5 Tips for Creating an Email Call-to-Action that Works

|by demi@wiredplus.com

You’ve chosen a catchy subject line, you’ve created some great content, and the design of your email is looking sweet. There’s just one last step to complete your email marketing masterpiece. You need an email call-to-action, and one that’s going to work!

The whole point of your email campaign is to get a response. If you want to boost email engagement and conversion rates, then you need a killer call-to-action.

What is an email call to action?

A call-to-action, or a CTA, is a button or a link which prompts readers to click. It should grab the subscriber’s attention, and encourage them to act.

These actions could be reading your latest blog post, browsing through your online store, or making a purchase.

The best ones are more than just a bright button with catchy text. A CTA should compel your readers to act immediately.

It needs to be well-designed, persuasive, specific, and in line with where your subscriber is in the sales funnel. When an email call-to-action is created with the subscriber in mind, they’re more likely to want to click.

Why you need a strong call-to-action

Maybe you’ve sent out an email campaign and – hurrah! Your subscribers are opening it!

But… Wait a minute, they aren’t clicking through. You’re not driving them to where you want them to be.

Getting your readers to open and actually read your email is great work, but the next challenge is to get them to take action. This is how you achieve the goal that you wanted to with your email campaign.

An effective email call-to-action tells consumers what to do next. It should encourage conversions like sign-ups, downloads, social media follows, and purchases.

Although a subscriber might be hesitant about leaving the safe confines of their inbox, your CTA should help them to overcome their fears or doubts. You want to give them something that they just simply can’t ignore.

Best practices for creating an email CTA

Not sure where to start? Luckily for you, we’ve got some tips to help you out!

1. Make it stand out

It might sound obvious, but if you want your readers to click your CTAs, then you need an eye-catching design.

You don’t want your email call-to-action buttons to get lost amongst your imagery and text.

Use colours that contrast with the other colours in your email to make the CTAs pop. Also, make sure that they are large enough to stand out from the body content of your email.

This one from Google Best Practices is a great example.

There’s a white background, with a bright green button. Just by glancing at the email campaign, you can immediately see where the email call-to-action is.

2. Use strong action words

Words are incredibly powerful tools.

When choosing the verb for your email CTA, you need to focus on the desired action.

What do you want your readers to do? You need to direct your subscribers to where you want them to be, so try to be as clear and concise as possible.

While many companies choose to use the standard “Read More” or “Click Here”, others find success in using more exciting language.

Take a look at this example from Missguided:

The company uses action verbs combined with first-person text – “tell me more”.

It implies to the reader they’ll get something in return. It’s inviting the reader to click because it makes them believe that there is a benefit waiting for them.

Remember, only ask your readers to do one thing. You don’t want to confuse them.

3. Get the placement right

Where you put your email call-to-action is crucial.

If your content builds enough interest, the call to action button will be waiting in just the right place for the reader to click.

We always recommend placing your email call-to-action above the fold. It should be near the top of your email so your subscribers simply can’t miss it. They shouldn’t have to scroll through the whole of your email campaign.

Whether your reader is viewing your email on a desktop or a mobile, your CTA should be above the fold. Don’t hide it away at the bottom.

This one from REI includes their call to action near the top of their email, beneath a short description of what it is.

Their readers also have the option to scroll down for pictures of which items are included in their deal.

A layout which tends to work well is the inverted pyramid. The most relevant information is given in the headline, a short description of the product can then be stated in the email body, before the call-to-action at the bottom.

4. Create a sense of urgency

If you want to boost conversions and drive your readers to purchase, then incorporate urgency into your email CTA. Even just using words like ‘now’ or ‘ASAP’ will help.

If you have a limited offer or your email is time-sensitive, use it to your advantage. People hate to miss out!

Use words that let your reader know that they have to act quickly to enjoy the benefits of your offer. People put a much higher value on items that are in limited supply, or might not be available soon. It’s simple supply and demand.

In this email from Bella Italia, they emphasise how soon Christmas is. They don’t want their customers to miss out on getting 20% off. They’re telling them it’s their last chance to book.

This drives their subscriber to their call-to-action, which is to ‘Book now’.

5. Testing, testing

There isn’t always a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Since there are many elements of an email call-to-action, A/B testing is a great idea to optimise its performance.

Experiment with different variations. Change the colour, use different copy or place it somewhere else.

Track your email metrics to see what works best, and repeat the things that work well.

Your CTAs are what draw people in, so it’s vital to get them right.

So, what are you waiting for?

No matter your business, an email call to action can help to engage your subscribers and encourage them to click. It’s an essential part of any marketing email.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on way to creating CTAs that convert.

Book a demo with us to have access to loads more help with your email marketing automation.

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