20 Power Words That Will Electrify Your Online Advertising

by 7 10/25/2012

A recent Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) study revealed that online advertising accounted for 3.7 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011.

At a loss for words? It could be the case that your ads are too.

Marketers are competing with millions of other advertisers for audience eyes. Website visitors see a lot of online advertisements, and unless you’re paying attention to the subtleties in your copy, your efforts may go unnoticed.

If you’re struggling to find the right words, here are 20 to kickstart your brainstorming. No thesaurus necessary.

1. You

Think of your ads as the first handshake between your brand and your potential customers.

From the very first moment, you want to form connections with the people you want to reach  – and keep in mind, your potential customers are likely in a “what’s in it for me?” mindset.

If you start the conversation by focusing on yourself, the people you’re trying to reach aren’t going to listen. So make your ad about your audience. Anytime you’re using the word “we” or “I,” think about whether you can substitute the word “you.” From a psychological standpoint, those simple three letters are invaluable for helping build connections.

2. Click

But that’s obvious, right? People know that they’re supposed to click!

Wrong.

The Internet is full of a range of user types, and to some (like people who didn’t grow up online), a “click” is not an obvious action to take. If you say “start browsing now,” for instance, people might do just that  – browse without actually engaging with your brand.

Instead, say “click to start browsing now.”

Note: If you’re not sure whether your on-site advertisements or landing pages are confusing people, consider running a test with a tool like CrazyEgg to see where people are and are not clicking.

3. Free

Eventually, they might be willing to spend money, but at first, they’ll need some kind of incentive.

If you have a free incentive to offer – by all means – highlight that information from the get-go in your advertisement.

4. Increase

This word is an absolute must for B2B advertisements.

When decision makers look for products, they are looking for a lift in ROI or productivity. This word highlights how your product provides tangible value.

Are you increasing sales? Conversions?  Intelligence?  Time with family?  When advertising your company, make sure that you emphasize what you have the power to transform. Case in point below:

5. Try

The word “buy” can sometimes appear aggressive, test something softer.  One variation is the the word “try.”  Use it to connect with users who may not be ready to bust out their credit cards and start spending.

“Try” is a word that’s motivating and action-oriented, but it won’t overwhelm people who aren’t quite ready to commit.

6. Opportunity

Chances are that your target audience has some kind of goal that they’d like to reach.

Give them the “opportunity” they’ve been wanting. Are you advertising a career opportunity? A business opportunity? An educational or networking opportunity?

7. Ends

Are you advertising a promotion that ends on a specific date? If so, include that information – a concrete deadline is invaluable for inspiring people to take action.

8. Learn

Like #5 (try), this word will help you get click-throughs from people who are interested in your product but may not be ready to buy.

You’re aiming to reach people who are in the research stage of the sales cycle.

Check out the following example from StudioPress:

9. Easiest

Consumers and decision makers want products that make their lives easier.  They don’t want the hassle of something complicated.

If your product or service has the potential to make a task easier, then advertise that selling point – people will be happy to drop what they’re doing and listen to what you have to say.

Consider the following example from the KISSmetrics homepage:

10. Find

When customers research a product, they are likely hoping to find an answer to a specific question.

The word “find” is solutions-driven in the sense that it is a key step to solving business puzzles. Check out the following example from UserTesting.

11. Grow

Especially if you’re a B2B marketer, your customer base will want their business to grow.

If your product and service can help support that effort, let your audience know from the get-go.

What’s even better is if, in the ad itself, you can explain how your product or service promotes growth  – or if you can talk to a niche audience.

Have a look at the Constant Contact Google AdWords ad below:

12. Love

When it comes to sales, emotions are a powerful force.

Don’t just give audiences something they’ll like – sell them a product they’ll love. Make them feel as valued as possible for supporting your business.

13. Compare

Does your company’s rates or offerings completely rock compared to your competitors? 

If so, challenge your prospective customers to run their own comparison. By using this word, you’ll be showing confidence in your ability to stand behind your brand.

