Sep 09 2013

5 Qualities of Effective Calls-to-Action

AnnexCore

Calls-to-action are one of the most effective ways to turn readers into click-through traffic, so knowing how to write a call-to-action is an important skill for any email marketer. Unfortunately, in the jumble of images and content, calls-to-action can get lost or forgotten about. It is also all too easy to use the same CTA in every, single, email that you send out. These practices, however, will negatively impact your metrics, so you really need to invest some time and make sure you write effective calls-to-action that display the following five qualities.

Visible and clear

If your readers can’t find your calls-to-action immediately , then any CTA included is worthless, no matter how much effort you put into them. You need to design emails so every CTA is in the reader’s eye path – the areas where the reader’s eyes are drawn. Typically, a reader’s eyes will follow ‘the path of least resistance’ to a graphic heavy area, so use white-space and plaintext to create a path to any calls-to-action you are trying to push.

Relevant to the content

Marketing is all about subtly reminding the consumer of things they might want or need. Calls-to-action thus need to be relevant to whatever your text or images are trying to push. Say you run a marketing consultation agency. After three or four sentences looking at, say, a study of how effective consulting services can be, throw in a button that says ‘Get a Free Consultation,’ or something like that. The whole idea is to make it easy for your subscribers to act on the information contained within the marketing email.

Concise

Your calls-to-action should not span multiple sentences. The more cluttered they look, the less likely your readers are going to click. Stick to two or three words per CTA, and use the text or images around it to get your point across. An effective call-to-action has to be short and punchy so the reader can digest the CTA’s content and act on it immediately.

Effectively linked

One of the worse places you can link a CTA to is your homepage. Your homepage already acts as a generic dumping ground for traffic, and it can be hard to track users and analyze metrics if your homepage is the default link for your CTA. By creating a landing page specifically for your calls-to-action, anyone that clicks through will immediately know that they are in the right place, increasing the odds that they will continue on and be counted as a conversion. Having specific landing pages also makes it much, much easier to analyze how effective your calls-to-action were and whether or not you need to change anything

Fresh

Don’t use the same call-to-action over and over and over again. We realize that creating an effective CTA is a lot of work – you have to determine the optimal placement, create a landing page, and figure out what the CTA is actually going to say. But every CTA, no matter how effective it initially was, will grow stale. Mix things up a bit and try different phrases or graphics. If you’ve already hit a home-run with a particular CTA, try tweaking it a bit and see what happens. The main thing is that you don’t leave your readers with a case of déjà vu. If they feel you are just repeatedly sending them the same thing, they’ll probably unsubscribe.

Conclusion

An effective call-to-action can turn an otherwise lackluster email marketing campaign into a successful one. They increase click-throughs and conversions, and help determine the overall flow of your marketing messages. It is of paramount importance, then, that you spend some time constructing focused, clear, concise calls-to-action as they will be act as one of the strongest links between your marketing campaign and your sales numbers.

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