1. Copywriting

How To Use Power Words In Email Marketing


When you send out your customary, monthly newsletter… how much time do you spend reviewing the words you used?

I thought so.

But don’t feel bad, most other people don’t either. Just the really successful ones do. πŸ™‚

So feast your eyes on a pretty good example of how to do it right, by the Italian fashion house Zegna.

Zegna using a multitude of power words in a simple promo email
Zegna using a multitude of power words in a simple promo email (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Did you catch them all?

  • Private (denotes exclusivity which always arouses curiosity and a desire to belong)
  • Pleasure (it’s all about pleasure & pain… so a promise of pleasure works great, esp. in personal items)
  • Exclusive (again, wanting to be part of the ‘cool club’ is a big trigger although nobody would ever admit it)
  • Free (hey, it’s the most powerful word in all of sales.)
  • Code (subconsciously implies there is a secret combination which you are now privy to – how would you NOT use it? )
  • Exclusive – Private – Sale (ok this is just ridiculous, but very well chained into a single phrase they’re going to reinforce even more by writing it down and then typing it again)
  • Permanent – (we want permanent results, and this will allude to it, even when used in a different context)
  • Now (this is another hypnotic word that elicits a subconscious response almost automatically. great to use next to, ir inside, a call to action)

All very powerful, hypnotic words. Used consciously, they will work like mental dynamite. (See what I did there? πŸ˜‰ )

Bear in mind though, that this is a promo email geared towards creating quick, big impact and get the reader to click through quickly.

If this were truly a text-based, story-based one with a narrative or at least some semblance of personality involved… you’d do things a little differently.

But having said that, this is a fine example in its own class, so do study it closely.

Years ago when I was first learning the ropes in copywriting, power words was the last thing I picked up on. Because even when you get everything right in an ad but fail to elicit the right emotion, the right visceral response… you need words that are proven to do just that!

Here’s to your powerful ads!

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Comments to: How To Use Power Words In Email Marketing
  • One must be careful not to overdo it. If I get an email that’s just overflowing with “exlusive” and “vip” etc. – it just looks cheesy to me. Those words have to be tastefully used, not in “in-your-face” manner. It might depend on target audience though…

  • July 22, 2012

    I keep sending the same email for my newsletter, it depends on the product you sell i guess.

  • July 27, 2012

    Roman – sure, you need to know when you’re overstepping your boundaries. But that tends not to be the usual problem – most people are overly conscious of it and don’t really make an effort to put some power into the language, into the words they use. It all depends on the context.

    Also, you cannot be mindless about using power words. They need to fit the context and serve the purpose of the piece, otherwise it’s just another case of the old SEO writer’s diarrhea.. πŸ˜‰

  • July 27, 2012

    Adam – indeed it depends on what the purpose of each mailing is, what the audience is ready for, what the product involved is, and many more things. The point is, most people don’t even try and end up boring the heck out of their audience. That’s not good salesmanship. πŸ˜‰

  • August 6, 2012

    The problem is that people stop reading such mails at all. Or spam filter just block them. These words are too sounding, and it scares people today.

  • August 7, 2012

    Katerina – take my word for it, your suspicion will go away once you test it. Many people THINK they scare people away, but that simply isn’t the case. If you do it right, nobody will mind.

    If the audience is interested at all, they won’t go away, on the contrary – you’re serving them better, helping them get what they want. Sure wasn’t a problem for Zegna in this example.

    Also spam filters have tolerance limits that aren’t that sensitive these days to common marketing words. Of course I’m not suggesting anyone to over-populate their copy with power words, it all has to be relevant and make sense for the reader. Nobody will mind if that’s how it’s done.

  • August 8, 2012

    I am trying to start email marketing. I have my own website that sales some products. Now what I is my idea that I want to send email to my register customer about latest products…Thanks…

  • August 8, 2012

    good post, do you thinks that the “hot” word will change is a couple of years?

  • August 11, 2012

    Great written article on how to draft email for news letter. Actually no one cares that much about the words,grammar etc. But you have researched some words looks like really it will do wonderful result in online market business.

