Sunday, 29 May 2011

The importance of creating effective call to actions in your email marketing campaigns

Despite all the current buzz around social media and the importance of using Facebook and Twitter email marketing is still a vital part of successfully promoting your products and services over the web.  Maintaining  a viable link with your customers and potential customers is best served through a well thought out email marketing campaign.

When deciding the what and when parts of your campaign do not also forget the importance of a good Call To Action in your marketing efforts.  If you are sending out a special offer to your list then you need to have a compelling message in the headline to ensure that as many as possible open the email.  This headline should be your first call to action because unless you offer a good reason to open the email, no matter how engaging the content. it will be of absolutely no consequence.

So make sure you spend some time thinking of informative and engaging headlines for your email messages.  They can be humorous, informative, intriguing, time related or whatever you feel will get a positive response based on your understanding of your subscribers’ tastes and interests. 

Remember that the reader is not going to spend more than a few seconds reading the headline. So unless it specifically answers the question: “what is in it for me as a reader”  you are not going to get past first base.

Assuming the headline has provided a good reason for the subscriber to open your email the next stage is to ensure that the message it contains is relevant, punchy and rewards the reader for opening it.  If you have decided to include graphics in your email make sure that you also include anchor text as an alternative as many email providers automatically block graphic images. 

Make sure that your email includes relevant calls to action whether they are textual or graphical in nature.  You should assume that the reader will at least read the first paragraph so make sure  that there is a call to action here as well as in the middle and end of the email. 

Whilst everyone has seen “click here” as the most usual method of call to action you could be more informative by also explaining why they should take that action.  For instance you could make them an offer of a free e-book or access to a webinar as part of the call to action.  So rather than just a simple “click here” you could put “for a free trial of ..” “learn more about our  ..” “have a test drive of ..” 

If you offer a free trial  it is best practice to avoid also making an offer of an e-book for example in the same email.  Keep the message on track with a single compelling  call to action for a specific offer.

Create a sense of urgency where possible by placing a time limit on the offer you are making in your call to action.  Also retain your credibility by making sure that after the specific time is over the offer is no longer available.  Otherwise your offers will be seen as meaningless if you make an special offer to finish this week and two weeks later it  is still available.

Whatever methods you employ to improve your email marketing strategies remember to continue to keep track of your results.  Then test and test again to ensure that you are making the most of email marketing as a means of communication.

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