“Join us!”

“Sign up!”

These phrases litter the huge variety of email newsletter boxes you’ll come across online, and they generally serve the same purpose: Click here to give us your email address. They serve the same purpose, but do they say the same thing?

Can one word change the way you feel about a button?

In my experience, yes. I subscribe to the copywriting school of thought where every single word is absolutely worth stewing over and A/B testing because one single word can change everything. The difference between “joining” and “signing up” is the difference between fellowship and enlisting. A word changes the meaning, the mood, and the motivation.

Once you’ve found the most powerful words, we’d love to help you share them to social at exactly the right times — so you can drive more traffic, engagement, and conversions.


To connect the dots then, you’re probably wondering: If a single word makes that much difference, then what words should I be using? Which words and phrases convert?

The science of copywriting, the psychology of headlines, and the art of CTAs has revealed quite a number of go-to moves for marketers looking to gain a linguistic edge in their words and pitches.

The power of a word

I’ve enjoyed saving several lists of these so-called power words and pulling them out to use in a pinch. I’m happy to share my lists with you of the phrases and words that convert. Do you have any power words that work magic for you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Research reveals how a single word makes all the difference

You likely know inherently that specific words matter. You click on a headline because a single word strikes you. You click a signup button because a word creates an emotion.

The research behind this power of words is incredibly deep. Researchers have found that the word you use to describe a car accident (“contacted” vs. “smashed”) paints the way eyewitnesses view the event. Another study found that simple stock names that are easier to pronounce lead to quicker gains post-IPO.

Perhaps my favorite study is one shared by  Brian Clark of Copyblogger. Social psychologist Ellen Langer tested the power of a single word in an experiment where she asked to cut in line at a copy machine. She tried three different ways of asking:

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” – 60% said OK

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” – 94% said OK

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” – 93% said OK

I don’t know about you, but I thought Langer’s third request was rather elementary. Yet it didn’t matter. The trigger word “because” was all she needed. The takeaway: When you want people to take action, always give a reason.

Neurologically, we have an instinctual reaction to words and language. Researchers have found that we are hardwired to associate sounds with images, even in words we do not comprehend. Here’s a test for you, pulled from a study by Wolfgang Köhler. Which of the two shapes below is a maluma and which is a takete?

maluma takete

The vast majority of respondents label the smooth, rounded image a maluma and the hard, jagged image a takete.

To go one step further into the power of words, you can look at Patrick Renvoise and Christopher Morin’s book about neuromarketing (see Peep Laja’s article at ConversionXL for a great analysis of the book). Renvoise and Morin highlight the three different brains we have: the new brain, the middle brain, and the old brain.

three-part brain

The old brain is the part that controls decisions, and it also happens to be the most primitive. In this way, the words you use to market to the old brain will often be the most direct, simple, arresting, visual words you have.

You’ll likely see a lot of these “old brain” words in the lists below.

The ultimate list of words and phrases that convert

A quick Google search can reveal pages of results for persuasive and powerful words. There’s no trouble finding them; there’s sometimes trouble applying them. The words you see below are split into a number of categories, along with some ideas on how I’ve used them in the past (and how you can use them, too).

Ultimate words and phrases

The 5 most persuasive words in the English language

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

You’ve seen these words countless times before—and for good reason. The research behind these words has shown over and over that they work. Gregory Ciotti wrote about these five in a post for Copyblogger, showing exactly how each is vital for persuasive speech and copy. For instance, immediate words like “instantly” trigger mid-brain activity and feed our zest for quick gratification.

Where to try these words: Calls-to-action, headlines, email subject lines, headings, opening sentences and paragraphs

The 20 most influential words, via David Ogilvy

  • Suddenly
  • Now
  • Announcing
  • Introducing
  • Improvement
  • Amazing
  • Sensational
  • Remarkable
  • Revolutionary
  • Startling
  • Miracle
  • Magic
  • Offer
  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Wanted
  • Challenge
  • Compare
  • Bargain
  • Hurry

David Ogilvy is to advertising as Jimi Hendrix is to the electric guitar. His list of influential words you see above was first published in 1963, and many remain in vogue today.

