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How Powerful Are Emotional Triggers in Emails?

Tried every tip in the book to drive conversions! Time to revamp your email copies with the right emotional triggers. Read the blog to learn how they work.

Icegram blog general

Last updated on January 17, 2024

Humans are emotional beings.

Hence, if you need to speak to them, first you need to speak to their emotions successfully. And as much as that’s true with the spoken word, it’s the same with emails.

When you are trying to figure out what went wrong in your emails, consider the absence of emotional triggers.

Emotional triggers can show up in tone, context, timing, words and graphics. As it taps into various triggers and emotions it targets various audience segments.

Want to know more? Let’s dig deeper!

What are the emotional triggers in email?

Emotional triggers are psychological responses that activate feelings, memories, desires, or responses.

With emails, these triggers can include subscribing to newsletters, replying to emails, joining a webinar, clicking a link, purchasing a product, or conversions of other kinds.

When adding these triggers to emails ensure that they depend on the context of the goal. When done right, these triggers build rapport, loyalty and credibility with your audience.

What are the emotional triggers you can use?


No, I am not asking you to unfold unnecessary panic in your audiences.

However, a reasonable amount of fear can make them believe that they can miss out on something if they don’t take action. There are subtle ways to imbibe fear which include communicating that the audience will miss out on free resources if they don’t click on a link.

And who’d want to miss out on valuable resources that add value to their lives?

Here’s an example:

  • Special promotions end on Friday


Showcasing scarcity works wonders!

But how?

If you don’t tell your audience that your offering is scarce, it won’t call for swift action!

Rather than allowing them to refrain from taking action, make them take action now. Why do that? Because sometimes later becomes never!

To increase the click-through rates in a given time, it’s better to tell them that the time to take action is limited.

Here’s an example:

  • Offer valid till stocks last!

Vanity and flattery

Tell them what they want to hear. You can begin by giving them compliments or by defining their dream scenario. Describe how their lives could be better when they’ve achieved their dream goal.

These triggers work wonders with lifestyle, health and fitness products and workshops and programs.

Take a look at the example:

  • Allow us to help you make heads turn!


Despite being swayed by emotions, readers will need a strong logic to purchase.

This means that when your audience is emotionally convinced, they still need a strong ‘Why’ to move down the sales funnel. To do this you can back your purchase decisions with logic. This can include product features, value-added benefits, solutions to problems and comparisons with competitor products and more.

Take a look at the example below:

  • Precise financial decisions are now just a click away!


All your friends are going on a road trip, while you choose to postpone it!

Feeling guilty, right?

Guilt, as an emotional trigger, can be used by making your audience believe that life can take a turn for the better if only you said yes to an opportunity. This can be followed by showing them that they still have time to make things right.

Trust me and you know it, people want to get rid of these feelings as soon as they can.

By getting them to imagine themselves in a guilty state, you can get them to act in your desired direction.

Here’s a good way to hit the guilt trigger just right:

  • Another year of not hitting the gym? Time to make the switch!


Everybody wants to belong to something bigger than themselves.

This can be an excellent motivating aspect, compelling your audience to participate in events and strengthen their connection with the brand. When you listen to your audience, it shows that you value and respect them.

These aspects are highly beneficial when your audiences prefer your brand despite being surrounded by close competition.

Here’s something to get you inspired:

  • You are not alone; join 1100 other fragrance lovers!


Regardless of the verticals, content volume and strategies can go in vain, if you don’t build a trustworthy relationship. This makes trust to be the final step that leads your customers to leap.

You can use content as one way to make your readers feel more secure and trustworthy. You can incorporate words and phrases that build and enhance the trustworthiness of your brand. Trust can be strengthened by displaying social proof. Hence don’t shy away from asking for customer testimonials. These testimonials can be used as screenshot or through a video in your emails.

If your customers trust you they are more likely to make a repeated purchase.

Here’s how you can skyrocket the audience’s trust in your brand:

  • 10+ years of representing the Asian community


If hope can move mountains, it can also lead to better conversions!

Integrating the hope trigger communicates what audiences will gain after they click on the link. This trigger shows that the customer can get what they have always wanted. Once you give them this reason, they are bound to follow through.

When audiences are hopeful, they are yearning for a wholesome or beneficial desired outcome to be fulfilled.

Here’s how hope works:

  • Confused about crafting the next email in your campaign? Allow us to help!


