Action verbs are the difference between flat copy and engaging, take-action language. When you use these types of verbs, you immediately elevate your writing to clear, direct instructions that readers are more inclined to follow. If you’re not familiar with action verbs, that’s fine. This blog post will cover what they are and how they can be used to prompt your reader to act.
Our cordless tools are the best in the industry because they are convenient, durable, and the battery lasts a long time.
This sentence does a good job of highlighting the benefits of the cordless tools for sale, but it doesn’t involve any action. The person realizing the benefits of the cordless tools is the person using them. If we mix this up a little and focus on the experience, we end up with much more engaging copy.
Our cordless tools allow you to work anywhere, overcome harsh environments, and outlast everyone else on site.
See how the benefits shift to the reader (they can work, they can overcome, they can outlast)? These three verbs that are highlighted are active verbs. They communicate what the cordless tools enable the reader to do and how they help them achieve something, rather than just listing benefits.
This subtle change helps you communicate more efficiently because it increases retention when the benefits to the reader are spelled out. For the reader, it’s effortless for them to see the benefits.
Let’s look at a second example to see how it works.
Steel wire is flexible, durable, and cost effective for increased productivity and profit.
Again, this sentence does communicate the benefits of steel wire, but it doesn’t spell out the benefits directly to the reader in a way that puts them at the center of the conversation. We can make this sentence do just that by using some active verbs.
Increase productivity and profit with steel wire that adapts to your exact application and resists wear and tear.
You’ll notice that in this example, the first point is focused around increasing productivity and profit. By bringing this to the beginning of the sentence and leading with an active verb—“increase”—we can send a much stronger message that explains the benefits clearly and prompts action.
Motion sensor lights are a valuable addition to your home in terms of safety, energy usage, and convenience.
How do we transform example 3 with action verbs? Let’s start by looking at what the sentence says is the main benefit. “Safety” is listed first, followed by “energy usage,” and “convenience.” Another way of saying this would be that motion sensor lights enhance safety. Common sense dictates that energy usage is considered more valuable when money is saved, and the benefit of convenience to a person is that it makes life easier.
So, we can combine this into a single sentence:
Enhance safety, save energy, and make life easier with motion sensor lights at home.
It’s a subtle tweak to your writing, but it enhances and elevates what you write about while positioning the reader as the one who is experiencing all the benefits. The key here is to make the perception of value for the reader a simple task. It’s great for engaging your audience and getting them to take action on a CTA.
Use active verbs in your sales and marketing language today and see if you notice a difference.
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