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What Are Trigger Words & 50 Examples to Increase Conversions in 2018


If you aren’t using trigger words in your headlines, calls to action, and other marketing copy, you should start now. Trigger words can vastly improve your conversion rates on your online courses and bring up your sales.

But what is a trigger word? And why does it matter?

Think of your Knowledge Commerce products as any other merchandise on a brick-and-mortar 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.

In this article, we’re going to define trigger words, explain how they work, and provide you with 50 suggestions for using trigger words in your copy.

What Is a Trigger Word?


A trigger word is any word that inspires someone to act. Consequently, it’s usually a verb.

They’re called trigger words because of the common phrase “pull the trigger,” which is used as a euphemism for making a decision. A consumer isn’t sure whether he or she needs your online course. After reading your sales copy, that consumer “pulls the trigger” and buys the product.

Guess what? That decision often comes down to trigger words.

A trigger word often tells the consumer exactly what to do next. It can also describe something in such a way that encourages the consumer to buy it.

Why Do Trigger Words Work?

A trigger word isn’t exactly cash in hand, but it’s close.

“Trigger words work by persuading your audience. They often call attention to themselves just because we, as consumers, are attracted to certain words and phrases. #kajabi” -- Tweet this!

Trigger words work by persuading your audience. They often call attention to themselves just because we, as consumers, are attracted to certain words and phrases.

We’ll discuss it in more detail below, but one of the most well-known trigger words is “free.” Why? Because we all like free stuff. We’re automatically looking for it when we read articles and peruse listings in the SERPs.

We’re also looking for someone to tell us what to do. When we’re given a direction, we can act. Trigger words offer just that.

Additionally, trigger words often inspire some type of emotion. They cause us to “feel.” For the same reason that a well-crafted film can move us to tears, trigger words in marketing copy can move us to buy.

24 Trigger Words and Phrases That’ll Increase Engagement In Your Strategy


Now that we understand what trigger words are and why they work, what trigger words should you use in your own copy?

For this article, we’re going to use the basic topic of photography to illustrate each of the words we highlight. However, you can use these words to market any Knowledge Commerce product.

Let’s dig into some of the most effective trigger words and explore how to use them to increase engagement among your audience and to enhance your marketing strategy.

1. Free

As mentioned above, we like free stuff. We’re willing to put forth a little effort, in fact, if we don’t have to shell out cash.

That’s why lead magnets work. Consumers can provide basic information, like names and email addresses, and get something of value for free.


  • 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 Photographs

2. New

As human beings, we’re programmed for novelty. Something in our DNA urges us to seek out the newest, latest, and greatest products on the market.

Why do you think toy stores often release revolutionary new toys just before Christmas? They know that parents and other adults are looking for something fresh to give their kids for the holidays.

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


  • 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. When used in a headline or piece of sales copy, the word “proven” hints at evidence of a strategy’s efficacy.

Use it only when you can back up your claims. Ideally, you’ll want to provide evidence that you have collected independently.


  • 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 one’s available.

Adding the word “easy” to your sales copy can convince a prospect to jump over the fence and buy the product. They’re looking for a way to make their lives simpler.

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


  • 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 learn a secret? Secrets imply success, conspiracy, or knowledge, depending on how the word is used.

Of course, your payoff has to answer to the promise. In other words, 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.


  • 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 more-more-more world. 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 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.


  • 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. However, it can be a powerful trigger word when used strategically.

Use “the” just before a descriptor, such as “best,” “cheapest,” “only,” or “greatest.” In other words, you’re implying that whatever you’re marketing is better in some way than the alternative.


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

8. Yes 

We like the word “yes.” It’s a very positive, affirmative word that can mean different things in different contexts.

It also primes consumers to say “yes” themselves. That’s why many CTAs start with the word “yes.” It assumes that the consumer wants whatever you’re selling or delivering.

When you start with an affirmative word, you set the stage for future success. It builds a relationship between you and your prospect that starts with feel-good emotions.


  • 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 high school algebra class. 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.


  • 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 an undesired result.

Think about problems and pain points your potential customers face. What do they want to avoid to become successful at whatever they want to learn?

That’s how you use the trigger word “never.” Explain, for example, if consumers never do X, they’ll get Y. As you can see, this is another equation that can balance out when used effectively.

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.


  • 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

Most people daydream from time to time. They think about what they want out of the future, goals they’d like to achieve, and problems they want to solve.

The word “imagine” encourages daydreaming. It invites your prospect to consider a future that might be within his or her grasp.

Use this trigger word to evoke desire in your prospects. Paint a picture that hits their pain points and encourages them to react positively to your digital products.


  • 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 not in several hours, not next week, and not tomorrow, but instantly.