Where to try these: Headlines, bullet points, subject lines

(Sidenote: For a fun blast from the past, courtesy of Ben Locker, here are a couple advertisements for power words that date back to 1961. A New York Times ad is on the left, a Washington Post ad is on the right. Ogilvy’s 20 influential words came out two years after these.)

persuasive_words (1)


3 words to encourage community

  • Join
  • Become a member
  • Come along

These community phrases provide a sense of togetherness to the user; they feel like they’re taking part in something larger than themselves. (You’ll notice that we use the word “join” in our email newsletter form.)

Where to try these words: Email signups, trial offers, in-app messaging

10 cause-and-effect words and phrases

  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Because
  • Caused by
  • Consequently
  • Due to
  • For this reason
  • Since
  • Therefore
  • Thus

Author Darlene Price, the originator of this cause-and-effect list, has great insight into what makes these cause-and-effect phrases so useful: “Cause-and-effect words make your claims sound objective and rational rather than biased and subjective.”

Where to try these: Closing paragraphs, transitions

12 phrases that imply exclusivity

  • Members only
  • Login required
  • Class full
  • Membership now closed
  • Ask for an invitation
  • Apply to be one of our beta testers
  • Exclusive offers
  • Become an insider
  • Be one of the few
  • Get it before everybody else
  • Be the first to hear about it
  • Only available to subscribers

Garrett Moon of CoSchedule explains exclusivity as being like a club with membership restrictions. You want in because others are in. There’s a bit of social pressure with exclusivity wording, and it helps drive decisions and actions for the user.

Where to try these: Signup forms, links, calls-to-action, subheads

9 phrases that imply scarcity

  • Limited offer
  • Supplies running out
  • Get them while they last
  • Sale ends soon
  • Today only
  • Only 10 available
  • Only 3 left
  • Only available here
  • Double the offer in the next hour only

The fear of missing out (often abbreviated as FOMO) is a common driver of action for marketers and advertisers. FOMO is essentially scarcity. By showing that an item or product is in limited supply, you hope to ratchet up demand.

Where to try these: Headings, promo copy

28 words and phrases that make you feel safe

  • Anonymous
  • Authentic
  • Backed
  • Best-selling
  • Cancel Anytime
  • Certified
  • Endorsed
  • Guaranteed
  • Ironclad
  • Lifetime
  • Moneyback
  • No Obligation
  • No Questions Asked
  • No Risk
  • No Strings Attached
  • Official
  • Privacy
  • Protected
  • Proven
  • Recession-proof
  • Refund
  • Research
  • Results
  • Secure
  • Tested
  • Try before You Buy
  • Verify
  • Unconditional

Boost Blog Traffic’s Jon Morrow collected a huge list of power words (his full list of 317 is well worth the read) and sorted the list by category. The above section is Morrow’s grouping of words that engender feelings of safety. It’s my favorite group from Morrow’s list because these safety words have an amazing effect on the person reading: They create trust.

Where to try these: Payment forms, signup forms, testimonials

47 ubiquitous power words

  • Improve
  • Trust
  • Immediately
  • Discover
  • Profit
  • Learn
  • Know
  • Understand
  • Powerful
  • Best
  • Win
  • Hot Special
  • More
  • Bonus
  • Exclusive
  • Extra
  • You
  • Free
  • Health
  • Guarantee
  • New
  • Proven
  • Safety
  • Money
  • Now
  • Today
  • Results
  • Protect
  • Help
  • Easy
  • Amazing
  • Latest
  • Extraordinary
  • How to
  • Worst
  • Ultimate
  • Hot
  • First
  • Big
  • Anniversary
  • Premiere
  • Basic
  • Complete
  • Save
  • Plus!
  • Create

Each employee on the circulation and email marketing teams at Interweave Press has these words printed and posted on their wall. The list, which was originally compiled Linda Ruth and Curtis Circulation Company, came from studying best-selling magazine covers, and Interweave’s Bob Kaslik found that the words work equally well on magazines as they do in promo copy and in email subject lines.

