Better Email Marketing Results: Psychological Strategies To Get Your Audience To Act On Your Emails

Anybody who has tried email marketing wants better email marketing results.

Even if you got an excellent return before, you wouldn’t be mad if you could do better.

Considering email marketing’s potential, chances are you have some room to grow.

Let’s be honest, though.

You want more people responding to your emails, following links, and making purchases.

Better email marketing results could be the key to taking your business to new heights.

However, you might feel like you’re out of things to try.

If that describes you, you’re in luck.

I’ve got some proven ways to get your audience to act on your marketing emails.

You Can’t Get Better Email Marketing Results From Unopened Emails

Before you start looking at ways to change your email content and get better email marketing results, consider your open rates.

Whenever you send emails to your list, there is always a percentage that won’t open them.

Hopefully, they’re not the same people every time.

But for many small businesses, that percentage makes up more than half of their list.

The average email marketing open rates suck, falling right in the neighborhood of 20%. That means approximately 80% of your list is being wasted because you can’t get them to open your emails. Click To Tweet

The average email open rate is somewhere between 16% and 21%, depending on who you ask.

That means nearly two-thirds of most email lists aren’t opening emails.

Those numbers don’t fly if you want to maximize your email marketing earnings.

If you’re faced with the same numbers, these strategies won’t help you.

You’ll need to start by learning how to improve your email open rates.

Once people are reading your emails you can start to use strategies to make them act on what’s inside.

Scientifically Earn Better Email Marketing Results

Believe it or not, there are some strategies to get people to respond better to your emails that are backed by science.

Based on behavioral science – the study of why people behave the way they do – several strategies can help you earn better email marketing results.

Humans are influenced by lots of things, most of which we’re not aware of as it’s happening.

Outside influences constantly affect our decision-making process causing us to do things differently than we like to believe we would. Click To Tweet

While we want to be in charge of our lives, we’re often not aware of the way other influences change our decisions.

We’re hardwired with responses to the world that we do automatically.

Those cognitive biases can decide who we trust, what we pay attention to, and what we buy.

Most of the time we don’t even know it’s happening.

Cognitive biases can be influenced by marketing, too.

And, when you understand how, you can use it to improve people’s response to your marketing content.

You can earn better email marketing results with science.

Focus Your Email On What You Put Into Your Offering

You may notice that you’re more attracted to products and services that take a long time to produce.

The more time and effort a company has put into something, the better it must be.

It’s common for us to think that, but it’s simply not always the case.

This is known as input bias, and it’s when we use the amount of effort invested as a measure of the quality.

Input bias is a factor used to judge the quality of a variety of things.

A study run by Harvard Business School scholars Ryan Buell and Mike Norton discovered that waiting made people more likely to buy.

But it went further than that.

Adding data about what was going on during the wait improved the odds further.

People found more value when they perceived more work going into the process.

The more time and effort that goes into making something the more people see value in it. There’s a bias towards a person’s perceived effort that makes people appreciate things more. Click To Tweet

In my own experience repairing computers, I found myself less likely to earn a long-term customer if I solved the problem too quickly.

Customers felt ripped-off if the fix was too quick and they no longer wanted to spend the money.

When more time and effort is spent on an outcome, people see it as more valuable.

Even when less time and effort equal the same outcome sooner.

Using Input Bias To Earn Better Email Marketing Results

You can use input bias to your advantage within your email marketing.

Spend time in your emails focused on the effort you put into your products and services.

Talk to your audience about the research that went into developing your offering.

Share how painstaking a process it is to deliver the best you can.

Be sure that everyone who opens your email knows that you’ve invested a ton of effort into making sure you could deliver more for your clients.

Their input bias will kick in automatically, assuring you get better email marketing results in the process.

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Give Your Email Audience The Labels They Want

I want you to stop and think for a minute.

What labels have been handed to you that you fit into?

  • Business owner?
  • Jock?
  • Nerd?
  • Workaholic?

There are tons of things we as humans get labeled in our lives.

Most of the time, according to research, we find ourselves behaving more like those labels every time we’re told we fit the mold.

This phenomenon has been actively studied since the 1930s when linguist Benjamin Whorf suggested that the label we give something determines how we see it.

Labels reshape the way we see ourselves, others, and the entire world. It’s our effort to categorize the otherwise chaotic world we live in so we can make sense of it. Click To Tweet

One study used shades of blue that were darker and lighter, but all close together.

