Insight April 2, 2014

Email Engagement: Improve Your Click-through Rates


So you’ve nailed your subject line, hit your customer with the information, and now you need them to act. Simple, right? Just throw in a button that says, “Go now.”

Except it’s not that simple.

The call-to-action (CTA) is the last step, but it’s also arguably the most important (and tricky). You have just a few words to connect with your audience one last time, and crafting the right message can make or break your email.

Our first goal for clients is to get results. After crafting thousands of emails, conducting research, and receiving feedback from our clients and email vendors, we’ve discovered what makes a CTA click-friendly. And we’ve found that the key to crafting a successful CTA is balance:

Be very clear about what you want your audience to do

“Make your dreams soar”is vague about where the link takes the customer.

Add enough creativity to avoid sounding generic.

Who knew “Submit” was bad? Phrases like “Go now” and “Learn more” don’t reinforce the message and may discourage interaction. If you’re bored by the content of your CTA, your reader will be, too.

Here are a few steps you can take to give your readers that extra push.

  • Add urgency. ”Now” or ”while there’s still time” can be the difference between your reader clicking through or saving the email for later (read: never looking at it again).
  • Personalization helps: ”you” and ”your” involve your reader in the message. ‘Me’ and ‘my’ work even better.
  • Consider placement. A CTA near the first paragraph of copy may draw enough attention that you can convince your audience to act without going too deep into the messaging.
  • Don’t neglect your pre-headers. Pre-header CTAs, in many cases, get more clicks. If nothing else, you’re giving the reader an additional chance to interact.

Some good CTA options:

Claim your spot in the webinar
Apply my discount now
Make an appointment for my lawn

Always keep the end goal in mind. Content is important, but it’s there to support your call-to-action.