Email Marketing: Call-to-Action Tips

The call-to-action is perhaps the most important element of a successful email marketing campaign. Without a well crafted call-to-action, even campaigns with above average delivery and open rates will fail to convert recipients into purchasers/readers/attendees. Making your recipients think too much about what to do with the information that you send is a recipe for failure.

Here are 3 tips for creating effective call-to-actions:

  1. What? Tell your recipients exactly what you want them to do. The call-to-action ‘what’ relates to an action (click, read, buy, etc.)
  2. Why? Briefly explain why your recipients should take the action you are asking them to take. Will the action provide necessary information, offer value or give them an opportunity to participate in something exciting?
  3. When? A call-to-action should provide a time reference of some sort. Leaving a request for action open will only result in recipients putting it off until later (which often equates to not getting around to it.)

Here is an example that ties all three elements together:

Buy GroupMail today and get a full-year of Upgrade Protection included.

The call-to-action above tells recipients what to do (buy GroupMail), why to do it (get a full-year of Upgrade Protection included), and when to do it (today). In this example, I used an incentive to explain why they should buy GroupMail today (and not wait to make the decision.)

Your call-to-action should link recipients to a specific landing page. If you are selling something, then the link should bring recipients to your purchase page or (for a specific product) directly to a check-out form for that product. If your call-to-action requests that recipients read an article, then it should be linked directly to that article. Too often, call-to-action links bring recipients to the front page of a website that requires them to click again (or several times) to take the action requested. Make it easy for your recipients to take the action that you want them to.

Bonus Tip (last but not least)

4. Where? Don’t bury your call-to-action at the bottom of your message. Request action immediately – at the top of your message – visible in the preview pane.

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