Calls to Action: 50 that Sell and 10 that Repel

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by Lisa Furgison When a customer opens your email, they usually skim it for relevant information. Subscribers typically read the first...

by Lisa Furgison


When a customer opens your email, they usually skim it for relevant information. Subscribers typically read the first line, check out the picture and glance at your call to action. That’s why creating a compelling call to action (CTA) is so important. It’s one of the few items within your email that can draw attention and encourage the reader to act.

What makes one call to action better than another? We’re glad you asked. To help distinguish between good and bad calls to action, we’ve created a list of CTAs that sell, and a list that repels. At the end of each list, we explain why they work, or don’t work.

50 calls to action that sell


We scoured inboxes and created a list of 50 CTAs that sell, and broke them up by category.

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Why these calls to action sell
  • Descriptive and informative
All of the calls to action are descriptive and provide enough information for subscribers to act. You don’t even need to read the entire email to understand its purpose.
  • Urgent language
Calls to action should encourage an instant reaction. All of the CTAs above use urgent language to do just that. Words like “now,” “today” and “limited time offer” show a need to act immediately.
  • Creative
There are a few traditional calls to action like “shop now” and “read this post,” but the list also has quite a few original ideas too. For example, “Love to share? Please do” isn’t a call to action that you see every day. It’s okay to think out-of-the-box and be creative when you write a call to action.

10 calls to action that repel


Now for the not-so-great calls to action. Here’s a list of 10 CTAs that could repel your customers.

Click here
Shop
Review
Get our custom report
Next
Add your contact info
Continue
Get it later
Go
www.YourEntireWebsite.com 

Why these calls to action repel
  • Lack of information
Most of the calls to action on this list don’t provide any real information. For example, what does the call to action “continue” mean? Is it encouraging a customer to continue to a website? Is a customer supposed to continue shopping? Or should a subscriber continue on to a brand’s Facebook page? There just isn’t enough information to inspire a customer to act.
  • Not focusing on the customer
The call to action “Get our custom report” focuses on the business, not the customer. A call to action should focus on the customer. In this case, it’s better for the call to action to explain how the report helps a customer. For example, “Download now to increase your traffic” is a better call to action because it defines the value of the report to the customer.
  • Bad practices
Some of the calls to action are just bad habits. You don’t need to tell customers to “click here” anymore; everyone understands the concept of clicking on a link.

You want customers to act quickly so why would you ever use a call to action that says “get it later?”

You don’t need to write out your entire website address. Instead, just create a call to action that says, “Learn more on our website.”

Conclusion:  Remember, a call to action is one of the most vital components of your email. Take some time to create one that’s descriptive, creative and encourages customers to act fast.


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#DIGITAL: Calls to Action: 50 that Sell and 10 that Repel
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