You’ve worked tirelessly on your email copy. Finally, your email campaign is ready to go. But, how can you ensure your email will be opened and the recipients will actually read the copy you’ve worked so hard on?

“Words have power. They can invoke either a positive or negative response. They are also the biggest factor in getting your emails opened.” – EmailOut

Emails are a fundamental part of daily consumer and business communication. Furthermore, as indicated by stats, around 293 billion emails have been sent/received in 2019, with a forecast of the number growing to 347 billion by 2023. With that being said, having a tried-and-tested, ready-to-use list of power words that could make your emails stand out above the rest and increase both your open and conversion rates would be a dream come true for marketers.

In this article, we’ll share the following effective email marketing keyword techniques:

  1. Using power words to evoke exclusivity, urgency and excitement in your recipients
  2. Using power words to invoke security, simplicity and engagement
  3. What are the benefits of using power words?
  4. Testing, testing, testing…

Ready to dig in?

Are you familiar with the term “power word”? It’s a word that often elicits an emotional response, negative or positive, in the target audience, leading, hopefully, to the desired outcome.

Essentially, using power words is the practice of strategically using words that will get your recipients to not only open your marketing emails but also engage with them, with the end-goal being conversion. It’s a type of persuasion that uses linguistics to achieve a boost in your email open rate.

However, before you even think of making any adjustment to your email marketing strategy by using email marketing keywords, let’s make sure you know exactly what a normal open rate is.

Open rate is the percentage of people who’ve opened your email in relation to the total number of recipients that you successfully sent your email campaign to (don’t count the hard/soft bounces). It’s rather easy to calculate.

Here’s the Open Rate formula:
Open rate = Emails opened ÷ (Emails sent – emails bounced) x 100.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s focus on the topic at hand – email marketing keywords, and how using power words in your email campaigns can boost your open rates.

Invoke Exclusivity, Urgency and Excitement By Using Power Words

Past stats indicate that a human’s average attention span was 12 seconds – in 2000. However, later studies indicated it has fallen to 8 seconds.

Taking this into account, it’s imperative for businesses to keep their email marketing message tight, brief and concise in order to grab, and maintain their recipients’ attention. To do that, they need to use powerful, emotionally-packed email marketing keywords. You can find some examples below. 

1) Exclusivity: rare, reserved, private, premium, award, insider, exclusive, priceless, uncovered, unseen, invitation, choice, unique, VIP, classified, valuable, confidential, secret, members, elite, only, prestige, etc.

2) Urgency: today, last chance, immediately, limited, essential, indispensable, imperative, necessary, shortly, flash, hurry, alert, quick, urgent, instant, now, last minute, once in a lifetime, soon, final, rapid, fast, etc.

3) Excitement: fascinating, thrilling, special, new, intriguing, introducing, freebie, prize, best, free, transform, buzz, motivation, save, latest, reward, revolutionary, ultimate, sneak peek, gift, win, how-to, etc.

The above email marketing keywords are not just designed to expand your vocabulary. Their purpose is to provide new ways for businesses to engage their email lists and improve open and conversion rates in addition to engagement rates by using the right choice of words.

Adding any of the power words listed above to your marketing email will help you accomplish the following – 

1) Emphasise your recipients’ importance to you. Show your audience they are a part of a highly exclusive, members-only club. In short, exclusivity reminds people they are part of the crème de la crème and will have access to content none of your other recipients has, that they are special;

2) Compel the recipients by building a feeling of urgency. The rule of thumb, encouraging recipients to act – right now – is a sure method of bringing success and driving immediate conversion. Though make sure you are not using exaggerated urgency to the point it’s just hype. Simply remind your recipients your offer is time sensitive; and

3) Ensures the recipients’ excitement about your email. Above all, you want your marketing emails to be exciting. So, make sure you create curiosity and excitement about what the recipients will get if they interact with your email. By outlining the uniqueness of your offer, you’ll unquestionably instil a feeling of excitement that guarantees recipients engagement. 

