6 Must-Have Psychological Triggers To Have In Your Emails To Improve Conversions

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Must-Have Psychological Triggers To Have In Your Emails

Everything is looking fine. You’ve got a big email list, progress on spam issues and thousands of people waiting to be convinced to buy your product.

Not that easy. Optimizing the conversion rate of your email recipients in the long term is a tough job. The good news is that psychology can help you succeed. Marketing and psychology are intrinsically connected, and every marketing strategy that works does so by triggering the right buttons in the customer’s brain.

So here they are. These are six psychological triggers you can’t miss in your Email Marketing to build your brand, increase your number of repeat buyers and crush it on long-term results:


 1. Reciprocity

Humans are social creatures. Since the dawn of time, those who did not contribute were excluded from the group. The bottom line is that people tend to feel morally obligated to retribute when they get offered something.

Don’t neglect newsletters and nurturing emails. Providing quality content and offering value is an incredibly cheap way to increase long-term revenue. You can use, for example, helpful lists or how-to guides as a way to give value, and then close by subtly pitching a product.

Your subscribers are much more likely to open your emails when they know there’s something more than a pitch in it.

Not only that, but you also increase total revenue sustainably by triggering reciprocity in your subscribers. Sure, there will always be those hot leads who would buy anyway, but this approach will convince cold leads to buy from you as well.


  2. Consistency

Consistency covers the human need to remain consistent with what they’ve already done. 

People that have been opening your emails tend to continue doing so, and they will look for consistency, not only in the frequency of your emails, but in your message as well.

This is why your brand’s vision and values should be continuously present in your copy one way or another the type of language you use, a mission, a slogan, a picture…


   3. Social Proof

You’re on vacation, looking for a restaurant to have dinner with your friends. You see two restaurants, same size and food type, but one is filled with people sitting and enjoying their meal, while the other is completely empty. Which one do you choose? I guessed so. In times of uncertainty, we tend to follow the choices of our peers.

Humans are kings in the art of convincing themselves that they don’t care what others think, but we all know that’s not quite the case. Presenting social proof in your emails bridges the gap of uncertainty by showing how other people like your products.

Especially in ecommerce, it is very important for the subscriber to know that the product has already been tested by someone like them. Product reviews are an easy way to leverage social proof in your emails.

testimonials in email


You can also literally show them how many subscribers you have or how many people have tried your products (buyers). If you want to go a step further, conduct an interview with some of your top buyers in return for a premium.




Authority triggers compliance. However, an important distinction must be made: authority is not related to power or coercion, but rather to respect and reputation. 

In other words, you have built authority when your subscribers trust what you say about topics related to your niche. This trigger may not be the most useful to general stores, but can be applied most effectively to specific niches. 

Do you sell fitness products? Make quality blog posts about nutrition or exercise routines. You can even recruit a professional in the field to write for you; then refer to the posts in your emails. The bottom line here is that delivering good content builds authority in your field.


 5. Affinity

We humans are more likely to comply with requests made by someone we like. To have your subscribers and readers like you is one of the best things you could ever do for your brand and your email game. This can be achieved through several ways, including compliments, contact and cooperation. People love to be praised, so make sure to treat your customers well on your Post-Purchase and VIP flows. 

What is more, people feel more affinity with others when working together for a common goal. Make sure to think through your store’s vision and mission statement, or at least add a more personal touch to your copy. Consider writing emails in first person, signed by the owner or an avatar.


    6. Scarcity

The good old scarcity. People want what they can’t have. On email marketing, it is commonly triggered by timers, temporary promotions, low-stock alerts, etc. Used too frequently, it can annoy and backfire, but used sparingly, it can significantly increase sales.

Besides what’s been mentioned, there are lots of ways to apply behavioral sciences and psychology to your email marketing, and being aware of them can make you rich.

*This post is inspired by insights of Robert Cialdini’s 1984 book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, written decades before the era of the Internet and social media.

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