Email Marketing: Knowing How to Use the Right Emotions to Optimize Subscriber Engagement

The customer experience is made up of many micro-moments, each of which represents a unique opportunity for brands to influence consumer decisions. Despite being liked or trusted, most companies fail to identify the emotions that motivate their followers and lead to purchase completion.

Understand the potential of emotional marketing

Many marketing teams rely on emotions to create a strong and lasting relationship with their subscribers. In fact, these are often the trigger that takes the consumer from the research phase to the purchase. Indeed, even if rational elements are the basis for such a decision, emotions also come into play and sometimes play a leading role. By offering an experience rich in emotions, the brand can anchor its message in the minds of consumers and reach the holy grail of the seller: loyalty.

Email is an ideal tool to take advantage of emotional marketing. One of the most recent and important developments in this direction is the integration of smiley faces in subject lines. Whether used seasonally (for example, the heart on Valentine’s Day) or to create a sense of urgency during a special offer, these emoticons are a part of our inboxes today.
Therefore, using emotions is essential for today’s marketers. For this there are many tools such as dynamic content (smileys, GIFs, videos, etc.), storytelling or creativity around the format (font, color, etc.). The important thing is first to identify the appropriate emotions to transmit according to the objectives of the company.

Focus on the right emotion

Fabienne Touchard, SEMEA Regional Marketing Manager, Validity

Fabienne Touchard, SEMEA Regional Marketing Manager, Validity

Below is a panel of emotions that generate the most reactions (positive or negative) among consumers:

  • Expectation: creating a positive emotion by generating expectation or even impatience would increase the email reading rate by 6%, by providing a strong commitment to the brand.
  • Joy: feeling joy when reading a subject would increase the reading rate by 10% compared to the average rate observed and would have a very beneficial effect on future brand campaigns.
  • Trust – The most used emotion to date by marketers with their subscribers (77% of emails sent use the emotion provided by the feeling of trust). Here subscribers would interact less with this category of subject lines, but instead would reduce the rate of complaints to less than 5%.
  • Surprise: emotion for which it is quite risky to bet. Indeed, although it arouses interest, surprise can provoke emotions as varied as joy, confusion, oppression, rejection, etc. This choice of tone, although abused, generates 22% more complaints among subscribers.
  • Disgust: form of emotion rarely used in marketing campaigns and much better (only 0.5% of the campaigns would appeal to disgust as an attractive emotion). Subscribers tend to delete such emails without reading them (3% below average) or simply not reading them (6% below average). These emails also generate a complaint rate that is 93% higher than average, leading to a deterioration in brand reputation and ultimately deliverability.

Emotions are key to going beyond inbox delivery and then enticing the customer to open the email. In this context, it is essential that brands define which emotions correspond to their objectives, whether in relation to seasonality or the nature of the commercial offer, for example. Analyzing recent purchase behavior can also help define which emotion will be most effective for which segment.

Every word used in an email can evoke emotions, but this is even more true for subject lines. In fact, they’re the first thing subscribers see before they decide to open an email. Once the job of identifying emotions is done, it only remains to choose the right keywords to optimize the opening and click rates and by last the king.

Author: Fabienne TouchardSEMEA Regional Marketing Manager, Validity

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