We, people, often use shortcuts to make our decisions. Many times, we rely on how we ‘feel’ and our emotions while making decisions because it is 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 which you find are interesting and send the rest to trash. This is an emotional choice. And that’s why understanding human psychology and the typical behavior of a consumer is important for a marketer. You should be aware of what aspects trigger certain actions, what could turn them off, and what could tempt them.

Here are some of the psychological elements that typically affect a consumer’s decision:



Psychological hacks for Email Marketing

1. Make use of FOMO

Humans have a strong aversion to loss; our FOMO (Fear of missing out) often triggers us to take action.

Based on a study, Brits are 39% more likely to open an email when it helps to relieve the fear of missing out.

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. If instead you had written ‘Flash discount only for you – expires in 1 hour’, there is a greater probability of getting an immediate response.

This is a concept that e-commerce retail 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 now.

Here’s the deal: scarcity and urgency are the key concepts to elicit favorable responses.

You can trigger FOMO by using words such as ‘Expires’ in the subject line to improve the email open rates, for example. Use the email body to further reinforce the scarcity/urgency, to boost the click-through rate.

2. Choose the right colors to elicit the right response

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

Color triggers emotional responses from the readers, so make sure to choose your color scheme 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 CTA. Also, blue indicates trustworthiness and could serve you well if you are trying to emphasize on ‘security’ and ‘safety’.

While each color is known to infuse a specific emotion, keep in mind that the best way to figure out the color that triggers the most favorable response for you is through testing.

Additionally, when choosing colors, it won’t do to carefully pick a color for one component and chose the others randomly. According to Three Deep, the CTAs color, for instance, must be complementary to the email in order to get the best results.



3. Guide using an image

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

The fact is 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 can grab their attention and stop them from just scanning your email.

When selecting pictures for your email, avoid impersonal images and use images of people instead, 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. Using a picture of someone looking in that direction will cause the reader’s attention to shift that way.

4. Use the content to build a deep relationship with the customer

In the case of most companies, the scope of personalization doesn’t go beyond including the recipient’s name at the beginning of the email. 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 – our need for control and the 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. Also, in this era, in which there’s just too much information everywhere, the only way to grab your reader’s attention is to talk to them about them, and not talk at them, which most email marketers do.

Personalization is a means for you 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 the full benefits of personalization, back your personalization efforts by having a responsive customer support. A powerful personalization engine mixed with genuine and efficient customer service can create a customer experience like never before.

To make sure that you are able to infuse an efficient customer support service to your grand framework of personalization and are able to respond to complex customer queries, use a simple customer support software that is easy to learn and understand.

You can personalize your email campaigns in creative ways. For instance, if you work for a grocery delivery startup and it is pouring heavily in your customer’s location, why not send your contacts a personalized email saying, “Hey, are you stuck in the rain? Let us do the work for you!”?

Using simple parameters to segment, such as your prospect’s location, age or gender, can help you personalize better; Mailjet is a nifty tool to achieve this.

5. Persuade better using social proof

Social influence is a crucial psychological phenomenon that significantly impacts the consumer’s behavior. Customers look at other consumers’ actions when making their decision about a product or service.

According to a CompUSA and iPerceptions study, 63% of consumers have indicated that they 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 which 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/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/interesting ways to present social proof, without being overly explicit and sharing the number of views for your video or the number of happy customers you are currently serving. User-generated content has plenty of formats and can sometimes engage your contacts to take action better than content generated by your own team.

Wrapping Up

Remember that marketing, any marketing, is both a science and an art. While data can certainly help you make good decisions, this it is not enough: you must understand the mindset of consumers to create high-impact campaigns. Sometimes, the best way to accomplish this is by experimenting a little and figuring out what’s working. The above list is a great place to start.