When it comes to email marketing, crafting a compelling subject line and email copy is only half of the work. You also need to apply important best practices that will make your customers take your desired conversion goal.
So how can you achieve this?
In this article, we'll explain what makes a great email call to action. We'll also share some of the best practices for writing email call-to-action that convert.
Let's get started!
Table of contents
- What is a call-to-action in email marketing?
- What makes a great call to action?
- Best practices for writing email call to action that converts
- Getting started on email call to action
What is a call-to-action in email marketing?
In email marketing, a call to action is a button or hyperlink text that highlights a conversion goal. Once customers click on it, it directs them to take a specific action. They could be directed to the homepage, product page, or a resource page to engage further with your brand, learn more about your product offerings, make a purchase, and more.
Whether you're sending a newsletter, reminding a customer to upgrade their plan, or welcoming a new user on board, your email should include a compelling call to action that triggers action.
In the next section, you’ll learn the key traits that make an email call to action stand out.
What makes a great email call-to-action?
There's no doubt that for a call to action to convert customers it needs to have key quality traits. Now, the question is—what are the traits that make an email call to action convert? We list the answers below.
- Clarity—an email call to action must be clear, brief, and concise. This is what increases the chances of a higher conversion rate because your customers won’t be confused and will easily understand what the intended CTA will help them achieve
- Compelling—if your call to action doesn’t compel your customers to click on it then it’ll be more challenging to increase your CTR. Using power words is a great way to compel users to take action
- Sense of urgency—no customer wants to miss out on a great deal within a limited timeframe. A great call to action contains persuasive words that trigger FOMO and creates a sense of urgency
- Straight to the point—Your email call to action should be actionable and straight to the point. No need to beat around the bush, asking your customer to take up to five call-to-action. Customers may feel overwhelmed if your email has too many calls to action.
- Benefit—a great call to action highlights the benefits that customers will get once they click on the CTA button.
Construct your email around your call to action
If the goal of your email is to get customers to take a specific action then it means that the rest of your email copy should be constructed to get your customers to do just that, starting from the subject line, preheader text, and email body.
It would be counterproductive if you want your customers to upgrade to a premium account when the rest of your email copy is centered on company news or an invitation to an event. For this reason, you need to ensure you write a great email. You can read this article we wrote on how to write email copy that converts.
Now, let's highlight the best practices you can apply to make your email call to action stand out and convert.
Best practices for writing email call to action that converts
Before you create your email call to action, you need to decide on your conversion goal.
- What action do you want your customers to take?
- What’s the best way to present your offer to your customers?
- What value can your call to action highlight to your customers?
When you provide answers to these questions, you’ll be able to figure out the reason why customers should click on your CTA button. After that, you can move on to applying the best tips for writing email call-to-action that converts.
Whether you’re writing a welcome email series, email upgrade sequence, or transaction emails, you can use the following strategic tips and some email call-to-action examples to write an email call-to-action that converts.
1. Use action-oriented words
When you use words like “click here”, and “read more” in your email call to action, they don’t indicate action and can cause friction in your email marketing funnel. So, you need to use action-oriented words that set the right expectations and indicate what you want your customers to do.
Here are some examples of call-to-action with actionable verbs that set expectations for customers:
- Download growth tips
- Take this 3-minute survey
- Share your feedback
Take a look at how Harvest uses action-oriented words for its email call to action.
The words "invite your team" sets the right expectations and show customers what they are supposed to do.
2. Highlight the benefit/value
Just like other forms of marketing messages, your call to action should highlight the benefit that customers would get when they click on your call to action.
Customers wouldn’t be interested in taking your call to action unless there's something in it for them. Focus on offering value to your customers by understanding your ideal customer persona and the goals that they want to achieve.
Also, you need to understand the customer buying journey and the stages that customers are in. You can use the gathered customer data to drive your email copy and call to action.
For example, take a look at this email from Buffer.
Rather than using a vague CTA that doesn't highlight value, its email CTA shows what the customer will gain when they click on it—get growth tips.
This is a great way to increase email conversions. When your CTA reinforces value, your customers will most likely click through.
3. Create a sense of urgency to trigger action
As we stated earlier, customers are more likely to take your call to action when there's a short time frame attached to it.
This strategy is also known as FOMO (fear of missing out) and you can tap into it by using words in your CTA copy that’ll compel users to take action immediately.
For example, if you’re writing a re-engagement email sequence, you can offer lapsed customers a reasonable discount on a premium service for a limited time. You can use call-to-action like:
- Start for just $3 today
- Upgrade now to get 30% off
Noom shows a great example of creating a sense of urgency in an email. In its win-back email, the company applied FOMO by offering a 14-day free trial and a 90% discount for a limited time.
Even more, its CTA copy is clearly actionable and reinforces what customers will get once they click on it.
4. Call to action placement
Your email call to action button must stand out so users can easily identify it. This means that you need to consider various design options to motivate customers to click.
You also need to pick a unique color that will reinforce your CTA button. Preview your email after designing it to ensure that your call to action button fits well with your overall email copy.
5. Talk directly to your customers
Another way to write an email call-to-action that convert is by talking directly to your customers. Rather than making your CTA feel like a robotic command, you can incorporate personalization to make customers connect with you and take your call to action.
For example, you can use the first-person pronoun. Take a look at how Gmail talked directly to its customers in its email call to action.
6. Optimize your call to action by A/B testing
When it comes to writing emails, A/B testing is crucial. It is what informs your entire email copywriting strategy.
With A/B you can learn what works and doesn’t work for your brand and audience. Rather than working on intuition or guesswork, you can test if a specific CTA copy is compelling or if a CTA button is in the wrong place.
Getting started on your email call to action
Writing the best email call to action is important to persuade customers to take action. Whether you're sending upgrade emails, welcome, or onboarding emails, you can use the tips mentioned above to help you create a call-to-action that converts.
Remember the following tips when creating a call to action that converts.
- Run A/B tests to identify the CTA that works best for you and your audience
- Use action-oriented words
- Create a sense of urgency
- Highlight benefits that customers would get
With Engage, you can create automated email series and run multivariate tests to identify the best-performing email call-to-action.