12 Psychological Tricks To Make Your Email Irresistible

Email is hard. You only have about six seconds to grab someone’s attention, which is why we all put so much effort into our subject lines, from “You’re going to love this!” (or something more sophisticated) to the much-maligned and overused “URGENT.” 

But there are a few psychological tricks that will give you an edge when it comes to writing engaging emails. They’re simple things that can be applied across any professional field, but most importantly for salespeople: Make sure you’re getting readers’ attention right off the bat.

How to Write Irresistible Emails Using the Push-Pull Method
1. Understand the psychology behind consumer behavior.
2. Use curiosity-driven subject lines to pique interest.
3. Incorporate scarcity and urgency to create a sense of value.
4. Leverage social proof to build credibility and trust.
5. Personalize emails to establish a connection with recipients.
6. Craft compelling stories that resonate with emotions.
7. Use persuasive language that addresses pain points.
8. Implement the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) strategy.
9. Keep emails concise and focused on the main message.
10. Utilize visuals strategically to enhance engagement.
11. Create a clear and compelling call to action (CTA).
12. Test and optimize email campaigns based on results.

1. Use The Word “Video” In Your Subject Line

One of the best ways to get your email opened is by using the word “video” in your subject line. According to Litmus, emails with the word “video” in their subject lines are opened at a rate of 14 percent higher than those that don’t use it. That’s a huge difference!

The reason for this is simple: people love watching videos on their phones or computers and will open an email if they think there might be one inside worth watching. 

Sending videos through email can also be great for businesses because you can send them straight from YouTube or Vimeo without having to host them yourself, saving space and money on hosting fees.

Building a successful email campaign requires more than just content. You can learn how to apply neuroscience and psychology principles in your business strategies, including emails. Explore our guide on Applying Neuroscience and Psychology Principles in Business to enhance your email effectiveness.

2. Trick Your Brain With A Trick Question

Would you rather have a dog or a cat? The question should be a no-brainer. Dogs are loyal, and playful and make great pets. Cats are independent, intelligent, and self-sufficient. 

A dog will give you unconditional love and need you to take care of them every day. A cat can take care of itself for months at a time with no human contact at all!

So why do we often get more attached to cats than dogs? 

According to research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, it’s because cats trigger our attachment system the same one that helps us form bonds with other people in ways dogs don’t.

The researchers found that when humans look into the eyes of their pets (and even stuffed animals), their brains produce similar levels of oxytocin as when they gaze into their loved ones’ eyes! 

And while this hormone makes us feel good in general and helps relieve stress, there’s also evidence that it strengthens our feelings toward those who trigger its release.

This may explain why so many people fall in love with their feline friends faster than they would any canine companion…

3. Make People Feel Like They’re Missing Out

  • Use words like “only” and “limited.”
  • Use words like “just,” “today,” and “now.”

4. Use “You Will” To Make Them Take Action

Use the word “you” to make the email personal. In other words, don’t just write: “You will be happy with our service.” Instead, say something like: “You will be delighted with our service.”

Use “will” to make it a promise. For instance, instead of writing: “We will help you grow,” try something like: “We’ll help you grow.”

Use “you” as an imperative command. For instance, instead of writing: “Learn more about how we can help your business succeed,” try this alternative: “Learn more about how we can help YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED!”

And finally, use question marks at the end of sentences that start with “you” to encourage people into taking action (e.g., “Are You Ready To Get Started With The Right Marketing Strategy?”)

Crafting compelling emails is an art that involves understanding your audience’s psychology. Discover neuromarketing tips that can transform your email campaigns. Dive into the insights provided in Neuromarketing Tips That Will Make You More Successful to achieve better engagement.

5. Use Simple Language To Get Your Message Across

This is about making sure your message is easily understandable by the reader. If you use complicated words and long sentences, it will be much harder for them to understand you. This also makes your email seem less personal.

