Sep 22, 2016
By Blake Miller
Email Marketing, Best Practices

Layout. Subject line. Images. Mobile optimization. Personalization. These are just a few of the dozens of factors that influence the success of every email campaign. But perhaps most important of all is the call to action (CTA). After all, the goal of just about every send is to drive a desired response.

Inventory Your Email CTAs

To get an email subscriber to act, you must provide a compelling incentive. As a first step, take inventory of all of the content or offers that you have in your inventory. For retail marketers, this can be as simple as a discount, free shipping, or a coupon code. But, for non-product offerings this can be more challenging.

Take a look at content that has been created in the past. What resonated with email subscribers and what didn't? This can include eBooks, whitepapers, videos, blogs, etc. Think outside the box. Do you have great customer testimonials that you would like to share? Does your company offer an needs assessments for prospects? Is there some industry analysis or insights that your subscribers would find useful?

One Click Isn't Enough

In every promotional email you are really attempting to drive action twice. The first goal is to get the subscriber to open the email, the second is to get them to take action. It all starts with a great subject must be personal and engaging. Remember: Test, test, test. Research, best practices, and benchmarks tend to vary as to length and which words to use, so test often and find what resonates with your audience.

Once the subscriber has opened the email, the goal is to drive action. Make the CTA abundantly clear. Tip: Easy-to-see buttons perform better than text hyperlinks. Remember, more than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Also, limit the number of CTA's in your email, unless you are publishing a list of articles or other newsletter type content. You want the subscriber to clearly understand what they need to do.

When defining the goal, consider what you are trying to obtain in exchange for the click. Are you asking for more profile data? Do you want to gauge interest in a particular product or service? Make your CTA clear and know what you are hoping to get in return. If you are not getting the response you would like, check the offer to make sure it is compelling to your subscribers.

How to Build an Email with a Great CTA

Once you've decided on your offer, it's time to add the CTA button. In Salesforce Email Studio, we can drag the button block over and drop in just the right place to get the subscriber's attention.

Customize Your Email Offer

Once, the button is exactly where you want it, change the text and add the click through URL. In addition, add any descriptions or tracking that you might want to include so your reporting is accurate.

Match the CTA to Your Email Template

Once the button text is complete, change the styling size and color of the button so it both stands out for the subscriber and matches your company's branding.

Final advice? Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile too! You'll frustrate mobile users with a bad experience and likely won't get a second chance.

To learn more, check out 4 Email Practices of Marketing Masters for more insights into how to drive engagement with email.


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