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6 Killer Email Conversion Rate Optimization Hacks You Aren’t Using

Get inside your readers' heads by leveraging consumer psychology. Create a sense of scarcity, use social proof, anchor customers around higher price points, give before you ask, and tap into loss aversion to motivate them into taking action.

email conversion rate

Last updated on January 16, 2024

As an email marketer, how do you ensure your messages don’t end up in the trash faster than last night’s leftovers? Turns out, applying some proven email conversion rate optimization strategies can improve your email inbox performance. In this article, you’ll learn 6 tricks to make your emails stand out.

Preheader sneak peek – teasing the main attraction

Want to boost your email marketing conversion rate and get more eyeballs on your content? Preheader text is your secret weapon. This little line of text below your subject line gives your readers a sneak peek of what’s in the email. Studies show preheader text can increase open rates by up to 26%. Keep it short and sweet, around 5 to 10 words max.

  • Arouse their curiosity: “You’ll never guess what we uncovered…”
  • Appeal to their self-interest: “The one secret to saving big on your next purchase…”
  • Tug at their heartstrings: “The inspiring story of how one customer overcame…”

Preheader text is a small but mighty tactic. Put in the tiny bit of extra effort to craft a compelling preheader, and you’ll see your open rates start to climb. Give your readers a little taste of what’s in store, and they won’t be able to resist opening and devouring the full message. Also check out how to write effective subject lines to hook your subscribers.

Show what It does – why it helps you

Want to boost those open and click-through rates? Give your subscribers an offer they can’t refuse. Rather than just listing your product’s bells and whistles, show them what’s really in it for them.

  1. Paint a picture of how it will improve their life: help your readers visualize how much better/easier/more productive their life will be with your product. For example, “Imagine finding any file in 2 seconds flat. Now you can, with SuperSearch!”. Show them what a possible life might look like.
  2. Focus on the benefits, not the features: for example, don’t just say “10GB of storage”. Say “Store all of your important files in one location so you won’t lose anything again”. People don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.
  3. Use power words: words have power. Use emotive words and phrases to drive your message home, like “revolutionary”, “painless”, “worry-free”, “unparalleled”. Say your product provides an “incredible experience” or is “exquisitely designed”. This subtle psychology taps into desires and aspirations.
  4. Instant gratification: we all want it and we want it now. Tap into readers’ desire for immediate rewards by highlighting concrete benefits they’ll get right away. Free shipping! 50% off coupon! Access to an exclusive webinar! The more specific you can get, the more they’ll drool.

Get Inside their head – leverage consumer psychology

Want to get inside your readers’ heads and push those conversion buttons? You’ll need to tap into some tried-and-true psychological tactics. After all, we humans are predictable creatures of habit (for better or worse).

Scarcity is scary

Creating a sense of scarcity or urgency is a surefire way to motivate your readers into action. Phrases like “only 3 left in stock!” or “sale ends tomorrow!” trigger that primal fear of missing out. Just be sure not to overdo it, or you’ll end up annoying your readers instead.

Monkey see, monkey do

Humans have a hardwired herd mentality. We look to others for cues on how to act and think. Leverage the power of social proof in your emails. For example, “Join over 10,000 readers who love our weekly newsletter!” or “Our most popular product this month!” When readers see others using or buying from you, they’ll want to follow the leader.

Dropping the anchor

The anchoring effect refers to our tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. In your emails, you can anchor customers around a higher price point so your actual offer seems like an amazing deal in comparison. For example, mention how your $199 product is valued at $500, or how people typically pay $350 for the kind of results they’ll get. This makes your $199 seem like an absolute steal!

Give to receive

Humans have a strong urge to reciprocate when someone provides us with a benefit or gift. This is why free trials, samples, and lead magnets work so well. When you offer something of value upfront in your email, people feel obligated on some level to give you something in return, like a purchase, signup, or referral. So give before you ask—provide useful tips, resources, or other freebies, and your subscribers will be more inclined to convert.

