Elements Of An Effective Email Marketing Call To Action
Written by Rob Lane.
Email marketing can be a terrific channel to speak to your specific target market. After all, you’ve likely spent considerable time and money cultivating your list of customers or subscribers, who’ve opted in to receiving your messages and offers. If your audience trusts your brand, and you offer them something valuable or interesting in the subject line, they are more likely to open and read your email. Then what? The call-to-action is the critical link in the chain that transforms your email marketing efforts into some type of desirable action by your email recipients.
2. What’s An Email Call-To-Action (CTA)?
Everyday, many different types of email make it into our inbox: we get personal messages from friends; interesting bits of news, or updates from social media. One key component that separates a business email from a personal email is the call to have you complete some type of action desired by the business.
An obvious example of a call-to-action is a specific offer like a 20% discount, “buy-one-get-one-free,” or simply “buy now.” Other types of calls-to-action can be valuable to a business as well, such as “start a free trial,” or “sign up for our newsletter.”
A call-to-action is virtually any type of outcome that can be acted upon, usually by a simple click within the email. The click usually takes the individual to a landing page on the company website, where the sales or engagement process continues, but without that critical click, the entire progression can stop dead in its tracks.
3. Elements Of An Effective Email CTA
Just because a customer or prospect has opened your email offer, doesn’t mean that they are going to follow-up. In 2014, the click-to-open-rate, for email sent by retailers was around 9.8% Marketing Profs. In other words, only about 1 in 10 people who open an email offer, actually follow-up on the call-to-action. So what makes an effective call-to-action that will entice recipients to follow through?
4. Make It Visible
For a call-to-action button to have any chance of being clicked on, it needs to be clearly visible, easy to understand and accompanied by compelling text and images around it that entice the reader to take that next step. Here’s nice example from online fashion retailer, New Look, with the added emotional appeal of the World Cup.
5. Keep It Brief
The example above also displays the importance of brevity in the call-to-action. If the message button is too long, or confusing readers will have to work harder to figure out what you want them to do. Too much confusion will lead to lower click-through-rates.
6. Active Language Entices Engagement
Word choice is another powerful component of an effective email CTA. Action-oriented verbs with accompanying modifiers like: “save now, get more customers, increase sales, free subscription today,” all provide strong direction as what the reader should do next if they want to receive the desired benefit:
“The biggest mistake that marketers make is using weak, passive language in their CTA. A classic example is the famous ‘click here’. While ‘Click here’ may seem like a great GTA (in that it tells a subscriber exactly what to do), it really doesn’t give a reader any incentive for taking action. It doesn’t describe the value or what will happen if, in fact, they do click the link.”
7. Create A Sense Of Urgency
If readers have to think too long, or too hard about an offer, they are more likely to move on to their next important email message. That’s why an effective CTA is one that encourages readers to respond right away. If the offer is time-limited, for example, make that point clear in the copy leading to a CTA that entices readers to “buy now.” According to noted marketing psychology author, Robert Cialdini:
“Creating a sense of urgency in your copy is one of the oldest tricks in the book… and still one of the smartest. to top it off, Cialdini notes ‘scarcity’ as one of the 6 pillars of influence and it’s easy to see why: great demand leads to great sales.”
Ecommerce retailer, ASOS, succinctly demonstrates how to effectively create a sense of urgency in the following offer of huge savings for a very limited and specific time.
8. Color Contrast And Positioning
Color and positioning and can be leveraged to make the CTA button really stand out in the main body of the offer. The ASOS example demonstrates an unmistakable contrast between the eye-popping pink of the “shop now” button and the surrounding white background. The blue stroke ties the CTA button nicely into the main image on the right. Readers of this email should have no trouble locating the call-to-action.
9. A/B Test To Find The Optimal CTA
Since many of the elements of a call-to-action, whether in an email or on webpage, such as color, language, positioning and message are subjective and yet isolated, CTA optimization presents an excellent opportunity for A-B testing. A good examples, comes from website brokers, Empire Flippers. They decided to run a strict A-B test on the language in their CTA button and achieved the following impressive results:
“the challenger version had a conversion rate of 3.84%. Comparing this to the conversion rate for the control in the same time period which stood at 2.88%, we see that this simplest tests resulted in a 33.10% increase in conversion rates with a 96% chance of beating the original.”
If you’re an ecommerce merchant and don’t have automated email marketing campaigns setup for your store, you’re losing money. Right now.
Rare.io makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using Rare.io for FREE.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.