Know it before you Create
Oh! That bright yellow/blue/red button at the bottom or top header, right? Is that all that is there to the Call-to-action (CTA)? Or does it hold more importance? Call-to-action as it is called is the element that triggers an action or helps in getting an immediate response to the email. Basically, it is the culmination of what has been described in the mail or the webpage, that prompts the readers/audience to take the next step. It can be anything from just clicking the next button, to subscribing to the newsletter, checking out the website, to actually buying the product or service. It is important to note that CTA should align with the content, the subject line, and the marketing campaign too. An independent CTA is just a colored button, while one that works together with the content turns into an actual action point.
This takes us to the next question. Where do we place the CTA? Does it always have to be put on the top or the bottom? While email templates usually have a fixed position for CTAs, it can be customized to suit the content flow and the purpose of the email. Considering the fact that people usually read from the top left to right of an email, CTA buttons are placed towards the bottom. However, for any CTA to work, the content should build enough interest to prompt the audience to take the next step, or at least build curiosity as to what the button would do.
The perfect synergy
What is the objective behind email marketing? The work of an effective Call-to-action is to guide the users to the next step. Without a CTA the email or page is just reading material, that the audience or subscribers or customers scroll through. But the objective of the email marketing campaign is about making them take action, measured in terms of the click-through rates and conversions. Without a clear CTA, the user will not be able to know what to do next, be it visiting the website, making a purchase, or signing up.
It is important to include a CTA so as to give the existing or potential customers clarity about the next course of action or the immediate steps to be taken, which can be different based on the business case or the campaign plan.
What works and what does not.
Click Now, Buy Now, Sign Up, Download, Read More, and Learn More are the most prevalent CTAs. Are those effective? Yes, in most cases where the content leads us to those actions, but not otherwise. Sure, these are the tried and tested, but very often action phrases that specify the actual outcome are more effective. A call-to-action that works is not something that has been added as an afterthought, but something that adds to the case, or the scenario that has already been pitched. So how to create CTAs that work? Here are a few tips.
There is a lot more potential in saying, 'Grab the Best Offers', than just the regular 'Click to Know More'. Stating the benefits very often has more effectiveness than just adding a vague action statement. The audience needs clarity about what clicking the CTA button offers to them. If the objective of the email is to promote an offer or product or service what better way to drive the audience towards taking an action than stating the benefits.
Personalization is not limited to the copy alone but extends to CTA too. Focus on the customer's wants and needs and offer them what they are looking for and use the first-person pronoun in the text. It could be as simple as, 'Get your Copy now' and as detailed as, 'Let's start a new project together'.
Curiosity is an interesting thing. Very often the statement, "wonder what's inside the box", urges us to explore and experience than step back in fear. This very aspect works when we draft CTAs that piques the interest, and add to it a dash of urgency and it's something the audience will not be able to resist.
So, try it before it gets (c)old!
Build a scenario or highlight a problem through the copy and offer the solution through the CTA, if the problem/issue is pressing enough the customer is bound to click the CTA in the hope to find an appropriate solution.
'Learn how to create a CTA that Works'
Some Best Practices
While drafting a good Call-to-action one aspect, testing it using SpiceSend's A/B Testing can help in tracking the effectiveness. This in turn can help in improvising and modifying as required to ensure that the CTA really works.
While the CTA button does not have to be bright red or neon Pink to stand out, it should have a different color than the background to make it noticeable. Very often complementary colors are chosen to make this work. With SpiceSend's customizable templates choosing the right color is just a select and click task.
While this may not be a necessary step, it does help in acting as a persuasive factor. Subtle things like the direction to which the person in the image points, looks, or even faces, has an influence on driving the reader's attention towards the same. This can be used as a visual cue to make the CTA button seem more important.
Don't cram the email with images and so much text that the CTA has to be forcefully plugged in. Try to use enough white space around the CTA button to make it easy to find.
While it need not be of the size of a football field, the CTA button should be big enough to be clicked on irrespective of the device used to access the email.
Neil Patel, Co-Founder, Chief Evangelist CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics, and QuickSprout, shared the basics of effective CTAs in his post, How to Create Best CTAs To Increase Your Conversions. Here's what he says.
"All of your marketing efforts have revolved around one core concept: Providing value, either through education or entertainment."
The easiest way to guarantee that the CTA will work is to Keep offering value. The practice of creating effective CTAs requires focusing on three practices, i.e.
"More often than not, what it takes to write a call to action that compels the customer to click and follow through is a deeper understanding of your audience."