You’ll empower customers to make their own decisions and form conclusions about why your company provides the absolute best. ]

Not convinced? Compare the following Charles Schwab ad with some others that you’ve seen.

14.  Time

There’s never enough of it, right?

If you can demonstrate that your product or service is able to save time, audiences will will be drawn to your offer. More so than money sometimes, time is a valuable asset.

Check out the following example from Fidelity.

15. Don’t

This mono-syllabic word of caution will stop people in their tracks.

Use this word if you’re looking for a quick attention grabber, but don’t get too bogged down by a negative statement. Keep your “don’t” phrases short and sweet. “Don’t forget” and “don’t miss out” are just a few of the ways to use this power word.

Use the word to help guide people to a decision that they won’t regret.

16. Exclusive

The “velvet rope” is a powerful metaphor.

If you are making offers to certain segments of your market only, let them know it.

Keep your advertising honest by ensuring that your offer is actually exclusive.

Check out the following example from Banana Republic with an offer for Twiter Moms:

17. Fast

Right from the beginning, advertise your brand as one that prioritizes promptness.

Nobody wants to wait to see the benefits of their brand new purchase. Whether you’re hoping to appeal to business or consumer brands, show that you’re committed to quick turnaround.

18. Unique

By using this word, you’ll generate a sense of allure that will catch peoples’ attention.

What makes your products stand out from the crowd? If you have a unique product or ‘secret sauce’ worth offering, let your customers know.

19. Start

Why wait around when you can start now?

On a subconscious level, this word will get customers thinking about taking that next step. It’s a word that motivates people to do more than sit there and stare. Inspire your ad viewers to take action now. Start your analysis with the following SurveyMonkey ad.

20. Be

This word is as versatile as it is inspiring.  It conjures images of transformation.

Be your best. Be better than your best. Be your own boss. Be a leader.

It’s a very simple word with powerful applications from education to careers and business.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – 20 words that you need to use in your ads.

Notice that all of these words are super simple, conversational, and easy to follow.

What are some words that you enjoy using in your ads? Feel free to share your perspectives here.

About 

Ritika Puri is a San Francisco-based blogger who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and marketing. She’s inspired by the intersection between technology, entrepreneurship, and sociology. By day, she works for a large online media company, and after-hours, she runs her writing consulting business, UserGrasp.

Get our Daily Newsletter

Get conversion optimization, design and copywriting articles delivered to your inbox FREE

7 COMMENTS

Sandro Lonardi

What about:

Now and Untill: to generate urgency (similat to Ends but a bit more direct).
Free and Try: together are very powerful, people nowadays want to try before buying.
Click now to start your free try today: if we want to join more words together.

Whatever words we use we should always try to add inpulse factors like greed, urgency and fear of loss in our advertising messages, that’s the real trigger that makes people click and complete our desidered actions.

Great article ;)

October 25, 2012 Reply

Vidal Quevedo

Love this! I’ve always been curious about what makes people “click”. Certainly, “calls to action” help.

This list is very telling. Thanks for sharing!

October 25, 2012 Reply

rowe morehouse

Really great list of power words for copywriting.

I am pleased to see “try” in there. I use it all the time. Try it. :)

Also, I would add (and this is in my top five) — “Here’s why”

“Here’s why” is up there with you, free, try, incease. Can stand alone as a subhead, follow an important section, etc.

I would also add “possibilities”

nice work.

October 30, 2012 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    Good ones Rowe. ‘Here’s why’ is a really good one. One of the things Robert Cialdini talks about in his book Influence is the power of the word “because.” “Here’s why” is of the same vein.

    October 30, 2012 Reply

Julia Agnes

Awesome post! so informative! Thanks a lot!

November 7, 2012 Reply

Pete Klein

Good article. Just a heads up for anyone using Google AdWords: I think if you use the phrase, “Click Here” Google would disapprove your ad.

February 15, 2013 Reply


Leave comment

Some HTML allowed

Get conversion optimization, design and copywriting articles FREE >>>