Where to try these: Email subject lines, headlines, calls-to-action

9 word for shareable content

  • Secret
  • Tell us
  • Inspires
  • Take
  • Help
  • Promote
  • Increase
  • Create
  • Discover

Neil Patel put together the infographic you see below, based on research on each of the four major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. His list represents the words that can get your content shared on social media. I’ve found success grouping some of these words with other power words as well.

Where to try these: Social media updates


Create and share your own list

If you’re looking for inspiration (and a few unique power words to keep in your toolbox), try keeping track of the words that get you to convert. Take note of the words and phrases that grab your attention. Keep in mind why a headline stands out more than another. Notice which words grab you in a bullet list of benefits.

As you find new words, you can build a list in Evernote or another note-taking app; then be sure to reference them when you’re in a pinch and looking for a powerful addition to your headline, copy, or post.

And once you’ve found the power words that help you convert, we’d love to help you share them to your social profiles at exactly the right times.


Do you have any favorite power words that have worked for you? Which ones from the list here might you be interested to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image credits: CarbonNYC, Ben Locker, Conversion XL,

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Well, I used to have a pop-up that said “Want our almost-weekly totally amazing newsletter?!? [sign-up]”. A week ago I switched “amazing” with “fantastic” and my sign-ups are waaay down! After reading this I’m going back to using “amazing”.. it just works!

    Oh, and interesting point about the difference between “sign-up” and “join” – somehow… “join” makes me think that there’s going to be money involved. I’m going to try “join free” and see what happens!




    • I’d love to hear how “join free” works for you, Laura! So great to hear you’re testing your changes and finding what works best. Your approach is inspiring! 🙂

    • Rhapsodie McClintick

      What about using JOIN US FREE- making people feel like there are more followers and they are joining others.

      • Adam

        Join our team at no cost

  • My ADD hooked me at the “Maluma/Takete” experiment. I had to detour and learn enough about it to understand the reference, and then I could go back to the article.

    This is an article that I’ll need to read a couple of times…just for the basics to sink in. All those words…words…words. Wow. So far, it’s fascinating. Lots to absorb, and figure out how to utilize.

    • Hi, David! The maluma/takete experiment was indeed a fascinating one. Which words did you put with which images? Just curious. 🙂

      Glad you found a lot to like in this post!

      • I actually guessed correctly. You can feel the angles & curves of the words in your mouth.

  • This has come at the right time for me as I have just re-designed my site for conversion.

    I’m so useless at writing (it’s not my job) copy for my site but I love learning new things so here goes…

    Going to keep this post as reference and try out different words and keep tabs on how they work out for my site.


  • TakeActionWAHM

    I don’t know how you guys come up with so much amazing, valuable content day in and day out! But I’m glad you do!

  • D. Kruegel

    Very nice list, but I publish in German language in a B2B context. I see some words which would equally work with a German language audience (especially those words like “because”), other words would translate badly into German language, or they have a direct translation into German, but you might instantly lose credibility (like “amazing”…basically any word which expresses excitement). I would love to see such a study above for other languages than English.

    • capturts

      That’s an interesting point. And I’d like to add to this by mentioning some of these words/phrases are very “American”. I hear some of these and they don’t sound foreign to me, with my UK ears, but they don’t sound quite natural either. I wonder how the UK English list might vary.

      • Very interesting thread! Thanks so much for bringing up the distinction between languages and geography! It’s an awesome reminder for me to stay attuned to the international audience on the blog. 🙂

        Just curious, which words stood out to you as either “very American” or difficult to translate? I’m probably quite blind to the nature of some of the power words I use on a daily basis! Excited to learn more … 🙂

        • capturts

          Some might just be me, but in particular some of the words that just don’t “fit” might be:
          “Hot Special”

          “Limited Offer”
          “Class Full”

          Some of the other words in themselves are ‘bilingual’ but tend to be used in a very slightly different context or I see them (in American publications) with other words that I wouldn’t use.

