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You’ve probably come across a few calls to action (or CTAs) over the past few days, if not the past few hours or minutes. Whether you’re reading emails, scrolling through social, or ordering on a mobile app, every company hopes that you’ll heed its call to action.

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Each call to action is different, but the goal is the same: to get you, the consumer, to do something — hopefully something clear and specific. Even in a confined space, such as an email, marketers have to find creative ways to make every call to action stand out. And that doesn’t have to include MAKING YOUR CTA BIG AND SCARY, showing off with some bold text, or adding enthusiasm with an exclamation point!

People are used to filtering all that spammy noise because they see it all too often. Marketers can break through the noise with a few email call-to-action best practices.

Here are five tips:

  1. Be honest. People see enough clickbait throughout the day to know when they’re being toyed with. Let’s say you get an email from a new company; perhaps you signed up for its email list after clicking on an Instagram ad. It sends you a welcome email that has an interesting call to action at the end. It says, “We Dare You to Click Here.” While this phrasing could work, depending on how well the company knows its audience, it’s a bold risk. The call to action reads like clickbait and may come off as disingenuous to some readers.

    To avoid this, make sure your call to action is honest and clear. Audiences prefer to know what they’re getting into when they click. To know for sure, it’s best that you test multiple calls to action to find out which perform best.

  2. Test options. To figure out which calls to action get the most clicks and conversions, it’s best to test out a few. Through A/B testing, you can decide exactly how to write a good call to action because your data will tell you which options are working — and which aren’t. “Learn More From Our Blog” might perform better than “Explore Our Infinite Wisdom.” Testing each option is the best way to drive more conversions.
  3. Use action verbs. Beginning your calls to action with strong action verbs will make your message pop in every email. Take a look at these two calls to action.

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    Which one is more inviting and more direct? The first one offers both clear information and a directive.

  4. Pick a color. When you choose to use a call-to-action button instead of a text hyperlink, it’s best to pick a color that stands out from the rest of your email. For example, if you use a lot of green in the rest of the email, it’s a good practice to avoid using green for the call-to-action button. You don’t want your button to blend in with the rest of the email content.
  5. Keep it short. Imagine this text linked: Register today for the best conference to hit San Francisco this summer. Linking all of that text with that ubiquitous blue hyperlink color makes it seem like you’re calling out every part of the text, which isn’t necessary. Instead, keep your calls to action short and sweet. Readers prefer quick, direct action items, not lengthy sentences.

Using effective email calls to action can help you drive conversions, but they aren’t the only thing you need to consider for an effective email strategy. Check out more email marketing tips that break through the clutter and capture customer attention.