7 Psychological Triggers to Encourage Email Engagement 

We have said it time and time again: marketing is all about psychology. Email marketing is no different. Anyone looking to build their list & actually convert leads into customers needs to have a keen understanding of psychological triggers. If you don’t know what makes your readers tick, how can you expect them to open your messages?

However, sometimes knowing your prospects is not enough to seal the deal.

Pulling the Trigger on Your List

Think about it. What you offer is not nearly as important as how you present it to your readers. If you want opens, click-through’s & conversions, you’re going to have to craft messages that speak directly to your audiences.

For instance, Dr. Robert Cialdini, often heralded as the modern master of influence, identified 6 psychological triggers which have historically influenced customers to buy time & time again.

On the flip side, copywriting legend Joe Sugarman made millions using a combination of 30 triggers which he considered indispensable to writers.

When it comes to email marketing, we have narrowed it down to 7 psychological triggers.

These psychological triggers are about as old as marketing itself but they work beautifully when applied to your email campaigns.

The Magnificent 7 Triggers for Email Marketers

Looking to develop engagement with your list? Tired of ending up in the spam folder? Consider any combination of those triggers as fair game to craft messages that truly hook your readers.

#1. Urgency

There’re a variety of reasons why emails ultimately don’t get opened; however, a good chunk of messages fail to get read because they are not actionable.

You need to give your readers something do through your call-to-action but you also need to make sure that they act sooner rather than later. By building a sense of urgency, it becomes more difficult for your prospects to walk away from your messages

“By building a sense of urgency, it becomes infinitely more difficult for your prospects to simply walk away from your messages.”

#2. Exclusivity

Exclusivity is a powerful trigger that gives your reader the impression they they’re getting special access to your content / deals. Whether or not this is actually true is pretty much moot: the aim of exclusivity is to stroke your reader’s ego.

“By building a sense of urgency, it becomes infinitely more difficult for your prospects to simply walk away from your messages.”

#3. Social Proof

In the marketing world, there is little more powerful in terms of social proof  to help your prospects understand what your worth. By showing off your results & positive feedback from previously satisfied customers, you support evidence that you are the real deal versus a disposable company.

While you can leverage social proof throughout your marketing messages, you can used customer feedback & data to help encourage opt-ins (see below).

If you have not already started curating positive feedback from your audience, you should consider doing so as soon as possible. You can likewise leverage the stories of these same customers throughout your campaigns. And speaking of stories…

#4. Storytelling

The importance of storytelling via your marketing messages can’t be overstated.

Competition is fierce is any given industry. The most straightforward way to stand out from the crowd is by being honest & getting “real” with your readers.

While this may sound like vague advice, consider how you could implement the following throughout your email campaigns:

Anecdotes & personal tales to help humanize yourself your brand and make a connection with your reader. Messages that touch on your audience’s pain points & what keeps them up at night (for instance, a newsletter direct at new entrepreneurs could focus on financial struggles & business hardships)

Such emails require a certain degree of creativity & sometimes even vulnerability on your behalf; however, they can help seal the deal with skeptics.

#5. Newness

The public is obsessed with the notion of what’s new & fresh, even if they do not want to admit.

From breaking news headlines to the latest marketing trends & product launches, presenting readers with the inside scoop will almost grab their attention.

“Timely messages make your recipient feel like they’re ahead of the curve and your emails become exponentially more valuable by proxy.”

#6. Bargain

This trigger is known as “greed;” however that sounds a bit sinister, doesn’t it?

Regardless, nobody could resist a steep deal.

The steeper your deals & discounts, the more attention they grab the more irresistible they seem on the surface. This is why so many sales funnels start with a freebie: your audience cannot resist something for nothing, right?

Similar logic rings true for hot deals & discounts. Many marketers supercharge their bargain emails through scarcity, limiting the amount product available. This creates a sense of urgency (sound familiar?) that drives your readers to act instead of sleeping on what you have to offer.

#7. Simplicity

Chances are, your readers already feel bogged down by their inboxes.

While bells & whistles such as images and flashy calls-to-action are fair game, bear in mind that it is never a bad idea to switch up your approach.

Bringing It All Together

Do not let psychological triggers fall to the wayside when it comes to getting into the heads of readers. The more your messages work to tap into these triggers, the more likely you’re to boost your engagement.