          I’m having trouble thinking of specifics, but they are just slightly ‘off’ and therefore stand out to me as “out of place” rather than “compelling”. I read a phrase that is supposed to inspire me to take action but it just stands out as “American ‘marketing’ “.

          Obviously I’m not trying to be insulting in anyway :p

          • You are right! Cf. Robert Cialdini, they are too “complicated”… Of course that’s an exaggeration, but it’s good to “feel safe”. Using a simple language, is safer than complicating it 🙂

        • D. Kruegel

          “Free” as in “no cost involved” – would translate in German to “kostenlos” or in any of its variations due to gender or amount: kostenlose, kostenloser, kostenloses. There could be also other possible translations which sound either more like slang or even more formal: “für lau” “gratis” “zur freien Verfügung” etc.

          “Amazing, sensational, revolutionary, ultimate, miracle” – their direct German translations might work in a B2C context, but in a B2B context it would probably cause a loss in credibility. My gut feeling tells me however, that “remarkable” would be ok in any case.

          “Join” – I am not aware that you can express this in German with one word without sounding like a military staff sergeant. It is one of the few call to action words I have difficulties to translate as crisp into German. Usually the German translation doesn’t fit onto any call-to-action button, because it usually turns out to be a whole sentence with min. 3 words.

          “Hot Special” – that doesn’t translate at all into German…well you can translate it literally, but it would sound totally weird: “Heißes Spezial” or “Heißes spezielles…” Makes me think of a hot vienna sausage with some special sauce or worse/better, of something naughty and not safe for work. 😉

          • Pavlos Elenis

            You dont have marketing in Germany as nothing excites you. Its better to describe the product and just use the word efficient or will do the job

          • D. Kruegel

            You do know that marketing is much more than just creating “awesome” slogans and CTAs? And marketing communication is not just about being exciting. Even when just describing the product you need this discipline (which also includes copywriting), because the product subject matter experts usually don’t know how to describe the product in a way that the average person can understand it (and their grammar might even suck as well).

          • Pavlos Elenis

            As you said discpline. Germany perceives things in its own way its all about discipline and efficiency and thats what makes people sad. I have to admit that German companies are great great products, but always lack the little extra, the marketing thing. So what can you change just with words when the product is not itself a marketing product. YOu need to change the whole philosphy behind them. Germany as country has the brand name of efficiency, strict, reliable and so on. But no marketing is not needed. Just give them actual and plain inforomation 5 real advantages over the others and end off. Like the adverts for BMW . one word Efficiency. Of course young generation is slighly chaging especially those lived abroad but still a long way.

          • D. Kruegel

            It seems you limit “marketing” only on the advertising aspect, but marketing is much more than just advertising and trying to push sell stuff to people. Even in marketing communication which doesn’t use “exciting” words, you still need to find the right words and presentation to get the attention and trust of the target audience.
            You have also misunderstood the word “discipline” in this context. I was speaking of Marketing as a professional discipline, not of discipline as a behavioural trait.

        • D. Kruegel

          Now that I read your comment again (after two years), these two words stand out to me as “very American”: awesome and Excited. If I would translate your comment into German, I would at least remove the word “awesome” (a reminder is not awesome or bad, it is just a reminder) and replace the word “Excited” with something toned down such as “Glad” or “Looking forward to”.

      • Yeah, definitely the same with Australian English. I’ve found a lot of copy just to be utterly ridiculous and not influence my buying decisions. Well, maybe adversely.

        But I think over the last 5 years as the Internet bridge is making the world a smaller place it’s starting to have a little more power.

        • luckilee

          what ??? little educated people in the 50″s what are you talking about ? that is insane and inane

        • Don Griffis

          Never underestimate the simplicity of the human mind. Speak in very simple language that has stood the test of trial and error.

          Unless you are selling to nuclear scientists, or even if you are, use the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid.

          • D. Kruegel

            If you speak to a general audience, I agree. But when you speak to specialists, you need to speak on their level. Otherwise they might not take you serious or even feel insulted.

