They put the bakery up front because the smell of freshly baked bread can’t resist. The flowers are by the door so you are tempted to grab them. The checkout line is chock full of easy-to-achieve candy bars & magazines that entice you while you wait.
We would like to think that our purchasing decisions come from a place of rational thinking. In reality but, crafty marketers are steering us toward certain products each single day.
It is the same with email design, too. The best email marketers & professional designers on the planet use psychological triggers to compel us to read, open, click, and buy.
Sure, it is a bit manipulative. After all, they are influencing how we act and make decisions on a subconscious level.
But if these mental triggers are used in the right method — to put a valuable product into the hands of someone who needs it — and not unethically, it can be extremely powerful for both you & your subscribers.
Establish trust with a brand identity.
Now marketing messages flood people’s inboxes daily. In order to stand out, you may think the flashier & shinier the template design, the better.
You would be dead wrong.
If you constantly change the format & template of your emails, readers can be left scratching their heads as to who the email is from. You will only increase confusion & decrease reliability.
Instead, stick with a consistent look — even if it is super simple. By doing so, you are establishing a brand aesthetic. Your customers will come to understand your core identity and they will feel as if they could rely on you. When you reach that level of influence, your subscribers will believe you.
And if they believeyou, they have a greater affinity to buy from you.
Pick a template, make it yours & stick with it. It is never too late to start creating standards & establishing consistency.
Not sure where to start? Kim Robbins, an AWeber email designer, put together this great brand standards worksheetto get you began.
Create authority & likeability through great photography.
The captivating product shots are spent thousands of dollars by the marketing teams. That is because fantastic high-quality images help guide our decision making & accelerate the purchasing process. They add professionalism & authority to the content.
While product photography is a skill that could take years to hone, it is now easier than ever to take fantastic shots with some very basic photography tools.
The one on the left is a basic shot that shows the products. While you know exactly what you are buying, the image is amateurish & does not show off the board’s uniqueness. It also does not create much of an emotional desire to like/buy the skateboard.
By simply changing the angle, location & lighting, though, the photo on the right becomes more professional & appealing. You could easily see the features & characteristics that make this board different from other ones on the market. The image lends clout & instant likeability to the product.
The best part: You could shoot photos like the one on the right with an iPhone.
Natural window light plus an iPhone plus a simple background = the formula for inexpensive but high-quality product photography.
If you need to go a step further, I recommend getting a light box to use with your iPhone/a DSLR. This folding one works great if you are selling small goods. For larger products, you could use a seamless background paper roll. The photographer of the skateboard on the right probably used something similar to shoot that image.
In addition to those tools, here’re some other tricks to accomplish this level of photography:
- Get closer to the object to decrease the number of clutter in the image. You want your reader to concentrate the product — not, say, the bookshelf/the buildings in the background.
- Change the angle from the expected human eye level to something more dramatic. For example, try lying on the ground or standing on a ladder. Your reader is not used to seeing the product from new perspectives.
- Shoot the small details as well as the complete product. The more aspects a buyer could absorb without actually touching the product, the more likely they’re to want it.
Build a community with visuals.
We have an inherent desire to be part of a group — a family,a club a workplace, a team, a hobby, an online group, or a religion.
Capitalize on this sense of belonging in the email designs. If you can make your subscribers feel as if they are part of a community by owning your product, there is a greater chance they will buy from you.
Here’re a few ways to visually do that:
- Show a behind-the-scenes peek of the product creation. This makes the feeling of exclusivity. Subscribers feel like they are privy to a process that anyone gets to see.
- Showcase an aspirational lifestyle. Take shots of the ideal customer using the products in the wild. It gives the subscriber something to desire. They begin to picture themselves as the model in the images.
- Make FOMO (fear of missing out). Include user-submitted images of other consumers using your product. By doing so, you will provide social proof of others using — essentially, recommending — your product. We take cues from others. If your reader sees others using the product, they may take action and buy.
A quick reminder: These design tips could be used responsibly. Your product/service is a solution to your subscriber’s problem. The goal is not to coerce someone into buying something that will not add value to their life.