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Amp up your email marketing with these 10 human behaviour hacks



Ange recently attended the Inbound 2016 conference in Boston and, oh man, was it amazing. She learned so much, met some incredible people and brought back a wealth of knowledge that will help Method+Marketing grow businesses here in Newcastle. We will be sharing this knowledge with you here on the Method+Blog over the coming months. Today, we will start with 10 Human Behaviour Hacks That Will Change the Way You Create Email, a brilliant presentation by Nancy Harhut.


1. Use the magic words in your email subject line to increase email open rates.

  • Keep your subject line to 35 characters or less. Why? 64% of emails are opened on a mobile device these days, so you have less room to convey your subject line.
  • Use "Eye-Magnet" words in your subject that attract the human eye. The human brain craves novelty, so words like new, now, introducing, discover work great. Other great words to use include free, secret, sneak-peek, or alert.
  • Use these magic words at the beginning of your subject line whenever possible.
  • Personalise when you can, use their first name in the subject line.


2. Position your email for a fast response.

The best way to inspire a response is to instil a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

  • Use a countdown clock to instil urgency until offer ends.
  • Make them feel special (i.e. I am holding a seat just for you, shop the pre-sale now before it opens up to the public).


3. The ripple effect of The Consistency Principle.

If we can get a yes once, we are more likely to get a second and a third yes. Therefore, it's best to start with a small and public.

  • People want to remain consistent with their previous behaviour.
  • Using lingo like "Thanks for your ongoing support" to remind them that they've said yes before.
  • Offer a free trial or a low-price offer to get the first yes and then escalate your ask later on.


4. Sell more using Social Proof.

Science shows that when we are uncertain of what to do, we look to others and follow their lead, especially people that are similar to us.

  • Use lingo like "350 people in your area have donated" or "here are your peers' top downloads of the year".
  • Facebook does a great job of this by showing you which of your friends like a brand or are going to an event.
  • The key is to show your target customer that others have already done what you want them to do.


5. Negatives can deliver positive results.

Social scientists have found people are twice as motivated to avoid pain they are to achieve pleasure.

  • Tell customers the horrible things they can avoid by doing what you want them to do (i.e. Don't wait, save yourself the hassle of, don't pay an extra $300 - shop early).
  • Just remember that when you are pointing out a problem or a pain point, be sure to provide a solution.

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6. Turn doubters into believers.

It's important to be aware of Availability Bias, which means that people are more likely to believe something or make it a reality if they can recall or imagine it. Think lottery tickets; winners are promoted so heavily because it helps people imagine or visualise themselves winning the lottery.

  • Make it visual (i.e. 'this could be you' or 'you could be here').
  • Stir people's memories or imaginations before you ask them to respond (i.e. 'if you win this trip, who will you take with you?' or provide examples of what they could do with your product or service).


7. Instantly look better than the competition by invoking The Authority Principle.

People recognise and respect authority.

  • Show positive reviews from a respectable person or company.
  • Share secrets from insiders or experts.
  • Celebrity endorsements work well to invoke authority as well.


8. The one thing to say to increase response.

Is there really one thing we call all say to get a response? Yes! Just tell them why you are asking them to do what you want them to do. BECAUSE is the magic word.

  • It's simple. Just give them a reason to say yes.


9. The journalist's secret that boost readership.

If you ever took a journalism class, one of the basic principles you would've learnt are the 5 W's and the one H. Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Start your stories off by answering these questions. It's what your customers are interested in.

  • If there is a gap between what you know and what you want to know, you will take action to close the gap. So use a W or H in your subject line to draw them in (i.e. How to make the best chicken... or what to say when you...)
  • Also use numbers


10. The best days for email success.

Holidays and Special Occasions. People notice things that stand out.

  • Think National Chardonnay Day, World Plumbing Day, or even your customer's own birthday or anniversary. To check out some wacky days, visit here.

If you want to dig a bit deeper into these tips, you can view the slides from Nancy's presentation here. If you're ready to take your email marketing to the next level, then give us a call at 0490 493 268 to talk to us about Inbound Marketing.

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