Brain Study Reveals Best Way of Engaging Customers Online

Marketers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief from today; a new neuroscience study has finally revealed the most effective way of engaging with customers online.

In the first study of its kind Ai-powered marketing automation software company Spotler used neuroscience technology to discover the most effective format and style for web landing pages and emails.

Working with research partner Rhetonic, which specialises in neuromarketing, Spotler used EEG (electroencephalography) to find out what was going on inside the brains of people who receive various marketing materials, to try to understand why some are more effective than others.

Simon Moss, Marketing Director at Spotler explained why this study is so different from anything else that’s been done previously.

“Split tests enable marketers to determine which layouts perform better in terms of actions, but they tell us little about the ‘why’,” he explained.

“Conventional market research cannot provide these answers either, as few people know the true basis of their decisions and choices as many of the most influential elements are often subconscious. This is where neuromarketing steps in.”

Eighty-seven men and women from 14 companies across the UK took part in the study which tested 19 different web page layouts and nine different email formats. The responses produced within the brains of the participants were analysed using six different ‘performance’ metrics: engagement, excitement, stress, relaxation, interest and focus.

The results showed the Outlook email format performed the best, with everyone apart from marketing professionals recording high scores for engagement and focus. These figures could be because it is the one most people are familiar with, but it is powerful information to have.

Commenting on the results Simon said: “People might be surprised to hear that the Outlook email format, without any images, funky colours or branding, performed the best in terms of engagement.

As a company we have always advocated our B2B customers to use Outlook so it’s nice to see the neuroscientific study proved what our previous surveys have shown. This could be because in a business setting, we see it every day and we are more comfortable with it.

This hypothesis is further evidenced by the fact that the group who liked Outlook least were the interns. These were the youngest people in the group of participants, and so would be likely to have had the least exposure to emails in this standard format.

For marketers this format really goes against everything we’ve been taught as there are no images or logos but these nearly always get blocked by spam filters anyway, especially in the B2B sector, which is another reason for using the tried and tested Outlook format.”

Regarding webpages, interestingly the formats which performed the best and the worst were identical apart from the location of the squeeze text box. In every other way they were the same, and yet by moving the box from the left of the page to the right, very different responses were produced within the brains of the participants.

Neuromarketing expert Katie Hart from Rhetonic said slight variations can have a massive impact.

“More and more businesses are choosing to invest heavily in their online presence,” explained Katie. “This is of course all directed at trying to get customers to visit their websites, engage with their content, provide valuable details (like email addresses and renewal dates) or simply to part with their money.

However, the industry is waking up to the fact that very small changes in the design of their online presence can significantly impact the results achieved.

For example, in 2014 Google changed the shade of blue used for their advertising links, resulting in an extra $200m a year in ad revenue (according to their UK Managing Director, Dan Cobley).

This is why studies like this are extremely helpful to the marketing sector and I applaud Spotler for investing in this ‘first-of-its-kind’ study using the latest EEG technology as it reveals results which previously we would not have been privy to.”

The study entitled ‘The Experiment: Insights from the Inside’ is available to download from



Notes to editors

About Spotler Group
Spotler Group has over 50 years of combined experience in marketing technologies , helping marketers across Europe successfully and result-driven campaigns based on valuable insights. With more than 2,500 customers in 8 European countries sending more than 4 billion messages annually, Spotler Group is a European power house in email marketing and marketing automation.

Each company within the Spotler Group has developed its own technology over time, the value of which is reflected in the joint exchange, development and integration of technologies within the group. This offers customers and partners of the Spotler Group great advantages in terms of costs, innovative and future- proof software.

About Rhetonic
Understand, communicate and engage with your customers like never before…

Having studied Psychology for 25 years and taught it too, it has frequently frustrated Katie Hart just how little businesses embrace and apply the knowledge this intriguing subject holds.

Would you like to know what motivates your clients to make the purchasing decisions that they do? What messages does your marketing REALLY convey? Do you treat all customers as equal? Should you?

Rhetonic’s goal is to enable people, businesses and brands to benefit from an increased awareness of the findings of the one subject which has studied the minds and behaviours of human beings – Psychology.

Just imagine what a difference its application could make to you…

Specialties: Gender marketing, Neuro marketing, Training, Public speaking.


For media information contact:

Simon Moss
Marketing Director

01483 411 911 / 0782 557 6401

Kate Strawson
Shooting Star

01522 528540 / 07733 230293

Share this story and choose your platform

Want to know more about our software?

SpotlerUK is more than just software. You get unrivalled support and service and we help you implement a playbook for marketing automation and lead generation success. Schedule a demo without obligation and we'll happily discuss and show you how you can utilise marketing automation for your organisation.

Read our privacy and cookie policy to see how we will process the data you provide.