Why You Need to Use P.S. When Writing Marketing Emails
Writing marketing emails is a crucial aspect of any email marketing campaign. Sure, they are selling different products and getting you interested in new ideas, but they all seem to have a few main points in common. The reason for this is because these writing tactics and styles have been proven to increase engagement.
One of these proven tactics is using P.S. at the end of an email. You’ve seen this strategy before, right? Did you ever wonder why you keep seeing it in emails? We will dive into the tips and tricks of using P.S. in writing your marketing emails by looking at what P.S. stands for, how to use P.S., how and why using P.S. works, and why you need to use P.S. in your marketing emails.
What Does P.S. Stand For?
P.S. is an abbreviation for “postscript.” It comes from the Latin word post scriptum, which means “written after.” Postscript is defined as an afterthought or thought occurring after the letter has been written and signed.
How Did P.S. Evolve?
In the days of constantly writing letters out by hand and when paper and ink were a rarity, adding an important note or fixing an error couldn’t easily be done in the letter itself. Unfortunately, as White-Out and computers hadn’t been invented yet, the only options were to rewrite the whole letter or add writing at the end, a postscript.
Writing letters on typewriters came after writing letters by hand. But they had the same problem: once you’ve typed a letter, it’s finished. As typewriters faced the same difficulties handwritten notes had, P.S. remained a staple throughout the age of typewriters.
In the computer age, the need for postscripts, like in the other two mediums of handwriting and typewriters, is not present. If you need to add something important you forgot, you simply go back into the document and add it. Same with errors — easily fixable with computers.
So with the necessity of postscript removed, have we seen the end of P.S. in letters and emails? Nope! The use of P.S. has found a new home in marketing emails.
How To Use P.S. in Writing Marketing Emails
First of all, using “P.S.” and “PS” are both technically correct so feel free to use either, but make sure you pick one and stay consistent with it throughout your marketing emails.
Since P.S. was traditionally used to add information that was forgotten from the original text, it’s only natural to include your P.S. section at the end of your marketing email. You’ll want to place your P.S. right after your signature, where you sign off to the reader.
Why You Need To Use P.S. in Your Marketing Emails
Here’s a fun fact; Siegfried Vogele, who wrote “Handbook of Direct Mail: The Dialogue Method of Direct Communication,” said:
“Over 90% of readers read the P.S. before the letter. It is the first paragraph, not the last.”
Using a P.S. section in marketing emails works because of the psychology of people and how the human brain works.
- How the brain processes and stores information: In short, the brain remembers three things when reading a quick email: the beginning, the unusual and the ending. If your marketing email has a clearly defined P.S. at the end (and bonus points if it is unique), you can tap into giving your readers’ brain what it will remember best.
- The Zeigarnik Effect: The Zeigarnik effect deals with how people read and process information in emails. Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik researched the idea that servers in restaurants could remember customers’ bills with incredible detail — as long as the tabs were still open. Once the check was paid and closed, the server couldn’t remember much of what was ordered. The brain closes the loop, and the memory is gone because it has no more importance.
The theory behind the Zeigarnik effect of keeping the reader’s attention loop open can be used in email marketing. Depending on how you write it, the P.S. will keep the information loop open and make the reader go back and reread the email or be on the lookout for your subsequent emails.
- The brain’s efficiency and capacity: The last level that P.S. can have on your readers’ brains is how quickly and efficiently brains process information. How many emails do you get every day? Probably a lot, right? There’s no way for the human brain to process and remember all that information, so it does its best, meaning people scan for the essential information and leave the rest.
A study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that only 16% of people will read an entire email word for word, with 79% constantly scanning and not reading any new page they come across. When people see a P.S. at the end of an email, their brains know it’s something important.
By knowing the psychology behind using P.S. when writing marketing emails, you can make your words in the P.S. section more effective.
What Should Marketers Put in the P.S. When Writing Marketing Emails?
Now that we understand why putting P.S. in marketing emails works, let’s look at the main components of using P.S. in your marketing emails.
- Pain Points: The first rule in marketing is to activate and press the readers’ pain points. Pain points are what the reader will lose or how they will suffer if they don’t act on your offer. Make sure you press on a pain point with your P.S.
- Benefits: Offering the reader something in the P.S. section is an excellent way to keep the offer in the front of your reader’s mind. As the last item they read, it’s more likely they will remember it.
- Urgency: The last component of a good P.S. section in writing marketing emails is creating a sense of urgency to get the reader to take action and engage with your offer.
We can’t tell you precisely what to write in the P.S. of your marketing emails because the nature of the emails will vary from business to business. However, there are some traits common to successful and profitable marketing campaigns.
- Call to Action: A call to action (CTA) gets the reader to click on a link to take a desired action. If you are practicing the Zeigarnik effect and leaving the reader wanting to close the action loop, why not let them take action and close the sale right then and there?
- Extra Thought: Sometimes, you actually need to add in an additional piece of information. Perhaps it doesn’t quite fit your email, but you still want to tell readers about a bonus offer.
- Testimonials: The P.S. is a great place to add extra social proof to your email and solidify your readers’ trust.
- Connections: A great way to get people to follow you elsewhere on social media is to mention it in the P.S. section. Make sure you stick to your most prominent or most popular social media platform that you want them to follow. Make it a one-click option.
- Charm: The P.S. section can be a place to add some pizzazz to your marketing email. Sometimes marketing emails can be dry, as you are most likely talking about the details of your product or service for the most part. Adding some humor or an interesting fact can make your email stand out in the readers’ minds.
- Time Sensitive: The P.S. section can be used to reiterate a sense of urgency for your offer, as mentioned above. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a powerful persuasion technique that can be effectively used in the P.S. section of writing marketing emails.
- Summary: The P.S. section can be a place to summarize the information in your email. Remember, many people read the P.S. first, right after the title. The P.S. section should either stand alone and get them to click the CTA or be interesting enough to force the reader to go back and read the entire email.
You will want to incorporate an appropriate P.S. section topic for the email that you are writing. Depending on your CTA or what you want the reader to take away from your email, you can use different traits and tactics. Also, you can try answering a question in the P.S. section that was posed in the body of the email, or at least get them to click on your call-to-action button to find the answer.
The P.S. section at the end of a marketing email is an excellent — even essential — tactic for a successful email marketing campaign, and that is why you need to use P.S. in your marketing emails. By using the techniques in this article, you can put that special final touch on your marketing emails that your customers will remember and act on.
P.S. Now that you know some of the secrets to writing practical and effective P.S. sections in marketing emails, you are ready to begin making your marketing, campaign, and social media strategies. However, all of this work can be pretty daunting. If you need some help to get the most out of your business email marketing campaigns, click here to have the professionals at Target Points help you every step of the way.