How to create great calls to action in your email campaigns

4 minute read

How often have you skim read a marketing email in your inbox only to quickly decide that it doesn’t require any further action on your part, beyond perhaps deleting it? I’d wager it’s happened more than a few times. It’s common knowledge when it comes to email marketing that as a marketer you have minimal time to capture a subscriber’s attention with your campaign. The first hurdle will be getting someone to open your email, but assuming that you’ve got that down, you’ll now need to make it very clear what you want from your subscribers, and fast! How do you do this? With a great call to action.

What is a good call to action?
A very clear indication of what you want someone to do with your email. Make your instruction to your reader obvious, short and descriptive. For example it could be something along the lines of ‘Find out more’, ‘Book tickets’ or ‘Buy now’. If an offer is time sensitive then make sure this stands out too and create a sense of urgency with your wording.

How to present your call to action
Make each call to action stand out visually in the context of your campaign design, so your subscriber’s eye will be naturally drawn to them if they just skim over the email.  You could add button images for this, or perhaps try using photos with text. If you’re less confident with producing graphics then you could simply use prominent text to make your call to action stand out, be aware though that going overboard with this approach could upset some spam filters!

Where to put your call to action
Somewhere prominent! It doesn’t matter how good your call to action is if it’s tucked away at the end of a long email, as readers often won’t bother to search for it. Keep your email as short as is sensible and use your calls to action to direct interested readers to the whole story on your website. You can use our inbox testing feature to see how much a subscriber will see in the preview pane of their email client too, so use this insight to inform your design decisions.

How to test
To maximise the effectiveness of your calls to action, you should perform some testing on your campaigns to see what yields the best results. Use split testing to try out different wording, graphics or placing of your calls to action (although I wouldn’t change all those things in one go!). You’ll get statistics for each version of the campaign you test, which will allow you to see what best motivates your subscribers to click.

The key thing to bear in mind when creating an email campaign is what you are trying to achieve with it; for example it could be clicks through to a particular product on your website or gaining new followers on social media. Try and set some clear goals for the campaign and focus your calls to action around driving subscribers to complete these. Clicks from your campaign can be tracked in your account, so it’s easy to keep tabs on your success and refine your approach over time.

What kinds of calls to action have you had most success with? Let us know in the comments below!