The 5 Languages Of Email Love

It’s after Valentine’s Day, but I’m still thinking about Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love — from “words of affirmation” to “quality time” and “physical touch.”

One of the most important considerations for love languages is that people naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive it — but we really should give love based on how our partner wants to receive it.  

It’s a clichéd time of year, so I couldn’t help myself from applying this same concept to how we approach email marketing.  Are we giving email subscribers love in the way that they want to receive it? And if we pay more attention to the email love language they want to receive, will it drive engagement with our program?  

Let’s explore the five languages of email love and how you can apply them:



Gifts. For some, receiving gifts is what makes them feel the most love. Random surprises are a great way to show subscribers you care. It promotes goodwill with your brand and makes them feel like they’re part of an exclusive group. 

Leverage holidays like Valentine’s Day to show your customers some extra love by offering a free gift with purchase or a free sample for visiting a store.  You can understand the subscribers that speak this email love language based on whether or not they purchase or visit your store because of a sample.

Words of affirmation. While some customers may like to receive free gifts, others simply don’t value that kind of attention. Consider ways you can use words of affirmation to show praise or appreciation for your customers. Consider incorporating a social media hashtag and user-generated content to get your subscribers to share the love.  A simple thank you or showing appreciation can go a long way toward driving long-term engagement for your program.

Quality attention. It may be difficult to provide all of your customers with the quality attention they deserve. But one way you can do so is by actively listening and applying those insights back into your email communications. Analyze the time of day when a subscriber engages to find patterns, understand what device they are clicking from and listen to customer feedback. These insights can inform your program and show subscribers that you are paying attention. Personalizing your communications to achieve a true one-to-one dialogue will allow you to deliver the quality attention that some of your subscribers likely desire.

Acts of service. Actions speak louder than words. And for us as brands, our actions are what ultimately help to drive an emotional connection with our consumers.  Send love to a charity that is important to your brand, let your customers know about it and encourage them to do the same.  If you show your subscribers that giving back and philanthropy is an important brand value, you'll connect emotionally with them, allowing you to engage with them on a deeper level.  

Physical touch.  We might not be able to hold hands with our email subscribers, but it’s true some people prefer this love language. Understand which of your subscribers may speak this language by analyzing their behavior. Do they often click through your email, browse your website and never purchase? Consider offers that will drive them in-store where they can see and feel your products first hand. Or host an in-store event to help bring your brand to life for them.

We spend a lot of time talking about delivering relevant communications to our subscribers. But are we really paying attention to the languages that they speak?

1 comment about "The 5 Languages Of Email Love ".
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  1. Ann O'daniel from Experience Branding, February 23, 2016 at 12:34 p.m.

    LOVE this. Thanks for humanizing email

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