There are few things more important than a good call to action (“CTA”) in the world of marketing. Even the best setup or message can be nullified by a passive call to action, causing you to come up short on even the most well-crafted marketing campaign.
Nowhere is a good call to action more essential than in your eCommerce’s email marketing collateral. With limited space to make a pitch and a finite number of appeals that can be leveraged, the right CTA can be the difference between clicks and conversions, or the ever-dreaded spam button.
What’s in a good CTA?
Writing a good CTA starts with understanding the traits of successful examples. Usually, this boils down to a few core characteristics:
Having an actionable component. Remember this is a “call to action,” so providing a link, telephone number, email address or something else that can facilitate that action is imperative.
Defining the action. What do you want people to do? Make sure it’s defined enough to warrant the desired response, yet not too broad to incite interpretation. For example, saying “email us today” instead of “contact us today.” Powerful CTA’s for cart abandonment are equally important as they can act as the last line of persuasion to close the deal such as “Finish Your Purchase Now”
Re-stating the benefit! Remind people what they’re getting if they act. This will reinforce the idea of value and validate someone’s decision to follow your instructions.
Recognizing the importance of these variables means understanding what makes up a quality CTA and allows you to tailor yours to mesh with your marketing message.
Shaping the tone of your CTA
A CTA without a tone is nothing more than a prompt. Casting your CTA in a specific light can add fuel to its potential, arousing specific emotions in email readers that help them to act. For example:
Adding a tone of urgency to a CTA can inspire instant action. “Get this great deal before it’s gone” would be an example of an urgent CTA.
A tone of mystery can tempt users into clicking. For example, “See what we’ve got in store for you.”
Hyperbole is a special tone that needs to be used with care, but can incite great action if used properly. A good example would be, “Click to get the best deal possible on X!”
Tone gives your Call to Action fuel and shapes the way people feel about it. Pairing the right tone with the right message and structuring the right CTA makes it hard not to respond! Moreover, it turns a generic prompt into an inspiring CTA.
Find a Call to Action that works
It’s nearly impossible to strike gold on a CTA that works the first time around, and writing them is a learned skill. The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of your CTAs is to test and monitor them:
Implement A/B testing with different CTAs and track the traits of better-performing emails.
Track clicks within the email to see if your CTA is having an impact and where it might be better positioned.
Experiment with a range of CTAs to see which garner appeal and which fall short, then adapt successful calls into new CTAs.
It’s also critically important to track your various calls to action over different types of emails. For example, a newsletter may have many calls to action for different items, while a sales email may have one clear call to action. Applying CTAs that work to the types of emails they work within is paramount to success.
Master the Call to Action
Mastering the CTA means giving yourself the best shot at closing a deal. If you can get that last punch in, it’ll be the culmination of an effective marketing message, validating the entire premise of your email and accomplishing the objective of your email as a whole. Remember: there’s nothing so important as a good CTA.