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A call to action is a statement that prompts your audience to take one or more specific actions in favor of your objectives. Calling for action isn't as simple as including a phone number in your emails or giving people lots of links to click on, you need to give people a few hints so they know exactly what you want them to do. Contrary to what you see in a lot of emails, "click here" is not the best way to call for action in an email. Instead of click here, begin your call to action with a word that describes the action. Examples include visit, call, download, read, or print.
You can turn your call to action statements into links or combined them with phone numbers or specific instructions to make the next steps as clear as possible. Sometimes the main reason to call for action is to ask for an immediate purchase, but there are lots of other reasons to include a call to action in your email. For example, you can use a call to action to ask people to read your email, by beginning your email with a statement like "Read this email before you buy online." You can also use a call to action to highlight a specific portion of your email as in the statement "scroll down for a valuable coupon." Sometimes it's appropriate to ask people to save your email for later instead of deleting it if they aren't ready to take advantage of an offer in your email.
You can also ask people to show the email by printing it out or showing the email on a mobile device. And don't forget to ask people to share your email with a friend or colleague when they find the content to be of value to someone they care about. You may decide to focus on one call to action in your email, but sometimes including multiple calls to action in one email can actually increase the number of responses you get. One of the best ways to increase responses using multiple calls to action is to ask for three different levels of commitment from your readers. For example, a chocolate company might send an email promoting a new gift basket with the following three calls to action: order this gift basket today, download our gift basket catalogue, and like this gift basket on Facebook.
Each of these calls to action result in a positive action, but two of them are still options even if the person reading the email isn't interested in making a purchase right away. Of course, every email requires the act of opening the email in the first place. Next I'll show you how to get more emails opened by including a familiar from line.
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