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Email marketing Calls to action (CTAs) - The ultimate guide

Email marketing Calls to action (CTAs) - The ultimate guide

Strong, compelling Calls To Action (CTAs) are an essential element of email marketing. They should work as that final little push that persuades a subscriber to take a desired course of action such as downloading a file, signing up to a newsletter or campaign or visiting your website for example or perhaps more importantly, becoming a paying customer.

Strong, powerful and persuasive calls to action are an essential element in any form of marketing and advertising. They need to be given careful consideration if you are going to spur subscribers into making a positive decision. Here are some tips to help make your CTAs work for you

What should my CTAs say?

You want your calls to action to work for you, not against you. A weak or vaguely worded attempt might just as well not be there because subscribers simply won’t notice either way. Calls to action should be firm and directly but politely tell subscribers what to do, not suggest it.

Some weaker calls to action often include the word ‘if’, which has little if any persuasive power but instead offers subscribers a chance to go away and have a think about it instead of compelling them to respond positively to the offer. For example;

‘If you are interested in this great new offer give us a call!’

A stronger call to action might be something along the lines of:

You simply can’t afford to miss this great new offer – don’t delay – call us now!

This call to action not only tells subscribers they’ll lose out if they don’t take you up on the offer, it’s also giving a positive command to respond immediately and not put the decision on hold.

In addition to being persuasive, calls to action should also make it extremely clear to subscribers exactly what it is they should do as well as informing them what they can expect as a result, for example:

Click here to instantly download your unique discount code!

Or

Click here to receive your free welcome gift!

Whatever particular course of action you want your subscribers to take, make sure you tell them forcefully but politely.

Where should I place the CTAs

Your CTAs should be placed at the end of each descriptive paragraph of text or image so the reader follows a natural journey from the top to the bottom of an article, or product description, and is then encouraged to use to the call to action to complete the journey. Here are a few ideas for specific places to put your CTAs:

  • The very start of your email might be considered as an unusual location for a call to action but if it’s directly related to the subject line, it may well be an excellent position because it’s the first thing subscribers read.

  • A call to action placed after the message at the bottom of a page but before the need to scroll down (above the fold) is another good location. This is because some subscribers will only read the first part of the message before moving on through the email. The call to action in this position should help steer their attention back to the message and hopefully a more detailed look.

  • There are some email marketers that prefer the call to action placed below the fold. They reason that it shouldn’t be in view before subscribers have made the decision to take the desired action.

  • Obviously there should also be a call to action at the end of your email; one last chance to elicit a positive response.

The length of your email will likely dictate the number of calls to action to use. As there is no hard and fast rule regarding that, it’s up to you to decide. However, be cautious about overdoing it: too many could end up overwhelming subscribers so they can’t decide which to click, if any.

As a general rule, you should have a minimum of three calls to action per email, and there should be at least one clear call to action above the fold.

A good call to action is vital in a successful email marketing campaign. The only way to know for sure which CTAs will work for you is by thoroughly split testing every option.

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