Are you ashamed of your email marketing campaigns?
There’s nothing worse than seeing a digital campaign become stagnant. While it’s easy to set up a sales funnel, or create a newsletter, and start building your list of subscribers. That’s not a success.
Success is turning these curious prospects into engaged customers. And if you’re not cultivating lasting relationships with your email subscribers, you’re failing.
Knowing how to effectively persuade and influence your email subscribers in a way that makes them take the next step in their customer journey is vital.
One of the most common ways to monitor the success of an email marketing campaign is through the conversion rate. This is the percentage of your email recipients who open the email, click through to your website, and complete a set desired action. This action is usually making a purchase, but could be anything from completing a survey to booking a free consultation.
So, before we dive into the proven strategies to increase your email marketing conversion rates, let’s tackle a question that marketers are asking in 2019…
Is email marketing dead?
With the speed of technological change, it’s easy to think the age of email marketing is coming to a close. Particularly if your conversion rates are less than spectacular.
However, studies have found that for online stores, email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media – nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
With an estimated $44 made for every $1 invested in email marketing, the stats don’t lie. If you want to drive meaningful business outcomes, you need to be in the inbox of your target market.
And remember – that 40x more effective customer acquisition figure is only an average. It likely includes the results of good and bad email copywriting examples. If you ensure that your copy is out of this world, then you could surpass the 40x average effectiveness and drive your conversion rates through the roof.
With that said, without a solid understanding of conversion generating copy tactics, your email campaigns will be wasting both your time and money.
This article outlines 5 ways to improve the persuasive power of your email copy.
Stop wasting time and start increasing your conversion rate with the power of persuasion.
What is persuasion?
Persuasion refers to a communication strategy used in order to influence someone into completing a certain action.
For many businesses, the action that they want to persuade someone to complete is to make a purchase. By designing your email copy in a way that effectively communicates and convinces your customers that it is in their best interest to make a purchase, then your conversion rates will soar and you will make more sales as a result.
Remember, it’s not about turning a no into a yes. It’s about moving the needle from uncertainty to certainty.
Persuasive emails should not simply tell someone to buy your product, but show them how doing so will benefit them and make a positive change in their life.
Through understanding and implementing persuasive techniques that you can use in your email copy, your email list subscribers will become more likely to click through and complete a purchase.
Using psychological techniques of persuasion, all persuasive approaches can be nailed down to 6 basic principles.
#1 – Reciprocity
If you offer a potential customer something, that act alone is usually enough to convince them to give something in exchange. Discounts and free samples are a good example of the sort of gifts you can offer your customers if they purchase from you.
The optimization team at Search It Local provide first-hand insight into the value of reciprocity through their experimentation with lead magnets.
They explain, “we were noticing a lack of email addresses when prospects were offered free consultations or marketing strategies. Once we A/B tested this against a free guide we noticed a spike in email addresses. This is the concept of reciprocity. While the free consultation didn’t exist yet, a free guide was tangible and actionable and saw a spike in people leaving their emails.”
#2 – Scarcity
If potential customers believe that there is a limited supply of a particular product, then they will be more persuaded to buy. Use your email copy to communicate low stock, quick selling products or limited time only deals, and how missing out will negatively affect them. The urgency associated with the techniques often pushes the customer to act fast.
Copy such as “for a limited time only” or “get in before they are all gone” are both successful ways to communicate scarcity in your emails.
Arts and crafts supply store, Michael’s, uses the power of scarcity in their emails by telling their subscribers that the time to take advantage of savings is almost over. The copy ‘Get it or Regret It’ is a powerful motivator with the fear of missing out (FOMO) a proven motivator.
#3 – Authority
People who are considered experts in their field can have a powerful influence on your customers. Try and position yourself as an expert in your field, so that your customers are more likely to listen to your recommendations. If you feel you do not have authority yet, testimonies from people with authority relevant to your product will also work.
For example, if you sell a health supplement, a statement from a dietician may have significant influence. Or if you sell clothing, a fashion blogger can offer good authority.
Jeff’s author bio which you see in the sidebar of this page demonstrates the value of authority. By listing other reputable sites and their testimonials, Jeff Bullas has added to the principle of ‘authority’ to his name. If you can build yourself up as an authority in your industry, your name will become synonymous with your brand and make your emails more powerful as a result.
#4 – Consistency
You’ve heard it time and time again – consistency is key. Make sure that you are communicating your message in a consistent way reinforces that idea in your audience’s mind. Likewise, if you make a sudden change to your branding and communication strategy, loyal customers may become confused and deterred.
Maintaining a similar tone and overall brand message across all of your email copy will ensure you maintain consistency, and keep your customers loyal.
#5 – Liking
If people find something or someone attractive, they are more likely to like and respect them.
This may be admiring aesthetics, qualities or interests of you and your brand. Finding common ground and making your brand likable to your customers is likely to make them more inclined to follow your advice and trust your message. At the same time, the familiarity will help you create content that’s customized for your audience.
Use the language of your ideal customers in your email copy, as this will create a sense of familiarity and trust.
#6 – Social Proof
It is human nature to want to fit in. People tend to look to those around them and follow them when it comes to acting or making decisions. This includes making a purchase. If we believe that many people are using a particular service or product, it makes it a more attractive option for us.
Testimonials and copy identifying items as “popular” or “best sellers” are both examples of using social proof in your email copy to effectively persuade your customers.
How to put the 6 principles of persuasion into practice
There are a number of practical techniques that you can put into practice when utilizing the 6 principles of persuasion in your email copy.
All you need is some creative brain power and an understanding of some basic tactics.
The following 5 tactics can be used to effectively persuade your customers with your email copy and get them clicking through to purchase from you.