Test subjects were English speakers, who only have one word for blue, and Russian speakers, who have a word that covers light shades of blue (goluboy) and one for darker shades (siniy).

Russian speakers had an immediate ability to see the differences between the ones that straddled the line between darker and lighter.

Because they already had a word for each.

Labels determine more than that, though, and study after study proves it.

That’s because people need a label to determine their sense of identity.

And they will begin to behave according to the label given to them.

Using Labels To Get Better Email Marketing Results

By reinforcing the ways people want to be seen and connecting them to the decision to buy, you draw people towards the action you want them to take.

Saying things like, “As smart homeowner, you would protect your family with our security system” associates your product with the label they want.

If you use labels people want to be attached to them, you can always influence behaviors that match.

But it only works when people want the label you’re using.

Your email recipient will always act as a member of the group you’ve told them they belong to.

Therefore, using the correct labels gets you better email marketing results.

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Tie Your Email To A Life Milestone

People make decisions based on the milestones in their lives.

Take a moment and think back at how excited you were when you turned 18, then 21.

Most of us went out to do something “adult” just because we now could.

Then think about how you felt as you approached 30 and began to feel the dread of “getting old”.

According to a Missouri Law study, these temporal landmarks can motivate people to behave differently.

The study found that dates with meaning, like New Year’s Day or a decennial anniversary, were more likely to be used to set goals from.

You’re much more likely to start a new regimen on New Year’s Day, the first day of Spring, or a Monday than you are on some less-special day like the “third Tuesday of the month”. It’s called the fresh start effect. Click To Tweet

“Ordinary” days, on the other hand, were less motivating and typically leaned towards a missed goal.

Why do people behave like that, though?

On these landmarks, people become susceptible to the fresh start effect.

A temporal landmark, like your 50th birthday or a milestone wedding anniversary, signifies a good time to start something new.

Even new diets and workout regimens are more likely to happen at the beginning of the week instead of the middle.

All because those landmarks seem like the right time to start something fresh and take a new direction.

Better Email Marketing Results Using Temporal Landmarks

Think about the ways you can tie your product or service to upcoming temporal landmarks.

Is there a new season or a major holiday arriving?

Use this to tie in a perfect chance to begin using your product or service.

Depending on what you’re offering, the weekend or a brand-new week might be the right milestone to use.

When you think about it, you’re choosing the right temporal landmark to start earning better email marketing results.

Poetic, isn’t it?

If your audience can see how that moment is the right time to make a fresh start with your offering, they’ll likely act.

And, ultimately, that’s what you’re trying to get done.

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Package An Email Discount Around The Best Product

You’re likely no stranger to discounts and special packages.

Bundled products are one of the most common ways email marketers earn better email marketing results.

But science suggests that there’s a better way to tackle these.

One study suggested that attaching a discount to the item that people want most within the bundle made people more likely to buy.

All because of how the discount was framed.

The research team offered two items – chocolate and binders – at $6 each with a $2 discount if the customer bought both.

Every client fell into one of three categories:

  1. Offered a $2 discount on the bundle.
  2. Given $2 off the binders if they also bought the chocolates.
  3. Discounted $2 off the chocolates if they also purchased binders.

Group 3 bought 21% more often than group 1 and 30% more than group 2.

People want to save money on things they benefit from because it helps to offset the guilt they feel in the purchase. Rationalizing the savings on their enjoyment helps them move forward. Click To Tweet

Offering the discount on the chocolates was the most attractive option, even though the discount was the same.

That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, especially if you’ve ever listened to a sales pitch for cable or satellite television.

They’re great at offering HBO for free instead of a $20 per month discount.

Describing Bundles For Better Email Marketing Results

Keep bundling products and services together as you might normally.

If it’s getting you better email marketing results, don’t change that part.

However, change the way you describe the bundles to your email recipients.

Instead of focusing on the discount itself, apply the discount to the most enjoyable product or service.

You know, the one they’ll like the most.

Attaching the discount to the most enjoyable of your offerings reduces the buyer’s guilt.

It helps them rationalize the purchase because they got something they want for a great price.

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Create Trust With Email Lines That Rhyme

What’s the best part of waking up?

If your brain went to “Folgers in your cup”, don’t be surprised.

The coffee producer has a rhyming slogan, which makes it easy to remember.

Also, don’t be surprised that more people trust rhyming slogans.