          • dao vo
    • lampenmaken

      With a little fantasy and feeling for context it should work. When your German list is ready, I would love to have it. Since I am from your neighbouring country, I have a Dutch list to share with you.

  • Wow, you are remarkable. Kevan. Love playing with words especially if it leads to rewards – This opens a whole new ball park. Thanks for sharing!

    • So glad you found something to like here! 🙂

  • Richard Teahon

    As a writer of blogs and social media content I’m pleased to say I use most of these words on a day to day basis. Ogilvy never ceases to amaze

  • stew

    Yes, there is power in your choice of the words you use. Would be interesting to actually quantify the psychological impact on different demographics.

    • Interesting point! I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for any research toward that end! Thanks for the idea. 🙂

  • Geoff

    While I don’t doubt that these words are effective – as reinforced by the fact that we’ve been inundated by them pretty much since birth – what I would really like to see is a post with a title something like…

    The Fantastic Big List of One Gazillion Amazing Free Secret Words That Convert Yet Don’t Make You Feel Like a Total Douchebag Every Time You Use Them: Write Copy That Doesn’t Make You Want To Take a Shower When You’re Done – Because Conversions!

    We can follow it with a page that scrolls forever, has two or three embedded videos, and uses lots of Bold Red Words and even more yellow highlighter.

    Because conversions. Sigh.

    • Wow, that’d be quite the post, Geoff! Haha, I’d better start researching. 🙂

      Definitely these power words can be taken too far. I noticed another comment here mention that there comes a saturation point with these words, and they’d switch from power to powerless pretty quick. 🙂

    • You’ll probably find such an article at some of the “sensational news for the sake of ad placement” sites soon :).

    • Rhapsodie McClintick

      It seems you’re seeking the feeling of reality and not social superiority.

  • Lorin Yeater

    shouldn’t we make an infographic out of this blog post? hint, hint

  • Rich

    While they might grab attention, don’t many of them appear in ‘stop’ word lists too – meaning if you use too many of them, you’ll end up in spam filters? Use too many on landing/web pages and I’d not be surprised if you’re penalised SEO too as they’re obvious markers for pushy sales copy. Just a thought.

    • Hi, Rich! Great point! I think you’re 100% right that these words can lose their value if they become overused. Might there be a saturation point on a page or an email where too many of these words start smelling rotten? My gut is that you’d hopefully be able to feel the tides shifting in your copy when you re-read and edit later. I’d love to hear any ideas you have on how one might keep this under control!

    • Susi Gane

      try join because it’s free 🙂

  • Jason Feldes

    Sure, the competition’s marketing language is clever, but ours is cleverer.

  • Osifeso Demola

    love this will definitely follow it up

  • I also like NLP trigger words such as Imagine. “Imagine getting a website designed by OpenPotion that effectively sells your business” Or asking questions with an answer embedded. “How great would it feel to get a website from OpenPotion that actually does it’s job?” (great obviously).

    Also, you can use words like But to cancel objections. “It may seem expensive, BUT the real issue is how much money you are losing by pushing the work onto people, rather than leveraging technology.”

    Vote up this comment if you found it useful. 😉

    • KenjiSummers

      This is an Ericksonian Hypnosis word but not really. NLP is about modeling so at some point “Imagine” became an NLP trigger word.

    • Imagine is the single most powerful word used in political speeches. And it works not only in english, but in all languages

    • I’ll vote up this comment. 🙂 Nicely put, Jason! Great tips!

    • I like to follow “imagine” with a result: “Imagine yourself getting more done in less time than ever. Now, open your eyes, and you’ll find yourself BUYING MY STUFF.” Very roughly.

      • sylviadstrong

        My Uncle
        Joshua just got an almost new white Kia Rio Hatchback only from working
        part-time off a home computer. try this C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • Dylan Sarrasin

        i have to try that last part

      • I think hat’s actually the “John Lennon” sales copy (I just read it on copyblogger). Reference to John Lennon’s song. These articles are really good for non-native English writer like me.

