Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Write Email Calls-to-Action that Actually Convert

There’s lots to know about creating calls-to-action (CTAs) that work--copy, design, size of the button, placement on the page, and more. But you can boost your conversions by following a few copywriting best practices and guidelines.

Best Practices to Use in Every CTA

Make sure the CTA is well-aligned to your customers’ needs. If the subject of the email doesn’t match the offer, or if either one of them doesn’t match your audience, that mismatch creates a disconnect that confuses the subscriber, making him or her less likely to follow through. This is why keyword and customer research is so vital.

Make sure your calls-to-action deliver lots of value. Before subscribers will click the call-to-action in your email blast, they have to believe they will get some value out of doing so. Consider the top 2 or 3 benefits of your offer. Choose the most important one, and then try to distill it in as few words as possible. That helps you emphasize the value of your offer and strengthen its alignment.

Make sure your CTAs embody a sense of urgency. Subscribers are more likely to follow through when your call-to-action gives them a reason to act immediately. This is why so many offers have special discounts, seasonal sales, or limited availability.

Make your calls-to-action as clear and concise as possible. Vague and verbose language decreases the value of your offer, makes you seem less credible and confident, and leaves subscribers wondering what they should do next. On the other hand, clear and concise CTA copy cements the value of your offer, builds prospects’ comfort and confidence in you, and guides them exactly where you want them.

Guidelines to Experiment With

Use numbers in your CTAs. Numbers and data points are very specific, and have been proven to boost conversion rates. Numbers can also help convince subscribers of the value of your offer and your confidence in it.

Ask questions in your calls-to-action. Questions grab attention and interest, and many subscribers will click through just to find out the answer, giving you additional opportunities to help them convert.

Use endorsements and social proof in your CTAs. Testimonials, reviews, certifications, logos, badges, and other third-party endorsements make you more trustworthy and help alleviate subscribers’ fears, making them more likely to convert.