How important is your Call-to-action? Very. Most people don't think about when writing their campaigns and emails - and it shows. Good CTA can improve your ROI significantly, so you better spend more time on it. But how can you do it so well that will drive conversions upwards? That's what we're about to find out.
But remember that this is one of the aspects in digital marketing that you have to try, work it out and keep trying and testing so you have better results available. What we are going to talk about here is a roadmap so you can test more efficiently. To write a good CTA, there are a few things that you have to know.
- A button may be better than a hypertext
- It must include action-oriented text
- You must avoid some words
- You have to keep it short
The importance of a good CTA
What are you trying to do with that particular email you're sending? Every campaign has a purpose, and your call-to-action must be a reflection of that. Do you want your readers to download something? Give more information? Buy? Go to your e-commerce? Then your CTA must be something related to that - not a generic "CLICK HERE." A poorly written CTA can break your campaign.
So having time to think about your CTA can improve your ROI. The word, the design, the placement, if it's a button or not. Everything can make a difference there. Merely having a traditional CTA won't get the best results - and historically email designers have put little thought on that -, so let's see what we can do to get it better.
Therefore, most CTAs are straightforward hyperlinks that send readers from point A to point B. But it could be something better, raising CTR (click-through rates) and making your content much better for conversions. So it's not only a question of how to write your CTA but also to design it as a nice button. It's been proven that button-based CTAs have at least 25% better CTR. Most of the email marketing SaaS available have an option to make a button-based CTA easily, so take advantage of that.
If you do a basic design on your email, hyperlinked CTA is still a viable design option, especially if you're writing your email in first-person and going through the personal route, but for most brands and businesses, a well-designed button CTA is preferable than a hyperlink one. And how can you ensure it is well-designed? Well, it has to grab attention at the same time it has to feel organic. And that's why 48% of the brands use the same colors on their CTAs than their logos, according to Really Good Emails.
Make sure your CTA is visible and identifiable
One of the reasons why button-based CTAs have better CTR is that they are much easier to find than hyperlink CTAs, especially if your reader is just giving a glance at your email. It is able to grab attention and blend-in in your email but never get invisible - the CTA has to stand out somehow.
If you're going through the hyperlink route, be sure to use a different color in the text of your hyperlink. If the color is the same, it will be a lot harder for your reader to identify it quickly. Most of the readers are just going to give a glance at your email, scanning for important information. So having a CTA that is easily accessible can make some of those people click.
That leaves us to another lesson: CTA placement is very important. Having your CTA on the wrong spot can lead to many people, not even seeing it. You have to place your CTA within the body of your email, and it has to be visible as soon as your reader opens it - if he has to scroll to find it, it's less likely that he will find and click on your CTA.
To be more noticeable, your CTA has to stand out. And the most effective way to do so is making a text that is legible and big enough - but not as big as to be a nuisance. Also, choose a font that matches your email and makes it blend it with the rest of it, making it as organic as possible.
Learning how to write your CTAs effectively
Having a nice design is just part of the solution. You also have to get what you write into your CTA right. Again, you have to think about which action you want your reader to perform and find a word/phrase that is appropriate. This will be the first piece of the puzzle. If you use words that show a benefit to your reader, even better - it can raise the CTR in up to 10%!
You are here to drive action, so your words should indicate action. The most common words for CTAs include things like: try, buy, get, order, reserve, download, add, sign up and register - some of those words, however, are what we call "friction words," and you should avoid it at all costs.
Those words describe things that people have to do, not things they want to do, causing cognitive friction. To convert, you have to focus on what people want to do. Words that suggest that people have to give up something (time, money, energy) are high friction words, such as: buy, sign up, submit, give, invest, donate, or complete. There are also medium friction words that suggest you get something out of a possible effort: join, share, switch, find, star, visit, and learn. You don't have to avoid those completely but take care.
What we are looking for are low-friction words that show passive gratification or some work that doesn't feel like work. These words may include: get, receive, discover, reveal, earn. Those words indicate that, with that action, your reader will get something out of it, and that feeling can lead to a very higher CTA.
You also have to avoid what we call "spammy" words, like you, do in your subject line. Those words are things like: free, miracle, satisfaction - you can see a good list here.
Also, have a CTA that is short and simple, self-explanatory. Good CTAs go from 1 word to 5 words, rarely more than that (as it starts to look very messy). The best CTA length is 3-5 words: low-friction word followed by reward and how fast your user is going to get his gratification (such as now or instantly).
One tip that can increase clicks by almost 90% is to have text in first-person, something that doesn't have to be overcomplicated. It can be something like "Earn my reward" instead of "Earn a reward." Some contexts and some words don't sound so nice in first-person, so you can also try to use second-person, something like "Earn your reward." This personalization makes your CTA more inviting and more personal.
Nobody clicks if the email goes to spam
It doesn't do any good for your email campaigns to have the best CTAs if your readers are not receiving your email, and it's going straight to the spam folder. Taking care of your sender reputation is very important, and you have to follow most rules from CAN-SPAM to avoid a bad fate. But you can also suffer damage from invalid emails.
To prevent it from happening, you have to do constant email validation, so the most precious of your channels don't die out - that would be very detrimental to your business. What we call the ultimate digital marketing mistake is to let too many invalid emails to enter your list and keeping them. You should always strive to have only valid emails on your list.
That's what we provide, by the way. What is email validation, you may ask? Well, to put it simply: imagine that you have an email list for over one year. You started with 0 emails, and now it has 30,000 emails. Without validation, you will send emails to all these 30,000 addresses, and some would return - those are invalid emails. Over time it's a cost (as mail SaaS are usually pricier when you have tons of emails), and it damages your sender reputation.
With email validation, we (The Checker) will find out which emails don't exist anymore or never existed at all (typos, temporary emails, and false addresses). You will end up only with the valid emails, therefore raising your deliverability and helping to keep a healthy email marketing strategy. Imagine that over a year, those 30,000 emails turned into 22,000 legitimate emails, because 20% of emails are not authentic after a year, and this number doubles if you are talking about corporative emails. We saved you from 8,000 potential problems and hard bounces. Oh, we have algorithms and technology which do that in a few seconds and very efficiently, with 99,9% rates of success.
In the long run, this makes a massive difference for your business. Don't ever be afraid to see your email list shrink. That's good, as you're focusing on better emails with higher chances of being read. Write good content, and those users will bond with you and turn into costumers! We call it a good email marketing strategy that converts and helps you build your brand. In the long run, that's what you want.
You have to do it from time to that, like cutting your nails. There's no specific timing to it, but you should at least try to do it once every quarter. If you have hundreds of thousands or millions of emails on your list, it might be better to do it every month or every fortnight. The same if you have mostly corporate emails (as they change faster than personal ones). It will help you avoid those hard bounces that can be so damaging to your send reputation.
If you do these four things from time to time, yes, you will be helping your email marketing strategy to survive in the long run: you may avoid big problems because of that. If you have to start over, you will see your ROI dropping deeply, and it will cost you too - after all, every time you have to set up a new server, it may be a few thousand dollars that go away needlessly. Many users are using email marketing again because of email validation. We're glad to help you to optimize digital marketing.
We are committed to helping you on that journey, and that's why we were chosen as the best email validation tool in places like Capterra and Trustpilot - amassing a significant number of clients that are among the biggest companies in the world, such as Netflix and WeWork. In other words, trust us to make your list more trustable. It's our mission. Try our tool for free on this link, and remember that we have custom plans which can be very helpful to your company. Good luck!