The impact of your Call To Action (CTA) in your email marketing efforts is so vital in today's marketing world. Email marketing serves as just one tool out of the arsenal that we have to maximize the opportunity to further gain the attention of our customer but also convince them the time is now!
The crowded market place everyday forces us as consumers to make quicker decisions on what we want to learn more about or instantly disregard. Competing to gain our customers attention is so critical yet a very difficult job to accomplish. All industries use common terminology yet their Call To Action has drastic differences to the value of that company.
Call To Action Has To Be Clear & Concise
Recently I signed up for a newsletter for an online eCommerce luggage company. My eyes instantly start looking at the element structure on what is important for myself when I open the majority of marketing emails. This one just stuck out to me and I felt I would do a quick post about it.
Few things that I look at:
- Does it have a good image to text ratio?
- Is the hero image too big? If so, did they compress the image or slice it up?
- Is there alt text included to give me some idea what this is all about?
- Does it have a clear & concise call to action?
- Does it effectively tell me what this is about without scrolling down?
- How does it look on my mobile phone?
- Was the subject line open/click bait and does it pertain to the message inside?
- Did they send it from a “persona” or just plain company name?
These are just a few items as a marketer that I am paying much attention to. I am a bit jaded because when developing my own email campaigns I am trying to achieve a compelling call to action with a reasonable, realistic, and to the point message without setting the campaign up for spam disaster. It is becoming more challenging everyday for marketers in the position of creating campaigns.
Email Newsletter Example
What I noticed first in the email above is the red “e” in the company logo and the black backpack right underneath. The next element that caught my eye was the “yellow” Risk Free satisfaction seal. For me the red “e” had caught my attention long enough that I totally at first overlooked the “45%” in red to the right of the black backpack. The sharp contrast of the yellow seal really stole the show for me after my below the fold scroll. The combination of blacks/grays/white didn't lead my eyes to a place that I could quickly decided what I wanted to do with the email.
What was your first thought?
The email itself has valuable information and meaning. Shoot, I mean… a TSA Friendly bag? Can a brother get an amen?
A hold up for me was the image heavy hero being a 563 x 713 punch in the junk for the load time that jolted my attention from the start. I actually almost closed the email and then deleted because of this. The call to action to me was lacking. I wasn't quite for sure what I needed to do next. I guess if I was hot and heavy for a bag I would naturally just click through but it still was missing some substance of a big button underneath the black bag like “Claim 45% Off with Free Shipping Now” or “Choose Your Color of Backpack Now”. The ideas are of plenty here.
The school of thought is “motion creates emotion” so by getting them to open your email, to clicking on a link, then going to your website you've already created the illusion of momentum leading them one step closer to choosing their final backpack. Maybe even getting them started in your remarketing/sales funnel.
After The Click
With all respect, ec-bc has much competition in the market place to sell their goods online. It is a crowded market place for this type of product (luggage). Each consumer has already decided if they want to purchase or not. For me, I am not going to easily drop $75+ on a bag without doing some heavy research first. I have a feeling that there is a portion of the population just like me doing research before making any purchase of this nature. I would suspect that an ec-bc customer needs to be “branded” and marketed to several times before a purchase is made.
People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it and what you do serves as the proof of what you believe.
Simon Sinek ~ Author
Another question that stirs in my mind is the “TSA Friendly” bag. It is the first time I've ever heard of this. Then again, I am not an active “luggage” shopper. For other products, what makes them different than their competitors? Why would I purchase a bigger ticket item when I could go locally to touch and feel it to come to a conclusion if I want to spend money? I feel like there is an education process to help sell me on why. I think consumers probably are thinking very similarly. They may currently do this but I have not experienced yet to say in all fairness to the company here.
So, as a marketer… how do we overcome those challenges?
I had some ideas that came to mind. I understand that some companies may be strapped with time therefore the ideas are plenty but the execution is the issue due to resources/time.
- Maybe a series of Tips on how to do research when looking for luggage or backpack. Use an email drip campaign after an optin since most customers won't buy on first crack. Also a way to leverage the difference in your company.
- Try taking the prospect/customer to a Landing page using Unbounce vs going straight to your site. Control the site content dynamically based upon product series or single product. From there you can pre-pop the checkout page on your site to keep the distractions low.
- You could also use this in your Adwords campaign by popping your keywords into the page by using PHP includes. This approach greatly enhances the customers perception because the words are matching on certain places on the landing page.
- Quick video showing how featured bag works
- Video of showing how easy it is to go through TSA. I think this would be awesome to see some type of example. Maybe convince a customer who has benefited from this to do something in depth.
- A follow up auto responder based upon how far I got into the process. Targeted remarketing based upon where they have fell off in the sales funnel.
- Linkedin Ad targeted to all business travelers or targeting certain keywords. Develop your company “blog” on Linkedin.
- More customer testimonials
The ideas are endless really. I always try to find a reason to be different when the situation presents itself.
Email Marketing Call to Action Best Practices
Here are few QUICK tips to keep in mind while developing your next email campaign.
- Attempt to have the call to action in the top half of the email (at least one).
- Use alt text to further support the desired action you want the consumer to act upon. Keep aware of “trigger” words for spam. Keep to min.
- Pay close attention to your brand's color & font scheme and how you should use naturally offsetting colors to support your button/images.
- Keeping emails to a minimum information wise. Use your website as a landing page to promote the message further (we all need more information).
- There is a chance where you need to be more conversational in your email text. This will vary depending upon your industry and goals so keep that in mind.
ec-bc seems to be a good company with an ambitious goal. I am sure that in the future the emails will evolve as all marketing campaigns typically do. We are constantly bombarded with evolving tasks that sometimes cloud our way of executing. That could be the lack of leadership and direction needed on a reoccurring bases to keep everyone focused or just simply the pressure of making a sale, clouds our judgement on sticking to the basics of effective marketing.