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What types of email marketing activate mental triggers

What types of email marketing activate mental triggers?

Types of email marketing with high conversion, open and engagement rates are the crème de la crème of email marketing strategies.

Everyone, especially those who work in e-commerce, wants to produce the perfect email: one that is capable of stimulating decision-making, while at the same time creating a connection with the lead and turning them into customers.

Anyone who works with email marketing knows this: from the subject line to the CTA, including content with tempting arguments, everything in the email is designed to make the user convert to the action desired by the sender.

However, conversion doesn’t happen if your email is sent to the recipient’s spam folder. This is why email validation is an essential strategy for obtaining good results from email marketing campaigns.

And while we’re on the subject of conversion, it’s always good to remember that email marketing wasn’t created just for sales.

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Take advantage of the tips from Rodrigo Gonçalves, COO of SafetyMails and an expert on the subject, and ask him any questions you may have!

Do you know how to turn an email into an irresistible piece of communication? There are many successful examples, tips and ways, but they all have in common the link with mental triggers.

How the brain works when making decisions

The human brain is originally lazy. But this has a scientific explanation: in the past, man faced many obstacles in order to stay alive, and this required a great deal of brain effort.

Searching for food was a task that required facing and hunting ferocious animals, inhospitable situations such as intense cold or heat, unfavorable geographical conditions, etc.

Not to mention the energy expended in competing with each other to find sexual partners, seeking shelter and many other attitudes necessary for survival.

Human beings have evolved, but the brain is the same. Nowadays, the mind simply discards the use of energy for everything that is considered unimportant, i.e. everyday.

This means that the brain’s connections have already been recorded and there is no need to create new neuronal connections for everyday tasks.

This is why functions such as brushing your teeth, turning on the light or driving remain “on automatic”.

And it is precisely there, in this automatic state, that decisions are made without us realizing it.

Types of email marketing and most commonly used triggers

Scarcity or urgency

This is perhaps the most famous trigger of all. Often used in e-commerce emails, this mental provocation shows an excellent deal that will end in a very short time, and if the user doesn’t act “urgently”, they will miss the opportunity, or the product will run out.

This stimulus is designed to make the lead act on impulse, and that’s exactly what mental triggers are all about: suppressing reason and accentuating emotion. This eliminates any difficulty in selling.

Types of email marketing that use the exclusivity trigger

This stimulus is linked to the special purchase or action conditions offered exclusively on that occasion. In other words, the user only has one chance to make a good deal or take an action that can have a positive impact on them.

It’s important to note that this trigger is not only common in e-commerce messages, but also in emails designed to generate any type of conversion, such as newsletters, transactional (confirmation) and relational messages.

Fear of losing

Have you ever seen the phrase “don’t be left out”? That’s the idea: that the lead isn’t the only one to miss out on a privilege (which could be a sale or a conversion), while everyone else in their circle is making the right choice.

Scientific studies prove that human beings feel losses more than gains, and psychologists call this “loss aversion”. A wrong decision can render an opportunity useless, and the brain understands that running away from losses is always the best decision.

This trigger occurs more in the sales area, but also stimulates conversions in all other types of email marketing.

Social proof and types of email marketing used

Nowadays, social proof is necessary for sales to materialize. Who hasn’t looked at customer reviews before making a marketplace purchase?

Human beings, biologically created to live in groups, look to the opinions of other people to help them make decisions. And positive opinions generate reliability.

After all, if a product or service meets the expectations of the majority of people, the likelihood of it becoming a positive experience for you increases. This provocation occurs most often in sales emails.


Human beings tend to give back what they receive. For example: you’re interested in a subject and an e-book comes out on the subject.

You can access this material for free by filling in a form with your contact details.

If you are an email marketing professional and work with forms and landing pages, you know how important it is to collect valid emails for lead generation.

A typo means an invalid email, which in turn damages the entire list. Hence the importance of installing a real-time verification API.

The reciprocity trigger sums up the principles of Inbound Marketing and is present in relationship emails.


Similar to social proof, the authority trigger is a positive testimonial from someone recognized for their credibility.

In the world of digital marketing, gaining authority is the goal of brands. In this way, they gain the respect of their audience and the trust of their leads.

However, the authority trigger works in several other ways. A digital influencer speaking highly of a product or service is one of them.

This provocation happens a lot in sales emails and also in relational emails.


Since they were published by Robert Cialdini in his book “The Weapons of Persuasion”, mental triggers – which are actually called mental shortcuts in Cialdini’s work – have been widely studied in order to be applied in marketing strategies.

Add to this the launch of the book, studies in psychology and inbound marketing and we come to the conclusion that there are countless triggers that have yet to be explored.

All that remains is for professionals to research and conclude which triggers are appropriate for their communication work. It’s important to remember that knowing the persona and their behavior well should be the basis of any strategy.


What creates a mental trigger?

The brain has ready-made neuronal connections that stimulate reactive behavior. A person’s life history and social culture generate unconscious responses that can be predicted. An image that provokes crying; a phrase that creates an emotional memory; music that generates excitement; flavors that generate memories are some examples of mental triggers.

How to apply mental triggers to email marketing?

It all depends on the purpose of the email campaign. If the purpose is to sell, you should analyze which triggers best exploit this decision-making process. If the intention is to create a relationship and generate conversions, there are more suitable mental triggers for establishing connections between the lead and the brand. In this way, communication strategies involving the use of mental triggers are created at the various stages of the marketing funnel.