10 Ways to Turbocharge Your Email Calls to Action « Goldberg Communications
In my last two posts about writing emails for B2B marketing, I talked about email subject lines and body copy. The third element to consider is the proper way to construct and use calls to action in your emails.
When you communicate with your customers through email, your most important objective is for them to take you up on your offer, whether that’s making a purchase, downloading a white paper, or attending your booth at a trade show. Writing a good call to action and placing it appropriately can improve your response rates.
Here are some tips to improve your email calls to action:
- Minimize the number of calls to action. I once did some work for a company that liked to lard three or four offers into each email. They’d have the primary offer that was promoted in the email, and then two or three secondary offers listed in the sidebar. The idea was to have something for everyone — if the person didn’t like offer X, maybe offer Y would be more appealing. However, it’s better to pick one offer. The more decisions you ask users to make, the more likely they are to not make any decision at all. One click is better than no clicks.
- Mention the same call to action several times. Although you only want to give readers one choice of offer, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to click. Give them two to three opportunities to respond.
- Above-the-fold action. Place one of your calls to action as early in the email as possible. Some of my clients specify that there be one call to action in the first paragraph. I even worked for a company that included a call to action in the headline. This will ensure that the many people who don’t scroll through will see your offer without having to scroll. As people increasingly read their emails on smartphones, access to a call to action immediately becomes even more important.
- Make sure that your call to action stands out. People will spend only two to five seconds reading your email. You don’t want them to miss your call to action. Emphasize at least one of your call to action links by surrounding it with white space.
- Keep it simple. Use powerful, direct and easy to understand terms. Keep it simple. “Like us on Facebook.” “Download our eBook” or “Register for the webinar.”
- Communicate value. Subscribers want to know what’s in it for them and the call to action should tell them. “Click here to see how XYZ invoicing software reduces data entry time by 50%.”
- Tell users exactly what to do. In addition to communicating value, the call to action should tell users what to do next. For example: “Save 50% by clicking here,” or “Subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email.”
- Command action. Make your email call to action persuasive with action words and commands.
- Make it easy. A subscriber may hesitate to take action because they think the action will be difficult, costly, or time consuming. If there are additional steps in the conversion process, let them know and convey that the action is simple and won’t take much time. For example, a call to action that says “30-day free trial, sign up in 60 seconds” explicitly defines the time it would take the user to sign up and tells users that signing up is costless.
- 10. Test, test, test.
By following these tips, you’ll increase the likelihood that your readers will take you up on your offer. What other ways have you improved your email calls to action?