How can you grow online through the right marketing power words, and which should you avoid?

In online marketing, the words you pick are more than just a bunch of letters. They are your brand’s front-line warriors in the battlefield of consumer engagement.

As the digital arena grows more crowded, standing out with the right words is no longer just smart; it’s essential for survival.

It’s about having the right chat at a high-stakes party, so you don’t end up being the wallflower.

These words mirror your brand’s vibe, tickle your audience’s curiosity, and yes, they can make the difference between a click that leads to a purchase and a shrug of indifference.

Among a sea of competitors, the right word choice is your brand’s loudspeaker that can turn mere visibility into meaningful conversations.

As we dive into the ocean of the most powerful marketing words in this piece, we invite you to join the banter, share a laugh over the cringe-worthy jargon, and perhaps, discover that magic phrase that makes your brand the buzz of the online community.

So, are you ready to play the word game?

This resource gives you 175 of the most impactful marketing words (good and bad), organized into ten categories for easy reading.

If you want to download this list as a PDF, you can do that right here.

Use the table of contents to see the best (and worst) words to use in your online marketing campaigns:

Marketing Words to Use

Marketing Words to Avoid

Here’s a quick video that highlights some of the key advertising words and phrases you should use in your copy:

Marketing Words to Use

Let’s explore marketing and advertising words that will definetly improve your brand voice, by category:

Marketing Words That Tap into Emotion

Emotion drives most purchases we make, if you actually get down to it.

  • Why did you buy a gift for your partner? — You love them and want them to be happy.
  • Why did you buy jeans when your old ones got worn out? — You want to look good, and impress people. And you’re scared what people will think if they see you in worn out jeans.

Neuroeconomist Paul Zak (2014) has his magnifying glass on stories that tug at our heartstrings, and guess what?

They send a dose of oxytocin, the “warm and fuzzy” hormone, coursing through our veins. It’s like our brain’s way of giving a thumbs-up to trust and empathy.

So, when you stumble upon words like “Imagine” or “Discover” in an ad, it’s an open invite to step into a tale where you’re the star.

Now, who could resist that call?

And here’s where it gets juicier. Marketing gurus like Roger Dooley, the brainchild behind “Brainfluence,” state that emotional campaigns work almost twice as well as campaigns that stick to cold, hard facts (2023).

Toss in words like “Unsurpassed” or “Bold”, and you’re serving a cocktail of confidence and superiority, a sip of which might just nudge the quality seekers among us to loosen the purse strings.

Here are the marketing words which can motivate your prospective customers to feel something which just might result in a purchase:

  1. Obsession
  2. Surging
  3. Pioneering
  4. Unsurpassed
  5. Confidential
  6. Bold
  7. Tempting
  8. Unconventional
  9. Astonishing
  10. Epic
  11. Explosive
  12. Secret
  13. Unusual
  14. Daring
  15. Imagine
  16. Discover
  17. Create
  18. Polarizing
  19. Inspire

Marketing Power Words That Tap into Fear

Fear is a powerful motivator:

The fear of missing out, the fear of making a mistake, the fear of costing your business money they don’t have, or rushing something which should be done carefully.

The psychology of fear in marketing is well-documented.

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real deal, with studies like the one from GoDaddy (2023) highlighting how Black Friday deals propel consumers to hit that ‘buy now’ button as quickly as possible.

As head of growth at Wisepops Pawel Lawrowski points out, nearly 60% of consumers make purchases because of FOMO, mostly within 24 hours (2023).

Here are the marketing words which incite fear in your prospective customer, and drive them to protect themselves by engaging with your brand:

  1. Fooled
  2. Beware
  3. Blinded
  4. Alarming
  5. Devastating
  6. Heartbreaking
  7. Hoax
  8. Prison
  9. Revenge
  10. Risky
  11. Avoid
  12. Scary
  13. Backlash
  14. Costly
  15. Assault
  16. Frantic
  17. Hazardous
  18. Untested

Marketing Words That Make People Feel Safe

Trust is everything when it comes to laying money on the line.

You see, trust is the sturdy bridge between ‘just browsing’ and ‘take my money!’ in the land of marketing. The moment a brand whispers sweet assurances through words like ‘Verified,’ ‘Certified,’ or the mother of all comfort words, ‘Guaranteed,’ our wary hearts do a little jig of joy.

