How Pocket is using ‘gesturing’ to build loyalty and how you can too


Pocket is a reader to which you can save and share your favourite articles.

Today I received something really nice from them. An e-mail that told me I was among their top 5% of users. I have read more words on Pocket than 95% of their other users apparently. That felt pretty good and I immediately shared the fact with my friends on Facebook and a couple of clients I am developing email content for at the moment.

Pocket’s email was refreshing. It was a welcome change from other emails from or Zinio, who continue to flog fares and amazing sale prices that won’t last – but in reality always  do. Pocket used simple data to recognise me in a positive way, and in the process, got those endorphins going!

Can communications by brands affect endorphins. I believe so. A few days ago, Andy Wilson, Head of Planning at BBDO Asia unpacked this quite nicely in an interview with Mumbrella on his work in neuroscience.  Ads (good ones) drive a dopamine rush in our brains giving us a feel good factor. Novelty and unexpectedness are  key to this. But good ads  do more. They release Oxytocin, the ultimate in intimacy and bonding between mother and child.

What advertising does, gesturing does too. Gesturing may be something we do or say that reveals a part of our character, who we are, and how we might behave in the future as a result. It is bigger that advertising with application across the entire spectrum of relationship building – advertising, direct marketing, CRM, email marketing and everything else that falls between.

What Pocket did with its email was gesture to me that I was important, and that my view and continued usage of their service was valued as a result. In an age where information overload will clearly be something we will need to deal with, the act of gesturing, with the goal of evoking not just any response, but an emotional and value-adding one, will become all the more important.


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