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Friday, February 10, 2017

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs: Email Edition | Email Insider

Abraham Harold Maslow
Photo: Wikipedia
"Abraham Maslow’s 1943 paper “A Theory of Motivation,” originally published in Psychological Review, shared his theory of human psychological growth in humans, called the “hierarchy of needs.”" notes , Op-Ed Contributor.

He says that to move up in the hierarchy of psychological development, one must have more basic needs met before progressing to the next level in the hierarchy, which is illustrated by a pyramid diagram.

This pyramid view is often cited in marketing courses because it outlines human psychological needs that marketers should keep in mind as they develop strategies across the four Ps of marketing: product, placement, pricing, and promotion.  

As a poorly recovering academic (I’ve moonlighted as an adjunct marketing professor for several years), I’ve enjoyed the thought of how Maslow’s pyramid applies to email marketing. Let’s examine how Maslow’s brilliant pyramid can help us be more strategic by looking at the five needs and how I think of them for our industry:

1.    Physiological needs: These are the critical requirements for survival like food, water, and shelter.

Applied to email, this could refer to the need to physically make your emails arrive in the inbox through good acquisition and deliverability practices. That’s square one for any email program. Without covering this need, it’s impossible to deliver on the next, which is…

2.    Safety needs: Maslow claims that once physiological needs are met, people are concerned with feeling safe, whether that’s safety from crime, financial security, etc.

Applied to email, this need means appearing as a familiar and trusted sender to your subscribers.  Are you recognizable in the inbox through your “from name” and engaging subject lines?  Assuming your customers subscribed, they will feel “safe” opening and engaging with your emails.

If you purchased a list, thus not addressing need #1, it’s alarming and creepy.  Don’t try to get too crafty with creative with “from names” or off-brand subject lines that leave your customers feeling as if they’re being stalked by a stranger.

Additional resources
Abraham Maslow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Official Abraham Maslow Publications Site

Source: MediaPost Communications