    • Your first paragraph is actually very prone to backfire on you.

      Why? You use the company name, so now it’s specific to this instance and not so much rhetorical. “Imagine that THIS COMPANY will actually deliver. Like THIS TIME, we swear – how awesome would THAT be?” You catch my point 😉

      I think the examples are great, but they will work much better without the company name. Otherwise the possibilities for negative connotation are pretty big.

  • bingbingwa

    Missed 2: Penis & Vagina

  • Speaking of words, I have none that describe how awesome this article is! Thank you Kevan!

  • And to add to your sharply pointed pencil – let me fly a flag for short words. Don’t use three syllables. Make it easy to grasp your meaning quickly. Help people cut thru the dross.
    Be real fresh. The way to attract men is the same as for women. Stop rubbish piling up. Give up tricks – become clear & easy to pass on. Give us all fun. Poke holes in bored minds.
    You are damned good. Thank you very much – because you lit up my evening [22:30 in Cork Ireland]

    • Hi Paul! Wow, I think I pulled about 10 or 12 power phrases just from your comment here! (And none of them had more than two syllables per word – nicely done!)

    • D. Kruegel

      Short words don’t work with every language though due to the language structure.

  • Amazing list will save me money and time as I use the free resources to discover new words that I can user to create and promote improved content.

  • Ivan Kurniawan

    Thank you so much for sharing this Awesome article!
    surely will try some of them 🙂

  • John Edward Boulton

    Excellent and very informative. thank you.

  • Anna

    I love using these words almost as much as Legal loves taking them out. In the beauty and CPG categories, words like “instantly”, “remarkable”, and “improvement” are either not allowed or will trigger a waterfall of legal disclosure; “new” only flies if it’s a brand-new product, not a reformulation.

    Anyone have effective workarounds for finicky legal departments?

    • Hi, Anna! That makes a lot of sense. Sounds like a tricky situation to slide in these power words when you can. 🙂 I know that email spam filters frown on a few of these, too, so I’ve no doubt the legal dept. has its reasons.

      This idea might sound quite elementary, but when I ran into issues using a few of these power words in my copy, I turned to a thesaurus. I imagine you might have already tried that? I found a couple gems that way. 🙂

  • Carrie

    Hey! I loved this piece. Definitely something to think about as we use our social media platforms. It’s hard though because I think that every twitter audience is different. For one audience, they might be attracted to words like “join us” but to another they might not. So thats why I think it is important that we create our own lists that work for us. But thats what I think is the hard part- understanding what words works for us.

    So what do you think is the best way of doing that? How can we create our ultimate guide for words that convert?

    I’m interested in how you found your specific research. How did you come up with the your list? I think if I can see how you were able to do, it might help me figure out how I can make me own 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Carrie! That’s a wonderful point! Your “power words” will likely be unique for your own audience. I think something we consider with our Buffer power words is how they fit with our voice and tone (http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-marketing-voice-and-tone). This helps us decide which ones to keep and which one to skip.

      As for research, I try to read a lot and find as many ideas as possible. Then I can vet them against our voice and tone, test the ones that seem like a good fit, and keep the ones that test well.

      Does this help?

      • Carrie

        That makes sense but you mentioned that you made “The ultimate list of words and phrases that convert”. I am wondering how you came up with this list. Did you use A/B testing with different phrases, or do you use a different research tactic? Also, what kind of metrics do you use to decipher that these words are working?

        It seems that we could write a tweet and say “read this”. However, how do we know that they are click on the tweet because of the words were using or because they’re interested in the content- or is it both?

        • Do a viewer analysis, what does your viewer do, say, think. What is their age, sex, location. What are their goals etc.

        • Hi Carrie! So one way that we’ve built the list is to do A/B testing with our HelloBar. That gives us a sense of which words/phrases tend to perform better than others.

          Twitter’s a fun one, too. If you tweet your content multiple times, you can have variations of a pretty similar tweet. Of course, there are so many factors that go into a Twitter click/retweet/favorite; I’ve found it helpful to get a good volume of data with Twitter tests before you come to any conclusions. 🙂

          • Carrie

            Awesome! That does make sense !

