5 tips to use Calls To Action (CTAs) effectively in your email marketing
Here are five tips to use Calls To Action (CTAs) effectively in your next email campaign.
1. Number of calls to action
How many calls to action should you have in one email? It might seem like more CTAs give subscribers more options, which means increased engagement with your brand. But that’s not always how it works.
If your email has too many calls to action, subscribers can get overwhelmed. Make the choice simple by providing one call to action and if you must have more than that, give your secondary CTA a different weight by making it a different color or placement.
2. Calls to action placement
Where’s the best place to put a call to action? There’s a lot of debate on this one. Some email marketing experts say your call to action should be “above the fold,” which means subscribers should see the call to action without scrolling down. Others say placing the call to action at the bottom of an email makes the most sense.
They’re both right. To figure out which one is right for your email, use common sense. If a subscriber can quickly understand the purpose of your email, placing a call to action above the fold makes sense. However, if your offer requires some explanation, put the call to action at the end of the email.
In the example below from Birchbox, the call to action is placed at the end of the email because the offer requires some explanation:
3. Call to action design
Your call to action should stand out. That means you should make a few design decisions that encourage subscribers to click. Here’s a list to consider:
Create a button
You can still include hyperlinked text in your message, but don’t use it as the sole call to action. Create a call to action button. Using a button rather than a hyperlink can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.
Pick a unique color
Make the email call to action a color that’s not used, or rarely used, in your email so it stands out. Take a look at the email from De Beers. Notice the light blue color used for the call to action.
Make sure the button looks right size-wise in your email. Preview your email after it’s designed to make sure the call to action fits with your overall presentation.
Use white space to your advantage
Don’t feel the need to clutter the area around your call to action, leaving white space near it draws the eye. Take a look at the white space around the “Register Now” call to action used in an email by SXSW:
4. Call to action copy
Don’t underestimate the importance of word choice in your call to action. The words in your call to action provide the necessary direction for subscribers to follow through with an action. Use these tips to get your wording right:
Use action-inducing words
You want subscribers to act fast, so make sure your word choice reflects that. Use action words like “shop,” “book,” and “order.” Tack on an urgent word to encourage instant action like “now” or “today.” Consult this great list of 80+ marketing words for more choices to use in your email marketing campaigns.
Keep it short
Your call to action should be short and to the point. Notice that most of the call to actions in our master list above are about 2-4 words long. That’s what you should aim for.
More and more calls to action contain “I” or “me” in the copy. You’ll notice several examples in our list like, “Yes! I want a free upgrade” or “Count me in!” Using language like this makes a call to action more relatable and encourages subscribers to click.
5. Test your CTA
A small change in your call to action can make a big difference. You might not expect higher click-through rates as a result of moving your call to action above the fold, or changing the color, but it happens all the time. That’s why testing is important.
You can test every aspect of your call to action. From placement to copy, you can test various aspects and let your audience’s response decide what’s best.
Of course, you only want to test one thing at a time or you won’t know which change makes a difference. For example, if you want to test call to action copy, one group of subscribers gets an email with “Shop Now” as the call to action copy and the other group gets an email with “Shop our Spring Collection” as the call to action copy. The test focuses on one thing: the text. Use the data to make the best choice.