Don't neglect your call to action, perfect it!

Don't neglect your call to action, perfect it!Have you ever wondered why your subscribers haven't responded to your email?  It could be that the problem lies with your call to action.


Encouraging your subscribers to respond to your email can be difficult sometimes, so here are a few tips on how to create a stronger call to action:


Make sure your call to action is clear

Do you want your subscribers to visit your website? To sign up to an upcoming event? To read more in your latest newsletter? Or maybe you just want them to contact you?

Whatever you want them to do, you need make it clear. 


For example, if you’re sending an email to gauge your subscribers’ interest in an event be sure to include a clear call to action.  The last thing you want to happen is for your subscriber to be left thinking “That’s great, I’m interested, but what do I do now?”


It's easy to fall into the trap of relying on a simple “Click here”, and while there is no denying it is a clear call to action, when used alone it doesn't give any real indication of exactly what your subscriber needs to do or what they should expect in return.

Below are examples of alternative calls to action that might be more appropriate in this example:

  •  'Read more about our upcoming event'
  •  'Register your interest online'
  •  'Email us to receive updates on this forthcoming event'
  •  'Contact us for more information'

By moving beyond "Click here" you can create a stronger call to action.  The aim is to clarify exactly what you want them to do, and what the benefit, or end result, is if they take the action you ask for.  This will increase the chance they'll complete what you want them to do, as they'll be aware what is expected of them before they click.


Ensure it's compelling

Whenever you're asking a subscriber to do something for you, it's likely at some point they'll wonder, "What's in it for me?"  It's important to not only tell your subscribers exactly what you want them to do, but why they should do it. 


Using more informative calls to action can help you achieve this as it lets your subscribers know what they will get by following the call to action.  Consider the incentive you would have to click on a link that was simply, "Click here" compared to one that says, "To view all our latest offers visit our online store".  Immediately your subscriber would know that they can see your latest deals by clicking on that link, giving them more incentive to do so.


In addition don't be afraid to introduce a sense of urgency to your call to action if it's applicable.  You can encourage your subscribers to respond immediately by letting them know if there are any limitations or restrictions or by using action phrases.  For example if you had limited spaces available on an event you were running you could use, "Spaces are limited, to avoid disappointment book your place now".  This call to action is clear, shows the subscriber exactly what they need to do and why.


Consider the visibility

It may seem an obvious point to make but it's often overlooked.  Ultimately if your subscribers do not see your call to action, they cannot follow it. 


It may seem logical to place your call to action at the bottom of your email or underneath a relevant article.  However it's important to remember that a subscriber will not necessarily read the whole thing and will often flick around different areas of your email.


Don't forget, you can include your call to action in more than one place.  This will increase the chance that your subscriber will see it and will also help reinforce what they need to do.


An additional consideration is how to make your call to action stand out.  Using a link can automatically help emphasise your call to action as it can show in a different colour or underlined.  You can also try making your call to action slightly larger than the rest of your content or making it bold to draw your subscribers attention to it.   


However when emphasising your call to action be careful not to fall in the spam trap. Remember that using a massive font, excessive capitalisation, excessive punctuation etc. can get you caught up in filters that stop or delay your email from being delivered.


A mix of image and text links are another way to emphasise your call to action.  Images can be more eye catching to some so can help your call to action stand out.  By using a mix of image and text links you'll ensure that your call will not be missed by those who have images switched off.



In summary, following these tips can help you to create a stronger call to action, but it is important to remember the golden rule in email marketing: test, test and test again! Different areas of your database may respond better to a certain style of call to action.  Testing can help you to both identify the best approach and enable you to optimise in the future.  There is no single right way in email marketing, but by following best practices you can set yourself on the path for more successful email marketing.