CleverReachSubconsciously, behavior patterns that are coercively triggered provide the decisive purchase impulses. CleverReach is well aware of that fact and shares some practical tips and tricks on how to use sales psychology in your email marketing to spark a strong buying incentive in your customers.

Especially online, where people buy quickly or not at all, the right tricks can make all the difference. If the recipient of your newsletter is interested in an offer and ready to make the final purchase decision, psychological incentives set and strengthen the decisive purchase impulse.

The fact is that we seldom know the real value of a product since the variety of products has increased immensely. Hence, marketing plays a major role in pricing, especially since we often confuse the ideal value of a thing with its material value. Therefore, we use comparative values as a basis because intensive price research is often too tedious for us.

It is much easier if we orientate ourselves on the first price that we associate with a product in the area, which is quasi our anchor. It determines how we rate other prices: whether we find them expensive or cheap, we do not check whether the anchor price is justified. So, use the anchor effect for your pricing strategy and set anchor prices in your newsletters too.

  • The most expensive first: in retail, the seller offers the customer more expensive models first—this is how he sets the anchor price! Although customers often buy the second most expensive product in the end.

  • The middle sells: since most people don't know the exact price, they tend to buy the middle-priced product. This is where they suspect the best value for money. Irrationally, people simply ignore offers that are difficult to compare, rather focus on the offers that are easy to compare and decide then on the more attractive offer. In other words: if you want to promote sales of a product, provide it with a similar, less attractive bait. In this way, sales can be controlled, and profits doubled!

  • Give to get is the credo of a real sales genius. A gift, a little extra or an attractive give away often only costs a few cents but increases your sales many times over. Favors and gifts create an inner pressure to reciprocate, which is why psychologists call this phenomenon reciprocity. This effect can be easily transferred to business. It is just important that your goodie fits the product and that you advertise trial and gift campaigns in your newsletter!


The choice paradox

Having a lot of choices seems to be attractive and without doubt generates a lot of interest, but it paralyzes the purchase decision. The cause is the risk of choosing the wrong product, which increases proportionally to the selection. Customers no longer know what the best deal is, and before they risk buying the wrong thing, they don't buy anything at all. So, the large selection becomes a sales killer!


  • Make it easy for your customers to choose. Reviews weight the offer and provide orientation: identify frequently purchased and therefore popular products! 70% of all customers include other customer ratings in their purchase decision! Work with stars to be able to grade ratings from "0 - 5" - "bestsellers" - disturbers are also very striking.

  • Do not overwhelm the customer with a huge variety of products and to take away the fear of making the wrong decision. Therefore, highlight one to three campaign specials! Mark your specials with disturbers or make them larger.

  • Limit your offer or offer give support in making a decision, so that your customers are not overwhelmed by too many products. Present a maximum of six products per category in your newsletter or just announce the campaign in your email, for instance, with a subject line like: "Summer Sale - 50% Off!"

The bestseller effect

Whether software, baby food, or spirits, if you don't know a product, you are happy to try a “best seller” or a “favorite”. What millions buy is an incentive for millions more. The bestseller effect, also known as “social proof,” in psychology, is the key here. It is based on the “herd instinct” of people: Without thinking twice, we imitate the behavior of others—the group just has to be big enough. The individual assumes that the group is doing the right thing. For your email marketing this means mentioning the bestsellers or positive customer feedback.

The bargain hunters

If we like a product and if it is reduced on top of that, it is almost impossible to resist. We don't even need to actively have been looking for this product.

Bernd Weber, neuroscientist from the Life & Brain Center at the University of Bonn, has proven that just looking at large percentage signs activates the brain's reward system. For this purpose, test persons were shown products and prices in a computer tomograph, some of which were provided with percentage signs, which immediately addressed the reward center and evoked positive expectations. At the same time, self- and error-control decreased. Combined with email marketing, the effect of these methods even increased, since emails are personalized messages.

The recipient's interest is primarily piqued by the subject line. Accordingly, the recipients who read your email are even more susceptible to your stimulating email design, since simply opening the email implies interest in the offer. As a result, biased readers are easy prey for your intense stimuli. So, you can be sure that “free” will ultimately pay off.

The purchase impulse – “free of charge”

“Free of charge” is one of the strongest triggers for opening an email and buying a product.

Dan Ariely, psychologist and author of the book "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions", also calls it the "free" effect. The “free” concept is so convincing that people even get a tattoo for it, as Ariely proved in an experiment, in which students stood up for a free tattoo that 68% would not have gotten had it cost something. This means for your email marketing using the word “free of charge” to attract more newsletter subscribers.

After all, anything that is free is irresistible: free registrations generate more subscribers, addresses and participants; subject lines with the words “free” or “free of charge” achieve higher opening rates and thus, lead to significantly more sales in the long term.

As you can see, sales psychology can be easily translated to your newsletters and promotional emails and should be used in one form or another for pushing sale up. Use your strengths and popularity to convince new customers or undecided buyers of your products and let the herd instinct work for you. Large discount labels, free promotions and exclusive offers for your existing customers trigger the impulse to buy and at the same time give a feeling of appreciation.

By Daniela La Marca