Have you ever read a brand’s copy and suddenly found yourself on the checkout page making a purchase? Or have you suddenly experienced the irresistible urge to sign up for a mailing list or complete a form, but you’re unsure how someone’s copy got you there? Chances are, you’ve been influenced by am imperative verb or two.
Imperative verbs are one of the most powerful tools in a copywriter’s toolbox. When used correctly, they have to power to hook in prospective customers instantly and get the sales rolling in.
Before we get into how imperative verbs help your brand, let’s first take a quick grammar lesson to understand exactly what these powerful copy tools are.
What are Imperative verbs?
When schoolchildren learn grammar, imperative verbs are given the helpful nickname of “bossy verbs” because they tell people what to do.
Imperative verbs are what tell the reader that they have to do something. Grammarly says they “don’t leave room for questions or discussion, even if the sentence has a polite tone”.
Imperative verbs are pretty simple to use in your writing, and you don’t need to be a grammar wiz to understand how to use them.
Generally, you should use the root form to create the imperative. For example:
Do the dishes
Walk the dog
Shut the door
Give me that
You’ll notice that even when we try to make a sentence polite, it still has an edge of bossiness. For example, the sentence “write the email, please.” Even though it says “please,” the request still feels bossy.
So, how do imperative verbs affect sales? How can you improve your copy tenfold with a few bossy verbs?
Let’s find out.
How to use imperative verbs in your copy
Imperative verbs are what make your CTA’s more effective. A more effective CTA is the first stop on the way to more sales.
A call to action helps to nudge your prospective customer a little further down the funnel. As you may recall, with a landing page, CTA’s are there to signify to someone what they need to do next.
The call to action is a crucial element on a webpage, acting as a signpost that lets the user know what to do next. Without a clear CTA, the user may not know the next steps. Instead of making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, they leave your site.
To make a CTA successful, it needs strong language. This is where imperative verbs come into play. Imperative verbs are simple, pressure-free ways to help give someone a nudge towards making a purchase.
A well-placed imperative can be an irresistible hook for a prospective customer.
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How compelling are those sentences?
Be warned, however, that too many imperative verbs can have the opposite effect. If your copy is filled with one bossy verb after another, suddenly, your copy has no personality, and you might drive customers away.
If you’ve used an imperative verb correctly, they won’t be able to resist!
Aim for wonderfully emotive sentences, followed by a single imperative verb CTA. It gives the reader time to get a feel for your brand’s personality and then decide whether they want to purchase or not.
Unsure of how to use imperative verbs in your copy? Want to make your CTA’s irresistible? We’d love to help you. Here at CVC, we know a thing or two about imperative verbs and compelling copy. Check out all the ways we can help you ace your copy.