15 Best Email Marketing Trigger Words


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Email marketing trigger words are meant to trigger your customers — not in ways that are going to leave them upset with you and your company, and not to be misleading, either — in ways that encourage them to interact with your website, emails, and articles. Increasing customer engagement is a great way to attract new customers to your website. When people see that many others are interacting with your website, they’ll eventually feel the need to interact as well, which can be used in your behavioral email marketing techniques.

However, there’s a right and wrong way to do this. Marketing isn’t like journalism where “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” We can’t stress enough how important it is to not be misleading. Customers have little trust in businesses — even less so in the emails they receive on a daily basis. So, there’s a balance that needs to be struck, and these X trigger words are some of the best to use in your email marketing campaigns for increasing engagement.

Trigger Personal Pronouns

  • I: “I” helps the writer — and business — to connect with the customer. When speaking in the first-person, you’re giving the customer the ability to see things from your point of view. This is especially effective when coming from an expert’s point-of-view.
  • You: “You” is an actionable, personal pronoun that puts emphasis on the reader. When a business uses the second-person in their email marketing campaign, they bring the reader into the email.
  • We: “We” is one of the better pronouns to use because it can go two ways: “we” as in the business and customer, or “we” as in everyone at the business. We brings multiple opinions together, which helps the customer believe they’re a part of the team.

Trigger Verbs

  • Act: Verbs are action words by nature. Telling someone to act by using the word “Act” makes it as simple as possible. Actionable titles are a necessity when it comes to email marketing; it’s okay to make it clear right from the very beginning.
  • Boost: When boosting something, you’re elevating it to a new level. For example, “X Ways to Boost Productivity” sounds so much better than “X Ways to Increase Productivity.” Both are clear, but the former tells the reader they can do more.
  • Generate: “Generate” is a great verb to use in emails because it’s a familiar term in the business/tech/writing world. It’s used in a way to tell people to start doing something new: generating new content, generating reactions — you get the idea.
  • Guide: People are turning to self-service options more and more because they have no patience to wait on hold for who knows how long for simple issues. Using the word “guide” in an email tells readers that they should read this email if they want to learn something in a step-by-step fashion.
  • Overhaul: “Overhaul” should be used for audiences who are looking to completely change the status quo. If businesses want people to know they rebranded, they can call the transition a “complete overhaul” to imply big changes have been made.
  • Start: Few words are more actionable than “Start”. It’s also extremely self-explanatory, which is good for readers who respond more to clear email headlines. This is a great word for new customers or leads who are on the fence about a product or service.
  • Organize: Organization is key for any business. People take advantage of all kinds of software to help them organize all kinds of data and files. CRM software, for example, is all about organization. If you’re a software provider, use “Organize” to tell people exactly what the software does.

Trigger Adjectives

  • Free: “Free” is one of those words that will never go out of style. It’s not always easy to use “free” effectively because it can come off as spammy, but it’s one of those words that always grabs our attention, whether we’re reading it or hearing it.
  • Guaranteed: “Guaranteed” implies confidence in the product, service, or whatever the noun is you’re trying to describe. There is a definite clickbait vibe to guaranteed because everyone’s an expert online, but trusted businesses can take advantage.
  • Easy: “Easy” is tricky to use properly because it’s very subjective. A business might find something very easy because they’re experts, but if their base isn’t at the same level, it can run into trouble. However, people are always looking for an easier way, so if you’re using it with an understanding of who your base is, “Easy” can be extremely effective.
  • Powerful: Who doesn’t like power? If we’re buying a product or service, we want it to not just work, but be the best product or service we ever bought. “Powerful” implies a product or service won’t just work, but it’ll work beyond expectations.
  • Backed: “Backed” is more authoritative because the subject is proven to be true by, for example, an expert. Anything “science-backed” will come off as more trustworthy. Building trust is absolutely essential for businesses to build a strong base.

The Final Word

Word choice is absolutely critical for email marketing. Using the wrong word can completely change the message you’re trying to send to leads, opportunities, and customers. Emails, especially, from businesses have a hard time being interpreted as being anything other than spam. Making sure headlines are clear and are related directly to the content inside is imperative for businesses looking to generate more responses.

Breaking down email marketing trigger words from a grammatical point of view is a great way for email marketing managers to generate new headlines for their emails that are clear, relatable, and — most importantly — actionable.

This list is by no means the end-all-be-all list of trigger words. There are tons more out there (use Google, a dictionary, or a thesaurus for help), but the key is to make sure they’re synonymous with the message you’re trying to send to your audience. The key to doing that effectively is knowing who your audience is and knowing what they respond to. Take advantage of split-testing to see which words trigger the most responses.