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Email Psychology: 15 Triggers That Boost Conversion Rate

Rida Ali Khan

So, you’re saying that you planned an excellent strategy, hired a remarkable team, and did extensive research, yet your email marketing campaigns weren’t a success?

Well, it’s probably because you missed out on a very important element, your customer’s psychology. 

Yes, that’s right. 

Your email marketing strategies should revolve around your customer’s interest, behavior, and psychology. Only then can you witness your sales skyrocketing like anything. That's why 50% of companies believe that personalizing emails can increase interaction with their customers.

Hey, wait! There is no need to download e-books to understand human behavior as we have collected the crux of all email psychology. And you’ll find it all in this article below. 

Sounds good? So, let’s get started;

15 Psychological Tricks to Use in Your Email

Psychology and email marketing are like Phinneas and Ferb - they work best as a team.

Understanding your customer’s psychology will help you boost engagement rates and generate excellent revenue. 

So, if you want your next email campaign to be a smoking success, read about these psychological tricks and learn how each of these can be used.

Let’s dig in. 

1. Offer value in return - reciprocity 

Imagine you called your friend Anna to ask for assistance with an assignment. She was kind enough to help you with everything you needed. Now she needs a favor from you. Will you help her out? 

Sure, that’s a yes, and that’s what reciprocity means. 

In psychological terms, reciprocity means that people feel obligated to give back what they received in a given social situation. 

In email marketing, you can offer something of value to your customers after they offer something to you. For instance, if your customer signs up after providing his email address, you can send him an ebook, a free trial, or a beginner’s discount offer. According to research, 91% of consumers prefer using coupons one way or another. 

Reciprocity in emails is an excellent way to jump-start or sustain relationships with your subscribers and also a great way to encourage them to make a purchase. 

Just like this email from WHISTLEFISH did. 

Use reciprocity in emails

2. Build curiosity - information gap

Information gap theory says that if a person has a gap in their knowledge regarding a certain topic, s/he becomes curious to fill in that gap, which increases their interest and curiosity. 

This is what the game hangman is all about. 

In your email, you can use the information gap in subject lines. For instance, if a subject line says, “We normally don’t do this.” It’s intriguing, isn’t it?

Anyone who reads this will be interested to know what they are talking about. According to statistics, curiosity-inducing subject lines result in 70% more conversions. 

Similarly, you can create interactive emails by using scratch vouchers and say, “scratch to reveal” your discount. By doing this, you will instantly grab your audience’s attention, and they’ll be excited to know what’s behind that scratch voucher. 

Look how this email from Havenly kept their readers interested and guessing. 

 Create curiosity-inducing emails

3. Upgrade and introduce - innovation bias 

Innovation bias says that people are impulsively attracted to new things and believe whatever is new might be good. 

Like for instance, you go to buy your regular shampoo and see a new coconut shampoo introduced there. You don’t know whether it’s good or not. But you’ll give it a shot just because it’s new. 

Similarly, in your emails, try to send promotional emails to introduce new or upgraded products to keep your audience connected with your brand. 

Not to mention, looking at new things increases our happy hormones-dopamine. So there’s a very high chance that your readers will respond in your favor. 

4. Personalize your emails - cocktail party effect

You’ll find this pretty relatable. 

The cocktail party effect means that people can focus on one stimulus (hearing or vision) in the presence of many others. 

Have you ever been to a noisy supermarket, and someone called out your name? Did you hear that better than any of those noises? That’s because it was your name that caught your attention.

Similarly, use personalization to grab your reader’s attention. You can add their names in your email copy or send triggered or personalized emails. Statistics say trigger emails result in 24 times more revenue. Personalizing email subject lines and copy is an effective way to stand out in your reader's inbox. 

Look at this personalized email from Converse

Personalize email copy

5. Talk them into purchasing - foot in the door 

Foot in the door is a psychological effect where you start by making small demands, and if the person agrees to them, you gradually make bigger and more important demands.

Imagine someone asks you to sign a petition to re-construct your town’s roads. Once you do that, they return to you and ask you to pitch in some money for it. You’re likely to say yes to that, too, because of your first response. Researchers have tested this technique multiple times and witnessed similar results. 

In your email strategy, you can create double opt-in forms for your users. These opt-in forms allow your user to give consent for receiving emails from you twice, i.e., once by giving their email address through the sign-up form and second by acknowledging the confirmation email. Once they agree to that, pitch them a higher offer, i.e., a link in your email that leads to conversion. 

It’s a subtle way to influence your reader’s decision. 

6. Feature testimonials and reviews - social proof 

Social proof is a method where people rely on other people’s opinions and reviews to make decisions. 

