Using the Element of Surprise to Increase Email Click-Through Rates

Friday, October 18th, 2013
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Over the last couple of months, I have received two very similar emails from two totally different companies. In each instance, the email stated that they were having a surprise sale and that my discount would be one of three options (in one case it was 20%, 30%, or 40%). In order to determine my discount, I had to click through on their call to action. Being a curious human by nature, you can guess what I did next. That’s right, I clicked through and landed in their online store!

More amazingly, when I clicked through on both of emails from different companies, I was awarded the highest of the three discounts. Feeling pretty darn good about my decision, I then decided to take advantage of my good luck and made a purchase!

After this happened the second time, I started wondering if I really was that lucky, or if I had been the victim of really good marketing? Upon reflection, it occurred to me that it was probably the latter. Both companies used human psychology to their advantage. Not only did the message increase the odds that I would click through, but it made me feel so good that I was more inclined to purchase.

What are some other ways you have seen companies leverage the element of surprise in their marketing campaigns?

After receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture. In 1999 he left Accenture and founded Nexternal – a cloud-based eCommerce Platform company. Alex is passionate about eCommerce and online marketing. He is now a Senior Vice President of HighJump, managing the Nexternal business unit.