5 Ways to Add Magic to Your Email Marketing

We’ve become so accustomed to technological marvels that we’ve forgotten how amazing email marketing really is.

We take for granted that our images, text, animations, video, etc. simply materialize out of thin air on (more often than not) devices held in the hands of the very people we want to see them. That’s pretty astonishing stuff.

Rather than shy away from email marketing’s “magical” powers, why not lean into them? Try to think, and create, like the email-marketing-magician you know you are! Chances are you will amaze, astound and convert your recipients!

Here are five tips to make magical email marketing:

1. Astonish your recipients with personalized contextual content

The ability to deliver content tailored to your reader’s location, their activities and even the weather they are experiencing sure seems magical. So why not take advantage of it?

“Effective email marketing connects content to context,” according to Adobe. “You put a compelling, personalized message in front of your customer at just the right moment. The moment provides the context, you provide the engagement, completing an event that makes the relationship with that customer rewarding for everyone involved.”

Need a few ideas for your next contextual campaign? Here you go.

2. Make the payoff worthwhile with a compelling CTA

In the movie The Prestige, which about dueling magicians in Victorian-era England, we learn that the film’s title refers to third act of a magic trick – the part of the act that provides a jaw-dropping surprise. It’s one thing to make something (or someone) disappear, the film posits, but another – truly astonishing thing – to make it (or them) instantly reappear in another location.

The impact of email marketing’s “prestige” is in the value of the CTA. You might have the most beautiful graphics and wonderful copy, but they won’t matter if your CTA isn’t compelling. That means doing more than coming up with a new way of saying “buy now,” rather, you have to provide recipients with “relevant solutions and unique selling points that make their life or job easier,” writes Matthew Bains at Search Influence.

Here are ten tips for optimizing CTAs from Campaign Monitor.

3. Provide an interactive experience to boost engagement

Ever see a magic show that didn’t include the magician getting up-close and personal with members of the audience? Probably not. There’s a reason that you often hear the phrase “can I have a volunteer from the audience?” – it’s the power of interactivity. Rather than being passive participants in the show, the volunteers become part of it.

Their level of engagement skyrockets, as does the engagement of the rest of the audience, when they see a fellow audience member on stage serving as the magician’s assistant.

Interactive emails work much the same way – they boost engagement by involving recipients in the marketing process. That’s why you might want to include a live shopping cart, a “scratch and flip” game, or a “create your own product” experience in your next email. Phil Davis has more about interactive emails at TowerData.

4. Use “content misdirection” to go viral

Misdirection is a basic magic tool. The magician gets the audience focused on something irrelevant while he does something critical to making the “magic” happen. Does misdirection also have a place in marketing? Perhaps.

“The main goal of content for search marketers is to attract views, links and engagement, and that is sometimes better achieved by not creating content about what you’re trying to sell directly, but instead, by creating something completely unexpected,” writes Daniel Cristo at Marketing Land.

“If done properly, this triggers fascination, which helps our content go viral, and viral content indirectly related to our product is often better than invisible content directly related to it.”

As an example of marketing misdirection, Cristo uses a television interview Will Ferrell did while dressed as Little Debbie. Ferrell did nothing on behalf of the film he was ostensibly promoting – but the costume gimmick draw viral attention to his appearance and, by extension, the movie opening that weekend.

5. Use some psychological “magic” to make your CTAs pop

In a post several weeks ago, we discussed the psychological phenomenon known as the “isolation effect.” It simply states that items that are unlike the items around them tend to stand out, as Big Bird taught many of us.

“People are more likely to take notice of words or images that contrast with their background, making them stand out,” writes Nora Landis-Shack writes at Customer.io.

The isolation effect is important to email marketers because it helps them determine what colors their CTAs should be. We learn from the isolation effect that there is no right or wrong color – it simply needs to be different than the what’s around it.

Go forth and make the magic happen!