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Email Best Practices

Email marketing psychology: 8 hacks for effective campaigns

Understanding human psychology and the typical behavior of a consumer is essential for a marketer. This helps them stay aware of what aspects trigger specific actions, what could turn customers off, and what could tempt them.

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We often use shortcuts to make our decisions. Many times, we rely on our emotions while making decisions because it’s not always possible to sit and logically think out every small choice we make in a day.

For instance, when going through your inbox, you read only those emails that you find interesting and send the rest to the trash. It’s an emotional choice, and that’s why understanding human psychology and the typical behavior of a consumer is essential for marketers. You should know what aspects trigger specific actions, what could turn your recipients off, and what could tempt them.

Here are some of the psychological elements that typically affect consumers’ decisions.

8 psychological hacks for email marketing

1. Use FOMO (fear of missing out)

Humans have a strong aversion to loss – our fear of missing out, commonly called FOMO, often triggers us to take action. Based on a study, Brits are 39% more likely to open an email when it helps relieve FOMO.

For instance, if you mention “A special 30% discount only for you” in your email, this might be an attractive offer, but it won’t necessarily elicit an instant response. Instead, if you write, “Flash discount only for you – expires in one hour,” there’s a greater probability of getting an immediate response.

This is a concept that retail ecommerce sites use quite often. For instance, you might have noticed how below a sale product, they often write “Last piece left.” This will give the visitor a sense of urgency and push them to act immediately. Here’s the deal: Scarcity and urgency are the key concepts to elicit favorable responses.

For example, you can trigger FOMO by using words such as expires in the subject line to boost email open rates. Use the email body to further reinforce the scarcity/urgency to boost your click-through rate.

2. Understand color psychology to garner the right response

Business psychologists cite that color can account for up to 60% of the reason behind the acceptance or rejection of a product/service.

Color triggers emotional responses from readers, so ensure to choose your visuals for the email depending on the emotional response you want to incite in your audience.

For example, red is known to trigger a sense of danger or urgency and usually increases heart rate, while orange, which is associated with aggressiveness, may push the readers to click on a call-to-action (CTA). Also, blue indicates trustworthiness and could serve you well if you try to emphasize security and safety.

While each color is known to infuse a specific emotion, remember that testing is the best way to figure out the color that triggers the most favorable response from readers.

While choosing colors, don’t focus on picking a color for only one component. Pay equal attention to every segment. According to research by KISSmetrics, color has a profound effect on consumer decision-making.

3. Guide using an image

Just like colors, images can also get an emotional response from the reader, which is why they say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Most of your readers won’t read every single line in the email – they will only give it a brief scan to see if anything interests them. A powerful picture grabs their attention and can stop them from just scanning your email.

So, when you select pictures for your email, avoid impersonal images and use pictures of people, especially those featuring smiling and happy people. You can also use a picture to direct the reader to a particular space in the email, like the CTA. A picture of someone looking in that direction will cause the reader’s attention to shift that way.

4. Use content to connect with customers

For most companies, personalization means including the recipient’s name at the beginning of the email. However, it’s important to understand that the reason behind the success of personalization is a psychological one. According to a study by the University of Texas, our desire for a personalized experience has two reasons, i.e., our need for control and information overload.

Even if the reader has no real control over your email, when they realize that email has been personally customized and tailored for them and is unique to them, they will get an illusion of control. In fact, we live in an era where there’s just too much information everywhere, so the only way to grab your reader’s attention is to talk to them about them and not at them, which most email marketers do.

Personalization is a means to establish a strong bond with your customer by inferring what they want and understanding who they are. Using this insight to create a very relevant email will increase their brand loyalty and engagement. To reap all the benefits of personalization, back your personalization efforts by having a responsive customer support system. A powerful personalization engine, combined with genuine and efficient customer service, can create a customer experience like never before.

You can personalize your email campaigns in creative ways. For instance, if you work for a grocery delivery start-up and it’s pouring heavily in your customer’s location, you can send your contacts a personalized email saying, “Hey, are you stuck in the rain? Let us do the work for you!” Using simple parameters – such as your prospect’s location, age, or gender – can help you personalize better – Mailjet has some nifty tools to achieve this.

5. Persuade better using social proof

Social influence is a crucial psychological phenomenon that significantly impacts consumer behavior. New customers look at other consumers’ actions when making decisions about a product or service. According to a study, 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase when a company displays product reviews and ratings on its website.

We can deduce from this data that an email that provides some social proof will have more impact than one that doesn’t. Remember, you don’t need to include long testimonials to impress your reader – sometimes a quote or a one-liner from a customer about the product or the company will be more than enough. You can also include a link to your testimonials and reviews section.

You can actually get really creative here and find smart and interesting ways to present social proof without being overly explicit and sharing the number of views on your video or the number of happy customers you serve. User-generated content (UGC) has plenty of formats and can sometimes engage your contacts to take action better than content generated by your own team.

6. Generate curiosity with creative subject lines

Curiosity can be a powerful tool in persuading a recipient to open an email and read what your company has to say. One of the best ways to generate it is a creative subject line. In the same way, someone may wonder what’s underneath the colorful wrapping paper of a gift, an inventive subject line can entice them to go further, open your message, and seek more information.

The subject line is the first thing your audience sees, so alluding to its contents may pique their interest, increasing open rates and conversions.

7. Create exclusivity

Offering people the chance to join an exclusive group can elevate an item’s profile and create heightened desire. Some examples include products made in restricted quantities, those only sold for a limited time, or items solely available to loyal customers.

When a sports car manufacturer announces a special model with only 100 produced, it creates a feeling of rarity and attracts buyers who want something special. And when that same manufacturer further specifies select colors and options, uniqueness increases even more. In that situation, making a purchase appears to be more of an opportunity than a typical transaction. The same principle holds true for any product where a company creates feelings of rarity, requiring buyers to act quickly.

8. Generate reciprocity

When someone does something for you or surprises you with a present, it’s human nature to want to return the favor. Imagine when a friend or family member comes through in the clutch for you in a challenging situation. You’re probably inclined to do the same if they ever need help.

You can use that principle of reciprocity in your email marketing strategy to keep users engaged, drive sales, and increase brand awareness. Sending your audience marketing emails that make them feel special and offering promo codes are some ways to do that.

A deeper look at marketing psychology

You’re not simply listing facts, figures, and prices when you send a marketing email. You’re trying to persuade the audience, build trust, and drive a higher conversion rate. Paying attention to the qualities that appeal to potential customers’ emotions can provide you with insights into how to acquire new brand advocates.

Companies globally deploy marketing psychology principles to forge bonds and boost sales. Because even if a brand makes an excellent product, bland marketing, and dry communication may cause it to fall flat.

You can implement marketing psychology fundamentals like making small requests, providing free gifts, showing customer testimonials, and creating exclusivity.

What are you waiting for?

Now that you have these powerful email marketing psychology hacks and tools at your disposal, why not use them and help your brand excel? These tactics can increase open rates and conversions and create long-term customer relationships.

With high competition in the marketplace, standing out with these marketing hacks may be the springboard your company needs to reach new heights. These principles can help you appeal to your target audience, making them curious about your marketing emails, and be more inclined to read what you have to say. This can generate more opportunities to gain subscribers, make a sale, and gain brand advocates.

When you want to design an effective email marketing campaign, Mailjet has everything you need. Our intuitive drag-and-drop Email Editor lets you create responsive templates quickly and easily, helping set your brand apart from the rest. We also provide a comprehensive set of tools to analyze email statistics and help you optimize future messages for increased conversions.

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