We have all been there…
We have thought for hours and have carefully crafted an important email. Edited it at least 10 times before we sent it out to a list of our contacts – only to sit back and wait for replies, which might not even turn up. Sometimes, getting replied to emails seems like a Herculean task.
Emails happen to be one of the biggest sources of stress in modern-day work-life. An average professional spends nearly four hours each day dealing with emails, and infinitely more time just thinking about those messages.
However, you can’t always blame the receiver for not having replied. There are so many advertisements, promotions, sales pitches, newsletters, and more that land up in ones’ mailbox that people are experiencing what is called the “advertisement-fatigue” or the “email-fatigue”.
Finding the sweet spot to engage your mail subscribers, with the right content and the right email frequency to get maximum responses can be as overwhelming as Goldilocks finding the right bowl of porridge! However, cutting through all the noise and getting replies to emails can be much easier than you think.
Let me explain how in a little more detail.
A Simple Formula for More Persuasive Emails
In the 19th century, 1898 to be precise, Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an American advertising advocate wrote a column (anonymously) in a printing magazine called ‘The Inland Printer’ where he first spoke about advertising principles that he found most useful throughout his career. This was the first time the concept of AIDA was spoken about.
Ever since then, AIDA has been one of the most popular and widely used principles across advertising and marketing circles. Tons of organizations have based their entire marketing strategies around the AIDA model.
Before looking into how this model can be applied to your email marketing strategy, let’s understand what it is. AIDA model describes the natural progression of a customer before he/she makes a purchase decision. The different stages include – Attraction, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA).
In the case of email marketing, this is the progression you see from the time your subscriber sees your email to the time they click on the link in the email.
How to Apply the AIDA Approach of Persuasion to Your Email Marketing?
Being able to write persuasive content is an invaluable skill for all marketers. By creating content and email campaigns with the AIDA model in mind, you stand to gain a lot more control over your prospects' path to a purchasing decision.
As your prospects progress through different stages of the AIDA model, they get to learn about the brand, eventually develop an emotion towards the brand, which will further compel them to act on it. Let’s take a look at how the AIDA model can prove to be a great persuasive email example.
As the title suggests, the first step is to grab the attention of your email subscriber. Research shows that an average person receives nearly 92 emails each day. Needless to say, an email that doesn’t grab the attention of your subscriber, gets deleted even before it’s read. Two rudimentary parts of every email first grab the attention of a user – the sender’s name and the subject line.
A mail that is sent out from a generic sender like “info”, “support”, “marketing”, “no-reply” etc. is often overlooked by people. What’s worse is the fact that emails from such senders often end up in email spam folders. However, when people receive emails from a friendly sender – with a specific name – it is bound to get some attention.
The next part is the subject line. A good subject line is crucial to grab a reader's attention so that he/she opens the email – giving you a chance to generate some interest and desire about the brand. If the subject line is not good or is poorly written, it can make the rest of the mail irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how engaging or well written the mail is when it doesn’t get opened in the first place.
So, how to construct an effective subject line? Effective subject lines are easy to construct when you use psychological pulls like the ones stated below.
- Urgency: FOMO is a real thing. People hate missing out on anything. Be it offers, experiences, deals, events or a new product. So, using words like “important”, “urgent”, “alert”, etc. can help boost open rates.
- Relevance: Make sure that the subject line is relevant to and is in line with the reader’s needs and interests – be it in terms of geographic location, industry, or shopping trends.
- Personalization: Research shows that emails that have personalized subject lines have 50% higher open rates when compared to emails without personalized subject lines. Personalizing email's subject lines with the recipient’s name, industry, etc. can go a long way in improving the open rates.
- Curiosity: Create curiosity in your readers by adding a quirky question, intriguing fact, or making the subject line humorous. This will naturally draw the attention of the recipient to open the mail.
- Offers: The popular belief that trigger words like “offer”, “free”, “promo” etc. automatically triggers spam filters is not completely true. Don’t think twice before highlighting your offers from the get to.
Whatever strategy you choose to build your subject line, just ensure that it is of optimum length – neither too short nor too long. Most email carriers offer only 50 characters to write your subject line. Make sure you use them wisely.
Once you have successfully enticed your user to open the email, the next step is to generate interest – in your brand, product or service. You need to get the user hooked on to the information you are sharing and engage them, right in the first paragraph. You need to give them a solid reason to read your message further. Using one of the tricks like below can help to generate that kind of interest:
- Tell a Story: Your users are likely to pay more attention when they relate emotionally to your messaging – and this is where storytelling helps. Stories create relatable moments across your message, generating interest to keep reading further.
- Use Humor: Content that makes a user smile has the potential to break the ice and builds brand trust. Also, people tend to remember messages longer when humour is involved.
- Address Pain Points: Nothing connects better with a user than a solution to their pain points. People are constantly looking for solutions to their problems, and when you address the specific pain points, they are bound to get hooked to the content.
- Include Facts & Figures: Whatever be the form of content, using quotes from experts, statistics, or thought-provoking and well-researched data can help establish brand authority and trust.
The next step in the process is where things get persuasive. Once the user has opened the email and has gained some interest in the content you have shared, he needs to next get inspired to act on the message you have shared. Without this burning desire, your users might even discontinue reading the email or just read it through without clicking any links or just go on to delete the email.
Here are some ways to create that desire in your users:
- Speak about Benefits and not just Features: One of the most elementary ways of creating the desire in your users is by speaking about what benefits they gain out of your product/ services rather than just the features. When you speak about features, you generally focus on facts and figures. But benefits speak about “what’s in it for me” – which creates the desire to take action.
- Use rewards and offers to woo your users. Who doesn’t like receiving a special offer or being rewarded for doing something? Rewards can be a very powerful way of creating desire in users’ minds. It directly addresses the question of “what’s in it for me”.
- Increase Confidence: No matter how independent we think we all are, we all tend to (or wish to) do things that others do. A study shows that 68% of people trust consumer opinions that are posted online. Social proofing – be it online reviews, testimonials, or ratings – can have a huge impact on prospects’ minds in creating that desire to own the product or opt for a service.
- Clear all Resistances: Be it security assurances, shipping costs, or extended warranties, clear all resistances that your prospects might have to make the decision making smoother.
Once you have created the interest and desire in your user’s minds, there is only one simple step left to be done – telling the user what to do next – or what is simply called the “call to action (CTA)”. In this step, you precisely need to tell your user what action you want them to take – do you want them to download an ebook, register for a webinar, or sign up for your product free trial, or should they simply pick up the phone and call you. Whatever it is that you want them to do, you need to precisely instruct them and let them know how they can enjoy the benefits that you have promised earlier.
Using a rewards automation platform to appreciate your users’ actions – be it a sign-up on your page, product purchase, or webinar registration - sending out a reward can build a bond that goes a long way. Xoxoday, which can be integrated into your existing CRM / marketing automation platform like HubSpot, Active Campaign, Zoho CRM etc. offers a wide range of reward options like branded gift cards, vouchers for dining experiences, eCommerce gift cards, etc. across 20+ categories. These can be automatically sent to your users as soon as they take some action.
While getting people to open your emails and respond to them is a daily struggle to most marketers, using a tried and tested formula like the AIDA method can help significantly improve the response rates.
Using technology platforms like marketing/sales automation platforms integrated with powerful rewards engines (like Xoxoday) to send emails, track user behavior, mail performance etc. and automatically send rewards helps to build a stronger bond between the brand and the user.