The 7 Ways You Can Leverage Email Marketing Psychology for Better Conversion

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The 7 Ways You Can Leverage Email Marketing Psychology for Better Conversion

Marketing psychology is a handy tool in an experienced marketer’s hands. Fit for all kinds of businesses, using various tested psychological tricks and strategies that aim to persuade and, in the end, nurture and sell is one of the most surefire ways to take your business off the ground.

Since this is fit for all kinds of businesses, email marketing is no exception. Creating beautiful, practical, and enticing emails by combining your email copywriting techniques with psychological tricks that will boost your campaigns can create a combination that will help your emails stand out in a full inbox, increasing your open rate CTR and, of course, conversion.

More specifically, a business needs marketing psychology for the following reasons:

  • Marketing psychology can boost a business’ conversion and overall performance, helping it achieve the goals set during the creation of its marketing plan.
  • It nurtures prospects and creates a stronger bond between the brands and their audiences.
  • It can boost sales.
  • It can teach your prospects how to perceive your content.
  • It can boost essential metrics, like your CTR, your open rates, etc.
  • It will open a dialogue between you and your audience, making it easier to engage your audience.

Marketing psychology is vital in email marketing because understanding the customer deeper is a healthy relationship between the brand.

Since marketing psychology in email marketing allows brands to know their audience better, one could claim that it is the foundation of an emotional bond with the brand and its segmentation plan.


As this statistic shows, getting to know your audience personally like the one that allows your brand to segment effectively can help your brand’s email marketing – and overall marketing plan – take off.

Of course, as with anything worthwhile, creating content for email marketing based on marketing psychology is not an easy task to accomplish. But seven main techniques will help you achieve your goals through marketing psychology regarding email marketing.

The Marketing Psychology Techniques Your Brand Needs

The most effective marketing psychology techniques are the following:

  • Social proof
  • Price comparison
  • Color psychology
  • Exclusivity
  • The “Many small ‘Yes'” technique
  • Reciprocity
  • FOMO and the principle of scarcity

I bet you’ve heard it all before, and I am pretty sure you’ve already used some of those – if not all of them – after some research on consumer behavior, mainly if you’ve already used AI and machine learning technology to understand your customers’ behavior.

AI and machine learning are two critical components that allow businesses to make segments so small; it looks like their email campaigns’ copy corresponds one-on-one with each recipient. This is why they’re among the most sought-after characteristics of an email newsletter tool. They can up your email marketing game.

Now, let’s see how you can use those seven marketing techniques to woo your prospects!

The Marketing Psychology Behind Social Proof

Social proof is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing psychology book. The logic of social proof is, essentially, what put Instagram influencers and social media marketing right on the map.

But what is social proof in email marketing and marketing psychology?

Let’s assume that you receive an email with a special offer, and you decide to forward this to a friend, either because you can get an incentive out of it or because you think this offer would benefit them. This is an act of social proof marketing.

marketing psychology hack


The email above shows how you can endorse a prospect’s initiative and nurture them into referring your brand to a friend. If you think this social proof won’t work, influencer marketing is not the only social proof.

Customer reviews might be a little more relatable and helpful for your audience, especially since it’s a well-known fact that our peers’ opinions shape ours and that they generally hold significant influence over decisions when it comes to online shopping.

Take advantage of this marketing psychology hack in your email marketing, like so:

social proof marketing


Asking your prospects to check out the reviews for themselves shows that you’re very confident in your product and how useful it is to your existing customers.

Reviews especially are one of the marketing psychology hacks that can work beautifully with email marketing. All in all, social proof shows your prospects how their peers’ lives have changed because of your product or your content, making it perfect for those hesitant to try your product.

The Marketing Psychology Behind Price Comparison

As humans, we perceive value by comparing two different pricing tiers for the same product or two similar products – or that can help with the same thing.

Generally speaking, determining how much we should pay for something lies heavily on comparing, knowing the cost of the materials used and the craftsmanship required for the product in question, and how it will help us in our day-to-day lives.

