50 trigger words & how to use them today

 

Trigger words can dramatically improve your conversion rates in your online business and boost sales. You should start using trigger words now in your headlines, calls to actions, on your website and on any other marketing copy. 


Think of your digital products as any other merchandise on a store shelf. You need to give customers a reason to pick it up, turn it over, imagine themselves using it, and carry it to the checkout counter. 

Trigger words are your vehicle for selling digital products. They encourage consumers to select your products, head to the checkout page, and plunk down their hard-earned cash.

What is a trigger word? 

A trigger word is any word that compels a person to act. That can mean purchasing a product, clicking a link, or sharing an email address. A trigger word isn’t exactly cash in hand, but it’s close. Trigger words can push you to the forefront in a world where attention is scarce.

Why do trigger words work?

Trigger words work because these make the user pay attention to what you’re saying. This is especially important when your online audience has access to the information overload that is the Internet.  

Consider your typical prospect and what might be on their minds the moment they discover your online course, membership, or other digital product. They’re weighing multiple factors: 

  • Do I really need this? 
  • Is it worth the cost? 
  • Has it worked for others? 

Your copy is nudging them to buy with carefully crafted messages that connect on an emotional level. Using trigger words can: 

  • Spark curiosity and excitement
  • Remind people of a pain point they want to solve 
  • Evoke a sense of urgency, doubt or reassurance
  • Provide specific direction on what to do next to buy or engage with your company. 

Here’s how to use trigger words to increase your engagement. 

24 trigger words and phrases that’ll increase engagement in your strategy

Here are some trigger words you can use in your copy. 

1. Free

Everybody loves getting free stuff. We’re willing to put forth a little effort, if we don’t have to shell out cash.

You don’t have to give away all your goods for free, though. You can build assets and items to give away that could lead to paying customers down the road. That’s why free giveaways like e-books, videos or other lead magnets work. Consumers can provide basic information, like names and email addresses, and get something valuable for free.

Examples: 

  • Get 6 Free Tips to Improve Your Photography Overnight
  • Check Out These Free Photoshop Actions for Better Photography Processing
  • Free Textures to Enhance Your Favorite Photos

Be careful using the word “free” in your email subject lines and avoid using too many capital letters. Your email could be flagged as spam. If you use Kajabi email marketing, we use an email subject line validation tool to automatically detect potential spam signals for you.

2. New

As human beings, we’re programmed for novelty. We’re programmed to seek out the latest and greatest products on the market. That’s why toy stores typically release new products just before Christmas.

Try using the word “new” in your headlines and other marketing copy to play to that interest. Give people a reason to stop and pay attention.

Examples: 

  • New Photography Tips and Tricks for Better Motion Shots
  • Don’t Miss This New Online Course for Beginner Photographers
  • Got a New Camera? Here’s How to Use It

3. Proven

Evidence-based trigger words can work extremely well when you want to establish credibility for your business. The word “proven” equates effective, legitimate, valid. Use it only when you can back up your claims. Ideally, you’ll want to provide evidence that you have collected.

 Examples: 

  • Try These 12 Proven Strategies to Improve Your Photography Overnight
  • 15 Proven Methods for Landscape Photography Success
  • How to Apply These Proven Post-Processing Strategies From Pro Photographers

4. Easy

Who doesn’t like a simple solution? Human beings are capable of hard work and sacrifice, but we prefer to take the easy route if at all possible. Adding the word “easy” to your sales copy can convince a prospect to try your product. They’re looking for a way to make their lives easier.

You can also use variations of the word. For instance “easiest” suggests that multiple easy options exist but you’re going to pinpoint the easiest among them. That’s powerful.

Examples:

  • 11 Easy Ways to Set Up a Home Photography Studio
  • The Easiest Way to Improve Your Photography in Post
  • Easier Strategies for Applying the Rule of Thirds

5. Secret 

Who doesn’t want to be in on a secret? Secrets imply exclusivity and knowledge. Of course, your payoff has to answer to the promise. If you advertise a secret, you’d better deliver.

You can use the trigger word “secret” in blog headlines, sales copy for your online courses, and other marketing copy.

Examples:

  • 11 Photography Pros Share Their Secrets to Success
  • The Number One Portrait Photography Secret You Should Be Using
  • The Secret Formula for Easy Photography Post-Processing

6. More

We live in a world that craves high value and abundance. Everyone wants more for their money, more time to spend with their loved ones and more value from businesses. 

Adding the word “more” to your copy subtly communicates that you have the best option on the market. It suggests that consumers will get greater value for their buck or their time. That’s a good thing.

You can also use the trigger word “more” when you want to reference another piece of copy. For instance, you might write a blog post title “21 Photography Tips From Your Favorite Pros,” then follow it up a couple of weeks later with “11 More Photography Tips From Your Favorite Pros.” Don’t forget that you can use more than one trigger word in your marketing copy, too.

Examples:

  • 11 More Photography Tips From Your Favorite Pros
  • How to Get More Light in Every Shot
  • Enjoy More Praise From Photography Clients With These 11 Secrets

7. The 

It’s arguably one of the simplest words in the human language. Yet, it can be a powerful trigger word when used strategically. 

