Email Marketing: 5 Psychological Tricks to Use

Business | Digital Marketing
16th September 2020
Email Marketing: Laptop on Desk

Whether you run a small blog or large online e-commerce shop, email marketing plays a huge part in developing your brand or driving traffic to your website. Even in a world where social media marketing is now deemed the number one, email marketing and the main form being the good old email newsletter is still one of the most important and influential marketing assets.

When it comes to driving traffic to your website and selling goods, there isn’t much better than the old marketing email. They do say old habits die hard and in this case, it’s true.

As mentioned above, the email newsletter is the heart and soul of email marketing. It is the primary way for you to connect with your target audience and delivering your message. This form of marketing is so important, you should really nurture your email newsletters.

There are a lot of general tips and tricks and certain rules that should be used or followed to make a good marketing email. But today we’re just going to focus on five psychological tricks that you should use in your email newsletters.

1. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

This one is probably the oldest trick in the book, but it’s also one of the most effective. Everyone whether they like to admit or not will have suffered from the fear of missing out or FOMO before. And playing on that in your emails with wording like some of the below will absolutely lure in the reader:

  • “Almost sold out”
  • “Reduced whilst stocks last”
  • “Most Wanted Product”

As you see from the above, FOMO is mostly as a rule always used alongside scarcity (Another great psychological trick). When used together, the sense of urgency from the lack of something only amplifies the fear of missing out.

2. The Magic Words – “Sale” and “Free”

The next trick is using the power of words, in particular the words “sale” and “free”. These are very powerful words in terms of sales or marketing and when used smartly, they can sell goods that customers don’t even need. When you use these words alongside annual events such as Black Friday or the January Sales, you really can make your email into a high-converting marketing tool.

These words can be used in either the subject or the copy. We recommend using them in both. Using them in the subject, ensures you get a good enough open rate. Whilst using them in the copy is what will drive them to your website.

Popular subjects that use the power of words or phrases are:

  • “Huge Sale”
  • “Free Shipping”
  • “Limited Time Sale”
  • “Biggest Sale Yet”
  • “Buy One Get One Free” or “BOGOF”

3. Reciprocity

Customers love to feel wanted, and that is why reciprocity is great but also a fairly unknown psychological trick you can use in your email marketing. What we main by reciprocity, is giving a gift away to someone free of charge. And by doing this, at first, you make them feel wanted and pleased, and then at some point, they should feel in debt to you in return.

Sometimes you need to give something away to your potential clients, to get something from them, which in most cases you want their business or their web traffic depending on the purpose of your site.

Some examples of this are below:

  • “Buy a Hat and get a Free Scarf”
  • “Grab Your Present This Christmas”

4. Exclusivity

Again, this plays on the customer’s need to feel special and wanted. Exclusivity is an appeal to people’s vanity. It should however be used with caution as although it can be a powerful trick, if not used in a smart way, it could offend your customers rather than win them over.

Here are some examples that are time-tested and proven to work:

  • “Exclusively for You”
  • “Members Only”
  • “Become an Insider”
  • “Invitation Only”
  • “Exclusive Offer”

The one classic which always works is a free gift/offer on the customer’s birthday.

5. Colour Psychology

Much like the first method in the list, this is an old school method or hack that isn’t just applicable to email marketing, but also for web design, print, advertising and other industries. Every colour can be responsible for invoking different emotions and this method is about leveraging that to your advantage. However, you need to be careful with this as depending on the context, colours can be interpreted differently.

A good example of this is how the colour red, when used by fast food companies such as KFC, McDonald’s, PizzaHut etc, this colour, brings on hunger and entices you in, however in web design it is mostly a no go as it signifies closure or something that should be rejected. Whereas when used in fast-food the colour is seducing, in web design its the opposite. So with email marketing, you should exercise caution and definitely do your research first.

The safest colour to use is definitely blue, it always means something great, and signifies an act of agreement. The other is green, as long as it is bright and playful. Also, any brand colour, even if it red, or even pink, if it is linked to your brand it can easily lure the customers in.

Email Marketing – The Conclusion

There is so much to think of when it comes to email marketing and so many options to help you make the most of that precious subscriber list. And when it comes to the psychological tricks mentioned above, these can really do a lot of the heavy lifting for you as the mental triggers they leave will stick with them.

All of the methods mentioned above are all powerful in their own right, but when combined, you can reap even better rewards. But make sure not to combine too many, usually you should pick two that will create a combo difficult to resist.


Adam Birds

I am the founder and Director of ADB Web Designs. I am an experienced web designer, systems administrator and server engineer, with experience in the web hosting industry as well as working for several large managed service providers. My passions are technology, web design, football and providing a great service to my clients.

Related Posts

Do You Need a Website? Here Is 5 Reasons That Say You Should

Do You Need a Website? Here Is 5 Reasons That Say You Should

Do you have a business that doesn't have a website? Here are a few of the most common reasons we here for not having a website: "I'm not tech savvy." "They're too expensive." "I don't have the time." "I have enough business and I don’t need one." But, the reality is,...

Has Lockdown Changed the Way We Will Work?

Has Lockdown Changed the Way We Will Work?

We've all had to change the way we work in lockdown. Tools such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have all become our new best friends. Face-to-face meetings now seem a thing of the past. We've all had to get used to video meetings and calls instead....

Why Coronavirus has Emphasized The Need for a Great Website

Why Coronavirus has Emphasized The Need for a Great Website

None of us could have anticipated that a few months ago a then-unknown virus called coronavirus would plunge the world into a global pandemic that meant we have all had to isolate ourselves from other people for months. The effect this has had on our businesses and...



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *