How to create a strong call to action

The most popular call to action we can see in almost all the email marketing messages is “Click here!”. That means that a lot of email marketers do believe this is an enough motivating call to action can become the final step to encourage subscribers to undertake some actions. While choosing this call to action they pay attention on the fact that it is clear and brief, but at the same moment is universally understood. Is it really so?

Unfortunately, to use this short call to action to motivate subscribers is nothing more than a huge mistake. Including this call to action into their email messages email marketers presuppose subscribers will undertake a definite action, for example click-through, buy, send to a friend, etc. Of course it is absolutely clear for email marketer what exactly subscriber should do, but the picture is differs much if we look on it with subscriber’s eyes. “Click here!” call to action doesn’t give your email reader enough information on actions you expect him or her to make. The same it doesn’t show clearly the benefits subscriber will get if he / she will finally click on it.

While designing a particular call to action you should not forget that it has three elements, which include the action you want the subscriber to take, the words you use to express the call, and the call design (text, image, location). To cover all the crucial elements of a strong call to action while designing it, you may use the following strategies:

  • Separate the click from the call. Email marketers are too limited in free space while creating their message. However they have to use this space at its maximum and figure out how to persuade subscribers to click a link. For this purpose they use a call to action, the phrase that provides the subscriber information on like what his / her actions should be. This information should be included in just few words. Here the mistake is almost always made: email marketers use to think that if the call to action “click here” is short and contains the instruction, subscribers will definitely follow up these instructions. On the contrary, subscribers won’t undertake the needed actions. This simple command became a popular call to action due to its simplicity. We all do understand the word “click”, and everybody is able to imagine what exact action you want them to take. But the main problem is that subscribers don’t understand what they need it for. Even though the click is also used to measure different kinds of metrics to determine the level of success of the whole email marketing campaign, it is still not enough informative to motivate people. Instead if using “click here” call to action you may use such phrases as “Buy now!”, “Learn more”, etc. Such calls for actions are considerably more informative. So you have to be realistic and think out what actions your email message should inspire the subscribers to take.
  • Express the call to action clearly. After you know exactly the action your email message should inspire, you have to think about a proper design, so that people will understand what they have to do and how they will benefit from that undertaken action. The advantage you offer to your subscribers should be expressed as an action. It depends on the email’s type and purpose. Marketers whose main purpose is to sell something should create such a call to action that will be able to make people visit the lending page. On it they have to use additional calls to action. For example, they can use the following call to action: “See all 10 models here.” If the main reason is to inform subscribers about something you need them to read all the information. In such case the best variant of call to action would be “Learn more about new marketing technologies”. Such call to action is both motivating and informational. A key point you have to remember regardless of the concrete purpose of your email message is that you call to action shouldn’t be repeated more than once; otherwise it will become annoying and could provoke completely different actions.
  • Add links generously. In most email messages the call to action is a clickable link. But to use only that link to direct subscriber to the lending page is not quite rational. Newsletter readers sometimes chose to click on headlines, so you have to make them ale to do that. While sending commercial emails the situation repeats. Here you have to consider additional links to make images and service names clickable that lead directly to the lending page.
  • Use text to make call to actions attractive. Call to action is the part of your email message that has to catch the attention of your subscriber and motivate him / her to take the action you want him / her to perform. One of the simplest ways to make your call to action noticeable is to write it in bold, to increase the font size.
  • Location. Readers are often likely to click on logos, product image and brand names and sometimes they do not get expected results, because they are not hyperlinked. Don’t forget that there are cases when images are blocked. In such way the link is blocked to and subscriber is not able to reach the lending page. Image maps presuppose you have already designed the special place where user should click, but it considerably complicates users’ respond to your offer. So the best solution is to make the entire picture clickable and do not forget to insert an ALT tag so that the call to action could work even with disabled images.

Thus, the main idea is to make it easy for your subscribers to understand not only where to click, but also why to do it and what benefits are waiting them on this way.

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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 : Email Marketing : No Comments

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