The ‘Do’ Part Email Marketing Make Attraction

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It causes all of the preparation and build up to not make a lot of sense, wouldn’t you agree? Yet, that’s the way it is when you take the time to compose a beautiful email, marry it to a well-segmented contact list, set it to send at the perfect time, but never ask the reader to do anything, such as visit your website, complete a survey, or click to buy your product.

The “do” part of your emails is known as a call-to-action (CTA), a tangible step that encourages your readers to engage in a meaningful way. The types of calls-to-action are broad and variable. Here is a sampling of CTA’s that tend to work well, along with a few tips on how to set them up.

Visit Your Website

As an email marketing consultant, a huge proponent of using email as a primary communications tactic. Never, however, have been a proponent of jamming everything there is to say within the framework of a single email. It’s not how email works, and too much content can be a deterrent to readers viewing your message.

The role of housing details belongs to your website. It is the perfect place to show your product specs, list all of the color options, or read the full story on your blog post. Accordingly, a primary call-to-action within your email should be “visit our website,” “read more,” or a similar prompt that sends readers to your site.

This type of CTA can positively impact your SEO. Search engines love to see a steady flow of inbound traffic to websites as evidence that real people are are looking for what you do.

Download Content

As the expert in what you do, say, or sell, you have tons of information at your disposal to share. All you have to do is to put it into a PDF or other format readable by any computer.

While you may want to have these professionally produced, it is possible to create downloadable content using Microsoft Office products, such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.

Just create the content using the appropriate platform, and then choose SAVE AS > PDF to generate a document suitable for downloading. Save the document to your website and use the URL of the page where it exists as the link within your email.

If, for some reason, your site doesn’t accommodate saving a PDF, use tools like DropBox or Google Docs, and choose the “Share” option to create a URL that points to it. Just make sure the settings don’t password-protect the content unless that is your intent before granting access.

Creating a landing page for use with the download call to action can increase conversions.

Creating a landing page for use with the download call-to-action can increase the conversion rate.

Want to get fancy? Use a landing page that includes a form that visitors must complete to obtain the information. It takes a little more work but gives you a set of contacts with who you can follow up. (Let them know that you intend to follow-up as a part of their submitting their information. It’s the professional thing to do.)

View a Video

Video is one of the fastest growing types of content due to its interactive nature and ability to be consumed effortlessly. In a world where mobile is driving nearly everything, making it easier to consume content is an increasingly important idea.

The primary barrier to video is the need to produce it. While that is becoming easier all the time, it is still more complicated than creating other types of content. If you don’t have the capacity to produce a video, consider using other produced videos, overlaying your commentary on the subject. Just make sure to give credit to the source.

When using a video as a call-to-action, a recommended practice is to take a screenshot of the video and overlay it with a play button symbol. Some email programs will do this for you once you select the video, but if not, you will have to create an image, and then layer it over the video.

Using a video view call-to-action can help increase response rates.

Using a video view call-to-action can help increase response rates.

Note: Videos are not viewable within the email message itself. Instead, you will send the viewer to sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, or your website, to watch the video.

Connect via Social Media

One of the most important calls-to-action today is to encourage engagement in social media. Email is perfect for this as you can build followers by just asking your audience to follow or like your social media channels through your emails. You can also direct subscribers to specific content, such as an event or blog post with which you want them to interact.

Social media can be a primary call-to-action or live as an ever-present message in the footer or sidebar. Either way is good, but you should tie the one where it is the explicit call-to-action to a particular piece of content.

Buy Now

The ultimate call-to-action for most of us is to transact or “buy now.” For a non-profit the equivalent might be something like “donate” or “volunteer.” Depending on the email system you use, you may be able to embed the transaction within the email but, if not, the actual business task will occur on your website, eBay, PayPal, or in whatever way you are setup to operate.

No subtlety here. "Shop Now" is the clear focus.

No subtlety here. “Shop Now” is the clear focus.

The thing about a “buy now” call-to-action is that, unlike other types of emails, you will need to explain the entirety of the offer within the email. The focus is on getting the reader to act now based on your message, so it needs to be compelling and action oriented. An expiration date or statement about having limited quantities typically does the trick.

And More…

The list of possible calls-to-action is extensive and can be nearly anything that might elicit a tangible response. Other biggies include feedback and surveys, call for more information, complete a form, or even just send an email reply.

In any case, the goal is engagement within the email. Otherwise, it’s just a lovely view from the top of the slope.


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