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


  • $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

The words “convert” and “conversion also serve as trigger words. They suggest a transformation of sorts.


  • 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.


  • 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 can create a positive equation in the reader’s mind. It also suggests a solution, which always appeals to consumers who are struggling with pain points.


  • 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

Just like “imagine,” “discover” inspires imagination. It suggests that something pivotal is just around the corner, which 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.


  • 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 Photogs Master the Shot

17. Stop 

There’s a reason why all trigger words work. Many are fairly obvious, like “stop.” It quite literally causes the reader to halt in his or her tracks.

We’re conditioned to follow certain orders. 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

Here’s another negative trigger word. While it might seem too negative, it can actually have a positive impact on your audience.

None of us wants to do something worse, right? We want to get better. And we want to know what we’re doing wrong.

You can use this trigger word to educate or inspire your audience. Tell them what they’re already doing incorrectly or what they should avoid doing wrong in the future.


  • 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 

Like “instant,” 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.


  • 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 also use the word “today” for time-sensitive material. 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.


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

22. Everyone

Like other animals, humans tend to run in packs. We don’t like to be the first to do something because we don’t know whether it’s right or beneficial. In other words, people don’t like to feel like guinea pigs.

The opposite is also true. People are more likely to take advantage of someone if they know that other people have done it before them. That’s why social proof is so powerful.

Suggestion that everyone is doing something can result in more conversions and sales.


  • 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 

What unites all of humanity? You might say it’s that we all want something. Whether it’s money, power, education, products, services, or connection, we’re all desirous. You can capitalize on that human tendency with the trigger word “want.”

Use it to help people decide what they want or to help them figure out what they desire. 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. Give them a hint.


  • 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.


  • 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!

Other Trigger Words You Can Use


We’re not done yet! The above 24 trigger words are among the most effective, but we have 26 more that you might want to experiment.

Why the Right Words Matter

You might discover that your conversion rates change drastically when you replace a single word with another, better word. Why is that?

Specificity matters. For instance, if I told you that I “ran” down the block, you’d get a mental picture. But what if I told you that I “darted,” “dashed,” “skittered,” or “hurdled” down the block? How would your mental image change?

That’s why you want to experiment with different trigger words. A subtle change can make a huge difference in your results.

Hope for the Future

Many trigger words deal with health and happiness. They help the reader imagine a brighter future for themselves or for people they care about.

  • Cure
  • Fix
  • Inspire
  • Build
  • Accelerate

Of Irritation and Annoyance

We all get annoyed every once in a while. Even small irritations can prompt us to lash out, and capitalizing on those emotions can make your sales copy more effective.

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

Fighting Injustice and Seeking Vengeance

Have you ever gotten angry because someone got away with a bad act or someone took advantage of someone else? We all have, right?

Trigger words related to injustice and vengeance can awake powerful emotions inside us all. They should suggest that we’re able to right a wrong or exact revenge in some satisfying way.

  • Destroy
  • Crush
  • Overcome
  • Beat
  • Avenge

The Forbidden Fruit

Have you ever noticed that kids want to do something more after they’re instructed not to? Adults often behave the same way.

As soon as you tell us not to do something, it’s all we want. Leverage that very human tendency by referencing the forbidden fruit in your marketing copy.

  • Expose
  • Eradicate
  • Conspire
  • Ban
  • Accomplice

The Pressure Cooker

If you can imply scarcity or urgency in your sales copy, you’ll get far more conversions. It’s related to FOMO — the fear of missing out. Nobody wants to lose a good opportunity.

Using trigger words related to urgency can drastically improve your sales. Let people know that if they don’t act now, they might miss out.

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

Use Kajabi To Turn Your Knowledge And Content Into Products You Can Sell

Trigger words can help you become more successful no matter what kind of Knowledge Commerce product you sell. The important thing, though, is to create a product and start selling it today.

With Kajabi’s built-in tools, you can get your business up and running today. All you need are your knowledge and a willingness to share it with others.

Of course, every business starts with knowledge. With Knowledge Commerce, though, you don’t have to worry about inventing, prototyping, manufacturing, and shipping a physical product.


No matter how you use trigger words, they work. Add spice to your blog headlines, increase your email open rates, and give your sales pages a little more oomph.

A trigger word is any word that inspires people to take direct action. It demonstrates an outcome, belief, benefit, or other thing of value.

Start with our 50 trigger words. Try them out in your marketing copy to see which ones work best. You can also use them in paid search and paid social campaigns.

Use trigger words that provide hope for the future, defend against irritation and annoyance, fight injustice, offer the forbidden fruit, or put your prospect in a pressure cooker.

All of these trigger words can help you convert more leads.

Have you used trigger words to market your digital products? What strategies have worked best for you?

- Jcron, President of Kajabi

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