When you’re tasked with crafting copy for a persuasive email blast, the company’s email newsletter, the perfect welcome email, or a compelling sales letter, leveraging the right power words to drive results is a must.
But with a slew of persuasive terms and buzzwords at your disposal, how do you know which power words will have the biggest impact – and where (and how) to use them to your advantage? Here’s a look at how to use powerful words to get better results from your email marketing campaigns.
Choose words that fit the purpose (and your brand)
First and foremost, your words must suit the purpose. You wouldn’t use actionable prompts like “buy now” in a popup box to gain subscribers and grow your email list; you’d use them with your sales copy.
Beyond the purpose of your message, the powerful words you use in your email marketing copy should also be in line with your brand identity and values. Controversial words can add shock value, but if shock value isn’t your brand’s thing, these types of power words can harm, not help, your brand image.
Power your subject lines
Campaign Monitor’s research found that certain power words are more effective depending on where they’re used – even down to whether a particular word appears at the beginning or the end of a subject line.
These words produce the biggest increase in percent open rates when they’re the first word in a subject line:
Words with the biggest impact on open rates when they appear at the end of the subject line include:
These power words are proven effective in email subject lines, but you can also leverage these and other powerful words in your email copy (both in subheads and in the body copy) and calls-to-action to reinforce the message.
Evoke the right emotions
Think about your audience’s pain points and tap into power words that sympathize with those feelings. Say you’re promoting the release of a new guide on home organization. If your readers are frustrated by seemingly endless piles of clutter and a lack of storage solutions, which email subject line would be more intriguing?
- Say Goodbye to Garage Clutter for Good
- Useful Tips for Organizing Your Garage
The first subject line taps into the reader’s primary pain point – their frustration – and offers some hope that they could actually eliminate this problem. The second subject line, on the other hand, could be perceived as “just another one of those lists” offering the same old tips they’ve tried (and failed at) in the past.
There are plenty of power words that relate to pain points, such as:
- For Less
Figure out what challenges your readers are trying to overcome and let them know how you can help.
Other than addressing pain points, you might want to convey a sense of exclusivity, urgency, or excitement. According to Campaign Monitor, words like confidential, private, VIP, and insider convey exclusivity, while words like today, limited, quick, instant, and now can create a sense of urgency. Want to evoke excitement? Try using power words like ultimate, best, special, latest, introducing, and new.
Conduct A/B testing
Every email marketing situation is unique in that the outcomes are influenced by factors such as the audience (email recipients), brand and campaign specifics, products or services, and other variables. Despite your best efforts, an overlooked nuance related to any of these factors could make your email marketing campaign fall flat. The solution? A/B testing, which makes it easy to evaluate the effectiveness of your subject line, introduction, copy, calls-to-action, and other elements in real-world conditions with your audience.
A/B testing isn’t just limited to email marketing. With social A/B testing, for instance, you can compare various post headlines, intros, and other elements to find the best combination to boost engagement. This testing method is used by marketers across a variety of channels for good reason: you get real insights into precisely what words will get the desired results from your target audience.
Use power words in moderation (and with specificity)
Like all good things in life, power words are best used in moderation. When you go overboard with power words, you might end up over-promising and under-delivering. That’s a surefire recipe for annoyed readers and lots of unsubscribes, but those aren’t the numbers you want to boost, are they?
Instead, use power words when they really mean something. Be authentic. Don’t go crazy stuffing your subject lines and your email copy with as many power words as you can squeeze in, but do use them when they’re relevant and accurate. In other words, don’t hesitate to rave about inviting an exclusive group of VIPs to a private event if that’s what you’ve got going on, but don’t turn a promotion, event, launch, or other news into something it’s not.
Using powerful words in your email marketing campaign doesn’t just help you boost open rates, click-throughs, and other metrics (not that those spikes in your metrics aren’t a glorious sight to see). When you use power words right, they also help to nurture relationships with your subscribers, foster trust, and build brand loyalty, which can bolster your brand far beyond your latest email marketing campaign, for decades to come.