The Power of Persuasion: Choosing the Right Words to Drive Sales

Words have real power behind them.

That’s particularly true in direct-response copywriting, which many tech startups rely on to move their leads through the all-important sales funnel until they become customers or clients.

Every inbound-marketing method companies use today—from blogs to social media to email—is an amazing opportunity to use the power of persuasion to secure more customers. All it takes is eye-opening insight into what words compel leads to action and which words to avoid.


Blogging is one of the best, most proven ways of driving traffic and leads to a startup’s website. To get leads to convert by signing up for a newsletter, contacting an actual company salesperson or actually buying something from the site, exceptionally persuasive words have to be sprinkled all throughout every blog post.

Hubspot published a helpful infographic that summarizes some of the most effective words for getting leads to perform an action.

Words and phrases like “hurry,” “limited offer” and “get them while they last” all imply scarcity, which is one of the scientifically backed Principles of Persuasion, first explained by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his seminal book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

A startup would do well to use these scarcity words in its blog posts if it wants to raise urgency for a downloadable white paper, a webinar or a free demo of a product or service.



Social media is a powerful marketing medium that startups can use even more efficiently if they sprinkle their social media updates and posts with persuasive copy. Social media raises brand awareness and provides an excellent chance to drive leads to a startup’s site—if only the copy in every social media post contains compelling words.

The key to driving leads to a startup’s site is getting a large number of social shares; the more people see your content, the more they will click on the link back to your site. Marketing guru Neil Patel recently published this insightful article on the persuasive words that increase social shares.

On Facebook, these action-oriented words and phrases did best:

  • Submit
  • Tell us
  • Comment
  • Take

On Twitter, these verbs and phrases did best:

  • Check out
  • Retweet
  • Help
  • Follow

On LinkedIn, these action-related words to describe one’s startup worked well:

  • Created
  • Won
  • Accomplished
  • Increased
  • Improved


Email marketing is the unsung hero of digital marketing in spite of research that confirms it as the technique that is the most effective and provides the best return on investment for companies. Reasons for its popularity include ease of use and customizability. Thus, here’s a golden opportunity to use persuasive words in email copy to bring leads to a startup’s site.

The first step lies in choosing the perfect, persuasive words in subject lines. From there, leads will open emails and potentially click on compelling calls to action in the body copy. Research shows that these words and phrases work best in getting leads to open marketing emails:

  • Urgent
  • Important
  • Alert
  • Announcement
  • Thank you

From there, the best call to action words in the body copy, to persuade leads to visit your site, include:

  • Try
  • Reserve
  • Get your

Words have the astounding power to persuade leads to come to your site and eventually become conversions and customers. It takes real insight into what words work best with leads before a startup can apply them in marketing techniques.

Some words work for best for one marketing approach or platform. That’s why it’s necessary to understand what your customers are looking for in solving their problems—and then apply these trigger words in your marketing to them.