In this age of digital marketing marked by the prevalence of social media and influencers, one could be misled in thinking that effectivity of email marketing as a tool are behind us. But that couldn’t be further from the truth as several studies have shown that email remains the most effective digital marketing tool for both B2B and B2C marketers.
Apart from being at the top of the list of the most popular activities done on smartphones, digital marketers say that email has the highest ROI of any digital channel. But not all emails are created equal. To be able to harness its power, you need to understand the psychology behind what makes an effective email marketing campaign.
You could have all the email formatting techniques down to a T, but if your email doesn’t get opened, then it would be all for naught. This is why it’s crucial to have an attractive email subject line — and one of the most effective ways to immediately forge a connection is to ask a question.
As noted by Customer Think, people are innately conditioned to answer questions. And by having a question in your subject line aligned with a pain point felt by the recipient, gives them the urge to open your email.
For example, if you know that a particular segment of your email list is having difficulty with their email marketing, you could present them a logical question similar to “Want to increase email open rates in the next quarter?”
This kind of email subject line addresses their pain point, while also setting the stage for them to think about their need for your product/service.
Studies have shown that people are more inclined to connect with a stranger who shares similarities with them. Even incidental similarities, like the same name or birthday, have been shown to lead to a positive response.
To be able to use this to your advantage, it is important that you research your leads. Whether it’s finding out what sports they follow, or what hobbies and interests they have, having these kinds of information on your leads will allow you to start conversations by pointing out the similarities you share.
Researching your leads will also enable you to personalize your emails — another crucial element in improving the effectivity of your email marketing campaigns.
As what Shopify’s Ecommerce University on says, “One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make with their mailing list is sending the same email to everyone, every time.”
Even just addressing people with their first names have been shown to lead to higher click-through rates.
Remember Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign where they replaced their logo with some of the most popular names? Not only were they able to increase sales by two percent in the US alone, they were able to make #shareacoke the no. 1 global trending topic on social media.
People have a natural inclination to feel obligated to repay what someone else has given or done for them. As such, people will find themselves more willing to say yes if they are first given something that benefits them.
This rule of reciprocity is highlighted by professor of psychology and marketing, Robert Cialdini, when he included reciprocity as one of the six principles of influence in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
So how do you implement this in your emails?
You can offer them a free trial of your product/service, send them relevant information/content, or offer a discounted price for the mentioned product/service should they take you up on your offer of a free trial.
Even if they aren’t yet in the buying stage, people will more likely choose to do business with you in the future when they’ve already received value from your company.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that leads people to look to what others are doing in order to help them come up with a decision. This is why product ratings and reviews should be a part of your email marketing, as a study has shown that 63 percent of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site that has product ratings and reviews.
Apart from ratings and reviews, other examples of social proof are:
The sneaker industry has used scarcity and the fear of missing out (FOMO) to their full advantage with brands having monthly releases of models in limited quantities. This is a perfect play on the psychology that when things are limited, or available for a limited amount of time, they are perceived as more valuable. So the next time you see a crazy line, or people camping outside sneaker retail outlets, that’s scarcity and FOMO at play.
So how do you incorporate this concept in your emails?
Check out this effective email from Hootsuite:
Subject: Give us 60 days. We’ll make you amazing at social media.
To prove it, we’re giving you 60 days to try Hootsuite Professional, absolutely FREE.
At the bottom of the email, they created a sense of urgency by saying that the offer expires in three days, and had the CTA to click a button to start the 60-day trial right on that day.
Exclusivity and scarcity have long been used as motivating factors in marketing — you can incorporate these in your campaign by putting a countdown timer to the end of a promotion, or have a counter for the number of limited stocks remaining.
People have a constant fear of missing out — use it wisely to your advantage.
While social media platforms are engaging people in increasingly innovative ways, email remains one of the most powerful marketing tools for conversion. Understanding the plethora of psychological concepts to improve your email marketing campaigns is paramount in optimizing email’s power and effectivity.
If you feel like much of your marketing focus is directed towards social media, it may be best for your company to revisit email marketing concepts — not only is there greater ROI, but you can forge better connections with your customers.