Provoke The Recipient’s Security, Simplicity and Engagement With A Few Words

Most of the time, when a recipient gets an email the first two things that pop in their mind are – “why should I open it?” and “what’s in it for me?”. Despite the short attention spans, recipients would want to interact with marketing emails that will make their lives easier.

With that said, by taking advantage of the below-listed email marketing keywords, you’ll have an excellent starting point.

1) Security: risk-free, realistic, tested, safeguard(s), authentic, privacy, backed, researched, official, quality, protected, secured, verified, integrity, evidence-based, certified, guaranteed, proven, money-back, refund, trustworthy, etc.

2) Simplicity: effortless, simple, candid, entire, thorough, pure, straightforward, savvy, effortless, help, comprehensive, easy, complete, uncomplicated, clear,  etc.

3) Engagement: grow, improve, plan, promise, find, more, if, compare, share, instant, tell, create, increase, learn, imagine, make, submit, discover, take, convert, check out, etc.

Adding any of the power words on the list above will make your recipients feel secure. Hence, they’ll feel safe to interact with your emails. By creating an email message that’s clear and concise, your recipients will be capable of reaching the CTAs with ease without getting lost in the clutter.

By using the power words outlined above, you can accomplish three things – 

1) Instil a feeling of security regarding the actions you’re asking the recipients to take. When people are entering their personal data in forms – or anywhere for that matter – they want to know the party they are giving it to is trustworthy. Therefore, tailor your email campaigns by adding keywords that make the recipients feel secure. 

2) Create a simple and clearly outlined email message. No one wants to ‘decode’ complicated, hard to follow marketing emails. The easier you make it for recipients to understand and follow through to a call-to-action, the better.

3) Endorse interactions. Wanting to increase your engagement rates means you should encourage your recipients to interact with your emails. If your email message is simple and makes the reader feel secure, it’ll be much easier to encourage a beneficial interaction.

Run Tests 

We’ve already established words have power and that their primary purpose is to evoke emotions in your target audience resulting in recipients taking the desired actions. Accordingly, you have incorporated power words in your email subject lines, preheader and email copy. But, how do we know which email marketing keywords will have the biggest impact?

Your email’s subject line is the first and foremost element recipients will see and it’s also the biggest factor in getting the recipients’ attention and convincing them to open your email. Therefore, make sure you’ve thoroughly tested it. Come up with several potential subject lines that target a specific audience. Then, determine their Emotional Marketing Value (EMV). You can do so by taking advantage of the Advanced Marketing Institute’s EMV Headline Analyser – it’s free to use. The tool is not 100% flawless but it’s a great way of getting a baseline.

We are big fans of A/B testing. Hence, after you’ve narrowed down your subject lines – based on their EMV score – grab the two with the highest scores and use them for your email campaign. Create one campaign with the first subject line, as well as email copy containing power words, and send it to 10% of your recipients. Next, create a second campaign with the second subject line and send it to the other 10%. Afterwards, examine the key metrics – open rate, conversion rate and click-through rate – to determine which email marketing keywords had the biggest impact. Was it the power words in your subject line? Or, was it those used in the email copy? Once you’re confident you have a winner, send it to the remaining 80%.

Final Thoughts

Some words are more effective than others. Based on our analysis, when studying subject lines, the most effective email marketing keyword is actually the recipient’s first name. Thus, it comes as no surprise that personalisation is the most powerful method of increasing email open rates and encouraging conversion. 

However, subject lines are not the only element of your email campaign. Don’t forget about the preheader and the email copy, too. Hence, using the right email marketing keywords is crucial when you’re aiming at improving open rates, click-through rates and conversions.

Overall, using tried-and-tested email marketing keywords that stir up an emotional response in your recipients, will help you not only create email marketing campaigns that inform; but also, ones that motivate subscribers to take immediate action. So, use power words, segment, personalise and master the art of creating an irresistible email marketing campaign that will deliver the desired outcome.

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