By Bobby Irwin
You mustered the courage to broadcast that Flash Sale email those trendy marketing gurus tell you differentiates great from good businesses. You conducted research, your messaging resonates with your target, and your subject line is ready to hook them. Confident that no one could possibly pass up your valuable content at such a reduced price, you click the send button. You hold your breath and prepare for a flood of purchases to spin your inventory counters.
Nothing is happening.
You check your hyperlinks. They are all active. You scratch your head and check your outbox. Everything is sent. You drum your fingers on the desk and contemplate how this is possible. There’s simply no way this can be explained. Confounded, you sit in silence.
If genies existed they would gently tap you on the shoulder and explain that you can increase your conversion rates by simply modifying three components within your email.
Call to action
When it comes to how many calls to action each email should contain, there’s no perfect answer. However, if an email doesn’t have a clear call to action, there will not be any conversions.
Regretfully, I have anxiously opened an email in anticipation of what compelling offers await me only to find wordy company jargon with no effective offer or call to action. Delete.
To combat this and build interest, I recommend the power of three; send three emails and include three calls to action in each one. For example, the first call to action should be placed at the top of an email in plain view in order to keep your reader’s attention as soon as they open the email. The second call to action should be placed in the upper half of the front page and needs to appear without the reader having to scroll down. This is referred to as the “Upper page” and is an old newspaper term referring to important news stories or photographs placed on the front page of the paper. The third and final call to action should reinforce the other two and is located at the very end of the email. This is the last thought that you leave with your prospect.
Buttons, links, or images
The way a call to action is presented can negatively impact engagement if it’s in a way that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Should it be subtle? Or should it be loud and flashy?
The answer can be different across industries and even across product offers. The main point to consider is that the call to action should correspond well with the design of the email and audience you are reaching.
When you create emails that fit with an audience that is more design focused, images are the route to go. Images are effective with many fashion related industries as well as software related tech companies. The strategy is to take cool stock images and edit them to include text with the call to action over the image.
Next, links can be effective when dealing with more service and business to business related transactions. Links are beneficial because there is a consistency in the way that the link is rendered whether on a phone or on a desktop. This is effective to a demographic of individuals who quickly flip through their emails and have been known to pass over the design friendly call to action.
Lastly, we have buttons. These are the most versatile of the calls to action. They render well on emails and do not require the recipient to download images. They allow you to customize the color in a simple way, while still remaining simple enough to not thwart off the quick moving business man.
Make it obvious
I feel great compassion when I hear someone say, "I sent it out but no one clicked." Examining the email, it immediately becomes apparent that the only call to action is buried at the bottom of a long and boring text string.
First off, refer back to the calls to action section above, place the action above the fold.
Secondly, keep your emails short and easy to read. In many cases, the email recipient is going to see the call to action, and if it keeps their attention, they are going to dive into the actual content of the email. If the content has nothing to do with the call to action you will lose that conversion. Make sure that the reader has no question as to where they are supposed to click and what will happen when they do click. For instance, if your call to action says “To Get a Free Consultation,” make sure the person clicking the link knows exactly what they are getting when they click the link.
As you sit down to write those engaging flash sale emails, remember to simplify your content and make those calls to action pop in front of the reader. The name of the game is click-throughs, and no one knows your audience like you.
Bobby Irwin is a customer success design team lead at Infusionsoft, where he takes a passionate role in testing and designing the onboarding Kickstart experience for customers. He has fused his love for woodworking and business into rustic-woodwork.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.