Remember feeling butterflies in your stomach thinking about your Christmas gift?

Wonderful memories, right?

Well, that’s exactly what you want your audience to think!

When the customers are looking forward to something, they will feel excited and good about receiving the product. So much so that they will be happy to share their excitement with people they know.

For eg: you can build excitement with the pre-order option through email or offering the first product glimpse before it hits the market.

This will not only make them loyal in the long run but also make them feel lucky about being a part of your email list.

Here are some exciting ways to do it:

  • Bring out the child within you! Our thrill-filled rides await!


Who doesn’t want to feel special?

Exclusivity makes your audience feel special and valuable, offering a symbol of exclusivity. You can do so by including words and phrases that make them feel unique and exclusive.

Here’s how you can add the special sparkle:

  • Only available to subscribers

How do you identify your audience’s emotional triggers?

Reaching out to your audience to tap into their feelings is a surefire way to gauge their emotional trigger right? However, you can also resort to mixing and matching emotional triggers as per your email context. But don’t randomly create a mix that gets you nowhere! That would overwhelm the audience and make it difficult for the readers to make sense of the email.

Wondering why identifying emotional triggers is important?

That’s because your audience segments can be highly varied. While some audience segments might want to hear from you, some might be occupied and some might not even need your offering. Hence, the need to identify the triggers to be used for specific audience segments.

What are the tools to trigger emotions?

Urgency and scarcity

While finding the right product, your audience can get lost in the rabbit hole, which can lengthen the decision-making time. Further, they can lose their interest. The more time the audience spends thinking about purchasing, the less likely they are to convert. This can be done by imbibing the fear of missing out (FOMO). This creates a feeling that they will miss out on something valuable if they don’t make a decision right away. You can integrate urgency with tools such as countdown timers.

You’ll be surprised to see how it can help! Without urgency, audiences may end up exploring other options, or not take a decision altogether. And this is where creating the urgency and scarcity triggers come into the picture.

I’d suggest you strategically place soft reminders in your email so that your audiences can go through your content and are continuously reminded to take action at the right time.

Curiosity and intrigue

Imagine someone wishes to tell you a secret, but then they change their mind. Wouldn’t you want to know what that secret was? Humans are the most curious creatures in the entire animal kingdom. This attribute in the spectrum of nature has led to endless innovations and discoveries. Integrate curiosity in your emails by keeping them guessing with words of curiosity. Besides retaining them, it can also help them guide them through the content logically.

You can trigger curiosity through case studies and show them the results that were produced. Creating intriguing subject lines through copywriting techniques is a great example of the same.

Also, note that a lot of your subscribers may have a short attention span, so you need to catch their interest as soon as you can.


A simple ‘hey’ from the crowd won’t make your head turn, but someone yelling your name will! As per a study from Martech, personalized emails generate 600% higher CTRs. That sounds like email marketing success to us! Personalization can be a great ice breaker that makes the reader feel like they are talking to real people.

Remembering and acknowledging personal milestones is a great way to ensure that the personalization ball is kept rolling. After all, there is no other way to create a special bond rather than celebrating special times together.

You can opt for personalization through past purchases, purchasing patterns, demographic details and more. Or add their name in the subject line and the email.


That’s a great way to communicate your message that sticks with the audience. Not only can your audience retain the knowledge communicated with stories but they can also stir emotions and your imagination. This enhances the communication of your ideas rather than doing it generically.

Storytelling can help you intrigue curiosity, relatability, intrigue and excitement. In the mind, the story can be associated with emotions, sounds, taste and movement.

This also helps you communicate abstract ideas or complex concepts with ease. This can make the concept engaging, memorable and persuasive.


To sum it up, emotions are powerful! In a nutshell, use triggers that inspire your audience and encourage them to take action. Gather needs, wants and buyer feedback, researching customer persona and preferences and ensuring the customer insights can give you an idea about your audience’s emotional triggers. When the customers want to take action, here’s what they think:

  • What would they gain?
  • A fear of what happens if that decision is not made
  • The timeline to take action

Emotional triggers if done right can significantly improve click-through rates, conversions and more. Wish to be on top of your email campaigns?

Allow Icegram Express to give you a helping hand! Deliver newsletters, manage drip sequences and recover abandoned carts through emails. Visit our website and take the first step into the revolutionary world of email marketing!

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