  • August 13, 2012

    It’s really surprising, how certain words can affect us on a very sub-conscious level. The choice of words in a copy is one of the solid reasons why people actually go ahead and buy things they don’t even need! And this same idea can be applied to blogs and articles as well. With the right use of some really powerful and effective words in your content, you can ensure that people visit your site once, and then keep coming back to it.

  • August 14, 2012

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I’m always shocked at the email marketing my competitors use. It never seems to make any sense and it sure doesn’t grab you. I’m always trying to create a message that will grab you the instant it hits the inbox.

  • August 15, 2012

    To catch customer’s attention with the powerful word is really better than writing a new letter? I think it worth trying because the mail marketing is also not so easy to do business as well.

  • August 17, 2012

    The subconscious mind is very powerful. It influences our behavior in such a way that we just don’t notice it. That’s what makes good copy writing a talent worth paying for. I think the words “private” and “exclusive” have the most impact. Thanks for the reminder that we must use these powerful words in our marketing. Suzanne

  • August 20, 2012

    Hey Juho,

    The best words are those that draw out emotion, good or bad. When people have problems they need solved, they are going to respond best to emotion, not logic. I agree with others though who have mentioned that it can be overdone sometimes.

  • August 30, 2012

    its really useful article by this article i get to know how to use Power Words In Email Marketing & you should defiantly know how to use power words….thanks for sharing…..!!!!

  • August 31, 2012

    I will definitely try these words out in my work and will share my experience with you whether it worked for me or not . Anyway thanks for the points mentioned in the blog post..

  • September 18, 2012

    I try to analyze my emails as much as I can in order to bring out the best of what I post. But it is sometimes hard to know what’s good and what’s not. I’m sure I can do better, and I got some new words from this post that I will try.

  • October 17, 2012

    Problem is that people does not read complete email and they stop opening spam folder we have to choose another strategy

  • October 20, 2012

    I think, in addition to providing “Power words” in Email marketing, we also have to write “Call to Action words” in our email marketing like “This product is only available at this price until 23 Oct, so Get it Now!!”. This method is very powerful. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Juho for the inspiring write, I hope somebody can benefit!

  • October 21, 2012

    Short and clear advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • October 28, 2012

    Marcos – that’s exactly why power words and other valuable strategies are needed to grab the reader’s attention and keep it… Also, give value as early in the email as possible. Rambling emails don’t get read by even the biggest fans.

  • October 31, 2012

    It’s really surprising, how certain words can affect us on a very sub-conscious level. The choice of words in a copy is one of the solid reasons why people actually go ahead and buy things they don’t even need! And this same idea can be applied to blogs and articles as well.

  • November 5, 2012

    Hmm, I’not sure whether people don’t realize someone is trying to manipulate them with those words. Especially in the mentioned Zegna letter – does this really work better than an honest letter that might include useful stuff for the reader?

  • November 6, 2012

    Holger – don’t forget this is fashion. People actually want to be manipulated to act a certain way, and they obviously already trust the brand since they’re on their list. I suspect at least half of the people are sort of ‘in on it’ but let themselves be affected anyway, and the rest are oblivious. Bottom line – it still works. πŸ˜‰

  • November 16, 2012

    I always try to choose the right words for my newsletter but this article has helped me to reflect more on the words and their importance. Thank you.

  • November 27, 2012

    Would be interesting to have concrete numbers for that – like response rates…Your comment that people actually want to be manipulated if its done well, was quite eye-opening. It’s probably true – we all are willing to engage in something if it’s presented to us in the “right” way. These “power words” trigger the right emotions in us.

  • Hi Juho, its interesting opinion. I’m working with email marketing since this summer and I haven’t done this think. As usual I schedule my newsletter before I send it and review few more times, but never think separately about each word, how it influence readers mind. Really interesting. Thanks, keep on going.

  • If you want a really good book check out Phrases that sell and also Words that sell. Some of those phrases in those two books are freaking top notch!

    Whenever I need to pepper up emails or my blog I’ll crack that books open.


  • January 15, 2013

    I have never been successful in Email Marketing. But I’ll try your tips. Hope I am successful

  • April 17, 2018

    Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’t wait to read more posts.

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