Loss aversion

Loss aversion refers to our tendency to prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. To leverage this, frame your offer around what the customer might lose by not taking action rather than what they stand to gain. For example, emphasize how they’ll miss out on 50% off, the early bird discount, or bonus items if they don’t act quickly. The fear of regret is a powerful motivator for getting people to convert.

For maximum email conversion rate learn how to use behavioral targeting in email marketing.

Know your audience and speak their language

So you’ve got a killer list of prospects, a dynamite product, and an email ready to go. But before you hit send, hold up—do you really know your audience? Below are some innovative email marketing ideas to know your audience.

Do your research

Check out your subscribers’ social media profiles and see what they’re interested in. Look for clues about their hobbies, careers, families. The more you know, the more you can tailor your message to their needs and priorities. Mention a sports team they follow or a TV show they like. Refer to their industry or job title. Flattery will get you everywhere.

Keep it casual

Nobody wants to get an email that sounds like it was written by a robot. Use a friendly, casual tone in your writing. Contractions are your friends. So are humor, pop culture references, and the occasional emoji. Write the way you speak. Your subscribers will appreciate your authenticity.

Mirror their language

Pay attention to the words and phrases your audience uses, and incorporate them into your own emails. If they refer to a product as a “gizmo,” call it a gizmo. If they call themselves “mompreneurs,” refer to them that way too. Speaking the same language forms an instant connection and makes you seem more familiar.

Get personal (but not creepy)

Using subscribers’ first names in subject lines and email copy is a must. Mention common interests you share or refer to past interactions. But avoid getting too personal—you want to seem friendly, not like a stalker. Stick to information subscribers have provided or details they’ve made public. Keep private lives private.

Optimize for speed – images that load in a blink

Images are email attention-grabbers, but they’re also notorious bandwidth hogs. Before including any pics, compress them to within an inch of their pixelated lives. Aim for images under 100KB, the ideal size for fast loading. If possible, keep your images below 600 pixels wide.

Pro tip: Use a free image optimizer like TinyPNG, JPEGmini, or They’ll shrink your images in the blink of an eye so your readers don’t have to.

Speaking of blinks, you have about 1/10th of a second to capture your reader’s interest when that email lands in their inbox. Make sure any images you do include are eye-catching and help tell your story. An emotive stock photo or infographic is ideal. No one wants to see your logo for the umpteenth time. Save that precious space for content that actually engages your readers!

You can also check out Icegram Express, the best email platform for business. Icegram Express helps you to automate your email campaigns and their optimized email templates load in a blink.

Track and tweak – measure results and continuously improve

So you’ve crafted the perfect email campaign, pushed send, and now you wait with bated breath to see if your subscribers take the bait. But how do you know if your readers were hooked or if your email ended up in the trash? By tracking your results and then tweaking and optimizing email conversion rate to keep improving your campaigns.

  1. Open rates: see who actually opened your email. If rates are low, your subject line was probably as exciting as watching paint dry. Spice it up next time with an enticing subject or move the email to the promotions tab where it’s more likely to be seen.
  2. Clicks: what links did people click? Highlight the most popular links by making them bigger, bolder, or a different color. Give the people what they want! Alternatively, if no one clicked anything, your links were likely as useful as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. Replace or remove them.
  3. Conversions: this is the money metric – did anyone actually buy or sign up for whatever you were selling? If conversions were lower than a snake’s belly, try offering a special deal or discount next time to sweeten the pot. Make like a good salesperson and focus on benefits to the customer.
  4. Unsubscribes: keep an eye on unsubscribes to make sure you’re not annoying your readers into hitting “goodbye and good riddance.” If unsubscribes spike after an email, you know what not to do next time. Annoying your readers is about as smart as grabbing a hot coal with your bare hands!


So when it comes to improving email conversion rate, these six tips are like your secret superpowers. But, here’s the thing – knowing them is just the beginning. You’ve got to put them into action. Try them out, see what works best for your peeps, and keep making your emails better. It’s all about getting more people to open your emails and take action. So, get out there and start making your emails awesome.

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