Known as the Rhyme as Reason Effect or the Eaton-Rosen Effect, people perceive rhyming slogans as more accurate.

People also consider the same idea in a non-rhyming format less accurate.

According to cognitive psychology, rhyming words are processed more fluently that nonrhyming ones.

This helps you create an association with those words, helping you recall them better later.

And it’s an automatic response your brain has.

There’s something about rhymes that sit right with people. If a rhyme is just, your audience will trust. Click To Tweet

Because rhymes are so catchy, they become familiar quickly.

Which plays into the human preference for familiarity.

As we become more familiar with something, the more we like and trust it.

So, the more we can attach our brand to a rhyme, the more our audience will like and trust it.

Rhyming With Better Email Marketing Results

First, I want you to do away with your fears of writing poetry.

This isn’t high school English, and you do not have to demonstrate your ability to write in iambic pentameter.

Instead, consider how to add rhyming phrases in key spots within the email.

Selling your product or service with a phrase that rhymes is often simple.

“Our marketing gets your brand sparkling.”

The right rhyme will earn better email marketing results without a problem.

And that is an outcome that will increase your income.

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Help Your Email Audience Seek Fairness

People hate when the world is unfair.

Science has confirmed the far-rooted search for fairness on more than one occasion.

Surprisingly, due to the connection between fairness and the brain’s reward center, people will even self-sabotage when they perceive something as unfair.

An interesting experiment that you can try, known as the ultimatum game, demonstrates this evidence.

It requires two players, a proposer and a responder.

People will go as far as to sabotage their own gain if they feel the situation isn't fair to them in some way. Click To Tweet

The proposer has a sum of money to work with.

They and the responder must split it.

While the proposer may offer any kind of split that they want, they only get two chances to agree.

If they agree, they keep the money, but they lose it if they don’t.

Logically any offer is a win for the responder.

It’s money they didn’t have before, after all.

However, in most cases, the responder declined an offer where there was 30% or less offered.

Responders would rather get nothing than get an unfair amount.

Earn Better Email Marketing Results Through Inequity

You can appeal to your audience’s sense of fairness as you write your emails.

What does your company do to make things more level for your clients?

As an example, we offer high-end marketing services that small businesses otherwise couldn’t afford.

“Is it right that bigger companies with bigger marketing budgets beat the little guy? We level the playing field.”

By showing your clients that there’s an injustice that they can right by working with you, you’ll begin to move them.

That allows you better email marketing results by creating justice for your clients.

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Let Your Email Audience Take Control Of Their Response

Do you like it when someone strips you of your choice?

I don’t either. Nobody does.

People want to have control over themselves and their circumstances.

They don’t just want it, though.

Some studies suggest humans need to be in control.

There appears to be a biological necessity to shape what happens to us.

People need a sense of control in their lives. Taking that away from them can create resentment for the option they have left. However, offering options usually leads them to make the right choice. Click To Tweet

Yet, one major marketing tenant is to help people avoid decision paralysis by removing choices from their path.

But having no choice in the matter is just as bad for people as having too many choices is.

When people have the choice to follow a direction or order, they are more likely to comply.

As evidence, there are things called placebo buttons that exist in your life.

You can recall situations you may have encountered them.

Often these buttons give us the illusion of control, causing us to do the smart thing in a situation.

We take the right action when we think we have a choice.

How This Earns Better Email Marketing Results

Offering to your audience a sense of control over their choices can earn you better email marketing results.

You help them look at the decision as “which one should I pick?” as opposed to “do I want to pick this?”

To do it, all you have to do is offer more than one choice.

If you’re offering a product, give them a choice between colors, trim levels, or some other variable.

Framing the sense of control in terms of the outcome is helpful, too.

Let them know that choosing your product or service allows them more control over their future due to the options it opens.

And don’t forget to offer them different options to respond to your email.

They could reply, call, click a button, or ask Alexa.

When you give them the control of choice you’ve got a better chance at better email marketing results.

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Better Email Marketing Results Are Within Reach

Not only do you now know how to psychologically earn better email marketing results, but you also have new skills your competition likely doesn’t.

Now it’s up to you to put these scientifically-backed strategies to work and find out which you like best.

Science has done the work in proving people don’t always react the most rational way possible.

You have to make it work for your emails.

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Better Email Marketing Results: Psychological Strategies To Get Your Audience To Act On Your Emails

by Michael McNew Read in 12 min