10 Persuasive Marketing Techniques for Engaging Newsletters

di Francesca Columbu

Have you ever heard of Foot in the Door or Zeigarnik Effect? These techniques will win your client's heart and mind.

Marketing, psychology and neuroscience are closely related. Those who work in the sales field know that, if combined, these three disciplines can become a formidable weapon for achieving the desired goal of conversion.

Given the large number of companies active online, today it is very difficult to stand out from competitors and make the user choose us instead of others who offer the same category of products as us. It is therefore increasingly necessary to adopt a strategy that puts the customer and not the product at the center of its marketing operations, unlike in the past. The secret lies in being able to understand how the mind of the hypothetical buyer works, how he reasons and what emotions he feels, in order to earn that trust that will then lead him to choose our company when needs to buy a certain type of product.

Here then comes the persuasion marketing: this term refers to those techniques that allow, based on psychological and neurological knowledge, to put in place an effective marketing strategy, which is able to turn your business around. These techniques can be implemented with a wide variety of media, such as social media and email. In this article we want to focus on the last ones.

To help you improve your email marketing strategy, we have selected for you the 10 Persuasive Techniques that we believe are most effective for composing surprising Newsletters. Let's see them in detail.

1. Reciprocity

We are generally more inclined to do something for others if they are willing to do something for us in return. On this assumption is based the principle of reciprocity in marketing: offering free content, a discount, a webinar at no cost - as long as they are perceived as advantageous by our interlocutors - generally makes users more inclined to purchase, because they see such a concession almost as a favor. A principle that is also at the basis of the so-called "door in the face technique", which consists in making the customer an excessive request and then resize it by offering a more acceptable alternative; in this way it is much more likely that the person purchases because - as seen above - perceives the fact of having made him a proposal more in line with his expectations as a concession that can be reciprocated with the purchase.

When communicating these discounts/free content, the newsletter can give us a big hand, as it allows the use of attractive images or external links (which refer to your ecommerce or the content of your interest) and - above all - allows a direct relationship between the company and possible buyer.

2. Scarcity

When a company proposes a short term offer and the products are in limited quantity, we are more inclined to buy them as soon as possible so as not to miss them. For this reason, when promoting a discount, many companies tend to emphasize both time scarcity (eg. only for three days) and limited quantity scarcity (eg. only two pieces available): information that should also be conveyed through newsletters, preferably already in the subject line or preheader, so that the recipient is even more inclined to open the email.

3. Price anchoring

The human mind usually tends to make a comparison between similar things and this lead to the fact that a price is considered high only because it is related to other lower prices. What happens then if the same company proposes to the user two very different prices? In most cases, the cheapest product will be considered as extremely advantageous. If therefore we present, within the same newsletter, a list of products in which the first one has a cost of 30 euros and immediately a second product is shown at a cost of 100 euros, the user will tend to "anchor" to the first price he has seen and to consider it much cheaper. As a result, he will be much more inclined to buy it compared to the case in which in the newsletter he is offered only one product costing 30 euros, but he has no opportunity to compare it with other prices.

4. Few but good

Having too much choice and too many alternatives is often counterproductive for the user. Those who bowse the internet search for simplicity and are discouraged when faced with a large amount of information or, in the case of ecommerce, products. In addition, the fact that there are so many proposals and so many categories to choose from means that they notice less the one they are really interested in.

Here we understand the importance of segmentation when sending the newsletter. Choosing a general audience with a unique message, rather than a specific audience with personalized proposals, can be counterproductive. We give you a simple practical example: in an ecommerce of men's and women's clothing, it is preferable to send men only newsletters containing men's outfits and women newsletters with women's outfits, because they are targeted to that specific audience. In this way you will not have to propose an infinity of products that are not interesting to the individual and each of the target audience will have the opportunity to choose among the only products that he/she potentially likes.

5. The purple cow

A famous book by Seth Godin entitled "The Purple Cow: transform your business by being remarkable" shows how an original product that stands out from the crowd is much more likely to be noticed. If we are in a mountain pasture full of brown or spotted cows, after a while we are not able to distinguish them, but if suddenly a purple cow appeared, it surely attracts our attention.

