February 28, 2018

5 Ways To Put Your Email Call To Action (CTA)


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In today’s day and age, emails are being sent out all the time. Whether it is a mail to browse through insurance quotes, or apply for a job or connect with a customer or friend, we do this task without stressing much on its importance.

Imagine being the recipient of those emails now, and think of the number of times you have actually,

  • Paused to check who it is from
  • Stopped to read the subject line
  • We’re interested enough to click and open it
  • Read through the messaging
  • Pursued a course of action, either by clicking a link to the site or signing up for an event or filling up a form

As you may observe in the above, your actions get more and more strong (depending on whether you were enticed enough) or decidedly weaker (where your interest couldn’t be held for very long).

There are several factors for the above, but the most compelling of these is the ‘Call To Action’ or CTA.

An email marketing campaign and its success are defined by its CTA. A Call to Action grabs a subscriber’s attention and compels him to act. This may be going half way through the desired action or all the way. Imagine this process as a funnel, where the customer is pulled through a series of steps which ends up by him taking a certain course of action.

If the right call to action has such power, then it needs to be given much importance. Here are 5 ways to put together your email CTA.

1- Make the Call To Action short

A customer’s attention span lasts for less than a minute. In this time, they have to read, assess and perform an action. A long winded CTA can make them switch off altogether. Essentials are the only things that they will absorb. A CTA should not be more than 5 words.

When it comes to putting together one, remember KISS – Keep It Short & Sweet

2- Tell People Which Action to Proceed With

Call to actions are so very important, then why would you add inanity or state the obvious while writing them. This is not the time to make redundant sentences. You must tell people what to do and how to go about it.

To emphasize the point, imagine you walk on the road with a message and people are running through you on their way to work. You want them to read the message but they just don’t have enough time. What can you say to grab their attention, make them stop and process it? THIS then is your Call To Action.

CTA is usually a verb, asking the person to do something, ‘Make This Call Now!’, ‘Call That Number!’ Some marketers suggest making these CTA’s instructional, concise and direct.

Amazon product pages display some of the most effective and crisp CTA’s. These are;

  • Look Inside Now
  • Shop Now
  • Share
  • Add to Wishlist

If you’re a consumer, aren’t you getting your instructions subtly and without a hassle?

3- Compel People to Respond Immediately

Gone are the times, when people indulged in time to their heart’s content. Those were also the days when people were given at least a day’s heads-up to perform an action. ‘Mail the letter today’, ‘Send the fax today’, etc.

With shorter timeframes, the trending word is NOW. People have to respond immediately and this word makes them perform some action. It is also short, goes with any verb and is immediately understood. Even toddlers understand this word. 4 out of 10 in Amazon’s CTA’s use the word now.

4- Make the CTA Stand Out

It’s difficult to make a customer look for something that he doesn’t even know there is. CTA’s need to be visible even more so than the main focus – an advert, product image or report. They need to be in the first or second line. Highlighting the CTA button in a bright, pop-up color makes it more noticeable.

In the below image, Mailchimp’s CTA buttons are in a color that is different from the site color and easily located. The messaging is also very clear.

CTA buttons can be made to stand out by,

  • Putting them in catchy colors
  • Making the buttons bigger, especially true in people using mobiles. Button size of 50X75 pixels in best, wider.

5- Test Everything

Putting together a perfect CTA that checks on all the above parameters is of absolutely no use, if it isn’t linked to the right page, goes elsewhere or is not reaching its target audience. Testing the email is very important and can be done by A/B split testing, something that every email service provider provides.

It is also important to make sure that this shows up even if the subscriber has his images turned off by default. They must respond to your email irrespective of this. A simple CSS or HTML code button works equally well.

Call to Actions, are the single most effective aspect of email marketing campaigns. When done right, they increase response rates, make your strategy more effective and get you more converts.

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