Getting a hit: The Dos & Don’ts of CTAs

call to action

An effective call to action (CTA) is needed in order to turn sales emails into further engagement and purchases.

Whether it’s a button or a link, it needs to persuade the reader that it’s worth their time to click and find out more information, or potentially consider buying your product or service.

Although this sounds simple enough, in reality it can be difficult to craft the perfect CTA. However, as one of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign, it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked or thrown together at the last minute. At Global Database we’ve put this list of tips together to help you create killer CTAs that are much more likely to lead to conversions.

DO Use Better Verbs

Your CTA copy needs to entice the email recipient to take another step; the key word here being ACTION. Dull words like ‘enter’ or ‘submit’ don’t exactly make you want to jump right on in, so instead choose less passive verbs such as ‘get’ or ‘see’.

DON’T be Desperate

Whilst you obviously want to make the call to action sound exciting and persuasive enough to get a click, don’t make it too pushy. Trying to schedule a meeting in your first sales email can come off as too forward and make you seem desperate, so instead focus your CTA on showing the lead that you’re offering them something of value.

DO Have a Single Call to Action

Though it may seem somewhat counterintuitive to limit your CTA options to just one, in reality it’s likely to give you much better results. Having a number of different possibilities, for example downloading a whitepaper, signing up to an email list, visiting your website, just becomes overwhelming. This is known as the paradox of choice, and one study from the company Whirlpool demonstrated it perfectly; after they cut the number of CTA options in their emails from four to one, the company saw a 42% rise in clicks.

DON’T be too Vague

Make sure you’re call to action text is specific enough for the reader to know exactly what they’re going to get by clicking the link or button. They need to know that it’s worth taking the time out of their busy schedules to follow through with the action, so simply writing something like ‘click here to get more leads’ or ‘can we schedule a meeting soon?’ just isn’t going to cut it. Instead, be specific and show your potential customers the value that clicking holds for them.

DO use Eye Catching Design

Emails that are just long blocks of text followed by a generic-looking link aren’t exactly going to show off your brand’s personality, so use design to make your call to action stand out. If you’re using a button, make sure the colour grabs the reader’s attention and ties in with your brand’s identity without looking garish or distracting. If you’re using a link, make sure it stands out from the background image by making it big enough to read easily and using contrasting colours.

DON’T Forget to Experiment

Test out different CTAs to see what works best for your potential customers. Is it a link or a button that gets their attention more often? What colour and sizes work best? How about the text that’s used? You could use split testing to trial different CTAs simultaneously during a campaign, or even try using different CTAs for different segments within your email list; after all, different types of customer will be likely to engage in different ways.

DO Create a Sense of Urgency

Don’t be afraid to use words and phrases that create a sense of urgency for your calls to action. This might include offering a limited time special offer, reminding them that spots for your webinar are filling up fast, or even just using words like ‘now’ or ‘immediate’. This seems simple but can really help achieve better conversion rates for your emails.

DON’T Target Everyone

Even the most carefully-crafted CTAs just aren’t going to see results if they’re not addressing the right people. Casting your net far and wide may seem like the best tactic, but in reality it’s only going to cost you more time and money. Instead, focus your attention on leads that are actually likely to be interested in your company.

Business intelligence provider Global Database offers millions of leads worldwide, all regularly verified and updated. What’s more, you can filter the database using criteria such as occupation, company, industry, turnover, number of employees and many more, allowing you to build highly-targeted email lists from scratch, all with direct contact details.

Examples of Good CTAs

If you’re wondering exactly what to write for your email’s call to action, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • “I’m interested in learning more about [company name] to help save money, when do you have 10 minutes?”
  • “Is [company name] focusing on cutting costs this [quarter]?”
  • “Our solution helped [company name] save [amount]. See it in action here”
  • “There’s only 5 places left for the webinar. Register now!”
  • “Do you have some time this week so I can explain exactly how I can drive more sales for [company name]?”
  • “Learn more about how our solution delivered [amount] new leads for [company name]”

To Sum Up…

Putting together a compelling call to action may take a little time, but it’s so worth doing right. While it may take a bit of trial and error to determine what works best for your specific client base, by following the best practices listed in this article you’ll be well on your way to getting more clicks. If you still find you’re not achieving the results you were hoping for, it’s probably more to do with the prospects you’re targeting, in which case it’s a good idea to give your email list a spring clean.