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Understanding the Primitive Appeal of Email Marketing

Email marketing as a practice often has a home within the discussions focusing on the latest technological advances and advertising trends in the modern world. After all, this form of consumer outreach does take place in a virtual inbox that can be accessed from desktop and mobile devices around the world, so it’s understandable to view this marketing method as a cutting edge practice. Even so, some of the biggest names in the business, like The Huffington Post’s Christopher Lester, say that this method of connecting with the consumers that matter most to your brand isn’t just about engaging them in a tech-savvy manner. Instead, it also involves something far more primal.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how Lester and many of the other leader voices in the industry believe marketed messages tap into the more primitive aspects of our modern minds. This way, the next time you gear up for a campaign of your own, you’ll be able to incorporate every angle of this practice – from high tech to old school – into your process.

The Longstanding Effect of Powerful Imagery

To kick off his look at this subject, Lester notes that effective images in your email marketing operations add a layer of appeal that goes beyond pleasant aesthetics. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than standard text selections. Additionally, 90 percent of the data we process during the average day is visual in nature. Essentially, when pulled off properly, images found within marketed emails capture the attention of the viewer and makes the associated text message far more memorable.

Obviously navigating this terrain is a tricky task, but with a little help, you too can tap into the base appeal offered by images. As David Daniels of ClickZ points out, the best place to start is by finding out the sizing and data limitations imposed by your email service provider and building this creative content accordingly. From here, keeping your image content simple and straightforward, while positioning eye-capturing selections near the top of your top of your message and at other prominent points within the template, will help you make the most of the primitive attraction provided by this content.

Keying in on Impulse Reactions

Outside of the straightforward impact provided by images, Lester also explains that subject lines, “From” names, and preheader text can also illicit a powerful and impulsive response from viewers. The primary culprit for this gut reaction? The decision-making portion of the temporal lobe – the amygdala.

Basically, this portion of the brain reacts to sensory input at lightning speeds, helping the average person formulate appropriate plans in life and death scenarios. Naturally, checking your email during the day usually doesn’t come with those kind of high stakes, but that doesn’t stop snappy and engaging headlines that capture the attention of the reader or evocative preheader text from generating a reaction within the amygdala.

Obviously, honing in on the right “From” sender name is a subjective matter and relies on whether your brand wants to enact a formal or casual approach, but what about that goes into a great subject line or preheader? As Lori Dillow of Business 2 Community explains, keeping things witty and brief, while also honing in on keywords and phrasing that matter to your audience, can go a long way in this regard.

Great Emails Evoke Emotion

From a big picture point of view, Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski of the Harvard Business Review point to fact that email marketing in general evokes a variety of emotions. From the thrill associated with a limited time offer, to the desire to be a force of change when learning about a new charitable or non-profit calling, this medium for communicating with the masses covers a wider spectrum of emotions than virtually any other form of advertising.

The best part about all of this? Tynski and Libert come to the conclusion in their study that the opportunities for brands to capture these emotions via marketing operations like email campaigns are seemingly endless. As long as your organization is willing to keep in touch with its target audience and demographics, as well as commit to testing a variety of messages and themes within your inbox content, there’s no ceiling for the success of these messages. Considering everything you’ve learned about the primitive appeal of email marketing, it’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed if you get back to basics with your offerings and engender this more humanistic approach the next time you reach out to customers in the inbox.

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About Victor Green

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