Consider the difference between “the” versus “a.” With “the,” the tone is more definitive, even more authoritative, while “a” conveys a sense of randomness. Use “the” just before a descriptor, such as “best,” “cheapest,” “only,” or “greatest.” 

Examples:

  • The Best Photography Gear You Can Own
  • The Cheapest DIY Studio Photography Kit
  • The Best Way to Light Your Indoor Shoots

8. Yes 

Most of us like the word “yes.” It’s a positive word that primes your audience to say “yes” right back to you. When you start with an affirmative word, you’re building a relationship with feel-good emotions. 

Many CTAs start with the word “yes.” It assumes that the consumer wants whatever you’re selling or delivering.

Examples:

  • Wondering If You Can Make Money as a Photographer? Yes, You Can
  • Yes, You Can Take This Online Course for Only $45 Per Month
  • Yes, I Want to Get Free Coupons Via Email

9. If 

Think about the mathematical equations from your algebra classes. Each equation essentially boiled down to an “if” question: If you add X plus 50, you get Y. 

We think in patterns like these that often start with the word “if.” Think about the number of times you’ve daydreamed about a potential future. “If only I had $1 million … ”

You can use this tendency in your marketing copy. Start the equation with “If + a scenario,” then finish the equation with an outcome: 

“If You Can Do This, You’ll Get That”

It completes an imaginary equation and implies that your consumers can achieve the desired outcome.

Examples: 

  • If You Hate Noisy Photos, Try This Simple Hack
  • Don’t Give Up on Photography If You Can Master This One Skill
  • If You Want to Impress Your Family, Try These Portrait Poses

10. Never 

Affirmative, positive words like “yes” are extremely powerful. But, so are negative trigger words. Using a negative word helps set the stage for avoiding a miserable situation. 

You can use the trigger word “never” to tell your audience how to get rid of problems or pain points. You can also use “never” as a bold statement that contradicts what your audience might believe to be true. Controversy can help generate traffic, clicks, and sales.

Examples:

  • Never Use On-Camera Flash for Indoor Photography
  • If You Want Great Landscape Photos, Never Ignore the Rule of Thirds
  • Tired of Washed-Out Images? Never Commit This Photography Sin

11. Imagine

When you imagine a scenario, you most likely see images in your head. Perhaps you even feel the emotions of that hypothetical situation. 

When you use the word “imagine,” you encourage your prospects to daydream about their goals and desires. The possibilities suddenly seem more real after visualizing.

Use this trigger word to evoke desire. Paint a picture that illustrates how your digital product solves your prospect’s pain points.

Examples:

  • Imagine a Gallery Full of Your Photos
  • Ready to Step Up Your Photography? Imagine the Possibilities with This Mini-Course
  • Imagine Sharing Tips with Other Great Photographers

12. Instant

There’s a reason services like television streaming, one-day package delivery, and ride-share programs have become so successful. When we want something, we want it right away.

The word “instant” is about as fast as it gets. You’re offering something that can benefit your prospects immediately.

This trigger word works great for lead magnets. You might offer an “instant download,” for example, which encourages consumers to sign up.

Examples:

  • $100 Value: Get the Instant Download Right Now
  • 11 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Photography
  • Get Instant Access to This Pivotal Online Course for Advanced Photographers

13. Convert

Showing a transformation of any kind can prove the value of your expertise. When you use the word “convert,” your audience clearly sees before and after. 

Examples:

  • Convert Your Camera Into a Revenue-Generating Machine With These 11 Tips
  • Tired of Lackluster Photo Sales? Convert Fans Into Customers Instantly with This Course
  • If You Struggle to Convert Customers, Try These 13 Hacks

14. You 

Talking directly to your reader can have powerful results. The connection between your brand and the consumer becomes more powerful because of the familiar tone.

Instead of talking about “I” and “mine” or “his” and “theirs,” focus on “you” and “yours.” Pretend that you’re standing across from the reader and having a conversation.

Examples:

  • Have You Tried This Little-Known Photography Trick?
  • What Are You Waiting For? Boost Your Photography Skill Set Now!
  • You Can’t Beat This Photography Hack for Gorgeous Portraits

15. Because 

This is another trigger word that creates a positive equation in the reader’s mind. It also suggests a solution, which always appeals to consumers who are struggling with pain points.

Examples:

  • Why Aren’t Your Photography Skills Improving? Because You’re Not Trying This Hack
  • Just Because: 25 Gifts for the Shutterbug in Your Life
  • Giving Up on Photography? Don’t. Because There’s Hope

16. Discover

The word “discover” inspires imagination. It suggests that something pivotal is just around the corner. This can capture your audience’s attention quickly. 

Use this trigger word to hint at a series of things to learn or to suggest a big secret that you might reveal if the user converts.

Examples:

  • Discover These 27 Photography Hacks for Great Macro Images
  • Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Discover the Photography Secrets of the Pros
  • For a Limited Time: Discover How the Best Landscape Photographers Master the Shot

17. Stop 

We’re conditioned to follow certain orders and “stop” has the same effect of a red light at a traffic signal. Your audience literally stops in their tracks. 