If you haven’t communicated that your product and your business is legit, why should anybody get their credit card out of their wallet?

But don’t just take it from me.

According to neuromarketing research director Marco Baldocchi on LinkedIn (2023), employing trust-building marketing approaches, grounded in science, can significantly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. These trust-inducing words act like a warm cup of cocoa in a snowstorm,

So, when you say ‘No-Strings Attached’ or ‘Moneyback,’ you’re not just throwing words around.

It’s holding out a safety net in this tightrope walk of purchasing decisions. It’s like saying, “Hop aboard, it’s smooth sailing with us!”

Use these marketing words to ensure your prospective customers feel safe to engage with you:

  1. Authentic
  2. No-Strings Attached
  3. Secure
  4. Privacy
  5. Backed
  6. Lifetime
  7. Tested
  8. No-Obligation
  9. Forever
  10. Proven
  11. Moneyback
  12. Protected
  13. Verified
  14. No Questions
  15. Endorsed
  16. Certified
  17. Anonymous

Marketing Words That Imply Urgency

People are more incentivized to engage with your brand if they think they’ll miss out otherwise.

Use these marketing words to imply urgency to your offer, promotion, or content:

  1. Now
  2. Exclusive
  3. Scarce
  4. Rare
  5. Immediately
  6. Instantly
  7. Hurry
  8. Only
  9. Limited
  10. Limited-time
  11. Limited-edition
  12. Temporary

Marketing Words That Show Value

Communicating why a prospective customer should engage with your business is the first step to getting them to do so.

Now, let’s paint a picture: words like ‘Efficient,’ ‘Proven,’ or ‘Affordable’ aren’t just ink on paper; they are like those reassuring nods from a savvy shopkeeper.

They whisper in the ears of your potential buyers, “Oh yes, this is a steal!”

Unless you show the value of engaging, they’re not going to. It’s as simple as that.

The science behind it isn’t all hocus pocus either. Experts like Robert B. Cialdini, a guru in persuasion science, highlights how showcasing value can send customers scurrying to your doorstep (2001).

His book “Influence” is like the holy grail in understanding how to make your offerings irresistible.

Here are the essential marketing words that can be used to show value:

  1. Free
  2. Proven
  3. Lucrative
  4. Unbelievable
  5. Bargain
  6. Double
  7. Affordable
  8. Convert
  9. Essential
  10. Detailed
  11. Better
  12. New
  13. Remarkable
  14. Professional
  15. Best-Selling
  16. Guaranteed
  17. Unique
  18. Improved
  19. Tested
  20. Immediately
  21. Bonus
  22. Easy
  23. Advanced
  24. Results
  25. Effective
  26. Massive
  27. Impactful
  28. Increase
  29. Expert
  30. Lifetime
  31. Highest
  32. Lowest
  33. % Signs
  34. $ Signs

Marketing Words to Avoid in Your Marketing Strategy

Now that we have a good idea of the power words that will have the greatest impact on your marketing, let’s look at the words you should be avoiding.

Marketing Words That Make You Sound Ancient

You’re a business.

Even if your business’ tone is a casual, fun one, there’s still a line you shouldn’t cross.

It’s a bit like your dad trying to pull off skinny jeans – earnest effort, but a tad off the mark.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a sprinkle of modern lingo to keep things fresh, but there’s a fine line between trendy and trying too hard.

Tread lightly, or you might fall into the abyss of the outdated!

For instance, using slang like “On Fleek” or “Lit” might have had its moment under the marketing sun, but now?

It’s akin to parading around in a disco outfit post the 70s. And words like “Fam” or “Bae”? They’re the marketing equivalent of a dad joke at a dinner party – amusing once, eye-roll worthy the next.

Here are a couple cringeworthy examples:

100 Powerful Marketing Words to Boost Your Brand (and 75 More to Avoid Like the Plague)

100 Powerful Marketing Words to Boost Your Brand (and 75 More to Avoid Like the Plague)

Here are the most cringeworthy “youth” slang marketing words your business needs to avoid:

  1. I can’t even
  2. On fleek
  3. Lit
  4. Turnt
  5. AF (“As F*ck”)
  6. Dab
  7. Chill
  8. GOAT (greatest of all time)
  9. Gucci
  10. Fo’ real
  11. Peng
  12. Totes
  13. Fam
  14. LOL
  15. Salty
  16. YEET
  17. Bae

Pro tip: If you’re ever wondering if a word or idea may come across as “trying too hard” with the kids, check out the subreddit “/r/fellowkids.”