You should also keep in mind that people tend to skim over emails, so short paragraphs and short sentences are best if you want your message to be understood easily.

Here’s an example of what this looks like in practice:

“I enjoyed watching The Dark Knight last night.” Instead, try something like this: “Loved the movie tonight.”

6. Use Social Proof To Build Trust

People are more likely to trust you, your product, and your business if they see that other people have done the same.

Use social proof to build trust.

If you want someone to do something for you or buy from you, it’s a good idea to let them know that other people have done that thing/bought from you in the past and been happy about it. 

You can use testimonials (the most direct form of social proof), case studies, or statistics to make this happen!

Social Proof is also called “crowdsourcing” because people are influenced by what others think and do – so when they see others doing something positive or saying nice things about your product/service/brand, they’ll feel more inclined themselves too.

The landscape of consumer behavior is evolving with the advent of neuromarketing. Uncover how neuromarketing is changing the way we buy and how you can leverage this knowledge to create impactful emails. Learn more by visiting How Neuromarketing Is Changing the Way We Buy.

7. Ask The Right Questions

  • Ask the right questions.
  • Don’t ask too many questions.
  • Keep your questions simple and direct.

`*Ask questions that are relevant to the subject matter at hand.*` If you want to know what people think about a new marketing campaign, don’t ask about their favorite flavor of ice cream or their favorite football team.

They probably won’t know what you’re talking about, and they’ll be annoyed that you wasted their time asking them irrelevant questions (and likely won’t even open the next email). 

Staying on-topic makes it more likely that they’ll read through your email because they assume there will be information worth reading in it.

`*Ask questions with straightforward answers like “yes” or “no”.*` When possible, ask yes/no questions instead of open-ended ones like “how do you feel?” or “what do you think?” 

These types of complex queries require thought and consideration before answering them; if someone is receiving an unaddressed mass email containing multiple such inquiries.

Chances are good that he or she will skip over them entirely rather than taking the time needed to formulate an answer within those parameters (which may also lead him/her not even reading through all emails from a specific sender).

8. Add Some Mystery

If you want to get your readers’ attention, try adding something that piques their interest. 

If you’re writing an email to someone who wants to learn more about a specific subject or take action on something, this can be as simple as asking an open-ended question at the end of your message. 

You could also ask them to tell you what they think or how they feel about it. This works especially well when used in conjunction with the word “how” (as in “How do I feel?”).

If there’s an action or decision that needs to be made, consider using the word “what” instead of “why” or “when.” The word “what” is vaguer than its counterparts and therefore makes it easier for people to respond without feeling pressured into doing so right away.

9. Go Negative To Create A Positive Response

A study conducted by the Columbia University School of Business found that people are more likely to respond to a negative cue than a positive one. 

This is because our brains have evolved to pay more attention to what’s dangerous or threatening it’s an evolutionary adaptation that ensures we don’t get eaten by tigers or mauled by bears, for example.

So if you want someone to do something, try using words like “don’t” and “stop.” For example:

  • Don’t miss out on this special discount!
  • Stop missing out on great deals!

Are you striving to enhance your sales strategies? Discover the compelling reasons why you should consider using neuromarketing to increase the effectiveness of your emails. Check out Why You Should Consider Using Neuromarketing to Sell More Stuff to harness the power of psychological triggers.

10. Consider “Nudging”

Nudging is a way to get people to do what you want without them knowing they are being influenced. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that can be used for good or evil or somewhere in between.

When done well, nudging helps people make more rational decisions about their lives and the world around them. For example, consider how Facebook uses nudges to encourage users to post photos of themselves smiling or using emojis in their statuses. 

This is a way of encouraging real-life socializing by making it easier for us all to share our experiences online with one another without feeling judged by our friends and family members (who would probably prefer if we weren’t posting every single thing we did on Facebook).

However, as with many things in life, there is such a thing as too much nudge and this can cause problems for both individuals and society at large if used incorrectly or overused excessively. 

