A few months ago, I wrote about the six types of persuasion and how manufacturers could use each of them to increase sales. Recently I came across a post on the Sleeknote blog about the eleven proven persuasion triggers for emails. As a refresher, these are the six types of persuasion popularized by Robert Cialdini in his best seller, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion:
- Social Proof
The eleven persuasion triggers go a bit further in applying persuasion methods to email subject lines to increase your email open and click rates. The eleven triggers are:
- Personalization - Most email service providers will allow you to personalize the subject line. It is a seldom used tactic, but according to Campaign Monitor, results in emails being 26% more likely to be opened.
- Scarcity - We humans always seem to want what we can't have. This is scarcity at work on our brains. Aka FOMO or fear of missing out. Personally, I feel that using scarcity is manipulative, but statistics show that it does result in a higher open rate.
- Authority - Humans have a natural tendency to obey authority. There are different ways to establish authority in an email including titles, experience, reputation.
- Curiosity - Humans are naturally curious. We want to know what is behind the curtain. Curiosity is the persuasion power behind subject lines like, "The One Tactic That will Boost your ROI".
- Utility - A subject line that offers a solution to a common problem uses utility to gain interest and get the email opened. Who wouldn't open an email that provides a practical solution to a problem.
- Numbers - We love numbers because we can categorize the effort it will take to consume an email. One study by Conductor found that headlines with numbers tend to generate 73% more social shares and engagement. Wow!
- Social proof - The most common tactic of social proof is customer testimonials. Cialdini says "The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct."
- Framing - By stating a solution or a problem in a positive context versus a negative context, people are more likely to act on the positive context choice.
- Reciprocity - This is my favorite persuasion technique. When you give someone a gift, they want to give back. For example, if you offer a free webinar that helps someone in your target audience solve a problem, they tend to want to give back by purchasing your product when they have a need.
- Salience - When you use emojis or capital letters in an email subject line, you are using salience to gain attention. According to a report by Experian, 56% of brands using emoji in their subject lines had a higher open rate.
- Liking - We like people who are similar to us. The best way to use liking in a subject line is to use the language of your audience.
For more details about the 11 persuasion triggers, check out the full blog post at Sleeknote.