The Power of CTA Marketing (Call-to-Action) to Prompt Engagement with Emails

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Andrew Chao Daongam on 14 Jun 2018


Writing amazing emails and hoping that potential customers open them is only a small stepping stone to them finally deciding to make a purchase. The tried and true sign of strong email marketing is seeing what they do after the opening.

Having a high open rate may show that your subject line is well optimized and relevant to your recipients, but what you should really look at is the click through rate to know if your email is truly effective.

Keep in mind that email marketing is a tool to send relevant content for nurturing your potential customers in order to help them move forward in their buyer’s journey. Therefore, you need them to engage with your email by prompting them to take action with CTA marketing.


The Power of Calls-to-Action (CTA)

In every email, there needs to be a CTA. A CTA is either a hyperlink text or image that prompts your prospects, leads or customers to click on it. A CTA is the most important component of your email. Without one, the recipients may not know exactly what to do with your email after reading it. Having a CTA makes it clear for them as to what they should do next and provides them to a way to continue engaging with your firm.

Here is an example of a CTA below:


Now you don’t want to simply slap on a nice-looking CTA to every email just yet. You must first identify 1) what exactly you want the recipients to do by reading your email, 2) why they should do it and 3) how will they know what to do.

To answer these 3 questions, reference back to the primary goal of your email. Your CTA should be aligned with it. Since you should only have 1 primary goal, the general rule of thumb is to have 1 CTA per email.

It may be tempting to start putting CTA images or CTA text all over the place, but it would be counterintuitive to having 1 primary goal. Your email and CTA should lead your recipients down to one path. It keeps it simple for you and simple for them.

CTA image Vs CTA text

A CTA image may look nice but it does not mean that it’s always ideal. CTA images work well when you send emails in which the format or template looks like a web page (html)

Here is an example of an HTML Email with the CTA:


When you send out a plain text email, it would be better to send a CTA text rather than image to be consistent with the context. Adding an image may look unfitting.

It is also important to note that when you send plain text emails, they come out as more personalized than html emails. People are quick to associate html as mass email. But this does not mean you shouldn’t send any. It all comes down to what your primary goal is in order to make the choice between plain text or html.

Putting it all together - an example for the financial sector

Let’s say you want to send an email to Leads that have downloaded an alternative investment beginners guide from your website and want to send a follow-up email.

What is the primary goal to the follow-up email?  
To nurture them to learn more about alternative investments, specifically about real estate.

What do you want your recipients do exactly? 
To read a blog article that we wrote about alternative real estate.

How will they know what to do? 
Since it is a follow-up email for nurturing, we will send a plain text email from the assigned Advisor. Within that email, we will have a hyperlink text with an action word which will probe them to click on it. We could use action words such as, Read Now or Click here to access.

Do you now see the structure as to how email marketing becomes much more strategic and beneficial for both the recipients and your business? By having CTAs, you help them move towards the right direction and by doing so your leads are getting closer to becoming customers.


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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Inbound Sales, Email Marketing

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