Godin's book is based on this very principle. In order to make your communication (for example your newsletter) stand out from the others, you have to surprise the user. Think of something that can impress the reader (it can be a funny gif or an astonishing text) and at that point, once captured the interest of the recipient, you can proceed with the commercial proposal.

6. Social approval

The fact that we live in a society implies that we strongly pay attention to the judgment and considerations of others. It is not by chance that every time we buy a product we check what others think about it. This is the reason why reviews and testimonials can be decisive in a sales process: if users leave good reviews, it will benefit our whole business. That's why you should always check what people said about your company on Tripadvisor, Facebook or other platforms: any feedback could affect the rating of the people landing on your site. And that's no small matter!

7. Sympathy

Consumers love to know who is behind a brand, especially if it is represented by a person with a special history and whose company is the result of sacrifice and commitment. Being involved in first person often pays off, because customers develop a kind of empathy and sympathy towards the person (or people in case the whole team interact with buyers) who works for the realization of those products they are interested in. It's a way to create a direct connection with the user and make him more and more attached to the brand, because having a reference person will lead him/her to feel more understood and he/she will have the perception that that product really meets his/hers needs.

So for your newsletters (but also social media and other communication channels) think of a way to take consumers behind the scenes of your company, tell them who are the people who carry it out and how products are made. Take advantage of the storytelling technique and make the brand more "human": you'll see, users are much more likely to develop a sympathetic relationship with a person than with an anonymous company.

8. Zeigarnik Effect

The Lithuanian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, observing the work of the waiters at the restaurant, had noticed that they tended to remember very complicated orders but, once they brought the dishes to the table, forgot what they had served; on the other hand, they remembered much better and even after some time the orders left halfway through. With a series of experiments the psychologist came to confirm her intuition, that is that people tend to remember more a concept/information if this is not explained in full but is interrupted at some point. This is because, when a task is unfinished, it is created a state of mind of tension that prevents the brain from starting another one from scratch.

How can this be translated into marketing? By making sure that the information is not fully explained but creates a halo of mystery around the topic. In order for the public to be impressed with the message, do not finish it, so do not communicate the whole offer, but try to leave some important information pending, with the promise that it will be revealed in the following days/weeks. This will increase the attention and curiosity of the user, who will be eager to find out what follows.

9. Emotions

If it is true that the decision-making process leading to the purchase is guided by logic, it is equally true that you often buy by impulse or because stimulated by emotions and sensations. The techniques of persuasion cannot therefore not take into account the emotional component, which is very relevant because it encourages sharing and action.
When you write your newsletter, think about how to stimulate these emotions in the user: you could do it with an ad hoc image, storytelling or, in general, using very involving terms; even better if these particular sensations are evoked just before the call to action, so that the reader is more inclined to perform the required action.

10. Foot-in-the-door

A well-known technique in the world of persuasion marketing is the "foot-in-the-door", which consists of ensuring adherence to a demanding request by asking for something less demanding first.

Think, for example, of the registration forms on a website: if the user is asked too much information at the first contact, he will most likely feel discouraged at the idea of having to provide a lot of data and will leave the website without completing the registration. So how can you get this information without being intrusive? The best strategy is to proceed step by step. In the first registration form it is therefore preferable to request a few simple data (possibly facilitating the registration also through Facebook) and only later, when the user will make a concrete action - which can be the purchase but also access his account to view a webinar - you invite him/her to complete his profile with the missing data (justifying the request with a sentence like "To continue we need some information"). The customer at this point will be more involved than the beginning and therefore will see the fact of releasing the data as a due and necessary act, no longer as something annoying.

Keep this technique in mind when you send a newsletter: rather than requesting a challenging action from the user from the first emails, proceed in a gradual way, with soft proposals that, however, constrain the user to perform another more decisive action, that is the one really desired.

We hope you found this article helpful. For more information or assistance please contact us through the website or via chat on our Facebook page.

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