Email call-to-action best practices

Nov 12, 2019 | Event Marketing, Expertise

Read Now! How to Implement email call-to-action best practices

Call to Action (CTA) – the three most important words in Email Marketing. Think about it, your enticing subject line, your engaging copy, your expanding subscribers list are all worth nowt without giving your readers something to shout about. You want them to act and respond, and not feel conned. I’m not just here to rhyme, whilst you spend your lunchtime during your nine-to-five, reading through my paradigms, hoping that it could help you sometime, but also, I’ll try to give you some of the best possible tips when executing your CTA….sublime! Here are some email call-to-action best practices.

What is a CTA?

Sign up! Register for our webinar. Start your free trial. Buy Now. Order Now. Watch Now. Register Now. *insert_any_word_here* Now. Count me in! Give us your feedback. Give me your credit card details.

Okay, maybe not the last one, but you catch my drift.

When flicking through an email, you’ll see that each one will contain at least one Call to Action button or plain text. Some emails will have multiple. It’s the primary purpose! Marketers not only want you to open the email, but also want you to take action. They want to convert you. Whether they want you to check out their latest product sales, sign up to their newsletter or just want you to simply watch a video on their site…they want action. An email with a 100% open-rate, and a 0% click-through rate is not what you want. So, how can we increase the latter?

Make It Personal

Your language skills don’t need to be extraordinary to carry out this tip, but by making your CTA use a first-person pronoun, you can get up to a 90% increase on your clicks (Mailer Lite). For those that have forgotten primary school grammar, those are words such as ‘I, me, my, mine, we, ours, us’.

For example, instead of writing;

‘Receive a Form’

We can put;

‘Receive my Form’

That’s just one example, but it can work for any selection of words you want to choose, no matter the verb or subject. Which brings us to our next point.

Be Careful with the Verbs

Before I mentioned the many common CTA’s, that usually include verbs such as ‘sign up’, ‘buy’, ‘start’, which are tolerable, but there are many more which are slightly unnerving verbs. For example, when opening an email, we will put our guard up when we hear language such as ‘submit’, ‘click’ and ‘download’. The last thing a reader wants to do is do some ‘work’, and also these phrases are far from my previous point – they are not personal either. You don’t use these words in normal day life, so why use it in an email? Let’s not forget, you want them to do an action, without them feeling like they being persuaded into doing so. Tricky.

Useful ideas for verbs would be include receive, try, get, find, read, watch.

Urgency and FOMO

Many email marketers will have CTA’s which are time bound. Therefore, you can use this as an excuse to create more urgency from the reader, and give them that FOMO (fear of missing out). Now, now, I am not just suggesting you add the word now…now. Although it can work, and it’s a simple strategy to use, feel free play around with dates and times, too.

For example, you could write;

Sale Ends Soon. Buy Now!

Alternatively, you could choose one of the following three options

Sale Ends Midnight!
Sale Ends Tomorrow!
Sale Ends at 6:00pm!

Opting for the latter three may boost your click-through rate, as the reader is urgently seeking that sale.

Perfect Placement

‘Above the Fold’ is the typical response to ‘where should I put my CTA?’, and although I agree it’s a worthy answer, it’s not the only viable option. Use your common sense. If your email is straight to the point, and no in-depth copy is required, then get that CTA prominently above the fold. This would be the best case for most emails, as research shows people don’t tend to spend more than 20 seconds reading an email (Marketing Sherpa), so you need your CTA in there early. However, if your email has abundance of information, needs to be clear and concise on what you are offering, then don’t throw it above the fold. Keep it at the bottom of the email – the last text they read. If there are interested and read down that far, they’ll be sure to click.

Visually Engaging Not Visually Stunning

Don’t make your button or text over the top. It doesn’t need to be huge, or insanely bright and colourful, but we do need it to stand out. How exactly? Well, the difference shall be slight increase in size between the CTA and the original copy, with the CTA surrounded by white or light coloured space being my go-to option. Nonetheless, a clever selection of contrasting colours will work wonders, and try to keep a consistency with the brand too.

A button which has some sort of interaction will satisfy the reader too, so when it is hovered over with the mouse, the colouring, or shade will change to signal that it should be clicked. Whilst hyperlink text can work, I’d still recommend going down the button route, and it has been proved to increase conversion rates up by 28% (Campaign Monitor).

Less is more so don’t over analyse, don’t overthink. Nobody has not clicked on a button before because it wasn’t exciting or flamboyant enough. Get the language right, make it stand out slightly in the perfect placement, and make sure your copy entices the reader to click. See your click-through rates skyrocket.

How can we help?

If you’re organising an event, as an event registration company we can combine your event registration data with our email tool for the best event marketing solution.

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