recruit volunteers power words

How to Recruit Volunteers Using Power Words

Looking for new ways to recruit volunteers? Look no further than your word processing software. To pump up the effectiveness of your written appeals, use the secret weapon marketing copywriters have known about for years — power words.

Words spark emotions, and emotions drive behavior. So, by using power words you can pack more punch into your recruitment ads. You may just inspire more of your audience to act.

Step #1: Use the Right Words (a Crappy Example)

How would you like access to a brand new, free, cleaner that instantly causes dog poo to disappear on contact? Why is this amazing product free? Because, the benevolent creator is a millionaire who wants to eradicate toilet cleaning from every household in the world.

Sound too good to be true? That’s because it’s my take on the little-known Jack Black movie, Envy.

Sure, a product like that doesn’t exist (yet!), but you want to know why it sound so good? Not because it gets rid of dog poo. It sounds so good because of the terminology used to describe it.

Research shows that the five most persuasive words in the English language are:

  • you
  • free
  • because
  • instantly
  • new

In fact, using a person’s actual name when possible, can be even more compelling than using “you.” Now, normally, you wouldn’t stuff one paragraph with all five words like I did. But, when you’re thinking about trying to inspire volunteers to action, implementing these words wisely can easily take your copywriting skills to the next level.

You can use these in your calls to action, volunteer recruitment postings, fliers, web pages, or anywhere you hope to get better response rates.

Step #2: Pair Power Words with Your Goals

With a little forethought you can take the power words concept a step further by pairing them with phrases to reach specific goals. Below are four goals you might have as a leader of volunteers and words you might use to achieve them. Try these in your email subject lines and headlines of other promotional copy.

recruit volunteers

For example, if you want use Facebook to recruit volunteers, you might write an ad that says: Discover a new you! Volunteer with us today“Discover” and “today” are goal-oriented words. “New” and “you” are power words.

Or, if you want to recruit volunteers during a holiday, you may write and ad like this: Save money this Valentine’s Day. Bring your loved one and serve your community for free!

Get it?

Step #3: Right Words + Goals + Context = a Darn Good Recruitment Ad

Finally, the context and tactics you use to share your power words can also make a difference. In addition to using the right power words to reach specific goals, consider where and how you will use them in specific tactics for greater impact.

  • To encourage community, try using power words in your email signups and trial offers.
  • To make claims sound rational and to directly address FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties, Doubts), use power words in your closing paragraphs and transitions.
  • To promote social sharing, use power words in your social media updates
  • To increase urgency and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), use power words combined with quantity limitations (e.g., “only 3 seats left in our upcoming training”), time limitations (e.g., “sign ups close on July 1st”), or contextual limitations (e.g., “what’s your News Year’s resolution? volunteer today”)

So, you see? New volunteer recruitment ideas are right there, in your head. Using power words is a strategy you can use right here, right now. How will you start implementing this strategy today to recruit more volunteers?

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