While you can’t force someone to buy your digital products, you can encourage them to pay attention. Use this trigger word to draw focus to whatever comes after it.

Examples: 

  • Still Shooting Photographs on Auto? Stop. Here’s Why
  • Stop. Don’t Miss the Chance to Get 40% Off My Latest Photography Course
  • Heading Out on a Photo Shoot? Stop. Here’s What You Should Do First

18. How 

Knowledge Commerce continues to grow partly because of our thirst for knowledge. We live in a DIY culture, and even those of us who eschew traditional education still love to learn.

The trigger word “how” tells your reader that you’re about to teach them something. Specifically, it suggests a tutorial or similar piece of content.

Examples:

  • Confused About How to Operate Your DSLR? Here’s How.
  • How to Build an In-Home Photo Studio
  • Learn How to Pan Your Shots

19. Worse

While this word might seem negative, it can connect in an authentic voice to your audience. None of us wants to do something worse, right? We want to do better. And we want to know what we’re doing wrong.

You can use the word “worse” or “worst” to educate and inspire your audience. Tell them what they’re already doing incorrectly or what they should avoid doing wrong in the future.

Examples:

  • The Worst Thing You Can Do During a Photo Shoot
  • What’s Worse Than Having the Wrong Camera? Having No Camera
  • Why You’re Promoting Your Photo Business Wrong: The Worst Mistakes

20. Now 

The word “now” commands immediacy. It lets your audience know that you’re sharing something of imminent importance. 

It’s a great way to inspire conversions on time-limited offers. If a consumer misses the opportunity, he or she will have to pay more (or endure another negative consequence) in the future.

Examples:

  • On Sale Now: My Most Popular Photography Course
  • Take Better Photos Now: The Ultimate Guide
  • Ready to Start a Photography Business Now? Here’s What You Need to Know

21. Today

You can use the word “today” to play on your audience’s sense of deadlines and time sensitivity. It gives your readers a definite time period for taking advantage of an offer. 

It can also let your audience know how quickly they can solve a problem or reach a goal. It’s much more attractive to get results today than to see them in several days, weeks, or months.

Examples: 

  • Today Only: 50% Off All My Photography Courses
  • Improve Your Photography Today: My In-Depth Guide
  • Expiring Today: My 3-Course Photography Bundle

22. Everyone

Nobody likes to feel like a guinea pig in an unproven experiment. If they know that other people have purchased a product or done something before them, they’re more likely to hop on-board. They may even fear being the only one who hasn’t benefited yet. That’s why social proof is so powerful. Suggesting that everyone is doing something can result in more conversions and sales.

Examples:

  • Why Everyone Is Taking Photos With Their Cameras
  • Everyone Wants Photos for the Holidays: How to Capitalize on Photo Fever
  • Get the Deal Everyone Is Talking About

23. Want 

We all desire something: money, influence, connection—you name it. “Want” conveys a sense of indulgence and desire, far different from “need,” which conveys desperation and necessity. 

You can capitalize on our human nature by using the word “want.” For instance, your customers might not realize that they want to know how to sleep more hours every night or learn to play the piano. Use the word “want” and let your audience make the connection.

Examples:

  • Do You Want to Take HDR Photos? Here’s the Expert Guide
  • Want More Clients? Use These 12 Foolproof Tactics Today
  • Join 30,000 Other Subscribers Who Want Free Photography Tips Daily

24. Win

Who doesn’t like to win something? This trigger word is similar to “free” except that it implies scarcity. Everyone can get something if it’s offered for free to anyone who signs up or performs a specific action. To win, though, they have to be the chosen one or few. That’s a powerful way to get people to interact with your brand.

Examples:

  • Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a Free Micro SD Card
  • Enter Now to Win a Complimentary Consulting Session
  • Check Out Our Latest Contest: Win a Nikon D7200!

26 more trigger words to use when you write

Glasses on top of a notebook

Here are 26 more trigger words you may want to try, depending on your audience. We’ve organized them in groups of sentiment, based on your audience’s emotions.

Urgency

If you can imply scarcity or urgency in your sales copy, you’ll get far more conversions. It’s related to FOMO (fear of missing out). Nobody wants to miss out on a great opportunity. Let people know that if they don’t act now, they might miss out.

  • Deadline
  • Expiring Now
  • Deal
  • Limited
  • Zero Hour.

Hope for the future

When you help your audience imagine a brighter future for themselves or their loved ones, you can position your product as the vehicle to get there.

  • Cure
  • Fix
  • Inspire
  • Build
  • Accelerate

From frustration to clarity

When you address your audience’s pain points head on, you’re proving that you understand their perspective. 

  • Correct
  • Adapt
  • Calibrate
  • Troubleshoot
  • Strive
  • Regulate

Fighting injustice 

When you appeal to your audience’s core values, your message can motivate them to right a wrong.

  • Destroy
  • Crush
  • Overcome
  • Beat
  • Avenge

Temptation

When you position something as forbidden, it can arouse intrigue and curiosity. Depending on your audience, experimenting with these trigger words may help spice up your copy.

  • Expose
  • Eradicate
  • Conspire
  • Ban
  • Accomplice