Email Signature CTA? What is this really? At Xink, we have seen many examples of email signature campaigns that rely on directives like “Click here” and “Read more” to incentivize readers to action – we’re here to tell you that this tactic is wrong! Why? Because such orders don’t tell recipients what you really want them to do. There’s unnecessary ambiguity in such a request. Nor do such directives answer that universal question: What’s in it for me? No, a call to action should be succinct, clear, and conspicuous, with obvious benefits to the person being prompted to action.

Here are three tips to make your CTA stronger – and more effective – than ever.

1. Avoid “Click” in Your Email Signature CTA – Use a Button Instead

Email signature CTA

A call to action has three primary elements:

  1. The action you want the reader to take;
  2. The words you use to issue the call; and
  3. The physical appearance (text, images, graphics, etc.).

Suffice to say, you don’t have a lot of opportunities (or space, in the case of an email signature) to tell individuals why they should click a link. So the call-to-action – or email signature CTA: the phrase that will compel the reader to click the link and start down the conversion path – must deliver as much information as possible in just a few words. Furthermore, the CTA must make the reader’s actions easy, simple, and to the point. Anything that you do to make the job difficult will hurt your conversions. For these reasons and more, you can probably understand why a button works where messaging like “click here” fails to deliver.

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand how “click here” got promoted from a simple command into a lofty email signature CTA. Put simply, because it’s so much easier than saying “Please click your mouse button on this link so that you will jump from this email to the specially designed landing page we have created for you at our website.” But that doesn’t mean it’s the right tactic to choose. After all, effective and optimal are not always the same thing.

Let’s consider alternatives. For a retailer, a typical email message might implore the customer (or potential customer) to “Buy now!” However, the buying process doesn’t necessarily start when the reader clicks through to the website from the email. Instead, the link might take the customer to a product page for more information. So the email message isn’t necessarily asking the customer to commit to a purchase. Rather, it’s merely encouraging him or her to learn more about the product. If the customer isn’t ready to seal the deal or make a purchase at that very moment, “click here” might demand a greater commitment than he or she is willing to make. Alternatives like “Learn more” and “Show me” or “Here’s how” might more closely reflect what’s going on in the customer’s head.

Be realistic and clear about what actions you want your email message to inspire. This will help you to design an effective call to action.

2. Express Your Email Signature CTA Clearly

Once you know the action you want readers to take, your email campaign message should inspire. You must design the CTA so that it tells the reader what to do and what to expect when doing it. Ideally, an email signature CTA should explain the benefit to the reader by answering the question of “what’s in it for me?” And for true effectiveness, a CTA should be expressed as an action. Don’t ask, implore!

Marketers that are promoting a specific product or service should pair the email signature CTA to a related landing page. The language that is used for the email signature CTA should accurately reflect the experience the user will have on the other end. For example, if it’s a page of images showing different varieties of the same product, the email signature CTA text could invite the reader to “See all 20 colors here.” Think of it this way: “Learn more techniques to increase click-through rates” is both information and action-oriented, whereas “click here” is ambiguous and ultimately falls flat.

You need to tell the reader not only what to do, but what he or she can expect by doing it.

3. Use Boldface to Make Email Signature CTAs Pop

Besides linking the product or service name to your landing page, you should also boldface it to help it catch the eye, especially if you rely on text more than images to tell your story. Boldface makes scanning much easier (see how we have used it in this article to get your attention?).

You can also boldface action words, key phrases, and anything else that can drive the reader’s eye down to the official call to action. These can be – but don’t necessarily have to be – hyper linked as well. Don’t sprinkle boldface type too liberally throughout a message though. This will only serve to camouflage the CTA and make it appear less important than it actually is.

Other specific steps you can take to make your CTA pop include increasing the font size and using white space to offset or highlight the email signature CTA. And consider using a hard return to indent the CTA rather that including it inline with other text elements. Make it easy to see exactly where and what the email signature CTA is. Like this!

CTAs need to stand out, not blend in.

And that’s that! Now start putting your email signature CTAs to work with compelling and consistent email signatures and email signature marketing campaigns.

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