101 Trigger Words & Exactly How To Use Them [Free PDF]

Bonus Material: Trigger Words One-Page Print Out

In today’s blog post, I’m going to show you how to use trigger words to evoke emotion and get your readers to act.

I’ll share 101 powerful trigger words you can use today. 

Let’s dive in!

What Is A Trigger Word?

A trigger word is defined as “a word that initiates a process or course of action.”[*]

Essentially, any word that gets someone to do something — anything — can be defined as a trigger word. 

But some words are far more powerful than others. They evoke greater emotions, spark desire, and boost engagement.

Take this post by SmartBlogger, for example:

Screenshot of post by SmartBlogger

Can you spot the trigger words? “How to,” “Smart,” and “Dumb” are all potential prompts to click this title and read the content.

If this post were titled “How to Blog Better,” it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. 

You don’t want to “blog better.” But you definitely want to be smart and stand out among “dumb” bloggers!

You get the idea. These words make you click, open, read, and buy. Want to use them for yourself? Check out the list below.

List Of 101 Trigger Words

Want our personal Trigger Word list for getting your readers to act?

Click here to get the free one-pager now.

Here’s a table of all the words you’ll get:

Personal
Authority
Exclusivity
Excitement
Greed
Safety
Avenge
Banned
Elite
Amazing
Convert
Boost
Before you forget…
Because
Insider
Blissful
Free
Bright
Coward
Controversial
Limited
Delightful
Greed
Cure
Destiny
Crush
Revolutionary
Energize
Instant
Fix
Empower
Destroy
Secret
Flush
More
Health
How
Forever
Unlock
Imagine
Want
Hope
Overcome
Guarantee

Jubilant
Win
Need
Reclaim
If

Wonder
Faster
Save
Tired
Never

Ultimate
Cheaper
Stop
Yes
Proof



Undo
You
Proven

Novelty

Worse

Seize

Discover

Minor

Unconditional

New

Trusted






Impatience
Savagery
Anger
Contempt
Fear
Desire
Deadline
Burned
Agony
Fleece
Floundering
Craving
Now
Conspiracy
Antagonistic
Pointless
Helpless
Longing
Today
Cruel
Arrogant
Temporary fix
Paralyzed
Thirst
Easy
Exposed
Disinformation

Surrender
Mystery

Had enough?
Gall

Sacrifice
Enhance

Payback
Hate


Delicious

Swindle
Never again…




Taboo
Outrage




Unscrupulous
Turn the tables




Vindication
Umbrage




Violence




How To Use Trigger Words To Amplify Your Marketing

Now that you have the big list of trigger words, it’s time to put them to use. Below, I detail exactly how to use trigger words in all areas of your marketing.

Headlines

As you can tell by the massive success of companies like BuzzFeed, headlines matter — a lot. Here’s one of their most-shared articles of all time (according to Buzzsumo):[*]

Screenshot of article headline by BuzzFeed

A great headline can help your content go viral, getting thousands of people to click, read, and share your article. A crap headline can mean the opposite — no readers at all.

What’s the difference between a viral headline and a pile of garbage? The way you word it. Look at the trigger words “Amazing” and “Mystery” in the BuzzFeed article above.

To show you what I mean, let’s look at some poor headlines and make them better. Here’s what we’re working with:

  • How to Grow a Garden In Your Backyard

  • 7 Tips for Making More Sales Online

  • The Ultimate Guide to Going Vegan

These headlines aren’t awful; they do certain things right, like using a good headline formula. But they aren’t great, either. Let’s sprinkle in some trigger words (bolded):

  • How to Easily Grow a Garden In Your Backyard (Proven Formula)

  • 7 Insider Tips to Convert More Online Sales, Guaranteed

  • The Ultimate Guide to Going Vegan & Reclaiming Your Health

Subheadings

Subheadings are the section headings within your articles (H2, H3, etc.).

Great subheadings can boost your engagement and get your readers to finish the article. They keep people moving down the page.

For example, I use trigger words in my subheadings all the time:[*]

Screenshot of use of trigger words in subheading

Here are a few before-and-after subheadings with trigger words bolded.

Example #1:

  • Eat More Vegetables to Lose Weight

  • Use This One Simple Trick to Burn Stubborn Fat Effortlessly

Example #2:

  • Use Trigger Words In Your Marketing

  • Sprinkle In Trigger Words to Boost Conversions Today

Example #3:

  • Add “Free” To Increase Sales

  • Use The Proven Word That Sells

Product Names

Believe it or not, even your products names can benefit from trigger words!