This is where comparing prices can give a psychological boost to your email marketing and your conversion in general.

The Marketing Psychology Behind Price Comparison


In the above example, Casper has done precisely that and has created deals that could “trick” prospects into buying by making the sales deals look lucrative and affordable, almost like saving money is what the brand aims for, for its customers.

Create an email that will be showcasing the “new” and the “old” price. For example, if your e-shop’s sales targets are set on a specific product, show its picture and cost next to a similar product that is considerably more expensive.

Showing the most expensive first and the more affordable product second is a fantastic psychological hack that can work on all marketing mediums: from e-shops to email marketing campaigns and even high-converting landing pages, comparing prices will lead your prospects to believe that they’re meant to purchase the most affordable one of the products shown.

Pro tip: It’s best to show no more than three options, as the human brain struggles with too many options. Offering more than three options would be counter-intuitive.

The Marketing Psychology King: Color Psychology

Color psychology is king because it can be applied everywhere and will work on marketing and beyond.

Whether you’re creating a presentation that aims to sell something internally or to a customer, or you’re making a landing page or an email marketing campaign, color psychology can make or break your game, provided you use it correctly.

And by correctly, here is what I mean:

  • Yellow for happiness
  • Green for the calming effect or to represent growth (financial or otherwise)
  • Black for luxury and seriousness
  • White for peace
  • Purple for imagination
  • Red for power moves
  • Blue for trust and intelligence

Use the brighter tones for things that aid with physical activity and the softer, deeper tones for things that assist with mental activity.

But before you do any of those, utilize even the most underused segments of your market and make sure that you’re up-to-date with the meanings of the colors for each culture, especially those most prominent in your audience.

The Marketing Psychology King: Color Psychology


According to the image above, the color orange would work very well on an email that has to do with Halloween and harvest if your primary audience belongs to Western Culture. Still, it would do you next to zero favors if a big chunk of your audience is from the Middle East.

Of course, when it comes to using color psychology to skyrocket your email marketing game, there is more to it than just using red for action and yellow for happiness.

You will need to ensure that your email’s color scheme doesn’t contradict your brand’s visuals and the colors it uses as part of its identity. For example:

email's color scheme


Starbucks has always used green and soft tones to indicate calmness and relaxation. This idea is on par with its target audience and the brand’s online and in-store visual identity: A calm, friendly approach that creates a pleasurable experience.

Generally speaking, when using color psychology in email marketing or your marketing game in general, make sure to use popular colors that you can combine well with your visual identity.

Pro tip: Make sure to use color psychology to your favor when it comes to your CTA button by A/B testing suggested colors before creating your email.

The Marketing Psychology Behind Exclusivity

People value things that they cannot have or are limited and destined only for themselves over something anyone can have. There are countless examples throughout history – rare gems, for example, or precious metals like gold have been traditionally associated with exclusivity, as only royals could afford them.

Therefore, becoming using exclusivity is an old, very profitable psychological hack for email marketing. By making your product exclusive, you make your brand more luxurious and “mysterious.” These two components make prospects want to go after it.

Exclusivity will work like a charm if you decide to further utilize customer loyalty by creating a rewards program. Just take a look at that:

The Marketing Psychology Behind Exclusivity


The headline itself – “Members get more” – would make anyone want to at least experience what that “more” is. Now, couple that word with the fact that only “Members” get it… Who wouldn’t want to join the members’ club and enjoy special treatment?

Of course, referring to members is not the only way to engage prospects and customers with the psychological hack of exclusivity. Netflix‘s “Top Suggestions For [Name]” emails are doing just that: showing subscribers how valued and exclusive they are.

The Marketing Psychology Behind the Many Small “Yes”

Psychological hacks for email marketing begin when marketers decide on how to approach the subject of their product. This is where persuasive language could be helpful.

A well-crafted email that relies heavily on psychological hacks will have strong, attention-grabbing, and engaging language to the reader. This is where the “small yes'” comes into play.

