So long as you are not doing business in a third-world country, the target market for your business is definitely using email. By the end of 2017, more than 3.7 billion of the world’s population will be using email. Rather than attempting to develop and distribute content and advertisements for your business in hopes that they will magically fall into the laps of people who are interested in your brand, directly reach the inboxes of your consumers.
By gathering the valuable contact information of email addresses from having people subscribe to your email list, you can generate brand exposure, recognition, and identity that will lead to more sales and an overall more engaged following.
How can my business use email marketing effectively?
The email marketing efforts of your business need to get the attention of your audience and urge them to take some form of action (in a way that proves beneficial to your brand, of course). The call to action you choose to include in an email to subscribers is the most important element, save perhaps the email’s subject line that attracts them to open it in the first place.
Think of how many emails you get in a week from various brands. They ever make you want to go on an unsubscribing spree? Most likely. So the key here is to make your brand’s email subscribers not want to do that. Once a subscriber has made the decision to open an email from your brand, do not lead them to regret their decision to do so. Include a call to action that is enticing to the subscriber and that provides a positive benefit to your brand.
Call to Action Purposes
It is indisputable that your brand’s email marketing must include a call to action, but you do have options when it comes to what kind of call to action you will use.
- Encourage a purchase: In your email, you can include appealing product images or news of an upcoming sale or promotion, then call readers to the action of making a purchase. Using linked text like “Shop now” or “Save today” along with the content of your email serves its purpose of calling readers to buy your product.
- Learn more about a product or topic: By providing content that gives product details or specs or fun facts about an activity relevant to your business, your email marketing has the ability to call readers to the action of gathering more information. Including links like “Keep reading” or “Learn more now” incites people to learn more about your brand and what it has to offer.
- Direct to social media accounts: In connection to the promise of special promotional offers or exclusive content, your brand can encourage its email readers to go follow its social media accounts. Promote a higher level of brand engagement within social networking communities by using a call to action such as “Follow along” or “Stay connected.”
- Making a reservation/booking a service: Within email marketing, your business can get the word out about a special event and call readers to sign up to attend by using a call to action like “Don’t miss out” or “Come see us there!” Or, your business can generate more services sold by featuring the testimonial of a real-life customer, then including the call to action of “Let us help you” or “Get results now.”
How do I know which type of call to action will best serve my brand?
Before embarking on any marketing plan, your business needs to know what the marketing plan needs to achieve. Email marketing is certainly no exception to this rule. If you find yourself unsure as to what your business stands to gain most, conduct market research to learn more about your target market and your competitors.
Through primary research efforts such as surveys and focus groups, your business can gather more information on who your target market is, what issues they are facing, and what they are looking for in brands they choose to support. In the secondary form of research of analyzing data already collected by a third party, your business can learn more about the overall performance of your industry and how your competitors are stacking up.
Once you have identified and know more about your target market, as well as how your overall industry and competitors are doing, your business can have a better idea of what its current goals for its marketing efforts should be. If your consumers are seeking more products that simplify their day-to-day life, use your email calls to action to teach them more about your product’s abilities to help them. If your competitors are leading the market in sales, strive to give your sales a boost by calling consumers to make more purchases from the emails you send to them.
Placement and Design
Your emails’ calls to action have to be noticed by readers in order to be effective. They can’t look too similar to everything else on the page, and they can’t be located on a part of the page that is not prominent. Ensure that every call to action placed in an email by your business is going to stand out to subscribers by making it a color that pops, large enough to be easily seen, and at the top of the page where it can be seen without having to scroll within the email.
When it comes to choosing exactly which words will make up the call to action in your email, follow these three rules:
- Encourage action by using commands (like “order” or “go”) with a time-sensitive “now” or “today.”
- Be concise. Include no more than about four words so as not to lose the attention of those just scanning the content of the email.
- Relate to the reader by using “me” or “you.” Make them feel as if you are speaking directly to them.
Benefits to Your Brand
Calling subscribers to take action through the email marketing messages your brand sends them is beneficial to your business in the sales that it leads to and the exposure it gives to your brand.
- ROI: It has been shown that for every $1 a business spends on email marketing, it can expect to receive an average return of $38. Invest a little, and gain a lot.
- Drive traffic to your site: In calling subscribers to take action by clicking a link, you can easily direct them from their email to your business’s website. The domain name you choose, your logo and the landing page you direct them to can all impact how they perceive your brand, so make them good.
Your brand’s email marketing messages can prove to be an effective method of getting your consumers to do what you want them to do and in effect benefit your business. Use strategic call to action techniques to achieve your business’s marketing goals and to further engage its audience.
Rebecca Shipley is a marketing analyst turned small business coach. Rebecca helps small business owners stabilize and grow their businesses via process development. When not working as a coach, she enjoys writing about small business, process development, and marketing strategies.