20 CTAs that will make your email marketing worthwhile

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Just as Mr T “ain’t gettin’ on no plane, fool”, very few people are going to even think about clicking a link on your email marketing campaign if there’s nothing in it for them. Why would they? We’re all pushed for time in this notification-drenched world, after all – and that means your email has its work cut out if it’s going to have an impact on subscribers.  This is why calls to action (CTAs, for short) are so important in email marketing.

Unfortunately, they’re incredibly easy to get wrong – unless you have a handy list of 20 CTAs by which you can inspired to hand…

Oh, look!


CTAs they need1. “Buy now”

Marketing, in my book, is all about keeping things simple. And the same principle can be applied to CTAs.

If you do a smashing job of the content and imagery in your product-focused email, people will hopefully want to buy it. Make the CTA the only one they need.


2. “Act now”

Encouraging action on behalf of your recipients can’t be left to chance – there’s no such thing as serendipity in email marketing. Sorry.

The key lies in suggesting that they might be missing out on something big if they don’t act immediately.


Discount Code Email Marketing3. “Claim your discount code”

Discount code emails marketing campaigns are a brilliant ways to encourage people to engage with your brand by immediately making a purchase.

What’s more, you can use the CTA above to suggest that this particular offer is just for them.

How thoughtful of you.


4. “Get free shipping today”

If you run an eCommerce business and can offer free shipping without it impacting too heavily on your bottom line – do it. This is one of the strongest CTAs when it comes to tempting people into a last minute or frivolous purchase.


5. “Order now, get it by <significant date>”

Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter are just some examples of time-bound seasonal events whose bandwagon you can absolutely jump on with eye-catching email marketing campaigns.

Again, the trick here is injecting some urgency into your CTAs. People don’t want to miss out, and you could be the knight in shining armour if they need a present for a loved one quickly.


Skirting around the eyes6. “Donate now”

Running a charity or not-for-profit? Don’t mess about if you need funding; skirting around the issue is unlikely to catch many eyes.

You need cash to provide your amazing service – ask for it outright.  You might not like asking for money, but if it is important, direct and well-worded CTAs will work much better than simpering fluff/


7. “Read more”

If you regularly send content-based emails (for instance, blog round-ups from your website), a teaser intro and nice image will only work if you offer the option to read more.


8. “Download our app”

Not one for the eCommerce businesses among you (unless your thing is imaginary sequin dresses), but perfect if you’re a software developer.

If you’ve done a good enough job of enticing people with the intro to your new app, a download link featuring the logo of their app store of choice is all you need to get subscribers clicking.


9. “Curious? Read more”

Another great way to get people clicking on content-based emails. In fact, a little A/B test of this and CTA 7 is a great way to see what type of language is the most effective with your audience.


10. “Claim your birthday coupon”

When you send personalised emails to people, personalised CTAs will work wonders.

For instance, if you’re kind/savvy enough to hand out discount coupons to past shoppers on their birthday, the CTA above will almost certainly make them feel wanted enough to get clicking.


Free trial CTA for email marketing11. “Start your free trial”

Whatever it is you’re offering (a piece of software or monthly beard-cleaning kit, for instance), a free trial is a great way to get people through the door and hooked on your awesomeness.  An email marketing prompt is ideal for delivering this.


12. “Upgrade today”

What do your existing customers want from you? More – that’s what!

They want to know that whatever it is they purchased from you a while ago is getting better, and a CTA that indicates they might be missing out on the latest and greatest is sure to work wonders.


13. “Find out how”

Your email has suggested that you can fix a big issue for your subscribers, but it has been smart enough not to go into exactly how you do it.

A strategically-placed button featuring the text above should pique their interest.


14. “Complete our 5 minute survey”

Surveys are brilliant tools for delving more deeply into your market, but it’s best to be honest from the outset about how long it’ll take people to fill out.

Most people have five minutes spare, don’t they?


15. “Follow us”

Attempting to build a social media following? Email marketing offers a brilliant, direct channel to people who will almost certainly want to keep up-to-speed with what you’re saying on Twitter.

So, give them the option to do so!


Improve your service16. “Tell us how we did”

You can only improve your products and service if you know what your customers really think about your company.

The answers might not always be what you want to hear, but they’ll help you create a much better future. This CTA will tempt most people to tell you about their experiences with your business.


17. “I’ll be there!”

CTAs can sometimes speak for the people that are likely to click them, and if you’re holding an event to which you want to invite lots of guests, this CTA will tempt plenty of them to reserve their ticket.


18. “Register now”

Webinars, trade shows, free product demonstrations… if you have something you want people to register for, the CTA you need is, well, blindingly obvious, eh?


Video powerful tool19. “Watch now”

Video is a powerful tool for marketers, and if your email provides a brief but suspense-filled intro to a new promotional video you’ve shot, this CTA should raise the viewing numbers considerably.


20. “Contact us now”

The oldies are the best, sometimes, and this tried-and-tested CTA works in so many circumstances – particularly if you want people to be directed to a human in your company as opposed to a landing page on the website.


Wrapping up

Spot the running theme today? Yep, it really is the old adage – ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’, or ‘KISS’ for short.

CTAs should never be clever, wordy or call on any form of brainpower from the person to whom they’re presented. You have mere seconds to get people to do something with your email marketing – use them wisely!

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