Step one – Use sensory words
Evoking the reader’s imagination through their senses can be extremely powerful when put into practice in your email copy. Describe how it feels to touch, smell, taste, see and hear your product or service. This will create a tangible image of your product within the customer’s mind and they can imagine themselves interacting with what you have to offer.
Without the use of sensory words: Our beauty products are good for your skin, which makes them thoughtful gifts for family and friends.
Using sensory words: Experience luxury through the smooth and elegant formulation of our body butter. Our heavenly scented botanical oils will have you surrounded in a cocoon of apricot, almond kernel and vanilla leaving you warm and relaxed. Send a tub to a loved one to give the gift of silky soft skin and lasting luxury.
Sensory words will make your email copy more engaging, more interesting, and tell a story that will show the customer how their life will be better with your product.
Consider the following email copy from Uber – celebrating an UberEats partnership with Subway. Knowing that the strength of Subway lies in the smells of fresh bread and the allure of fresh produce and ingredients, they incorporated the power of sensory words in their email copy.
This email copy shows a range of persuasion techniques with the inclusion of scarcity – ‘the new cookie is available for a limited time only’, used alongside sensory words like ‘mouth-watering’, ‘buttery’, ‘sweet’, ‘salty’ and ‘bursts of salt’. The result is an email you don’t just read, but also smell and taste too.
Step two – Use your imagination
Imagination is a powerful tool. By making customers imagine themselves using your product or service, you can make them see how that will make them feel and the benefits it will bring to their life.
The best option is to allow customers to see, feel and use the product, such as trying on clothes in a store. This is why many furniture stores set out their products in a way that mimics rooms in homes. Customers can sit on the couch they are considering, next to a nice lamp and coffee table and imagine themselves experiencing the same set up in their own home.
Use imaginative language to build a tangible image of your product or service experience within the customer’s mind and invoke their imagination through the sensory language described in the previous point. Imagination in your email copy can be used to set expectations and give the reader a “try before you buy” experience with only your written words.
The following email from courier service Sendle demonstrates the power of imagination.
This email evokes your imagination with “don’t waste hours in the post office line”. If you’ve ever lined up in a packed post office you’ll connect with this copy.
Imagine yourself standing in a line right now. You’re late for your next meeting. Your feet hurt and nothing seems to be moving.
“Don’t waste hours in the post office line”.
Sendle just painted a picture of leaving that line, sending your package, and having all the time you need for yourself.
That’s how you evoke imagination.
Step three – Include “because”
The word “because” in your email copy can create a sense of legitimacy for your business. The word allows you to not only tell your customers how great your product is but also provide a justification as to why it is so great.
Anyone can claim their product is wonderful, but by telling your customers why your product is great, it becomes more convincing and they will be more likely to purchase. In your email copy, identify why your products or services are going to be beneficial to the customer.
These “because” reasons should be compelling, logical and incorporate emotive reasoning where possible as to invoke an emotional response in the customer.
The inclusion of the word “because” helps reinforce the logic and necessity of the purchase. It bridges the gap between where your prospects are and where you want them to go.
Step four – Come up with sound bites
Because marketers usually only have a small amount of time to get their message across, they need to make it memorable and short. Sound bites are short text elements, that are punchy and catchy. You have probably seen this strategy used frequently by journalists, in commercials, and on billboards.
Sound bites should be pleasant to read, speak and understand while capturing the attention and focus of the reader. Alliteration, rhyming, and repetition can help make a message stick in a customer’s mind, so it is a good idea to include these elements in your sound bites.
Think of some of the most well-known sound bites of all time and you’ll see the pattern.
Just Do it. Beanz Meanz Heinz. Once You Pop You Can’t Stop. Have a Break Have a Kit Kat.
Use sound bites to stay in your email subscriber’s head long after they open your email.
Step five – Tell the customer a story
Storytelling can help you differentiate yourself from companies that are trying to sell to their prospects instead of serving them.
Think of the best advertising you have ever seen. These may not be the world’s greatest products or services. Rather, they connect with you because the stories they tell resonate. If readers are able to imagine themselves in the story you create using your email copy, your messages will stick.
Storytelling allows you to evoke emotions and make your customers feel whatever you want them too. As a critical part of the human experience, telling stories has connected people and cultures throughout history. This connectivity is still possible when storytelling and marketing are mixed.
Your stories should be ones relevant to your products, brand and the customers themselves. They should be able to relate to the story in order for the maximum positive impact and highest conversion rates.
Remember, you’ll need to balance your inclusion of stories with a succinct writing style, as flooding your prospect’s inboxes with bloated emails may do more harm than good. So find a way to keep your stories short and impactful at the same time to keep customers engaged and drive your click-through-rates.
So, how are you going to start persuading your subscribers to act?
If you use these persuasive techniques discussed here, you can take your email copy to the next level and increase your conversion and click-through-rates.
Did you know that 91% of shoppers want to receive emails from businesses they shop from?
That’s 9 out of 10 people who are willing to hear from a business. The catch? There has to be something in it for them.
Ensure you keep these principles in mind, and incorporate them in your copy whenever composing email campaigns.
You can use one or several in an email, and they will enhance your persuasion power and influence if used effectively.
Successful email copy will increase your website traffic, engage your audience and give you the opportunity to solidify your brand message. So start incorporating the 6 principles of persuasion to give your email marketing campaign the boost it deserves.
Guest author: Alexander J Porter is Head of Copy at Paperclip Digital, Sydney’s boutique agency with bold visions. He wields words to weave magic connections between brands and buyers and is constantly driven to learn more about the ways language can strike consumers like lightning. You can find him on Twitter @AJP_Marketing.