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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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.