101+ Proven Trigger Words Every Copywriter Must Know

Discover what are trigger words and how to use them in your copy to increase conversions.

When I trained as a copywriter, I spent hours learning how to edit and revise copy. My goal was to generate more sales for clients. One item on my editing checklist? Picking and using the right trigger words.

What are trigger words? Trigger words are words, short phrases, and terms with emotional resonance. Use them to encourage readers or a target audience to act.

How To Use Trigger Words In Your Writing?

To use trigger words while writing, identify your audience and the emotions you want to evoke. Pick trigger words that resonate emotionally with a target audience and grab their attention. Examples include “game-changer,” “exclusive,” “secret,” and “urgent”. Place these words strategically in headlines, calls to action, text, or in sales copy and use them right, and they should help your audience with better decision-making.

1. Headlines and Subheadings

Headlines and subheadings are often the first things people see, so they’re a great place to use trigger words to pique interest and entice your audience to read more. For example, you could use a headline like “Unlock the Secret to Life-changing Fitness Gains” or a subheading like “Never Seen Before! The Game-Changing Product that Will Transform How You Work Out.”

2. Opening Paragraphs

Use trigger words to hook readers at the start of sales copy to keep them reading. For example, you could open with a question like “Do you want to unlock a personal best for your next marathon?,” or a statement like “You won’t believe how easy it is to go from couch to 5k”. Trigger words pair nicely with the problem-agitate solution formula.

3. Call to Actions

Call-to-actions encourage readers or a target audience to take the next step. Examples include clicking a link, signing up for a newsletter, taking out a trial, or buying a product. Trigger words can help with crafting more compelling and persuasive CTAs. For example, you could write, “Sign up now and get a 20% discount!” or “Limited spots available! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity”.

4. Throughout Your Content

Sprinkle relevant trigger words throughout your content to engage your audience and emphasize key points. You could use trigger words like “revolutionary,” “transformative,” and “game-changing,” to highlight the benefits of a product or service. For example, “This game-changing fitness app will help you lose weight and build muscle in 30 days”.

Trigger Words Cheatsheet Printable

Trigger words printable

101+ Trigger Words You Must Know

Emotional Trigger WordsInstantCertified
Astonish PressingReputable
Empower HurryTrusted
Transform FlashConfidential
Revolutionize AccelerateEnduring
UnleashUrgency Trigger WordsEfficient
InnovateLimited TimeLoyal
NurtureRapidCuriosity Trigger Words
Urgent Trigger WordsInstantBehind the Scenes
CriticalLast ChanceExclusive
UrgentLimited OfferUnveil
NowHigh PrioritySneak Peek
Last ChanceTrust-Building Trigger WordsRiddle
High PriorityReliableDecode

Types of Trigger Words

Trigger words usually fall into one of four different emotional categories — emotional, urgency, curiosity, and trust-building.

Emotional Trigger Words

Emotional trigger words tap into a range of feelings like joy and desire to fear and anger. For instance, words like “love,” “hate,” “fear,” “happy,” “crisis,” and “peace” can trigger deep emotional reactions. These words are powerful because they connect with the reader personally. For example, “Shocking Payments Scandal Shakes the Core of SaaS Industry”.

1. Astonish – Demonstrates something extraordinary or unexpected. Example: “Our new vacuum cleaner will astonish you with its suction and cleaning performance.”

2. Empower – To give someone the means or confidence to do something. Example: “This self-help book will empower you to take charge of your life.”

3. Transform – Indicates a significant change or metamorphosis. Example: “This fitness program can transform your body in 90 days.”

4. Revolutionize – Implies a dramatic and wide-reaching change. Example: “Our innovative accounting software will revolutionize how you manage your books.”

5. Thrill – To cause someone to feel intense excitement or happiness. Example: “Riding the new roller coaster will thrill you like never before.”

6. Elevate – To raise to a more important or impressive level. Example: “Our science course will elevate your understanding of quantum physics.”

7. Inspire – To fill someone with the urge or ability to do something creative. Example: “The migrant’s brave story can inspire others to overcome adversity.”

