Enhance your Call-To-Action for Email

‘Sign up. Buy now. Learn more.’
All these common call to action triggers may not get you the desired result, because your target audience is more knowledgeable than ever before. One of the main reasons why most promotional emails and landing pages are not converting leads into customers is a weak Call-To-Action or CTA. Now’s the time to focus visitors on simple and effective call to action that will boost conversions and establish you as an authority.

Recognize the Pattern
The CTA is your final instruction to your reader, so there won’t be anything beyond. In direct mail, you have to tell people to “mail the enclosed card.” In digital marketing, we ask for a click.

No matter how creative we get, it still boils down to this one request. But if you observe all branding emails, there are three things that nearly all the CTA include:
1. A no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk. In many cases, they’re asking for a free trial rather than a purchase. In other words, try us, you’ll like us. This gives people the confidence to buy.
2. All of them contain some version of “Mail your acceptance card.” This is simple usability. You have to tell people what to do next. Today it would read, “Click the button below.”
3. Encouragement to respond right away. That’s standard direct response. Don’t give people an option to wait and think about it.

Leading with a strong CTA
You can leverage people’s comfort with digital marketing, which allows you to streamline your call to action. But you still need to be clear.

Two kinds of CTA that don’t work in email marketing –

  • Weak or no CTA : One of the most common mistakes in direct response is to assume people know what to do, and forget the call to action.

The other extreme is

  • Too strong of a CTA : You don’t want to be forced into compliance. So you should have a strong CTA, sure, but not too strong.

Screenshot from 2016-04-25 13:01:07

The best solution here would be a Benefits-oriented personal CTA, like used in the example above – a button using the complete offer and a flashy long message as text, but working aptly nonetheless. Not only does this call to action use the same techniques that worked in direct mail, it improves on them.

Another way, can be the simple and to-the-point text and button design, like Google’s example below.

Screenshot from 2016-04-25 13:08:16

The button is clearly visible and encourages the customer plainly to click. For any kind of email, be it promotional or transactional, by creating compelling CTA, you can build the response into the promotion for a seamless user experience.

CTA Buttons:
Your buttons consist of two overall elements: design and copy. Both these elements have direct impact on conversions; however, they play two different roles in the conversion scenario.

Button design is a visual cue that helps attract the prospects’ attention to the call-to-action. In other words button design answers the question, “Where should I click?”
Button copy on the other hand helps prospects make up their minds in the last critical moment and answers the question, “Why should I click this button?”

There is no “ultimate button” that works every time. Buttons come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, and there really is no one-size-fits-all solution that works every time. Which button design actually works will vary wildly depending on context and the layout of your email. The main optimization principle is that the button has to stand out from the rest of the page, so it’s easy for prospects to find the button once they’ve decided to take the next step. Create that curiosity with a short and appealing CTA copy to compliment the motive of your email, which will result in the increase of your click-through-rate considerably.

See how Evernote uses a cliffhanger to get users to upgrade to a premium solution, right on their homepage. The CTA button (Go Premium) itself is a mild form of a cliffhanger, because it entices the user to find out what features are available in premium:

Screenshot from 2016-04-25 13:12:45

Another great way is the use of personal pronouns. While this is a matter of preference, writing CTA button text in the first person can be powerful when it refers to your subscribers’ worldview.

Some things to remember before writing your call to action in your next email are:

  • When it comes to writing call to action for email, we’re working under some constraints that may not exist when writing button text for our website homepage.
  • Each button from the examples above uses 2-3 words to convey the value of proceeding. This is a good rule of thumb to follow for email, as things tend to get a bit crowded if you include more than 3 words.
  • The exception here is if your call to action is a text link. Since these don’t take up as much room as a button, you have more room to play with.
  • Each word you choose to include has an important job to do. If it’s not pulling its weight, cut it. Keep it compact.
  • It’s important to consider how your buttons are designed, as this could determine whether or not people can actually view, or even click, your call to action.

CTA may have changed over the years, but the goal hasn’t changed: Put the right message in front of the right people at the right time. It’s critical that you learn to do this well. And, of course, develop a habit of testing your CTA through A/B testing or multi-variate testing.

Have you got some favorite techniques for an effective call to action? Juvlon can guide you to implement them effectively. Let us know in the comments below.

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