    • Rhapsodie McClintick

      Carrie, it involves a little work but this author said, “f you’re looking for inspiration (and a few unique power words to keep in your toolbox), try keeping track of the words that get you to convert. Take note of the words and phrases that grab your attention. Keep in mind why a headline stands out more than another. Notice which words grab you in a bullet list of benefits.”

      The fact that wasn’t mentioned is to know your audience, if your audience is someone like yourself then use your own interests to sell to your market. And if your friends are your market have them help, if they will, what attracts their attention and your desire to share it.

      Another thing, look at your words. I find I’m love words with a harzh edge surrounded by words with a soft side. They feel more like the puzzle melding instead of insurance suffering.

      • Carrie

        I like that ! Thanks

        • Rhapsodie McClintick

          Thanks for reply over 3 months ago, I’ve just found my Discus account. PS- I’m a bad social media person.

  • Catherine Ami

    So useful and super helpful… thank you!!

  • TonyaD

    Damn, damn!!! Now I’ve got to go buy more ink for the printer cause all of these words are going on my bulletin board! !

    Lots of time and effort went into putting this post together and I really appreciate it 🙂


  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously awesome.

  • Very informative, Buffer! Thanks for the help!

  • catam

    Awesome list! Used a lot of these words before, but having so many of them in the same place makes this a great reference! – it’s something I’ve already begun coming back to for every new post I’m writing; great stuff.

    • So glad to hear it!

  • Great tips.

  • Joel Barker

    These are very interesting and I appreciate the actual research put into this. What I never see is the conversation about power syntax or power grammar.

    • Great one, Joel! Perhaps syntax and grammar would make for a great follow-up post. Have you seen much research on either of these?

      • Joel Barker

        No! But I have not looked!

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  • Robin Bull

    Amazing…as usual.

  • Great post Kevan! Thanks for taking the time to curate this!

    • Hi Wesley! Thanks for the comment! Yes, the curation time was big, but definitely worth it! I learned a lot. 🙂

  • rayfilwong

    “learn stocks even a high schooler can understand!” is another tip.

  • Randy Churchwell

    Kevin, I teach at a Christian safe house. People are open to what you say, INSIGHT is a powerful word for searching people. Seems to cause a glimmer of hope.

  • Teri Smyth

    This article is very helpful and full of great tools to help me write my blog, Thanks for sharing

  • Wow. This was awesome. So so so helpful!

  • Harajuku Boutique ♥

    Excellent article, I have used a website before which allows you to type a social media update and it rates your influence and sentiment, allowing you to create some very powerfuls headlines, tweets and status updates. Problem is I have forgotten the name of the website! Anyone know the one I’m talking about? Thanks!

  • I just bookmarked this article, It’s really great for leads and optimizing call to actions. Thank you!

  • John Chapman

    Interesting.I constructed a tweet to test it ‘New secret! Because you tell us you instantly want to promote your sensational free book – get the cover right http://authorbookpromotion.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/read-this-guide-before-making-or.html …’ and posted it. Analysing it with the Advanced marketing Institute headline analysis tool it scores 50% (without the link). Not a bad score but not the most effective either.
    And the Tweet? So far it’s been retweeted once.

  • Carmen Rodriguez

    Thank you!

  • Wordhelper

    “Customers’ attention” works a lot better than “customer’s attention.” The former implies that you have many customers. The latter indicates that you only have one customer.

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  • Deborah

    I believe the content about exclusivity should be attributed to Julie Neidlinger at Coschedule, not Garret Somebody. Click on it and see.

  • AllKnowingOrb

    except people see this all the time on spammy ads in the sidebar so have caught on, and when you use these you just seem like a cheap spammer. why? because you and your marketing are uncreative.

  • 4Real

    Such a legit article and thread. A diamond. Nice work Mr Lee.