8. Unleash – To release a force or potential. Example: “Unleash your inner artist with our new range of paints and canvases.”

9. Captivate – Attract and hold someone’s interest and attention. Example: “The movie Napoleon’s stunning set pieces will captivate audiences worldwide.”

10. Ignite – To arouse or inflame an emotion or situation. Example: “The candidate’s speech will ignite a passion for change among the voters.”

11. Mesmerize – To hold the attention of someone to the exclusion of all else. Example: “The magician’s performance will mesmerize the crowd.”

12. Innovate – To introduce new methods or ideas. Example: “Our blockchain company strives to innovate to stay ahead in the Web 3 market.”

13. Enrich – Improve or enhance the quality or value of something. Example: “Traveling to new countries will enrich your understanding of different cultures.”

14. Overcome – Succeed in dealing with a problem or difficulty. Example: “She overcame her fears and finally learned to swim.”

15. Illuminate – To help to clarify or explain something. Example: “This documentary about recycling will illuminate the complex environmental issues.”

16. Amaze – Cause great surprise or wonder. Example: “The magician’s tricks will amaze the audience.”

17. Nurture – Care for and protect someone while they are growing. Example: “Good teachers nurture a love for learning in their students.”

18. Rejuvenate – Make someone or something look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively. Example: “This holistic spa retreat will rejuvenate your mind and body.”

19. Energize – Give vitality and enthusiasm to. Example: “Our Keto new diet will energize you throughout the day.”

20. Simplify – Make something easier to do or understand. Example: “Our writing app will simplify your writing a book.”

21. Fortify – Strengthen or invigorate someone mentally or physically. Example: “Vitamin D will help fortify your immune system.”

22. Enthrall – Capture the attention of someone. Example: “The best 20th-century authors knew how to enthrall readers.”

23. Galvanize – Shock or excite someone into taking action. Example: “The inciting incident galvanized the community to seek change.”

24. Enhance – Intensify, increase, or further improve the quality or value of something. Example: “Regular strength training can enhance your posture.”

25. Motivate – Provide someone with a reason for doing something. Example: “Her self-publishing success story will motivate others to become an author.

Urgent Trigger Words

Urgency trigger words encourage prompt action. Examples include “now,” “limited time,” “hurry,” “immediate,” “deadline,” and “last chance.” These words can effectively drive quick decisions and actions by suggesting that time is running out or an opportunity is fleeting. For example, “Act now to claim a lifetime 20% discount.”

26. Immediate – Requires instant attention or action. Example: “You must take immediate action if you want to claim your discount.”

27. Critical – Important or essential. Example: “Got a critical supply chain issue? Our consultants are on hand to help.”

28. Urgent – Requiring quick action or attention. Example: “Urgent! This special offer is only valid till midnight.”

29. Deadline – A time or date by which something must be done. Example: “The deadline for applying for coaching with us expires tomorrow.”

30. Now – At the present moment or soon. Works well with time-sensitive promotions. Example: “Act now to take advantage of this limited-time offer before it disappears.” 

31. Limited – Restricted in size, amount, or extent. Example: “We have a limited number of tickets available for the concert.”

32. Scarce – Insufficient for the demand. Example: “Resources are scarce, so we must use them wisely.”

33. Last Chance – The final opportunity to do something. Example: “This is your LAST CHANCE to see the exhibition before it closes.”

34. Expiring – Coming to an end or no longer valid. Example: “Hurry! This special offer is expiring at midnight!”

35. Rush – To do something in a hurry. Example: “We must rush this order to meet the client’s deadline.”

36. Emergency – A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation. Example: “In case of an emergency, call this number.”

37. Breakthrough – A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery. Example: “Our breakthrough approach to time management is changing how people work.”

38. High Priority – Of great importance and needing to be dealt with quickly. Example: “This issue is high priority and must be addressed first.”

39. Time-Sensitive – Dependent on the timing of its delivery or use. Example: “This special offer is time-sensitive. In 24 hours, it goes away… forever.”

40. Alert – A warning or information about a potentially dangerous situation. Example: “Stay alert for tomorrow’s email about when this special offer begins.”

