How to Create an Effective Call-to-Action – 10 Tips to Help Drive Conversions in Your Email Campaign

What do you want your subscribers to do, and why should they do it? In email marketing, that’s what your call-to-action should clearly and concisely communicate. Although a call-to-action is one of the most important factors driving conversion, many email marketers don’t give nearly enough attention to theirs. Here we discuss why you need to go beyond the generic “Click here,” and provide 10 tips for how to create effective calls to action.

What Is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action describes the part of the email message that asks readers to take an action that fulfills the goal of a promotional email. It should be persuasive and compel readers to perform a conversion, such as:

  • finalize a purchase
  • subscribe to your email list
  • click through to a landing page
  • sign up for your newsletter
  • download your white paper.


What’s Your Click-Through Rate?
The click-through rate — the percentage of recipients who click on a certain URL in your email — is a good measure of the effectiveness of your calls to action. As you implement improvements to your email campaigns’ calls to action, you’ll want to test and monitor the click-through rates to see what works best with your specific target audience.

Here are 10 tips to help you increase your click-through rates and ultimately drive conversions:


           Make Your Words Count

    1. Use a strong command verb to start each call-to-action. Sum up quickly and clearly what subscribers will get by clicking the call-to-action. Some examples include:
      • Download now
      • Sign up today
      • Buy now
      • Order yours here
      • Start your trial now
      • Compare prices here
      • Subscribe today.
    2. Give readers a reason why they should take the action. In other words, what’s in it for them? Will it help them do their jobs better, lose weight, or save money? You may also want to highlight your value proposition compared to your competitors, such as free delivery. This is all about the benefit. Make sure it’s clear.
    3. Add a sense of urgency. Make the offer available for a limited time only, for example, or include an incentive for the first 50 respondents. This type of incentive helps motivate a more immediate response. If subscribers leave the email message in their mailbox to return later, there’s a good chance they won’t.

          Buttons and Text — Does Size Matter?

    1. Ensure your call-to-action is big enough so subscribers can’t miss it. Often readers simply scan an email message, so be sure that what they need to do next is obvious. How big is big enough? Make sure it stands out relative to the other elements in your email.Sample from FulcrumTech, LLC
    2. Use highly contrasting colors and surrounding white space to make your buttons “pop.” Which color works best to attract your target audience’s attention? Find the answer by testing – split your email list and send everyone the same message, but with different colored call-to-action buttons.
    3. Add icon variations. Such icons as arrows, plus signs, or shopping baskets can help users quickly distinguish your call-to-action buttons from the elements around them.
    4. Beware of “image” call-to-action buttons. You may think a beautifully designed, flashy button will catch a reader’s eye. It likely will, but keep in mind that images may be blocked in your subscribers’ email messages. That means that if your call-to-action is enclosed inside the image, it will be blocked, too. One way to solve that problem is to use simple HTML tactics – including text and background colors to create a button that looks as though it’s image-based but can still be read with images turned off.
    5. Sometimes a plain-text call-to-action will do just fine. A fancy button is not always needed to get your readers’ attention. If you use a plain-text call-to-action, just be sure it stands out by using bold, italics, different colors, and various fonts and font sizes to help it stand out from the rest of your copy.

          Location, Location, Location!

  1. Add links generously. Some email marketers will only insert one call-to-action at the very end of their promotional email. but requesting action immediately by including a call-to-action near the top – “above the fold” – is a good idea. In addition, consider adding links in headlines, logos, brand names, and product images, as well as textual links in the body of your copy. The more opportunities you give subscribers to click, the more likely they’ll click. We add links to a variety of places in our clients’ emails, and you’d be amazed where people click, even if it’s not obvious that it’s a link.
  2. Finally, be sure your call-to-action takes subscribers directly to an appropriate landing page on your Web site. Too often calls to action will take subscribers to the home page of a Web site, requiring them to search around for the specific offer. Plus, be sure there’s consistency in the wording and design of the call-to-action of the promotional email and the corresponding landing page, so subscribers can quickly and easily spot it and respond.


Overall, the more your calls to action are clear, get to the point, and are designed to stand out, the better chance you have of driving conversions.

Need help making your calls to action really work for you? The email-marketing experts at FulcrumTech can help! Contact us now!

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