Human Behavior and Email Creation


There is an interesting article at Target Marketing about leveraging human behavior when preparing direct sales pieces.

Since email marketing operates under the same principles (direct sales into an inbox as opposed to a physical mail box), it’s worthwhile considering how to incorporate these techniques into an email campaign.

People respond to authority figures. Studies have proven that the right spokesperson can lend credibility and add dollars to a company’s bottom line. This is especially beneficial if your company or product is not well known. Having a testimonial from someone famous may lend enough credence to your offering for your prospect to read your message instead of hitting the delete key.

Bill Gates too busy, you say? Who is the “go to” guy or gal in your niche? It certainly doesn’t have to be someone world famous. In fact, we’d all think it a joke if old Bill was doing a testimonial for your pop up blocker! Choose someone with name recognition and credibility in your niche.

One caveat: Be sure to choose someone whose reputation and expertise tie in with your product and service. If you are promoting “Better Parenting in a Hectic World”, I wouldn’t suggest you use Britney Spears as your spokesmom.

Long copy is more trustworthy. Personally, I hate long sales copy. I skim the headlines, check the price and THEN decide if I’m going to read anymore. (Actually, if you read this article on Long vs. Short Copy from Marketing Experiments Journal, that’s actually one of the advantages of long copy!

However, it DOES work. Study after study shows that long copy sells, whether it’s the direct mail kind or on a website. And it’s especially true in non-Internet Marketing niches, where most people haven’t been hit with long sales copy with every link they click.

The only caveat for email marketing is to have your long copy on a web page, NOT within your email message. The longer your message, the more likely you’ll use a word that may flag your email and it will end up in a spam box.

The best way to send people to your long copy is to put a few sentences or the first paragraph with a note link that says “Read More” or “Read on for the other 5 steps”.

The negative can be more compelling than the positive. You may recall Anthony Robbins talking about pain and pleasure back in the 90s. Relieving pain is a huge factor in getting people to take action.

How to incorporate this? If you are sending an email series, be sure to talk about how your prospects and customers alleviate that pain by using your products.

For instance, in the United States right now, the foreclosure rate is off the charts. The thought of losing one’s home would certainly cause emotional pain and stress. People have an immediate need to alleviate this pain. If you can solve that pain, people will listen.

People want what they cannot have. “While supplies last”….”Expires at Midnight Tonight”…”Only One Per Person”…”Do You Qualify?”

I’ve seen people pay more through an auction than they could have paid at retail….because they refused to be shut out. This human psychology works. The key requirement, though, is that you must be willing to follow through with your promise, or watch your credibility go down the drain. If your offer says, “Price goes up at midnight tonight” and I come back to your website in a week – only to see the exact same offer and takeaway – you’ve just branded yourself as a liar.

Be smart: Use these techniques to benefit you and your customer and NOT to manipulate.

Debbi Bressler
Email Marketing Specialist