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!
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:
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.
Want our personal Trigger Word list for getting your readers to act?
Here’s a table of all the words you’ll get:
|Before you forget…||Because||Insider||Blissful||Free||Bright|
|Unscrupulous||Turn the tables|
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.
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):[*]
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 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:[*]
Here are a few before-and-after subheadings with trigger words bolded.
Eat More Vegetables to Lose Weight
Use This One Simple Trick to Burn Stubborn Fat Effortlessly
Use Trigger Words In Your Marketing
Sprinkle In Trigger Words to Boost Conversions Today
Add “Free” To Increase Sales
Use The Proven Word That Sells
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.[*]
Another example is makeup brand ColourPop, which literally names their products after trigger words, such as their Niacinamide Serum titled “Remedy”:
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.
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:[*]
Or look at this pop-up on my site, The Wandering RV, which uses wording like “Ultimate” and “Free”:[*]
Pro Tip: Don’t have pop-ups on your site? Get List Builder for free and add them in a few minutes!
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”:[*]
Or look at Transferwise, which uses wording like “faster” and “cheaper”:
Want more help building or improving your landing page? Check out our Sumo-sized guide to building the perfect landing page.
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
#2: Your, Free, Value
#4: Launch, Your, Before
#5: You, Sell, Viral
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).
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:
#2: Grow, Insane, Detail
#4: free, for life
It’s not just us. Here’s one from Hotels.com (% OFF, great, savings):
Or another from Brendan Meyers (Secret, REVEALED):
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)
Best Buy (Trigger Word = Best)
TodayTix (Trigger Word = Today)
Bloglovin’ (Trigger Word = lovin)
AdThrive (Trigger Word = Thrive)
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!
For example, we use a call to action on our main blog page that says “step-by-step,” “$10 million,” “FREE” and “new”:
Or look at AppSumo, which uses wording like “Never”, “Hottest”, and “best-kept software secrets.”
Always look for ways to use more emotional trigger words in your marketing at every chance you get!
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 List Builder if you don’t already have it (it’s free).
Set up a simple pop-up that triggers five seconds after someone visits your site.
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.
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:
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!