  • Very Helpful, Thanks

  • CM

    I AM an Ogilvy man, and I find that most of the stressed words only appeal to trailer-park types – which works well if one is trying to appeal to trailer-park types. Much of it doesn’t work on me or my ilk.Perhaps that’s why Ogilvy wrote prose as copy; to appeal to the high-minded.

  • A massive list! Really great specially the Giveaway words! Thank You

  • rajesh

    Excellent work and a useful content for all…..It is indeed a great idea to share such beneficial collection.

  • Joann Brown

    I used some of your ideas for my subject line to mail my Organic Prospects today. My open rates increased by 26% and I got 4 sales! Thank you so much! 🙂

  • amazing information.

  • Cynthia V. Anderson

    I’m unable to share this post. The Floating Share Buttons interfere. I’m having to actually Chase the “Share” Button all the way down the page of the post & never win the race. very frustrating.

  • Shannon Oleyar

    Great article!! I always feel so repetitive in my calls to action…but they’re effective so I’ll keep it. I stumbled upon your blog while stumped for a better was to say “effective time management”. While reading, I realized that, through the years, I’ve unconsciously eliminated numerous words from my vocabulary because of the stigma they bear. You’ve inspired me to read a book or two that you mentioned!!

    • Hi Shannon! Thanks for the comment. Really happy to know this post was useful for you. Would love to hear if you pick up any new favorite words!

  • delina dimova

    thank you! this is super useful

  • Andi Munich

    Great article! So helpful, thank you!

  • felicia.cristofaro


    A single word does make a difference, especially in regards to written posts and headlines. That single word is the first impression you leave upon the reader.
    A lot of amazing adjectives here, I’ve definitely pocketed this for future use.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Writing a post on this topic and your work make it easy for me to create one wordy article.

    Thanks, Umer

  • Super cool list – you ROCK! 🙂

  • Do you have any power words that work magic for you? answer: the word powerful 😉

  • I found out this article on Growthhackers last night. Very cool this list, Kevan!

  • Jason Morrell

    This is a fantastic example of a well researched and well collated post, combining old wisdom with modern application. Thank you Kevan.

    Other power words that have worked for me are DRAMATIC (which I picked up from Dr Glenn Livingstone), BOOST (boost your confidence, boost your results, boost your bottom line etc.) and PERSONALISE (which moves away from standard/ordinary/off-the-shelf/commodity, places the attention squarely on the customer and beats the pants off BESPOKE and CUSTOMISE).

  • James Pogson

    Must admit I’m a sucker for Top 5 you must read. My inbox’s full of ’em 🙂

  • Good and amazing article, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  • chandra

    Thank you for sharing. A refreshing take to a widely discussed subject. We use these ideas in bits and pieces. It is really helpful to have such an wonderful collection..Cheers !

  • After reading that study conducted by Ellen Langer years ago I jumped up several income brackets in a very short period of time. All because I started using the word “because” when ever I ask my readers to do anything.

  • Tim

    This is the reason I would never name my company Miracle Media..”If we get you to page one of Google, it would be a miracle” ..lol..Great article about the use of words and the triggers and the why…thanks!

  • Your List is Super Awesome.

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  • I’ve had this bookmarked for two years, and I still use it nearly every day. Have yet to find a more robust resource.

  • No one is buying anything from me. Tried them all. Please help. Waiting for my first affiliate commission.

  • This article was so great and has a lots of useful advice and tips, I am not really good in web design but I’m willing to learn so that I’m researching for some information that i can take a note to enhance my skills in writing content. Thank you so much for sharing this to us.

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  • Hi Kevan,

    Very nice article. This information is very useful and interesting to read and to learn how to use the words.
    Have a nice day

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  • Shahzaib Hassan

    Thanks Great article , its a great to know about all these things. i have also write on shazzseo.com

  • Thanks for the insight Kevan! I always refer back to this article. Even if I don’t use the exact words listed, it reminds me to use powerful action-driven language.

  • Awesome list! Used a lot of these words before, but having so many of them in the same place makes this a great reference! – it’s something I’ve already begun coming back to for every new post I’m writing; great stuff.
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