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If You're Reading This, You've Got Mail!

Olia Kudanova
If You're Reading This, You've Got Mail!

Long gone are the days of privacy.

Oh, Hillary, who would know?

However, I’m sure there are plenty of people who can thank Raymond for what he did for the current email marketing industry.

Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is – 196,4 billion emails are sent per day, and that’s a lot!

Those of you who do email marketing for a living are in a merciless competition for your clients’ recognition (and business) because your email is not the only one that lands in their inbox. (Duh.)

Basic Instinct

banner_270It is a natural instinct to feel the urge to run some numbers. How many emails does XYZ send a day? How many should I be sending on Fridays? At what time? What CTA color should I go for?

Email marketing generates myriad stats and provides marketers with tons of metrics, which in some cases may lead to prescriptive statements and headstrong conclusions.

Power in Numbers

How can one possibly refute the credibility of figures? Statistics, metrics, and numbers are essential, no doubt about it. Nobody ever dared to question the validity of numerical semantics.

Let’s pretend we ran an A/B test that revealed some statistical significance of a red CTA button. So it looks like we are painting all our buttons red, right? We can also assume that more clicks bring more traffic, which leads to better conversion rates, more revenue, and a better ROI. Bam! Didn’t I just nail it?

Marketing vs. the Human Brain

No, you can’t make a decision based solely on numbers. Doing email marketing right means dancing the line between “being in charge” and professional harassment.

An email can be a robust source of income or it can turn the tables on you and your business. An email should be regarded as an evolving extension of your brand, and it is created by humans. Human psychology is so complex, even the brightest of minds have a hard time figuring it out. Luckily, scientists (or whoever carried out these studies) have discovered a few tricks that might come in handy for an email marketing specialist.

Prepare for the Unexpected

I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me.

This is a famous quotation by Terence (a playwright of the Roman Republic).

Fear and anxiety are natural human emotions. When someone calls you from an unknown number, dozens of questions run through your mind. Who could be calling me now? Do I give it three more rings and then pick up? Could this be a scam?

People fear the unknown.

In one of her presentations, Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers compares buttons to doors. Would you open a door if you didn't know what was behind it? So why would you expect whoever receives your email or visits your site to click buttons that don’t provide sufficient information?

This logic can be applied to your entire marketing strategy. Come to think of it, if your clients’ vision of your product isn’t 20/20, they are very likely to be anxious or uneasy when asked to make a purchase or sign up.

The Art of Unboxing

Have you ever heard of “unboxing” videos? These videos have become quite popular recently and have gained a solid audience. Watching them leads to excitement – similar to what we feel when we unwrap a present. Numerous studies have been done to understand this phenomenon.

According to psychologist Dr. Judy White, we are programmed to crave surprises.

She also claims that, in this case, we may be projecting ourselves onto the person opening the box.

“Our brains seem to be hardwired that way. We’re equipped with something called “mirror neurons”, the same neurons that fire when we watch an activity that are fired when we perform that same activity ourselves.”

Isn’t that amazing? Presenting your product to your customers/leads actually sparks a neurological kickback. This is why those videos are so in-demand. In fact, this trend should be mimicked by the entire marketing industry – and email marketers in particular.

Unboxing in Email Marketing

I want to share a couple of examples of how some brands have used such an approach on me through my inbox.

Sephora: Anticipating Explanations


I am a connoisseur of visuals, and I really appreciate a neat presentation of actual products I’m about to have delivered to my door. I like that Sephora takes my product preferences into consideration and surprises me at the same time with an appealing display of freebies. This example of an "unboxing" email openly demonstrates the product and describes its' advantages.

Mailchimp: Mobile App Introduction


There are so many mobile applications, I don’t think anyone is counting. Our generation pretty much takes all mobile technology for granted. But it’s not that easy to make a user-friendly mobile app for managing your email marketing campaigns via smartphone.

Mailchimp has done a great job on letting users control their campaigns on the go. And their team is not afraid to show their product from every angle possible: they send a series of emails demonstrating app updates, layout tweaks, and colorful charts – on the device that travels everywhere we go. This type of email provides clarity on what the service looks like and helps you to get the most out of your smart phone. Simple yet very helpful!

Graze and Dollar Shave Club: Straight Outta Box. Literally.


These two are my all-time favs!

You can’t get more literal than an actual box with an actual product inside of it.

Need I say more?

Duolingo: Visualizing the Progress


Learning can be a strenuous process, and motivation doesn’t always kick in when you need it. It's always important to know you are actually moving forward. Forget about your pace. It’s the fact that’s important, and Duolingo makes sure you reach your goals.

When you are able to visualize the progress you are making with the help of this app, you discover more features of the product and get to know it better. I received this email after I missed my second Spanish lesson. Procrastination, may you rest in peace!

SEMrush: Unboxing at its Finest


SEMrush gif

Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the animated presentation of a software (which is a challenging task, trust me, but this mission was accomplished). 

A few weeks ago SEMrush announced the release of its Social Media tool – an irreplaceable tool for analyzing your rivals on digital grounds.

GIFs are a perfect match for emails. Unlike videos, they don’t need to be clicked in order to play, their size is bearable, and they work well with most email clients.

By taking a quick glance at this email, the user becomes more familiar with the layout and major features of this new tool.

You've got mail!

Wrap Up

A good presentation will always be appreciated. It bridges the educational gap between your product and the user/potential customer.

P. S.: Rumor has it that SEMrush is about to release a new tool.

In order for us to help you take an advantage of its' features and get ahead of your competition, we need you to help us. If you are interested in how your competitors are managing their email campaigns, click the banner below.

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PR Manager, SEMrush
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