Convince Cynical Customers with CTAs that Convert

You’ve succeeded in getting a lead to open your email. That means your subject line did the difficult job of convincing a cynical user to open your email.

But what now? What happens when that very same lead reads your copy and gets to the end? If you haven’t created a stellar call-to-action, or CTA, then your lead might stop there.

They might read your email, then shrug it off and continue going about their day. All that effort you put into creating great content will be for naught.

No amount of great copy will ever be effective unless you ask the reader to do something. Click here, sign up now, or download this paper.

But what makes a CTA good? What makes one more effective over another?

There are a few no-brainers when it comes to creating effective CTAs. They are:

  • No Risk CTAs – these CTAs aim to reduce anxiety by letting the reader know that they won’t be risking anything by clicking the button. Remember not to actually say “no risk,” it triggers spam filers and makes readers feel uncomfortable. This could mean they are simply downloading a free trial or that they aren’t putting any money down right away. This is also the “Why not?” argument. You tell your readers that they aren’t risking anything by clicking
  • Buttons – Make it clear to your audience where your CTA is by using a button. Buttons make it obvious where your reader should click if they are inclined to do so.
  • Urgency – Using urgent language makes users more likely to click because they aren’t sure if they will be able to do it later.

These are the tried and true methods of creating effective CTAs. But there are other tactics out there that make CTAs even more effective. In the next section, we will examine some examples of CTAs, what they did right and what, if anything, they might have done wrong.

Choose Button Colors That Pop

This email from Bryce Conway, who writes about travel hacking with credit cards, is incredibly simple. The entirety of the email is text with bolded headings throughout, which is great for skimmers. This makes the CTA, which is a bright yellow button, stand out.

Choose colors that pop for CTAs. Colors like red, green and yellow are very good for CTAs because they demand the attention of the reader, especially when they are placed at the end of black text.

The only negative about this CTA and this email is how long it was. The CTA was far below the fold, below an even longer body of text than what you can see in the screenshot. In Conway’s case, it works because it is all so valuable. But make sure if you are going to write that much before the CTA that your audience is ready and willing to read it.


Use First Person If It Fits

Neil Patel is incredibly well known, to the point where his emails don’t have to be fancy to get people to engage with them. That’s partially because his content is so good and partially because he knows how to write stellar email copy.

One tactic that Patel uses regularly is writing in a combination of both first and second person. This makes his emails feel personal, like a letter from a friend.

This is something brands should consider utilizing in their emails if the messages are coming from a person instead of just your brand in general.


Give Them Options

In this email from Amazon, the key here is options. They not only have a primary CTA at the top with the “Learn More” button, but they also have options below that to make readers more willing to engage.

After all, would you want to have to click to see book options? Or would you want to see some of the book options, get interested in one, then click to get it?

It really depends on the user. By giving readers a veritable buffet of options, it is more likely that they will click. This is because of confirmation bias. If readers feel like they have a choice, they are more likely to actually choose, because they feel it’s their decision.


The Right Amount of Urgency

Like a few of the examples above, Jeff Goins doesn’t feel the need to use flashy emails. That’s because his content is good and his email copy is better.

Look at the way he seamlessly weaves urgency into his copy. He uses phrases like “last chance” and “instantly” in his copy. But what makes the urgency work so well in this case is that it’s actually urgent.

The training course he was hosting ran that evening and this email went out in the afternoon. It really was the last chance.

Make sure your urgency means something. Salespeople have been overusing the urgency tactic for years. Consumers are now cynical about it.

So, use urgency with care and make sure it means something. There’s nothing worse than a business that tries to use urgency to continue to get you to convert for the same offering at the same price over and over.


Use Information to Convince

This mail from Twitter for Business is jam-packed with information. Coming in at about 100 words, this email has three value-packed statistics.

It also has a handful of CTAs, which is sort of refreshing in this case. Instead of trying to strong arm the user into buying, there are two alternate CTAs. They are both lower risk than “Try Twitter Ads.” One asks you to check out a white paper, the other asks you to follow Twitter for Business on, you guessed it, Twitter.

Another thing I really like about this email is that all the CTAs are the same color. Every action item is that bright pink color, which is interesting, unique and eye-catching.

As you can see, there are many forms an effective CTA can take. Your CTA needs to be interesting, eye-catching and a fair value exchange for the customer. You also should try to get your audience engaged, but take care to not come on too strong. Asking for too much, too soon or trying high-pressure sales tactics is not a good method. It will only scare your customer away.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the only way to truly find the best CTAs for your brand is to test them. Test these tips and figure out which ones your audience responds to best. From there, you will see conversions increase along with ROI.

Show us your favorite CTAs. Why do you like them? Were they effective? Let us know in the comments section.


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