If you want to get people to take a certain course of action when they’re reading your emails, you will have tell them exactly what you want them to do.
Mysterious and cryptic emails won’t get great results, instead your emails should be clear with a strong statement of what the reader should do next.
In email marketing this is known as a ‘Call to Action’ (or CTA).
You need to use words that will encourage your email reader to click on a link, white list your email, phone your sales hotline or carry out any other preferred action.
You must do this using language that is clear, short and direct.
There are thousands of ways you can write a call to action, but some obvious and common examples are:
- Click Here
- Buy Now
- Call Now
In order to have a successful marketing strategy you must focus on persuading your subscribers to do what you want them to do.
You also need imply a sense of urgency in your CTA, for example:
- Buy Today
- Order Now
The CTA also needs to be stand out and be obvious to your reader, the link should be underlined and the font can also be bold for added impact.
Before you can optimize a CTA you need to work out the ‘Why, What and How’ that determines the motivation of your reader.
- Why are you sending them the email – to tell them about some amazing software
- What do you want them to do – check out the demo for themselves
- How do you want them to do it – by clicking on the big link
This may seem obvious, but that’s exactly what your emails should be… obvious! Your subscriber should understand exactly what the email is about and identify the value. They should then understand exactly what you want them to do next, by having a prominent call to action that uses the right words to motivate them.
Other things like the length of your email copy is something that needs to be taken into consideration. If your emails are too long then the reason for your subscriber reading your email may become confusing and lost. Your emails need to be concise and clear, then lead to an obvious ‘Call to Action’.
You need to pay attention to your CTA as it’s what gets your subscriber to click on your email links, which is what you want. Just as a good email title gets your subscribers to open your emails, a good ‘Call to Action’ gets the click through to your sales page.
Here’s 11 ‘Call to Action’ Tips
- Only One CTA Per Email – The object of your email is to get your subscriber to take one action only. If you have several CTA requests in an email your subscriber can become confused as to what you actually want them to do. This may well result in your subscriber simply ignoring your email and not following any of your ‘Call to Action’ requests.
- Don’t Make Your CTA Link an Image – It’s not uncommon when you’re getting started with email marketing to make your CTA link an image. The problem with doing this is that your subscribers email service may not display the image. If this happens your subscribers won’t see any ‘Call to Action’ and your click through rate will suffer miserably.
- Keep it Simple – Your CTA should use plain English and be easy to understand, avoid using hard to understand vocabulary or phrases that could confuse your subscribers.Your main aim is to get the subscriber to feel that clicking the link is in their best interests, and in order to do that you need to use simple and easy to understand language.
- Use Specific CTA Requests – Tailor each call to action so it matches the particular email, rather than using a generic call to action each time.For example, using the call to action ‘Click Here’ every time won’t be as successful as using a specific call to action such as ‘Get your FREE squeeze page software here’.
- Make it Stand Out – Make your CTA Obvious and plain to see. Start a new paragraph just for the call to action and use bold type to highlight it. You can also try using a different colored text.Try to avoid using any mouse over effects as not all email clients are able to display these properly.Most people are so busy that they may only scan your email, so it’s important that your CTA is prominent enough to draw their eyes to it.
- Personalizing the CTA – If you capture your subscribers name when they sign up to your list you can use this data in your call to action.For example, you could use ‘(subscriber name) grab the discount to my new software today and save 90%’.This can make your subscriber feel like you are talking to them directly and increase their feeling of importance. However, don’t overuse this tactic as it will become less effective over time. Instead use it when you’re pitching high ticket items.
- Use Persuasive Wording – It’s already been mentioned that you need to keep your wording simple, but you’ve also got to make sure your wording is persuasive. 5 of the most persuasive words in the English language happen to be: You, Free, Because, Instantly, New (Source). Other influential words that you can use are: Now, Amazing, Miracle, Quick, Easy, Hurry, Bargain
- Why, What and How – These are the three words that will go through your subscribers mind (at least subconsciously) when they read your email. You need to answer these questions, tell them why you’ve sent them the email, what you want them to do once they have read the email and then how they do that.For example, the reason ‘WHY’ you’ve sent them the email is to let them know about a great new service you are offering. Then tell them ‘WHAT’ they need to do is sign up at your site. Then tell them ‘HOW’ they do that is by clicking on your call to action link.
- Create Exclusivity – Having a CTA that implies exclusivity plays on one of the many human emotions, and feeds on people wanting to have what they can’t have. The exclusivity of a membership invokes feelings of being part of a community or special group. While a CTA that states a ‘Limited Supply’ makes people want to be part of a select group.Exclusivity words and phrases you can use: Limited Supply, Only a few left… , Request an Invitation, Pre-register
- Create Scarcity and Urgency – You want to get people to click on your CTA now and not later. With the best will in the world your readers will put off doing anything if they think they have the time.That’s why using urgency or scarcity in your CTA will make them feel uncomfortable about not clicking the link now. The thought of missing out is an emotion that gets under peoples skin and is what smart marketers tap into.Urgency words and phrases you can use: Ends tomorrow, Expires soon, Only (X) days left, Today only, Only available until ______
- Keep Testing – The difference between winning and losing in this game can very often be down to the lack of testing. You should be split testing every part of your funnel to make sure you’re squeezing every bit of profit out of it that you can.You need to be trying different variations of your call to action phrases to see what works. Focus on one call to action first, and then when you’re getting good results move onto another and then another.Choosing the right words when you make a call to action can change a persons mood and motivation, so don’t give up experimenting and testing to see what works best for you and your readers.