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EMAIL MARKETING

Linguistic elements are key drivers of success in email campaigns

By our News Team | 2022

Emphasising exclusivity and scarcity, using a handwriting font, and building alliteration into the copy help to create effective mailers.

A dominant channel for communicating retail messaging is through email marketing, which continues to evolve as businesses experiment with different tactics and approaches to make their emails more interactive.

Everlytic, a leading digital messaging platform, recently partnered with behavioural communications firm BreadCrumbs Linguistics to analyse the top 50 mailers sent by retailers through the Everlytic platform in 2021. 

Email marketing

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels

The data was collected from 2.4-billion bulk emails that retail clients sent during the year, with ranking done according to key engagement metrics – including open rates and click-through rates.

The report focuses on the linguistic elements that correlate with mailer-engagement success by using Behavioural Linguistics, a science that looks at how language influences action. In direct-mailer marketing, the action wanted by marketers is for recipients to: (1.) open the mailer and (2.) engage with the communication by clicking at least one link in the mailer.

Among the key findings:

  • The most successful retail emails were sent early in the week, towards the end of the working day. The best retail months for email engagement were January and November.
  • Reference to incentives like discounts, credits and freebies boosted consumer engagement, particularly where these were positioned as ‘reserved’ or ‘waiting’ for the consumer.
  • Language of exclusivity, where consumers feel unique and special, drove better engagement rates.
  • Language of scarcity, where there was reference to a limited time or quantity of the sales item, encouraged more urgency for action.
  • Visual language that used animated GIFs to showcase the retail product increased interest and engagement.
  • Retail emails that used a secondary handwriting font to elicit personalisation received better click-through rates.
  • Sales communications with a single-minded message and one call-to-action button were more likely to get engagement.
  • Call-to-action buttons that were a bright, bold colour received more click-throughs.
  • Linguistic tools like alliteration (repetition of the initial and identical consonant sounds in neighbouring words and in a quick succession) and onomatopoeia (the imitation or mimicking or natural sounds) made brand writing more interesting and attractive, resulting in more persuasive copy and boosted engagement.

“Behavioural nudges have emerged as one of the best ways to improve sales while still maintaining an end user’s freedom of choice,” the researchers noted. “Communications that are framed with behavioural insights in mind benefit from the close link between language, behaviour, and decision-making.”



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