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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2019-04-24


Today’s best marketing campaigns – email included -- combine attention-getting creativity with the ability to persuade prospects to take action or to even think differently. This moves marketing into the realm of human psychology.


So how can you leverage psychology to improve your next email campaign? Here are five strategies that have worked for our team at OMI:


  1. Avoid risk: Humans -- especially analytical types -- dislike uncertainty and generally trust what they know. Marketers can take advantage of this by reducing the sense of risk associated with buying your product; such as by offering a free sample or a free trial to create that sense of familiarity. You might also communicate the downside or worst-case scenario that comes with not taking action. Finally, you can reduce any perceived risk in your call-to-action: instead of offering a gated form that the prospect must complete, give them a preview of what they will see in exchange for their information.


  1. Scarcity or fear of missing out: Scarcity implies a limitation, which can make people believe a product or offer is very valuable, especially when it’s available for a short time. Examples here might be that ideal flight you see on Expedia with “only four seats remaining at this price” or the “35 other people” that have looked at this product. Marketers can emphasize scarcity, making something available only for a limited time (e.g. early bird registration discount) or showing its popularity (e.g. labeling an offering as your top seller).


  1. Increasing perceived value: Research shows that consumers align greater functionality with increased value, and when price indicates greater ease of use they will choose the simpler product. B2B email marketers can generate increased perceived value by communicating “same price with more features” if their product is viewed this way compared to its competition. Alternatively, they can convey “same great features at a reduced price” if their product is similar but cheaper than the competition. Lastly, marketers can communicate “more features at a higher price but better designed” because consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that are easier to use and will save them time.


  1. Open the VIP room: Becoming a VIP implies joining an elite club and denotes exclusivity and scarcity. At the same time, it’s no fun being alone behind the velvet ropes or, worse, nobody seeing you behind them. Widening the VIP treatment by offering your recipients’ friends invitations to share exclusive offers can amplify the club’s value – and bring more like-minded prospects to your door.


  1. Maximizing a purchase: Psychological studies show that consumers are motivated to make their purchases work. B2B email marketers can subtly remind a customer how much they’ve already invested, encouraging them to contribute a bit more. This could be using a personal trainer at a gym, offering specialized certifications to make them a power user of your software, or upselling them to the next level of service to optimize results.


There’s no doubt in my mind that human psychology is an important discipline for B2B email marketers to study. It can enhance your success in motivating prospects and customers to take action and increase email engagement levels overall. Once you understand the underlying psychological processes that influence a buying decision, you can start to craft more meaningful creative content that takes your prospect on a journey toward buying your product or service and becoming more loyal to your brand.

How have you used psychology to level up your marketing?



Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.





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