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Published on March 18th, 2011 | by Janine Popick

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5 Ways to Get More Action from Your Call-to-Action

The email marketing campaigns you create and send weekly, monthly, or quarterly are your way of letting your recipients know what’s going on with your company, what’s new, or what deals you’ve got going on to share with them. So it’s really important that you’re very clear about what you’d like them to do and when you’d like them to do it. Simply put, this is your “call-to-action.” With a few simple tips you can get more action from your call-to-action (CTA) resulting in more conversions from your email.

1) Make It a Button: We tested it and the results were clear: A call-to-action in the form of a button instead of a text link can increase your click through rates. The best part is you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create one! Visit our friends at Performable.com and you can create one in just a minute or two! After you create your button, simply take a screen shot of it and save it as a GIF or JPEG. Then, just like any other image, insert it into your email and link it where you want it to go.

2) Include a Sense of Urgency: Guess what? The more time that goes by before your recipients click on your call-to-action, the more likely they never will. By including a sense of urgency you’re encouraging your recipients to click sooner, rather than later. Check out the CTAs below. Think about it…which one compels you more?

Get 10% Off Today! Or Get Off 10% Off!


3) Use Contrasting Colors: You want to make sure your call-to-action stands out in the crowd, right? So make it pop! Use bold and contrasting colors so your recipients can’t miss it.

4) Size Matters: Just like the color of your call-to-action, the size is going to effect how well it stands out in your email. You want your CTA button to be big, but not too big. So how do you know? Meghan Keaney at Performable.com says, “The biggest point is that when your recipients open the email, it should be the first thing their eyes jump to.”

5) Keep it Short and Sweet: Your call-to-action should only be between 2-4 words. So, quickly tell your recipients what you want them to do, such as Buy Now, Save Today, Get 25% Off Now, Learn More Today, Check it Out Now, Sign-Up Today and more.

Your call-to-action plays an important role in your email, so it shouldn’t be an afterthought in the email creation process. Put some thought into it as well as monitor its performance. Let us know how your next call-to-action performs!

© 2011 – 2013, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



8 Responses to 5 Ways to Get More Action from Your Call-to-Action

  1. Performable has fixed the issues with Firefox so just refresh your screen and you should be good to go.

  2. Hi Erica
    That’s why you should test to see if your clicks increase or decrease with buttons. You might want to include both a text link and a button if you see your clicks decreasing as a result of using a button only.

  3. Hi V
    I believe that there are issues at the moment using the Performable buttons on Firefox. You may want to try Internet Explorer.

  4. V says:

    Is it just me or is the Performable.com button builder broken?!

  5. Erica says:

    With the button being an “image” do you find this a problem with email providers not rendering images in email?

  6. Andrew says:

    I’ll let you know the results after my new e-mail this week :)
    http://www.BUZZRestaurantMarketing.com

  7. Gary M says:

    Interesting how call-to-actions mostly begin with Get – any other good words out there?

  8. Be sure to focus on Benefits rather than Features as well.

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