3 ways that simple psychology can boost your CTR

We live in a world where hundreds of emails are sent to us daily and junk mail systems seem to have their own force field. As marketers, we need to break down these barriers and engage with our readers on a personal level, which in turn will improve your click through rates. So can this be achieved in just a few simple steps? Yes!

We all know the top tips for email marketing are snazzy subject lines, eye-catching designs with great images and well-written content, but what else can we do to improve CTR’s?

Curiosity killed the cat

As humans, we have an innate desire to close an information gap. If you can stimulate your reader’s natural inquisitiveness, your CTR’s will improve as your readers seek that missing piece of information to satisfy their curiosity! Here’s some psychology for you- the Zeigarnik effect states that people are more likely to remember interrupted or incomplete tasks better than a completed task, and when these gaps exist without closure it creates a sense of distress and suspense. People will then pursue information as a way to eliminate those feelings of unrest. Have you ever not been able to remember a trivial fact and just had to look it up on the web to find the answer? That’s the Zeigarnik effect in action, and it’s a neat little marketing trick to put to use.

If you want to improve your email click-through rate, structure the subject line and body copy to pique your readers’ curiosity and make them feel like they’re missing out on something valuable or interesting if they don’t click through. Simple!

A stamp of approval

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that people accept recommendations from trusted resources (friends, family, peers and experts) as social proof of a company or brand’s trustworthiness. If we are referred to a certain business by a trusted source, it takes the legwork out of vetting a product or professional. Utilising testimonials in your email marketing campaign is a great way to eliminate uncertainty and add credibility to your message.

Social proof is a powerful driver of human behaviour, and examples of this are demonstrated in messages such as “77% of your neighbours are already using our product.” It makes the customer feel like they’re missing out on something their friends and neighbours already trust.

If you want to increase email click-throughs in your email marketing campaigns, include forms of social proof such as customer testimonials and reviews to show that other people have taken similar actions and reassure readers the offer you are making is worthy of their time and trust.

A little bit of an ego massage

We don’t like to admit it, but the truth is, we humans like to have our ego massaged and we like things that have a direct benefit to us. Dear old Freud discussed the concept of ego and our self-centred desires. If something refers to “me” and “my”, rather than “you” or “yours”, on a subconscious level you’re encouraging that person to act on something that’s already theirs. How do you put this theory into practice? Try A/B testing your button and link copy. A simple change from something like ‘Create a free account’ to ‘Create my free account’ could make all the difference.

Another interesting use of the ‘ego concept’ in marketing is ego sharing. Ego sharing is the (proven) theory that we’re likely to share content amongst our own social network if it improves our social standing and makes us look good! Sadly, it’s bad news for retailers, as shopping and product reviews get a less than 1% average share rate. We like to share items that identify us with that topic, regardless of whether our friends find it interesting (hence why science-oriented articles have a higher sharing rate than any other subject). Understanding this, and tweaking your campaigns so they become something your customers will want to associate themselves with (hint: reputable company with great products, innovation and customer service) is going to improve your social sharing and your CTR.

Boost your email click through rates with the Pure360 Maturity Model, and imagine a world where you are consistently overachieving your email marketing targets. We’ve given you a few simple steps to make a significant impact on your CTR’s. Stimulate their curiosity, employ social proof & cater to selfish desires in your next email campaign and you just might find you get the boost in your email click-through rate you’ve been striving for.

Becky Hesilrige
Becky Hesilrige
Becky is the Content Marketing Manager at Pure360. She studied Sociology and conducted her dissertation on online communication and relationships. Follow Becky on Twitter @beckyhesilrige
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