5 tips to make your subscriber take action on email

Let’s talk about call-to-action (CTA) buttons – the make or break your email conversions. As an email consultant, I have come across call-to-action buttons of different varieties, colors and sizes; in fact even emails without any call-to-action! This action button is the nerve center of your email – the one that defines the sole purpose of your email communication. So in this blog post I’ll share a few tips on what goes into making an effective call-to-action – one that your users will ‘respond’ to and give you the clicks and the conversions.

1. Have content that leads readers to action: Merely placing a call-to-action button and expecting readers to respond won’t work. You need to have the action button in sync with your email content and flow. Your email content must be in a proper chronological order that guides readers to the next step. Keep the following aspects while designing the flow:

  • A title to summarize the intent of communication.
  • A teaser CTA button in the first scroll for those mobile users who do not wish to browse through whole email.
  • Short and crisp communication so as to maintain the interest levels of your readers. Consider having ‘Read more’ as a small CTA link for users who are interested to read more.
  • Make your email responsive so that content flows seamlessly across all screen widths.

Following is a sample depiction of proper flow of content in an email:

2. Play the guide: The best way to get action from your readers is to guide them to what you want them to see in the mail. Human eyes tend to follow the direction it is pointed to. Use arrows, animation or image to point at the call-to-action and notice how it comes to life.


There’s no way you’l miss the CTA when it’s pointed out to.

3. Don’t confuse: Users spend roughly 15 seconds on your email and if you confuse them by giving multiple calls to action, he might simply choose to ignore your email. Keep your email less complicated by having one primary CTA and a secondary CTA. It also makes sense to add those subtle links like social sharing buttons.

4. Keep it clearly visible: Sometimes we go so overboard designing the email that the call-to-action gets absorbed in the color theme. Considering the short attention span of your reader, you need to ensure your call-to-action stands out within the email. Your reader should be able to easily locate it while at the same time not get distracted away from the content. Here are some tips-

  • Have a color that clearly stands out
  • Give your call-to-action a definite shape so your users know they need to click the box
  • Have clear white space so it stands out
  • Make it clickable even on mobile devices

5. Choose your words carefully: Be persuasive without being pushy. Remember conversions happen at a basic psychological level and wrong choice of words can create obstacles that keep prospects from buying. Optimize the call-to-action by answering the ‘what’s in it for me?’ aspect and showing value to your reader. Here are a couple of examples:

Download versus Get your free Guide

Buy now! versus Indulge

In the first example, the word ‘get’ indicates a benefit and is one of the highest performing calls to action. Similarly in the second example, ‘Buy now!’ evokes the fear of commitment and obligation, whereas ‘indulge’ makes the experience a positive one.

Hope you found the tips helpful. Sharing a few good calls to action, as I sign off.

Nov, 26, 2014

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