In our modern times Psychology holds immense importance and value due to its countless contributions to understanding and improving various aspects of human life. After a closer look it becomes clear – Psychology is … everywhere. We live it, we use it, we as humans are Psychology. It is used for good and evil, to improve, to manipulate, or also just to understand a certain situation.

Human behavior and decision-making have to be understood on a deep psychological level to implement successful marketing efforts. Psychology in marketing goes beyond product features, it deals with emotions, motivations, and perceptions that drive consumer actions. For this reason it plays a crucial role in crafting strategies that resonate with audiences or trigger a certain behavior.

Email Marketing, being a direct and personal communication channel, benefits immensely from psychological insights. By tapping into the psychological aspects of consumer behavior, email marketers can tailor messages to evoke specific emotions, trigger desired actions, and build lasting connections with recipients.

This article will give an insight into the application of psychology in email marketing, shedding light on techniques that marketers can employ to maximize their impact, up to better click-through rates.

Human Emotions in Email Marketing

Human emotions are complex, multifaceted psychological but also physiological responses to external or internal stimuli. They comprise a wide range of feelings and triggered the right way, they will help marketers to reach their aims. For some it is psychology, for others trickery.

Emotions that play into our hands

Let’s start with what we have to deal with – the emotions itself.

  1. Curiosity, the interest in new, unknown things
  2. Trust, the belief in someone, something or certain facts
  3. Hope, the belief that the future will bring a change for the better
  4. Joy, the feeling of light-heartedness, being in a good mood
  5. Anticipation, a positive outlook to upcoming events
  6. Fear, uncertainty, expecting a negative outcome or a negative experience
  7. Guilt, responsibility for a negative event
  8. Anger, unrestrained frustration triggered by a negative event

How to use emotions in Email Marketing

All these above-mentioned emotions have their place in our daily lives but also in the realm of writing email text, each emotion can be used in one form or another.

Based on the emotions and corresponding psychological triggers, the email content can be strategically adjusted to tap into the subconscious motivations of recipients.

Choose your trigger of choice from the following list to influence reader behavior with your emails.

  1. Curiosity: Teasing in emails will spark interest and engagement, once curiosity is really triggered, it is difficult for the reader not to want the desired information. Creating mystery will drive readers to seek more of your content and keep them engaged. A typical example is a subject line that piques readers’ interest and makes them open the email and explore the content.
  2. Trust: Trust in your statements or expertise is not easy to get without first-hand experience by the reader. But there is a way to convey the trustworthiness. Testimonials, reviews, or also guarantees, can erase concerns and build the needed credibility.
  3. Hope: Hope is an amazing motivator. Creating a positive outlook or offering a solution to a painful problem can be very powerful, but even providing reassurance and inspiration can build hope. This positive feeling will help your readers engage with your content and your brand.
  4. Joy: Joy is always a good idea. It is like a drug – everybody is seeking it. Use this to your advantage. If joy is involved everything gets more easy and enjoyable. Expressing positivity in your emails, using humor or also funny graphics or emojis will do the job. Don’t hold back with these and make reading your emails a joyful experience.
  5. Anticipation: Announcing upcoming events or future products spectacularly creates a positive outlook and therefore excitement and anticipation. This will keep your audience glued to your content.
  6. Fear: Fear is a natural protective mechanism and in modern times it often doesn’t make sense, but in emails, we can use it by creating an atmosphere of urgency or concern to trigger this emotion. Highlighting negative consequences might be the way to achieve this.
  7. Guilt: Nobody wants to be responsible for a missed opportunity, an event that could have changed the personal future or the future of the company for the better. Similar to “fear”, mentioning negative consequences might trigger the desired actions in readers.
  8. Anger: Frustration or even anger is caused by pain points. Use these emotions and negative experiences and offer your specific solution as a remedy or catalyst for change.

What are the Psychology-Backed Tactics in Email Marketing?

Psychology-backed tactics play a crucial role in crafting effective email marketing campaigns, leveraging human behaviors and emotions to drive engagement.

Here are key strategies supported by psychological principles using the already discussed emotions:

  1. Urgency and Scarcity: Limited availability, a short time frame or a countdown encourages quick action. This includes also the infamous “FOMO” – the fear of missing out. ****
  2. Reciprocity: Encouraging reciprocal behavior by providing value upfront, whether through exclusive and valuable content, discounts, or personalized recommendations. This builds a sense of indebtedness among recipients and as an effect, they will reciprocate by engaging more positively with your emails or taking desired actions.
  3. Personalization: Tailoring content to individual preferences or behaviors enhances the reader’s connection with the email and also the sender. These positive emotions make our email copy surely more impactful.
  4. Understanding Color Psychology: Colors are triggers, and they as well can evoke specific emotions and responses. The choice should be based on the targeted audience, brand or products and the type of message to be conveyed. Here so some examples to illustrate the concept:
    • Red: Red symbolizes excitement, energy, power, fearlessness, and passion. Used in the right way it can grab attention and create a sense of urgency.
    • Orange: Orange is often associated with enthusiasm, warmth, and creativity. It can convey a warm, friendly and inviting tone in emails.
    • Black: Elegance and authority are represented by black. It can add a sophisticated and precious touch to your email designs.
    • Purple: Purple is linked to luxury and wisdom, also creating a sense of sophistication and creativity.
    • Blue: Blue is known for calmness and trust. It is commonly used for its soothing effect and is associated with reliability and professionalism.


In the realm of email marketing, emotions play a pivotal role in captivating the audience and driving engagement. Understanding the psychology of emotion is crucial for crafting impactful subject lines and email content that resonates with recipients. The right use of emotional triggers undoubtedly leads to higher click rates and stronger reader loyalty.

To conclude, email marketing is not just about delivering plain, cold-hearted messages, but about evoking emotions that resonate with the audience. Emotion is the key to realising the full potential of email marketing and ensuring that messages are not only read but even felt.