’t know the secret – that’s perfectly fine.
New – who wants something old? This word evokes a sense of urgency in people. They want to have the latest and greatest thing. They also want to have it before their friends do. A lot of ads use “new and improved” which is somewhat odd, because if something is improved upon, doesn’t that make it basically new? There’s gotta be something new about it to make it improved.
Magic – everyone from kids to adults like something that works like magic. Just that word makes you think of Disney, doesn’t it? People like “magic” because it appeals to those that are lazy and those that want to get an immediate result.
Novelty Power Words
People like to be different, and these words will help you stand out from the crowd.
Technology – this is increasingly becoming a buzz word in ads as most people are gaining knowledge of technology. You can do cool stuff with technology, so if you have updated equipment of some sort, be sure to play it up with your “new technology.” (Combining power words here for an even better effect!)
Re- words – This is a new twist that I haven’t really considered before. Jose DeJesus came up with this one – and he’s a doctor, not even an advertiser! Anything that starts with “re-” like reinvent, rearrange and reuse make people think of something new and fresh. Again, that appeals to people who want to the first on their block to have something new.
As you can see, there are plenty of power words out there to choose from, and you can find lists to give you ideas by Googling “advertising power words.” Many of these words appeal to the emotions, so if you couple emotional words with an emotional image, you’ll find customers at your door.