When it comes to email, people typically spend from 0 to a few seconds deciding if they’ll read it. That’s why it’s important to focus on one, primary purpose for each promotional email you send. In other words, decide on the call-to-action you want, and make sure everything works to support that single call-to-action.
When asked to review emails, this is one of the fundamental principals that gets violated most often. It’s difficult to get people to focus on just one action in a few seconds. Attempt to sell something, ask for feedback, or a host of other potential clicks, and you’ll likely get fewer clicks overall.
In choosing your single call-to-action, be sure you use everything, from copy to design, to push readers to act:
- Email Subject Line – Make sure your email subject line clearly indicates the purpose of the email. Don’t be "cutesy." Clarity is far more important.
- Email Design – Place the call-to-action above the fold. And in emails that require readers to scroll down, be sure that the call-to-action is there, too. Use headlines, color, and graphics to establish a single, clean direction, or eye path, for your readers. That way, you lead them through your benefits, clearly and succinctly.
- Email Copy – Write your subject lines so they are crystal clear. Make sure your headlines and subheads closely follow the subject line. People open emails because of the subject line. So if you don’t have a clear relationship between your headlines and the subject line that got them to open your email, you can quickly lose your readers, as well as the opportunity for them to respond to your call-to-action. Also, don’t forget to include trust-building, credibility-creating copy that makes people more comfortable in taking your call-to-action, perhaps buying something from you. And I don’t mean you should tell them how wonderful you are. Rather, use testimonials and quotes from your customers to describe how wonderful you are. If you can throw in some metrics that quantify the benefits of taking your call-to-action, that’s even better.