Email Marketing, Tips and Tricks

7 tips for crafting an email call to action that works

As business owners and marketers, one of the biggest challenges we face is harnessing our audience’s interests in a way that gets them to act. Structure, design and content are all essential elements within your email but do you know the best way to get your customers to act? By crafting a persuasive and engaging email Call to Action (CTA).

Here are some helpful tips about how to create a clear and strong CTA.

1. Identify your objective and plan around it

Be clear on exactly what you want your recipients to do when they read your email. Would you like them to register for an event, purchase a product, read an article, enter a competition or claim an offer?

Decide on your most important Call to Action and then design your email to complement and draw attention to it.

For example, if your objective is to encourage new subscribers to make a purchase, include compelling copy that gives your readers an offer of free shipping, a beautiful image of your products and a CTA that emphasises how easy it is to claim the offer.

Buy tickets Call to Action

Everything in this email supports the CTA to buy tickets. The copy, the imagery and the subject line (Kelly, need to spend up before EOFY?) all lead the reader towards the end goal.

2. Stick to the most important Call to Action

Try to limit each email to only one CTA. Otherwise, people may get confused with what you’re asking them to do.

This doesn’t mean you can’t include the same CTA in your email in a few different ways such as images, buttons and in-text links. In fact, it’s a good idea to pepper it throughout the email to increase the chances of it being noticed.

One clear call to action

In this example Wotif have repeated their CTA both in text and in their button. Plus the image is linked through to the same place. The messaging is consistent and laser focused. 

3. Use your imagination

It’s not enough to just show people your call to action. You need to make them want to do it. Use your creativity to write compelling copy and use interesting visuals that entice people to click your button or link.

4. Keep it clean

Make your CTA stand out from everything else in your email.

Put your CTA in a bright button and surround it with white space to draw attention to it. Plus as more people are reading emails on mobile devices this allows more space for clumsy fingers to tap.

A clever and artistic design is all well and good; however it’s not going to increase the effectiveness of your email if your CTA is neglected.

Canva clean design call to action

This email is very focused in its approach and has a single CTA to help people get started. There’s plenty of white space and the design is sleek.

5. Keep it simple

Recently a friend of mine saw a great coupon in an email but when she clicked on the link to redeem it there was no field in the web form to enter the coupon number. While she assumed that the field was most likely on a page further into the buying process, her immediate response was “I just can’t be stuffed.” Unfortunately for marketers this is a very common attitude.

On the bright side it’s also very easy to avoid – be clear and straightforward with your instructions. Afterall you don’t want your customers to place your CTA in the ‘too hard’ basket.

6. Tell them what to do

Now you might think I am crazy adding this in. But you’d be surprised how many people send out emails that sort of, maybe suggests readers do something. Don’t be afraid to ask (or tell!) your readers what to do – people respond well to this.

7. Get your customers to pick up the pace

Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to capture your audience’s attention and prompt them to act.

A popular way to do this is to simply put an expiry date on any call to action. This prompts your audience to read the email now rather than setting it aside for later.

Create urgency with your Call to Action

This email does a great job of creating urgency with engaging imagery and persuasive copy. It all leads up to the main Call to Action button to ‘book now’.

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