41. Final – Last in a series, process, or event. Example: “This is the FINAL email you’ll get about this special offer.”

42. Expeditious – Done with speed and efficiency. Example: “We require an expeditious resolution to this matter.”

43. Instant – Occurring or done immediately. Example: “Get instant access to our writing courses if you sign up today.”

44. Pressing – Requiring quick or immediate action or attention. Example: “Got a pressing need to get more done next year? Our planner can help you finish more projects”.

45. Hurry – To move or do things more quickly. Example: “Hurry! Only ten bundles are left in this promotion.”

46. Flash – Something that happens very quickly. Example: “This flash sale ends in two hours, so act fast!”

47. Accelerate – To begin to move more quickly. Example: “We need to accelerate our efforts to meet the demand.”

48. Swift – Happening quickly or promptly. Example: “A swift response is essential to address the client’s concerns.”

49. Panic – Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety. Example: “Don’t panic! Our coaches can help you at every step of the way.”

50. Race – Compete with another or others to see who is fastest. Example: “I’m racing against time to submit a draft of my book to my editor .”

Curiosity Trigger Words

Curiosity triggers words pique the interest or curiosity of readers or prospects. They often pose a question or suggest a reader can find out more. Words and phrases like “secrets,” “unveiled,” “discover,” “hidden,” “mystery,” and “unknown” entice a target audience or prospect to seek more information. These words are effective in headlines, leading readers to delve into the article or content to satisfy their curiosity.

For example, “Here’s the secret to mind-blowing sex”.

51. Discover – To find out or learn something new. Example: “Discover the secrets to a healthier lifestyle.”

52. Explore – To investigate or look into something in depth. Example: “Explore our range of exotic holiday destinations.”

53. Uncover – To reveal or bring to light. Example: “Want to uncover the hidden truths about starting a business? Then read the best entrepreneurship books”.

54. Reveal – To make known something previously secret or unknown. Example: “Our guide will reveal the best strategies for online marketing.”

55. Mystery – Something difficult or impossible to understand or explain. Example: “Writing a book doesn’t have to feel like a mystery. I can show you how to become an author.”

56. Secret – Not known or seen or meant to be known or seen by others. Example: “Learn the secret techniques of top chefs.”

57. Hidden – Concealed from sight or knowledge. Example: “Hidden gems of the city that only locals know about.”

58. Unknown – Not known or familiar. Example: “Venture into the unknown and push your limits.”

59. Behind the Scenes – The hidden or less known aspects. Example: “These articles about movies offer behind-the-scenes insights for film buffs.”

60. Insider – Privileged or confidential information. Example: “These articles and eGain insider knowledge on how to increase your wealth.”

61. Exclusive – Restricted or limited to a particular group. Example: “Gain exclusive access to our members-only content.”

62. Unveil – To show or announce publicly for the first time. Example: “We will soon unveil our revolutionary new product.”

63. Intrigue – Arouse the curiosity or interest of; fascinate. Example: “This book’s plot will intrigue and captivate you.”

64. Sneak Peek – A brief or hurried view of something to come. Example: “Get a sneak peek of our upcoming product line.”

65. Breakthrough – A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development. Example: “These breakthrough trainers will help you achieve a personal best”. Check out how Nike uses variations of this trigger word.

66. Puzzle – A game, problem, or toy that tests a person’s ingenuity. Example: “Solve the puzzle to win a prize.”

67. Riddle – A question or statement intentionally phrased to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer. Example: “Can you solve this riddle about ancient history?”

68. Enigma – A person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand. Example: “The enigma of the missing artifacts continues to baffle historians.”

69. Teaser – Something that tempts or entices with a hint of what is to come. Example: “Watch our teaser video for a glimpse inside our course.”

70. Quest – A long or arduous search for something. Example: “Join our quest to find the best coffee worldwide.”

71. Unearth – To find something in the ground by digging; discover something hidden. Example: “Unearth ancient relics on our archaeological tour.”

72. Decode – To convert a coded message into intelligible language. Example: “Decode the mysteries of DNA with our latest technology.”

