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Backtracking from social media to email marketing

Make it your business mission to reach consumers in the most intimate marketing space - no, not through their ever-changing social media feeds, rather do so through the admittedly cluttered email inboxes.
‘Neuromarketing’ may seem like a new concept, but it’s not – despite being in practice for the past two decades, it’s only gaining corporate understanding now. That’s because the perception in some of the big corporates out there is still that marketing is “IT stuff”. So just a few years ago, recent graduates would not have been seen working in email marketing, but today, they're flooding in, says Colleen Backström, director, neuromarketing at Kaleidoscope response marketing.

Despite this, there’s no such thing as an expert in this industry, as neuromarketing is constantly in flux, based on consumers’ ever-changing individual preferences.

The most intimate marketing space

That’s because for the first time in the history of advertising, we can actually get into that most intimate space – on consumers’ screens, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop, to engage with them one-to-one. But we’re not talking about social media marketing, we’re talking about a return to basics with the humble email newsletter. “Do it well and you have a customer for life, do it badly and you've lost them,” says Backström.

© Mirc3a –

Explaining this shift in business thinking, Backström points out that every business is ultimately about finding new clients and new ways of marketing to consumers who have less and less attention to pay to our email marketing message over the hundreds that flood their inboxes each day.

Interestingly, the Harvard Business Review wrote in October 2015 about the ‘triumphant return of the email newsletter’, as they state you simply cannot influence consumers through the divided chaos of social, so there’s been a step back, as it is just too fast. “Email works,” businesses just need to know how to tap into our weird love affair with our inboxes, says Backström.

The most-read emails in the world

So it’s important to know what emails busy business people actually open, as you’re dead in the water until then. Take off your marketing hat for a moment and step into your ‘consumer shoes’ – which emails do you glance over and automatically reject as spam, and which are interesting enough for you to open? Research into the “most read emails in the world” shows it’s those that come from a name you trust and that show how to do your job better, as well as niche market updates, information about events in your industry, and those written in a personal tone.

Make the email’s benefit obvious from the subject line, which needs to focus on WIIFM or ‘what’s in it for me’. While you want say ‘Buy my product it's awesome’, offer advice, insights and updates. Make sure you’re not just punting company news; it needs to be of benefit to your readers to ensure they click through.

The next monthly instalment of this neuromarketing series will explain how to better segment your email marketing databases for better results. Click here for a recap on how to tap into the ‘buy button’ in your customer’s brain.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...