Run or hustle? Eat or devour? Move or scurry? You can boost the power of your copy by boosting the quality of verbs you use. Verbs show action, and the way you describe that action can have a dramatic bearing on your readers. Why would you want to fill your copy with complacent words when you can conjure emotions and visual imagery in the hearts and minds of your readers? Sure, "run" and "hustle" both indicate that someone is moving fast. But "run" is a dull, ordinary verb while "hustle" evokes definite images in your reader's mind.
Hadn't really thought about it? You should! You can choose commonplace verbs like "talk," "make," and "like," or you can electrify your copy instead with verbs like "chatter," "discover," and "adore."
Look at these examples to see what I mean:
Down Comforters Let You Get Warm
When it's cold outside, get into bed and warm up with our genuine goose down comforters. There's no reason to be cold when you can heat things up instead!
Down Comforters Let You Snuggle
When it's cold outside, leap into bed and burrow down with our genuine goose down comforters. There's no reason to shiver when you can snuggle instead!
See the difference? The latter paints a more vivid picture of the comforter than the former.
Review this one…
Whether you're doing aerobics, Pilates, or any other workout, Ziox sneakers will give you the support you need. Specifically made for indoor low- and high-impact exercise, Ziox is created to keep you on the path to meeting your fitness goals.
Whether you're performing an aerobic, Pilates, or other workout, Ziox sneakers will offer you the support you need. Specifically engineered for indoor low- and high-impact exercise, Ziox is designed to keep you on the path to accomplishing your fitness goals.
What’s the difference? Why are the “afters” so much more powerful than the “befores”? Because compelling verbs were used. Verbs bring the action to your copy. They give the reader (or at least they should give the reader) something to envision. You need Super Verbs to entice your readers. For example, instead of just “get into bed,” we say, “leap into bed.” Instead of "being cold" and "heat things up" we say, "shivering" and "snuggle." When you read that, you begin to envision what action is taking place in a very specific way.
Where do you find these Super Verbs? Everywhere you look! Here’s a short list. You can also visit free sites like http://www.thesaurus.com for more.
Verbs vs. Super Verbs
- Accent – emphasize, underscore
- Break – smash, crush, demolish
- Eat – consume, devour, feast
- Forgive – pardon, excuse, overlook
- Hate – detest, loathe, despise
- Imagine – envision, conjure, conceptualize
- Improve – enhance, refine, perfect
- Jump – leap, lunge, bound
- Learn – discover, grasp, comprehend
- Like – admire, adore, cherish, delight in
- Make – create, engineer, design
- Promise – vow, swear
- Reveal – manifest, unveil, disclose
Take some time to go beyond the ordinary. Find a few Super Verbs to use in your copy in order to boost excitement and interest in the products/services you write about. That added attention, which Super Verbs bring, can easily correlate to additional sales.
By Karon Thackston © 2004