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A call to action (CTA) is a tried and tested marketing element and is considered almost crucial to marketers as it is the element that prompts a customer to take whatever action you want them to take. In the recent past, a call to action has usually been a button on a webpage (such as a ‘buy now’ or ‘download here’ button), but more recently, the use of the CTA has expanded and can now be a button embedded in almost any digital form, as well as in different forms, such as a sales pitch in an email. So, how do you create your call to action in order to optimise your email marketing and marketing automation content? Keep reading to find out…

Identify why you’re sending each email

In order to create a great call to action, you’ll need to first determine the purpose of each email you’re sending. Are you launching a new product? Perhaps you’re hoping to gain registrations for a particular event or maybe just wanting to boost sales overall. Whatever the reason, identifying your needs will allow you to determine what you want your email subscribers to do; therefore, you’ll be able to define your call to action.

When to include a call to action

Once you’ve identified why you’re sending each email, you’ll need to ascertain whether a call to action is an appropriate addition and adds value to your email. You need to be sure that adding a call to action won’t drive your customers away and this involves your own good judgement, but if you’re using marketing automation software, you can base that judgement on the results of different A/B testing. An example of an occasion where a call to action would be inappropriate includes when you’re simply reminding customers that you exist, during some sombre holidays or events (like Anzac Day for instance), or when you have a dissatisfied customer for whatever reason. Trying to sell something with every email is obviously not a great way of building rapport with your customers, so learning when it’s appropriate is important.

Call to action basics

There are a few elements of a call to action that are essential for creating an effective call to action in your marketing automation strategy. These are:

Keep it simple – regardless of what type of call to action you’re using, it’s vitally important to make it simple and straightforward. Ensure your images are clear and that the language you use cannot be misunderstood by anyone of any comprehension ability.

Keep it crystal clear – the words you use to direct your customers are hugely important. They don’t have to be fancy, just clear and direct. Words like ‘buy’, ‘click’, ‘register’ and ‘download’ are simple and effective. If you’re using a button or image as your CTA, be sure to use simple, bold texts.

Keep it visible – some people believe their call to action should be subtle so as not to scare away their customers; however, your subscribers won’t be converted to customers if they can’t even find your call to action! Place your CTA button or link in a highly visible area – preferably above the fold – and ensure it’s highly visible.

Create urgency – it’s a known fact that creating a sense of urgency creates higher conversion rates. Telling your customers they only have a limited amount of time or that there is only a limited number of items left will encourage them to act sooner rather than later. Having said that, you should never mislead your customers, as breaking trust with them can cause an irreparable rift.

These are the core elements required to create a great call to action for your email automation purposes, but there is much more you can do to improve on this.

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