Marketing Words That Nobody Will Believe

Whether you sell marketing software or gluten-free cake, your audience will put up their noses at your pitch that your product is going to change their lives or is the first time anybody thought to put flour and sugar together.

Instead, focus on what it can actually do.

Avoid superlatives and keep your brand on solid ground.

Drawing from insights shared on INSEAD Knowledge regarding the “Persuasive Power of Transparency,” (2017) it’s clear that being upfront and realistic in your claims can significantly bolster your credibility.

When you over-promise with words like “revolutionary” or “miraculous,” you’re setting up a circus tent, and not everyone is in the mood for a show.

Here are the “nobody will believe you” marketing words to avoid:

  1. Groundbreaking
  2. Once-in-a-lifetime
  3. Revolutionary
  4. Perfect
  5. Impossible
  6. Miracle
  7. Once-only
  8. Visionary
  9. Transformative
  10. Jaw-Dropping
  11. Spell-binding
  12. Game-changer
  13. Armageddon
  14. Always
  15. Apocalypse

Marketing Words That Sound Salesy

Are you a used-car salesman from the 80s, or a modern-day marketer?

Thought so.

So why are you still trying to shill your prospective customers like you use too much hair gel and have a Madmen-era respect for the world around you?

According to Daniel Pink, author of “To Sell is Human,” the old playbook of coercion isn’t as effective in today’s enlightened era (2013). Words like “Synergy” and “Optimize” might sound smart, but they come off as robotic.

And “Cutting-edge”? It’s more of a dull blade now.

So, ditch the worn-out clichés, and instead, speak like a human, not a hustler.

Here are the “salesy” marketing words you should avoid unless you want to lose all trust from your audience:

  1. Outside the box
  2. Synergy
  3. Optimize
  4. Promise
  5. Satisfaction Guaranteed
  6. Cutting-edge
  7. Profit
  8. Commission
  9. Hidden gem
  10. Bandwidth
  11. Connect (as in, “when’s a good time to connect?)
  12. Programmatic
  13. Quota
  14. Pitch
  15. Leverage
  16. Win-Win
  17. Opportunity

Marketing Words That Have Been Overused

These words may have been the bee’s knees in years gone by. But those years are gone by.

Now, they just sound like you’re a broken robot, repeating the same words over and over again like every other faceless corporate hack.

These are the most overused marketing words out there:

  1. Actionable
  2. Learnings
  3. Viral
  4. Disruption
  5. Holistic
  6. Innovative
  7. Seamless
  8. Robust
  9. Granular
  10. Snackable
  11. Paradigm
  12. Customer-oriented

Marketing Words That Make You Look Lazy

You’re a creative marketer. So there’s no need to fall back on those words we learned in third grade.

Trotting out tired phrases like “Buy now” or “Click here” in your marketing is akin to offering stale cookies at a party – they’re likely to be passed over.

This lack of linguistic zest not only reflects a creative rut, but can also fall flat with your audience.

According to data from HubSpot, shaking things up with personalized call-to-actions can ramp up conversions by a whopping 202%! (2023)

So, instead of lulling your audience to sleep with the same old, dare to dazzle them with some fresh, flavorful language.

Be better. Be more unique. Be more charismatic.

And whatever you do, avoid these lazy words at all costs.

  1. Click here
  2. Submit
  3. Buy
  4. Buy now
  5. Great
  6. Very
  7. Stuff
  8. Things
  9. Amazing
  10. Huge
  11. Awesome
  12. Deal
  13. Special
  14. Best

The Benefits of Using Marketing Power Words in Your Communication

Marketing power words are crafted to trigger emotional responses and encourage action, leading to various benefits:

  1. Increased Engagement: Power words are designed to capture attention. By using them in your content, you can increase the likelihood that your audience will engage with your message, whether it’s reading a blog post, clicking on an email, or watching a video.
  2. Improved Conversion Rates: When used in calls-to-action (CTAs), headlines, and product descriptions, power words can persuade people to take the desired action, be it making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource, thereby improving conversion rates.
  3. Enhanced Emotional Connection: These words can evoke emotions, helping to create a stronger connection between your brand and your audience. This emotional resonance can be crucial in building brand loyalty and trust.
  4. Better Open Rates in Email Marketing: In email marketing, the subject line determines whether an email is opened or ignored. Power words can make your subject lines more compelling, leading to higher open rates.
  5. Increased Shareability: Content with emotionally charged or intriguing power words is more likely to be shared on social media, increasing your reach and potentially your audience base.
  6. More Effective Communication: Power words can help you communicate benefits and features more effectively. They can turn a bland message into one that is persuasive and memorable.
  7. Enhanced Persuasiveness: In sales and advertising, power words can make your pitch or ads more persuasive, highlighting the urgency, benefit, or value of what you’re offering in a more compelling way.
  8. Greater Impact in Less Space: Especially important in platforms with character limits (like Twitter or Google Ads), power words deliver a strong message with fewer words, making your content more concise and impactful.
  9. Improved SEO: When used judiciously in online content, power words can contribute to better search engine optimization (SEO) as they can increase user engagement signals like time on page and click-through rate.
  10. Stronger Brand Identity: Consistent use of certain power words can become part of your brand’s voice, helping to build a unique identity and differentiate you from competitors.
  11. Boosted Confidence and Clarity: Power words can make your messaging sound more confident and clear, which can be particularly effective in industries where trust and authority are crucial.

It’s important to use power words ethically and in context.

Overuse or misuse can lead to a loss of trust and credibility, as it may come off as insincere or overly aggressive. The key is to understand your audience and how they perceive and react to different words and phrases.

Bonus: Where to Include Your Marketing Power Words

Incorporating marketing power words into your copy can significantly enhance its impact and effectiveness.

These words are designed to trigger emotional or psychological responses, encouraging engagement and action from your audience.

Here’s where you can include them:

  1. Headlines and Titles: The first thing that catches a reader’s eye is the headline. Using power words here can make your content more compelling and clickable.
  2. Subheadings: Subheadings break up text and guide readers through your content. Power words in subheadings can keep the reader’s attention and maintain interest.
  3. Email Subject Lines: Since the subject line determines whether an email is opened or ignored, using power words can drastically improve your open rates.
  4. Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons and Phrases: Whether it’s a button on a website or a line in an email, CTAs benefit greatly from power words. They can create a sense of urgency or excitement, prompting more clicks and conversions.
  5. Product Descriptions and Advertisements: Power words can make your products or services more appealing and can highlight benefits and features in a more compelling way.
  6. Social Media Posts: Given the brief nature of social media content, power words can make your posts stand out in a crowded feed, increasing engagement and shares.
  7. Blog Posts and Articles: Within the body of your content, power words can emphasize important points, keep the reader engaged, and persuade them to take action.
  8. Testimonials and Customer Reviews: When editing or selecting testimonials for your marketing materials, highlighting those that naturally include power words can be more persuasive.
  9. Landing Pages: Since the goal of a landing page is to convert visitors, using power words can significantly increase the effectiveness of your message and call to action.
  10. Video Scripts: Whether it’s a promotional video or an instructional one, incorporating power words can make your script more engaging and memorable.
  11. Sales Pitches and Presentations: In both verbal and written sales pitches, power words can make your arguments more compelling and your offers more attractive.
  12. Press Releases and Corporate Communications: To capture media attention and make your announcements more impactful, use power words strategically.

The key to effectively using power words is to ensure they fit naturally within your content and align with your brand voice.

Overuse or inappropriate use can seem insincere or pushy, which can have the opposite of the intended effect.

Final Thoughts

I hope this resource has clarified for you which marketing words are winners and which could have a detrimental effect on your audience’s desire to engage.

Few are “hard-and-fast” rules, of course. So use your best judgment and creativity both.

Do you have any strong feelings for or against any of these marketing power words?

Get the conversation started in the comment section below!


Paul Zak, 2014

Roger Dooley, 2023

Godaddy, 2023

Pawel Lawrowski, 2023

Marco Baldocchi, 2023

Robert Cialdini, 2001

INSEAD Knowledge, 2017

Daniel Pink, 2013

Hubspot, 2023