5 Key Ways to Use Emotions to Drive Email Marketing Engagement

Posted by Philip Storey on 17/11/16 15:51
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Philip Storey

Leveraging customer emotions in email marketing

Why are emotions so important in marketing? Well, successful marketers aim to understand their customer needs and challenges, rather than just pitching to them. In email marketing, it's crucial to define the emotional touchpoints of your subscribers to delight them and keep them opening your emails and ultimately clicking through to offers and services.

We outline 5 key ways to use emotions to drive email marketing engagement:

1. Creating a customer-centric marketing strategy

Putting the customer first should be the key focus of your email marketing strategies and brand messaging. Although you are promoting your products and services, you need to find out what makes your audience tick and use insights about their behaviours to tailor your content to their needs – and align your business goals accordingly. This way your brand message will chime with your prospects and customers.

Read more on customer-centricity here: 5 Reasons for Creating a Customer-Centric Digital Marketing Strategy.

2. Storytelling marketing

Storytelling is a growing marketing trend across channels. It’s a great way to spark an emotional connection with your audience. Today’s consumer is a savvy window shopper. To perk their attention, amidst all the noise, you need to show the character behind your brand. Behind-the-scenes content and visual storytelling resonate and tap into consumer emotions.

Storytelling marketing is a powerful tool for both start-ups who want to create a buzz around their business and big-name brands looking to refresh their brand image or deliver big impact during seasonal opportunities – think of John Lewis’ Christmas adverts.

3. Utilising emojis

Emojis are used frequently in everyday messaging, on mobile, social networks and even email marketing. Using emojis in email marketing is growing trend and can significantly increase open rates, but make sure they are relevant!

Adding emojis to subject lines is not just a gimmick, it's a way of enhancing your messages, promotions or announcements. Emojis can add humour or relevance to your subject lines. Importantly, they stand out from subscriber inboxes, prompting instant emotional engagement.

Check out our compilation of 21 amazing examples of emojis in email marketing.

4. Enticing customers with persuasion tactics & incentives

In order to encourage subscribers to click on calls to action and convert, it's important to use persuasive copywriting and persuasion tactics. Common tactics include personalisation, urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out). The latter is especially relevant for offers and promotions, where you want to convince customers to take advantage of a great-value offer while it's still available.

Think about incentives and customer loyalty. It's not just about leveraging emotions to convert customers, you should look reward loyalty with incentives and offer freebies to long-time subscribers. Make your subscribers feel valued.

5. Integrating marketing channels

Good email marketing strategies use the customer lifecycle as a map for pinpointing engagement opportunities with subscribers. The customer lifecycle can be enhanced by integrating email marketing with other channels. Integrated marketing channels feed into each other and allow customers find your content in different places. Omnichannel marketing helps you reach your customers with relevant, tailored content at the right times. It also helps build brand awareness.

Returning to the John Lewis Christmas ads. John Lewis create memorable, amusing and heart-warming TV ads, which capture the imagination of viewers. Once viewers are engaged, the retailer can use the concepts to deliver related content to prospects and customers via other channels, such as email, social (#BustertheBoxer) and even offline – in their Oxford Street store they had an Oculus Rift VR headset that allowed visitors to control the bouncing animals from the recent ad. This is all down to the emotional hook they orchestrate so well.

Take a look at the viral appeal and knock-on effect of John Lewis' emotional marketing on the social media – in these cases on Facebook and Twitter.

John lewis social media marketing campaign buster the boxer video

John lewis social media marketing campaign buster the boxer


We've demonstrated the key benefits of leveraging emotions and shown how email marketing as a channel is so well placed to nurture customer relationships. The best kind of marketing doesn’t feel anything like marketing, it strikes an emotional connection with customers.

Want to discover more great marketing tactics from major retail brands? Download our free guide to the secret email marketing strategies from top retailers

Download Secret Email Marketing Strategies

Enchant is a leading UK digital marketing agency, specialising in email marketing and the customer lifecycle. Our marketing specialists have helped countless brands to reach their potential and deliver big impact with customer-centric marketing strategies. Get in touch and see how our email experts can help you improve your performance fast!  

Topics: Leveraging emotions, customer engagement, customer lifecycle, email marketers, Email Marketing, Email marketing strategies, Email marketing strategy, emojis, Emotional marketing, Engagement, integrated channels, Multichannel marketing, omnichannel, Personalisation, Persuasion tactics, Persuasive copywriting, Storytelling, Video, Storytelling marketing

Philip Storey

Written by Philip Storey

Philip Storey is the Founder and CEO at Enchant Agency. Philip is an email marketing specialist in London, UK. He has enabled hundreds of brands to improve their email marketing. Beyond marketing, Philip is a business coach, personal and professional development coach and mentor to business leaders and senior marketers.

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