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7 ways to get inside your clients’ brain

Is there really something scientifically proven behind email behavior? Is behavior in an inbox based on pure intelligence or intuition? Have marketers become so predictable that a few assumptions determine whether you read, skim or delete an email?

We’re not scientists, but maybe recipients have become as predictable as the actual advertiser. Mails get organized for us, based on elements like interests, social interaction, etc. And with an extremely effective and predictive search function in those email clients, you no longer have to look for the proverbial needle in a haystack. You just go straight for what you’re looking for. And this creates challenges.

But there are still elements which fundamentally influence the performance of your email. Many of those elements can be applied to a variety of channels. The trick, as always, is to find balance and common ground with your recipient.

1. Language and tone of voice
Try not to be too pushy in your tone of voice. But make it obvious for your recipients that they are really missing something, if they don’t take your offer. Evoking a response is what you are aiming for. Try to be as straightforward as can be.

2. Choice of color
If you are trying to provoke a certain reaction, the use of specific colors could be helpful. Many colors are associated with different meanings, cultures or emotions.
Some examples:
Green: safety, improvement, wealth, money, …
Red: emotions, energy, emergency, …
Pink: romance, love, friendship, …
Yellow: happiness, vacation, joy, …
Black: elegance, smoothness, power.

3. Images
We’ve covered this topic many times before. Always make sure your images support and match your message. People tend to scan your email, so look for images that are striking, relevant and obvious.

They can also be used to point readers to a specific part of your email. We call this a directional cue. However, don’t just have arrows or people pointing towards your CTA. There are more subtle ways.

4. Personalization
You may have already used a recipient’s first or last name as a salutation in your email. But why stop there? Why not segment your database, create different target groups and adapt the content of your emails based on the information that’s on hand? Buyer history, location, age, specific interests… all highly valuable information to build killer emails with.

5. Social influence, Storytelling
Product ratings and reviews have become a big deal. The decision making process has been strongly altered by the influence of real people’s opinions and experiences. How long has it been since you’ve booked a hotel without checking out visitors’ feedback first?

6. Scarcity
The more scarce a product is, the more desirable it becomes. Creating a sense of urgency in your copy and CTA’s could do the trick.

7. Repetition
The more you remind a recipient of your offer, the more likely he is to take action. As mentioned before, recipients skim their emails. Remind them of your offer in your subject line, in the body copy, in images and of course: in your CTA.


The main goal of an email is to get people to do something. Click, buy, visit, participate, etc… To basically take action. We rarely rely on logic anymore, but tend to have our emotions and intuition take over. Is it necessary that you embrace that idea and start addressing your audience in a different way? Hell no. Just keep creating emails that spark their interest and trigger their emotions

Posted on
Jun 19, 2015