One example of this is when companies try too hard to woo consumers into buying certain products by hiding details about those products’ costs until after the purchase has already been made; 

Another example would be governments trying to convince citizens to vote for certain politicians by manipulating data related specifically towards those citizens’ demographic information

11. Give Them Something Before They Give You Something

Remember that old saying, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for the rest of his life”? Well, the same thing applies here. Give people your email address and they’ll get all of your offers. 

But if you want them to read those emails and use whatever you’re selling or offering then give them an incentive first like an article or some other resource that’s relevant to their interests.

Give people something valuable and useful before they give their information away just because they’re curious about what’s in store for them from you. 

It creates positive associations with your brand and makes it easier for people to trust in what you have on offer when the time comes for them to decide whether or not it’s worth their time/money/attention etc.

12. Write As If You Are One-On-One With The Recipient

When you write an email, take a moment to consider how you might feel if someone were writing to you. Does it make sense for the person on the receiving end of your email? Is there anything that feels off or awkward? If so, it’s time to revisit your tone.

When communicating one-on-one with someone new, we tend to use simple language and adopt a relaxed tone. That’s because we can assume that the other person has less knowledge than us about what we’re talking about and therefore needs more explanation than usual. 

For example: “I’m going out of town this weekend but I’d love for us both to get together soon for dinner.” 

Or: “I’m just getting back from vacation! How was yours?” If we were speaking directly with our friends and family members in person rather than typing at them over email (or using some other medium), these sentences would probably sound like this: 

“Hey! How was your trip?” Or: “Hey! I’m back!” It’s easy enough to adopt this approach without much thought when communicating via text message or social media platforms.

But it becomes trickier when crafting longer correspondence that may be shared publicly or among colleagues who are familiar with each other’s work styles (and perhaps even office culture). 

When writing emails, try taking one step back from yourself and think about how another individual might interpret whatever information is being communicated before hitting send.

The art of persuasion lies in subtle yet impactful strategies. Explore our guide on 17 Subtle Yet Powerful Ways to Use Neuromarketing to Increase Sales and incorporate these techniques to create irresistible emails that captivate your audience.


Email is a marketing channel that can help you build your brand, engage customers, and drive sales. However, all too often the results are less than impressive. Why? Because most marketers don’t understand how to write an email that gets people to take action.

To help you avoid this common pitfall we’ve put together a list of our favorite psychological tricks and hacks from some of the biggest names in the industry including Neil Patel, Ramit Sethi, and Noah Kagan.

Further Reading

Explore these resources to delve deeper into the world of irresistible email marketing and psychological tactics:

Steps to Create an Irresistible Email for Lead Generation: Discover actionable steps to craft emails that entice and generate leads effectively.

Headline Psychology: How to Craft Attention-Grabbing Headlines: Learn the psychological aspects behind crafting captivating headlines that draw readers’ attention.

Psychological Tactics for Creating an Irresistible Offer: Delve into psychological strategies that can make your offers irresistible and drive conversions.


How can I create an irresistible email for lead generation?

Crafting an irresistible email for lead generation involves understanding your target audience’s needs, addressing pain points, and using persuasive language to engage readers.

What role does headline psychology play in marketing?

Headline psychology is essential in marketing as it helps in creating attention-grabbing headlines that evoke curiosity and encourage users to read further.

How can psychological tactics enhance my offers?

Psychological tactics, such as scarcity, social proof, and urgency, can create a sense of value and urgency, making your offers more compelling and difficult to resist.

What are some effective steps for creating an irresistible offer?

Effective steps for creating an irresistible offer include identifying your audience’s desires, highlighting unique benefits, using persuasive language, and incorporating psychological triggers.

How does understanding psychology impact my marketing strategy?

Understanding psychology enables you to tap into consumer behavior, tailor your messaging to resonate with their emotions, and create marketing strategies that drive higher engagement and conversions.