73. Probe – To explore or examine thoroughly. Example: “Probe the ocean’s depths with our advanced equipment.”

74. Clue – Evidence or information used for solving a mystery of revealing a secret that a prospect wants. Example: “Follow the clues to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets.”

75. Investigate – To research or study a subject and discover facts or information. Example: “Investigate the rich history of this ancient castle.”

Trust-Building Trigger Words

Trust-building trigger words build credibility with the audience. They establish a connection, particularly in fields where trust is paramount, like finance, health, and news. Examples include “guaranteed,” “proven,” “researched,” “certified,” “expert,” and “authentic”. For example, “25 proven headline formulae that will help you go viral”.

76. Guaranteed – Assures certainty or surety. Example: “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.”

77. Proven – Demonstrated to be reliable or effective. Example: “This is a proven method to increase your productivity.”

78. Authentic – Genuine, real, or true. Example: “Our store only sells authentic handcrafted goods.”

79. Transparent – Open, honest, and clear. Example: “We maintain transparent pricing with no hidden fees.”

80. Reliable – Consistently good in quality or performance. Example: “Our software is reliable and user-friendly.”

81. Endorsed – Approved or supported by a reputable source. Example: “Leading nutritionists endorse this diet plan.”

82. Secure – Safe and protected. Example: “Our website uses secure symmetric encryption to protect your data.”

83. Accurate – Correct, precise, and without errors. Example: “Our reports provide accurate and up-to-date information.”

84. Tested – Tried and evaluated. Example: “Our products are tested for quality assurance” or “Our tried and tested formula…”

85. Certified – Officially recognized or authorized. Example: “All our IT technicians are certified professionals.”

86. Reputable – Having a good reputation. Example: “We are a reputable company with over 20 years in the industry.”

87. Trusted – Able to be relied on as honest or truthful. Example: “We are a trusted name in home appliances.”

88. Confidential – Intended to be kept secret. Example: “We’ll never sell your details! Your personal information will remain confidential.”

89. Enduring – Lasting over a long period. Example: “We offer enduring solutions to your IT problems.”

90. Verified – Checked or tested for correctness. Example: “Experts verified that our supplement is 25% more potent than competitors.”

91. Consistent – Always behaving or performing similarly. Example: “Our service is consistently high-quality.”

92. Respected – Admired by many people for uprightness or competence. Example: “I want to build a personal brand so I’m respected in my industry.”

93. Efficient – Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort. Example: “Our efficient process ensures timely delivery.”

94. Dependable – Trustworthy and reliable. Example: “For dependable deliveries, pick AVIS.” (Check out why the story of AVIS is useful for copywriters.)

95. Ethical – Morally right or acceptable. Example: “We ethically conduct our business.”

96. Accountable – Required or expected to justify actions or decisions. Example: “We are 100% accountable to our customers.”

97. Loyal – Giving or showing firm and constant support. Example: “Our loyal customer base is a testament to our quality.”

98. Professional – Exhibiting a competent and skillful manner. Example: “Our team is professional and attentive to your needs.”

99. Expert – Having a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge. Example: “Unsure about purchasing? Here’s what these experts say about our formula.”

100. Honest – Free of deceit and untruthfulness. Example: “We believe in honest communication with our clients.” You can also use supporting imagery for trigger words like this before and after ad.

101. Credible – Believable or worthy of trust and confidence. Example: “Our news sources are always credible, providing you with accurate and reliable information.”

Trigger Word Tips

Use trigger words sparingly: Too many trigger words sound repetitive and gimmicky and lose their impact. Use them thoughtfully and strategically. Less is more!

Pick trigger words that match the tone of your writing. Trigger words can have a different impact depending on the tone of your writing and use them in a way consistent with your message’s overall tone. An academic writer, for example, is better off using trust-building rather than emotional trigger words. Check out our list of tone words.

Be mindful of your audience: Don’t overdo these words unless you enjoy triggering spam filters. Instead, consider the interests and preferences of your target audience when selecting trigger words. Use one or two that resonate with their needs and desires. Then, watch your conversions increase!


  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.