Take a look at the following example:

The Marketing Psychology Behind the Many Small "Yes"


The email’s subject line is “All Set For Summer.” But, of course, a prospect will think they want to be all set for summer if they nod or wonder what their summer wardrobe is missing.

The CTA is indicative of that as well. “Shop Summer.” If the prospect thinks, “Yeah, okay, why not,” then you’ve scored the “Yes” you needed. But let’s assume that you haven’t yet. So Everlane gives the readers a second option:

The email’s subject line is “All Set For Summer.” But, of course, a prospect will think they want to be all set for summer if they nod or wonder what their summer wardrobe is missing.

The CTA is indicative of that as well. “Shop Summer.” If the prospect thinks, “Yeah, okay, why not,” then you’ve scored the “Yes” you needed. But let’s assume that you haven’t yet. So Everlane gives the readers a second option:

Who wouldn’t find this copy refreshing during the hot days of summer?

If you want to score as many positive answers as possible, make sure to use actionable verbs that motivate the readers and show them what their next move needs to be regarding your brand. Score positive answers by giving off a positive brand image.

The Marketing Psychology of Reciprocity

One of the oldest psychology hacks, the principle of reciprocity, is based on doing something in exchange for an extra benefit or a small gift.

Again, this is one of the best tactics to help you build an excellent referral crowd, like so:

The Marketing Psychology of Reciprocity


The reciprocity principle works brilliantly for referral marketing, but it’s not just that. You can use social media to create an affiliate network, seeing as the same stands there: You give something to the brand, and the brand will give something back to you.

So, your best bet would be to offer something – shipping, an offer, samples of a product – for free or at a discounted price to get your prospects to respond to you and interact with your brand.

If you scratch your prospects’ backs, they’ll scratch yours, and if you give them the value they’re after, they will provide you with something in return, whether in the form of a review, recommendations to friends and family, or simply a second purchase.

The Marketing Psychology of FOMO and Scarcity

Old salespeople that were around before the internet itself – let alone eCommerce – was a thing that can tell you that the best way to get someone to complete a purchase is to make them think they’re missing out on something significant.

This is where the Fear of Missing Out and the principle of scarcity come along.

FOMO and scarcity are two peas in a pod, with many using the two terms interchangeably. However, it’s not the same thing, as FOMO aims to make the prospect feel like they’ll miss out without the purchase, while the principle of scarcity is what “notifies” the user that the product they’re after is exclusive, scarce, and will run out soon.

The Marketing Psychology of FOMO and Scarcity


The example above shows FOMO perfectly: a countdown timer showing exactly when the offer will run out, creating some much-needed hype around your product.

Use a countdown timer in your email marketing to leverage FOMO as a marketing psychology hack.

Also, make sure to leverage marketing psychology by creating email content using words that will point out just how easy it is for your prospect to miss out on what you have to offer. “Limited-time offer” “Get this before it expires” are two of the most commonly used phrases.

A brilliant psychological hack to utilize FOMO to the max is to segment your audience and see who has received a special offer email before. Then, leverage your data by telling them they shouldn’t miss out on yet another offer. Show them that they’ve already left money on the table once – why do it again?

Scarcity works the same way, but its quality is a little different. It elicits FOMO and relies on that, but the point of the principle is to showcase how limited the stock is:


“Last chance to buy,” “Supply is limited,” “Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.” Those are three key phrases that will make your audience re-think whether they’re interested, as you’re presenting them with a product that they won’t be able to find again anywhere.

Send an email like the one above to nurture your leads into purchasing a limited supply product and lead them further down the sales funnel. Remind them of your proposal’s value and get them to think that they will miss out on something huge, should they ignore your email.

The Takeaway

While there are many things to consider when creating a successful email marketing strategy, using some marketing psychology hacks does not come naturally to all marketers.

However, using persuasive copy that will make users engage with your content, think that your offer is something they can relate to, and, ultimately, make them want to buy can benefit any brand and business.

Téa LiarokapiAuthor Bio:

Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for the email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. She tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with in her free time.

The 7 Ways You Can Leverage Email Marketing Psychology for Better Conversion