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Getting the best response from an email

It’s very hard to accept that the way an offer is presented in an email can make a significant difference to the response. After all, if somebody’s read through, and is interested, why should it matter if the link is text or a button? Why might one colour get a better clickthrough rate than another?

And yet… these things matter.

In an ideal world, we’d test the heck out of every possible call-to-action design and wording. But the reality is that we don’t have the time or the numbers of clicks to get confident results. So we need to look at best practice.

Here are 5 tips I’ve picked up over the years.

  1. Minimise the number of different actions being offered. Ideally an email should be focused on just one call to action.
  2. Use a button for the action. There are good arguments to add a backup text link, however.
  3. Make the button a nice contrasting colour. I’m not convinced one colour necessarily works better than any other, but it needs to be chosen to stand out from the rest of the email.
  4. Highlight the button further by having lots of white space around it. Most email builders now use a ‘block’ style editor. Use these blocks as much as possible, rather than separating paragraphs and items with line feeds.
  5. Keep the call to action short and active. It’s a command, not a label.

Some potential responders may be put off clicking a button if they believe it might ‘commit’ them to something. So whatever’s being offered, ensure that they understand how little is involved. If their details aren’t going to be required (for example), let them know!