I’m gonna tell you a secret. The reason why you clicked or tapped the headline of this post and the reason why you’re reading this right now if you’re not a regular reader is as disturbing as the rest of what I’m about to say.
Humans respond to words as a dog responds to a command. The only difference is that a dog just sits, stands up, rolls, and barks. Words, for us humans, can make us cry, laugh, feel, and even buy.
There’s something beautiful about this, and that’s one of the reasons why I love writing. I must admit.
But when I say buy, I can mean paying for something or, informally, accepting the truth of something. And that’s where words become a weapon or a tool, depending on who you are and what you’re using them for.
Like an ax, you can use it to cut the trees and lit up a fireplace in a cozy cabin in the woods, or you can do whatever Raskolnikov believes the superhuman can do.
And some words are more powerful than others.
For copywriters and neurolinguistic, they’re called trigger words. Essentially, they’re words that get someone to do something or pretty much anything. Some words are so powerful that you wouldn’t believe them.
Words can elicit emotions, boost engagement, spark desire, make you click or tap on a blog post, or even hate or love something someone says to you.
“Ultimate”, “How to”, “Guide”, “Amazing”. It’s problematic—sort of a dilemma to me. I want you to read what I write, and I want to attract new readers from time to time. I love seeing my engagement going up in the sky when I use the “right words”.
And as a writer, I do want to make you feel something. That’s part of a writer’s job, actually.
In sad stories, I want you to cry. In happy stories, I want to make you laugh. I want to make you read and write because that’s my niche, and I honestly think they’re good things to do. They’re good skills to develop.
I wanna use “the right words”, like we discussed in another blog post here.
But, for many people, there’s no problem in using these powerful words to convince for the wrong, to get your money, to make you believe in false ideas.
How far can we go? How honest are we? And, to be fair, how different could it be?
I mean, in a non-related discussion about the price of eating out in my city the other day with friends, we realized that one of the reasons why food is expensive in our city is because people pay the price anyway.
If I tell you that every cup of latte is $10, you’ll buy it because you want a latte.
If I tell you that I have an “ultimate secret”, you’ll ask me about it. You’ll be interested because “ultimate” is final, fundamental, supreme, and “secrets” are private, they’re reserved to a few, only you would have it. Maybe that triggers you.
And yet, there’s nothing final nor secretive in what I told you here.
What’s your opinion about trigger words? Let me know.