Well, how often do you rely on other customers’ reviews and feedbacks while purchasing a product or service? That’s almost always. 

Similarly, 93% of people rely on online reviews to make a purchase decision. You can feature testimonials of your clients or positive reviews in your email newsletters to show how glad people are with your brand.

It’s an excellent way to nurture relationships and boost sales. 

7. Add price range that’s ‘relatively’ less - anchoring

Here’s a solid campaign idea to bag some revenue. The anchoring effect means people rely on the first piece of information they perceive. 

For instance, if you saw a black dress that costs around $50, you might think it’s too expensive and skip it. You move ahead and see another beautiful dress that says $50 from $70. And within a fraction of a second, you bought yourself a pretty little dress. 

Similarly, you can introduce your products or services in such a way that they are perceived as less costly compared to the first information (price) they received. 

Use anchoring effect in the email content

8. Create urgency - scarcity 

Fear of missing out, also known as, FOMO has become the new sensation in the marketing world. 

It’s primarily based on the scarcity effect that simply means that people hold more value for things that are rare. They are more likely to shop impulsively in fear of missing out on something limited. We’ve all been there. 

You can use this idea in your email’s copy, designs, and strategy to encourage people to shop with you, or else they’ll miss out on something great. 

Want to see how? Take a look at this email from Moo

Create urgency in emails

9. Reward loyal customers - commitment and consistency

According to this, people are more likely to decide in favor of their first choice. .

You can encourage the commitment of your users by incentivizing rewards for signing up. Once your users sign-up, they will commit with you. You can continue making interesting offers that will keep them committed to your brand. 

10. Use a strong voice - authority bias

Did you know that Kylie Jenner’s one tweet showing disappointment caused Snapchat a loss of US $1.3 billion

Yes, that’s what this is about. According to authority bias, people easily trust the words of someone with authority. 

But the silver lining is, you can use this to your benefit. Feature interviews and shoutouts of influencers, bloggers, and models to give your brand a positive word of mouth. This will boost your sales and create a positive image of your brand.

11. Create a smart copy - information bias

In this area, again, your email copy can be highly influential. 

According to information bias, the more information you provide about a product, the more your reader will believe in its quality and authenticity. 

Make sure that whatever product or service you plan to endorse, you add all the necessary information about it so that your subscriber is convinced that it's a purchase worth making. 

Just like this email from RIP CURL does. 

Use information bias in emails

12. Use the phenomena ‘less is more’ - paradox of choice

The paradox of choice means that an abundance of choice makes it harder for you to pick something. 

Imagine you went shopping to buy a pair of jeans and the shopkeeper shows you 10 different categories of jeans. It might sound great, but there’s a high chance that too many choices will leave you overwhelmed and confused. You might not even shop. 

Therefore, give your subscribers limited options in your email campaigns. This way, you will reduce your customer’s confusion, and s/he will quickly pick among the limited options. 

13. Show them the power of words - framing  

This is where your email copy will act as a game-changer. The framing effect means the way information is framed can make it more (or less) influential for your reader. 

In other words, would you buy medicine if the doctor says this medicine is 30% ineffective or 70% effective? I’m sure the latter will convince you. 

Similarly, write your email copy in such a way that it shows the positive sides of your product or service. For instance, if you’re a brand that sells dairy, instead of saying your products have 20% fat, rephrase it to 80% fat-free. 

Use framing effect in email

14. Schedule emails smartly - exposure 

Exposure effect means that the more someone is exposed to something, the more they will interact with it. 

This is why we become more fond of people that we are more exposed to. It’s the sense of familiarity. 

To use this phenomenon smartly in your email campaign, send 2 to 3 emails per email campaign. The more your readers are exposed to your emails, the higher their chances to respond to them. 

15. Use color psychology - color theory

Well, the colors themselves are a psychological phenomenon. 

Use colors very wisely in your email designs. It’s better that you don’t stick to a single color and play with it. For instance, complementary colors like red with yellow make your image pop. Use them while introducing something. 

On the other hand, analogous colors like blue to green show a transition and can be used in email designs to drive customers to a certain action. 

Email Templates That Convert Crazy Good

Attractive Designs. Responsive Format. White-Labeled.
Email Templates

The Takeaways

You must create highly customer-centric emails. Only then will you increase your customer’s interest in responding to you. 

Even though understanding email psychology will boost your sales, it’s necessary to understand that your email campaigns can only flourish if they include all the email marketing tips and strategies. 

We’ll wrap up on this note and hope that these tricks can help you run a blazing email campaign.


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