Improve Call-to-Actions, Transactional Emails & Conversions
Scroll through the list of tips below or use this handy checklist to jump to a specific category of DIY email marketing tips:
- List Building and Opt-In/Out Tips (18)
- Ideas for Email Subject Lines(20)
- Tips for Content, Landing Pages and Images (30)
- How to Plan, Test, Segment and Track Emails (28)
- Improve Call-to-Actions (CTA), Transactions and Conversions(14)
- Mobile Friendly Email Marketing (5)
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—Oleg Korneitchouk, director of marketing, SmartSites
Don’t forget a call to action. If you want people to engage with your brand or to visit your website, include a call-to-action freebie in your email message. Many companies offer free detailed guides/reports, host webinars for Q & A , or they invite readers to a special event that requires an RSVP to drive engagement.
—Travis Pearl, co-founder, ExpertMatches
Limit yourself to one key message and CTA per email. This applies to both plain-text or highly visual email. Speaking of, don't be afraid of plain-text emails as long as you offer something of value. If your brand is visual, use your one best image and keep language to a minimum.
—Natalie Edwards, marketing director, Sfbi
Don't be afraid to re-send an email to a subscriber who did not open it the first time. Most email systems—or certain free plugin tools—make it easy to segment people who received an email but didn't open it. Although you might worry about bugging a potential customer, resending the email can actually result in more engagement.
—Nate Kristy, vice president of marketing, Automational
If your subject line earned an email open, focus next on the call-to-action. For example, retailers often focus on product-specific offers, whereas a technology company may offer a white paper or a guide on a specific tech topic. When you design an email marketing offer, think about the action you want recipients to take and design around that goal.
—Randy Mitchelson, vice president sales and marketing, iPartnerMedia
If you include a link in your email, consider embedding the actual link without any anchor text. People are afraid to click on links if the URL isn't obvious. A simple, clear link can help increase click-through rates. Try to keep the link short, and having your brand name in the domain, helps to build even more credibility.
—Zaki Usman, CEO, InterQ
Include one primary call-to-action linking back to your website (your blog, for example). Think about what you really want your visitors to do: Shop Now, Click Here, Subscribe, Learn More, etc.
—Courtney Rauch, marketing account manager, CMK Marketing
Offer visitors a coupon for a percentage off their first order if they sign up for your newsletter. Staying in touch with someone who bought from your store is worth what that discount cost you. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to keep a customer than it is to find a new one, and an email list makes it easier to keep them.
—Nick Leffler, owner, Your Brand by Nick Leffler
Position you call to action at the beginning of your email. Whether it's to sign up for a Facebook page or to contribute to a cause, the call to action should be clearly visible upon opening the email. Too many email campaigns place the call to action in the last paragraph. Remember, you have readers' attention for just a few seconds. I use a call to action as a visual element—like a "donate" button alongside the written copy.
—Alli Williams, public relations coordinator, Amplify Relations
Include one call to action at the end of the email. Whether you ask for a response, click, or buy, make sure you get your readers used to taking action. But only include one!
—Hans E. Hageman, creative marketing consultant and strategist, HansHageman.com
Tell subscribers what they can expect—for example a monthly newsletter or company updates via email. This works especially for travel sites, comparison sites, and niche markets. Send new subscribers a welcome email, and design your email or newsletter to fit your brand and small business. Don't forget to include links for click-through and conversion.
—Steffen Ploeger, SEO specialist, 9thco
Here's a simple and yet stunningly effective tip: just resend campaigns. It's guaranteed that out of every email blast you send, a decent percentage of your list won't open it for whatever reason. Tow or three days after sending a campaign (assuming it's not time-sensitive), segment your list based on who didn't open the email, think up a new subject line, and hit resend to that segment. It'll get your message across to a lot more people, and it takes only a minute to implement.
—Han Chang, co-founder, InvestmentZen
If you write a blog, make sure you place a subscription form on each page. If people read your blog and like what you talk about, they will be inclined to sign up for your newsletter.
—Matthew White, CEO, Qebot
Business owners understand the importance of emailing prospects. You want them to become customers. But once prospects become customers, immediately transition them to your customer email list. Keep them updated on changes taking place at your company, inform them about new product features you've released, and upsell and cross-sell additional products or services. Remember, it's easier and less expensive to sell to existing customers than to convert prospects into customers. Make customer email campaigns a priority component of your marketing strategy.
—Lisa Masiello, president, TechMarc Labs
Small business owners must have a responsive or mobile-friendly email template. According to the latest statistics, 65 percent of people check their email on a smartphone, and they don't want to pinch and zoom on your email to read it.
—Tom Brodbeck, senior SEO consultant, Site Strategics
Think mobile first. Most people will read your email on a mobile device, so design the template, graphics, and text size to suite those readers.
—Justin Flitter, head of marketing, Results.com
We know that people read their email on mobile devices more than ever before. If subscribers can't easily read, navigate, or take action with your email, they may unsubscribe. If your audience is mobile savvy, develop email marketing programs they can engage with easily and remove a source of frustration that leads to unsubscribes.
—Shelly Alvarez, director of client services, PostUp
According to Litmus (an authority on email marketing and analytics), mobile open rates—as of April—"rose to 56 percent, its highest point yet" compared to 19 percent on desktop. Some quick and easy things you can do to improve mobile open rates: reduce image file sizes, and increase the size of links to make them easier to touch on small screens. You can also look into using responsive email templates. You can find free ones online.
—Luis Leonzo, product and web marketing manager, TableLegsOnline
Remember that people open a good 50 percent of email on mobile devices, and not everybody will scroll down to find your punchline. Keep your design mobile-friendly and find ways to keep your CTA toward the top of your message.
—Sean Hay, director of retention, Readers.com
Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal is a freelance writer, covering business and Internet technology for more than a decade. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com.
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