Email marketing has always been a prominent tool in the arsenal of marketers.
The fact that 99% of consumers check their mail every day is definite proof of the potential of email marketing.
However, it doesn’t mean that each of the people in your list would open your emails.
Psychology plays a significant role in it.
Five email marketing psychology tactics to increase the sales and overall engagement
There is no reason to deny that there is a deeper connection between marketing and psychology.
The renowned psychologist, Robert Cialdini, made it even more evident through his famous book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”.
In his book, he talked about six fundamental psychology principles that influence marketing.
Email marketing is well within the radius of influence of these principles.
Here are some of the psychology hacks that you can apply to all your email marketing campaigns and enjoy higher open rate and conversion.
So, let’s dive in.
1. Social Proof
It is a common human tendency that people need to see the experience of others before they decide to try something on themselves.
Think about your own life, for example.
Have you ever bought something that your friend recommended?
Or do you check out the review of other people who have already had the product or service?
Now, you can understand social proof strongly influences the purchase decision.
This is why celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing are relatively more effective.
But it is a costly way of marketing that most businesses cannot afford initially.
So how can you use social proof to your email marketing?
Well, you can show a customer’s positive feedbacks to your products or services. The number of likes or follows on different social media platforms, media coverage, celebrity recommendations can also have a similar impact.
Ways to use social proof to your email campaigns
There are different ways to include social proof to your email campaigns like celebrity endorsement or any celebrity being long term customer. You can show popularity over social media, which means total followers on each medium.
Adding pictures of people enjoying your products or services may also work as social proof for your business.
Let’s have a look at this email campaign of Nike:
Here, Nike has placed a renowned coach at the heart of its email marketing.
It would indeed influence the target audience to try out the products.
Reciprocity is a prevalent human psychology trait where people feel they owe you something once you do something for them.
For instance, if you do someone a favour, that person would try to return your favour in one way or another.
Famous researcher Philip Kunz initiated an experiment to prove this psychological aspect of people. He sent six hundred Christmas cards to people to see how many would send it back to wish him. The exciting part was, he never knew those people and neither did they.
Surprisingly, 35% of the people sent him cards with warm Christmas wishes. That is more than 200 people!
The goal of reciprocity on email marketing
The goal is pretty simple here on email marketing. You give something excellent or valuable to the potential customers, and in return, they would buy or experience the product or services you offer.
Ways to use reciprocity to your email campaigns
In email marketing, the main goal is to provide something of value to the customers without making them spend any money. It could be any discount, free shipment, online course or tutorial, an ebook etc.
Even a gift like a T-shirt or a mug can be a good option.
Such acts would have a positive impression on your audience, and they will be willing enough to buy from your business.
The following email template is an excellent example of it. The Black Tux brand is offering its services for two days free of cost.
2. FOMO or scarcity
The term FOMO or in fear of missing out is a real thing. People are always anxious that they are missing out on something that others may be enjoying. This feeling makes them do many things out of impulse.
The e-commerce industry relies heavily on this trait. So online marketing experts include this psychological aspect of FOMO on their marketing campaigns.
They include the “Exclusive” or “Limited stock” terms in the email marketing that make put vigorous consideration to their offer. They do that thinking they may not be able to purchase that product or services later.
The goal of FOMO or scarcity on email marketing
The main goal of FOMO or scarcity is to make the people make an impulse buy.
Ways to use FOMO or scarcity to your email campaigns
One of the popular ways of using this tactic is to offer a time-bound discount.
You can offer some discounts on what you provide for a certain number of days. But to make it work your email copy and the visual content would play a significant role. So make sure these two are appealing enough.
Again, on your email template, adding a countdown timer for your offer can do the job quite well. It would deliver a sense of scarcity in the minds of the people.
As a result of this, they would end up buying even more from your business.
Exclusivity is another psychological trait of human beings.
Every person wants to feel special.
So when someone gets invited an exclusive group of people, he/she feels great.
Maslow defines this particular feeling in the hierarchy of needs.
According to Maslow’s theory, there are two kinds of psychological needs.
By making your customers feel good through connection and belongingness, you can turn your products as a need to them.
The goal of exclusivity on email marketing
The ultimate goal of including exclusivity in email marketing is to make your potential customers more comfortable by providing access to premium products or services. Include them in different groups to make them feel good about themselves.
It would ultimately lead to conversion, as the customers will feel more loyal to the brand.
Ways to use exclusivity to your email campaigns
There are different ways of including exclusivity to your email marketing campaigns.
One popular way of doing this is by offering premium products or groups to the customers.
You can use words like “exclusively”, “for members only” or maybe “exclusively selected items for you”.
All these words would make the readers feel special.
You can name your customer base, it would also make them feel special, and they would turn into loyal customers for your brand.
A brand like Adidas creates different clubs and prepares exclusive custom offers for those clubs.
5. Foot in the door technique
It can be a tricky one. It is quite challenging to get the people convinced to give you their time, money and effort at first. So you have to take a baby step before taking the bigger one.
This way, you can make the customers do what you want them to do. But at first, you would need to make them complete a small task.
There is a well-known study by Freedman and Fraser about it. The study clearly explains how this psychological aspect works. At first, they asked the Californian homeowners to put a massive safety sign in front of their house. Most people disagreed, only 17% agreed.
Then to another group of Californian house owners, they asked again if they would put on small-sized “drive safety” stickers In front of their house. Most of them agreed. After a few days they were asked if they would put on the bigger sign instead, in that case, 76% of them said yes!
It clearly shows a small request before the bigger one works well.
The goal of the foot in the door tactic on email marketing
Here the goal is to make your customers do smaller task or activity at first before telling them to move to the bigger one.
There are more chances of agreement this way. So, by applying this tactic, your business can soar higher.
Ways to use the foot in the door tactic to your email campaigns
This task is quite simple.
You ask the customers to provide some information for you to provide a better and personalized experience. Or they can provide data about their preferences.
At first, you ask them for the minimum data, especially during the initial sign-up. After that, you can make the customers provide you with more information by participating in a customized survey.
Dropbox utilizes this tactic quite well. Let’s have a look at the following mail of Dropbox:
Here you can see Dropbox used only one question survey.
It is an easy and effective approach. There is no need to waste a lot of time and effort into this first approach.
When implemented, these psychological hacks can bring massive results.
Moreover, it will boost your business by increasing engagement and attracting new customers and subscribers.
Toy with each of these hacks to find the ones that fit your customer profile.
Remember. The more hacks you would test, the higher would be your email engagement.
Liakat Hossain is a content marketing professional at WebAlive. He has been helping businesses grow by developing content marketing strategies since 2011. When not busy, he likes to research on current web design trends and online marketing strategies.