An extreme example would be the company Death Wish Coffee. They used an extremely potent word — death — in their product name. And to get an even better conversion, they add another trigger word to their single-sentence product tagline: The world’s strongest coffee.[*]

Screenshot of use of trigger words in product name by Death Wish Coffee

Another example is makeup brand ColourPop, which literally names their products after trigger words, such as their Niacinamide Serum titled “Remedy”:

Screenshot of use of trigger words in product name by ColourPop

I also underlined their use of trigger words in their product description, like “works wonders”, “enhance”, “perfect”, and “boost”.

Consider using the trigger words above in your product names, or even name them after a trigger word.

Pop-ups

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, pop-ups are one of the best ways to convert more visitors into email subscribers. And you can convert even more visitors with a few pretty words!

For example, this pop-up from The Sustainable Harvest uses the words “sacrificing” and “delicious” to seduce visitors into subscribing:[*]

Screenshot of pop-up from The Sustainable Harvest

Or look at this pop-up on my site, The Wandering RV, which uses wording like “Ultimate” and “Free”:[*]

Screenshot of pop-up from The Wandering RV

Pro Tip: Don’t have pop-ups on your site? Get List Builder for free and add them in a few minutes! 

Landing Pages

We’ve talked about using trigger words in a lot of places. But what about using them on an entire page?

That’s right! They work wonders to improve conversions on your landing pages, whether a product page or a full-fledged sales page.

Shopify’s free trial page, for example, uses the words “trusted” and “free”:[*]

Screenshot of Shopify

Or look at Transferwise, which uses wording like “faster” and “cheaper”:

Screenshot of Transferwise

Want more help building or improving your landing page? Check out our Sumo-sized guide to building the perfect landing page.

Buttons

Ahh, buttons — the ultimate call to action! Perfect for trigger words. Sumo loves using copywriting on their buttons. You might even call them… loaded. (See what I did there?)

Anyway, here is a collection of various trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo:

#1: YES!, Boost, Conversions

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

#2: Your, Free, Value

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

#3: Kill

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

#4: Launch, Your, Before

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

#5: You, Sell, Viral

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

#6:Must-Use

Screenshot of trigger word-filled buttons we’ve used at Sumo

I think that’s enough to warrant ‘nuff said. 

Use trigger words on all your buttons. And while you’re at it, use more buttons — in your content for content upgrades, in your emails to get people to click your articles, and on the images you want people to click (such as Facebook Ads).

Email Subject Lines

Like content headings, email subject lines matter. You know the deal… a great one gets clicked, a crap one doesn’t. 

We love using trigger words in Sumo’s email subject lines. Take a look:

#1: Best

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

#2: Grow, Insane, Detail

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

#3: Brilliant

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

#4: free, for life

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

It’s not just us. Here’s one from Hotels.com (% OFF, great, savings):

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

Or another from Brendan Meyers (Secret, REVEALED):

Screenshot of trigger words used in Sumo

Your Business / Domain Name

You probably already have a business and domain name. But if you don’t, considering using trigger words when you do finally take the plunge. (Alternatively, you could change your business name. But it might not be worth the hassle.)

Anyway, here are some examples of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL:

Elite Daily (Trigger Word = Elite)

Screenshot of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL

Best Buy (Trigger Word = Best)

Screenshot of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL

TodayTix (Trigger Word = Today)

Screenshot of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL

Bloglovin’ (Trigger Word = lovin)

Screenshot of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL

AdThrive (Trigger Word = Thrive)

Screenshot of businesses that use trigger words in their name and/or URL

I wouldn’t go out of your way to rebrand to add a trigger word, but if you haven’t started a business yet, it can’t hurt!

Calls To Action

Finally, we have trigger words in calls to action. Yes, this could be a button or a pop-up. But it can also be text in an article, a Smart Bar, or a Welcome Mat.

For example, we use a call to action on our main blog page that says “step-by-step,” “$10 million,” “FREE” and “new”:

Screenshot of exit popup on Sumo

Or look at AppSumo, which uses wording like “Never”, “Hottest”, and “best-kept software secrets.”

Screenshot of call to action using trigger words on AppSumo

Always look for ways to use more emotional trigger words in your marketing at every chance you get!

Start Using Trigger Words In Your Marketing Now

Want to improve your conversions with trigger words? 

First, click the button below to get my printable one-pager of all 101 trigger words.

Get My List Of 101 Trigger Words

Next: 

  1. Get List Builder if you don’t already have it (it’s free). 

Screenshot of Sumo List Builder

  1. Set up a simple pop-up that triggers five seconds after someone visits your site. 

Screenshot of steps to set up simple pop-up

  1. Create a “FREE” offer for visitors to get your most popular article, video, or something else that’s quick and easy for you to start growing your email list with trigger words. 

Screenshot of steps to set up simple pop-up

If you need help coming up with something, follow our guide to creating a content upgrade.

You can then track your performance inside Sumo, like this:

Screenshot of statistics of popups

Go set this up on your site now. Click here to get a free Sumo account to do it.

Then sit back and watch the subscribers roll in!

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