So your email made it to the inbox and your subject line made a subscriber curious enough to open…. but that was it. Your email campaign failed to get subscribers to preform that last step to click-through to your website. So what can cause a subscriber interested enough in your subject line to stop interacting once they have opened the email? And what can you do to hold on to that subscriber’s interest and get them to click on one of your calls to action (CTAs)?
If deliverability and opens are not an issue, there are two main reasons for a low click-through rate:
1. Offers and CTAs are not relevant or compelling enough
Your CTAs need to deliver on the expectation you created with the subject line as well as the overall promise you made to your subscribers on sign up. If your offers are not in line with what customers signed up for and expressed interest in, they have no reason to click and engage more with your brand.
2. Offers and CTAs are not prominent enough
Your CTAs need to be easy to spot and interact with. The language, design, and length all affect the subscriber’s decision to click through. If the CTA is unclear, broken, or hard to find, subscribers are less likely to click.
To avoid falling into either of these categories, keep the following tips in mind as you create your email creative.
1. Have your CTAs match the promise of your subject line
If your subject line alluded to holiday gifts ideas don’t suddenly ver off course an offer something completely different. The subject line is meant as a preview to what lies in the email if your content doesn’t match subscribers won’t click. And If subscribers see a continuous pattern of subject lines that don’t match the email message, they will be less likely to trust in your subject lines again leading to a decrease in clicks and possibly an increase in unsubscribes. Fronteer has a great (award-winning) example of a subject line that perfectly ties to the CTAs inside the email.
2. Make your CTAs are easy to find
Place your CTAs above the fold to make sure subscribers can spot them right away. Be conscious of the design of your CTA as well. Use contrasting colors and add white space around your CTA to ensure it does not blend in with the rest of your message and go overlooked.
3. Don’t overload on CTAs
One might think that by including many CTAs to increase the chances of a click is a solid plan, however, subscribers are likely to feel overwhelmed and confused and be turned off from clicking anything. If you need to include more than one CTA for the promotion, create one central CTA that stands out and have others take a backseat. The AAPR does a great example of this in their fall newsletter with the larger, central CTA around the “Bee Cave” and four additional CTAs that are smaller, with less text, and placed below the main CTA.
4. Plan for broken images
While you may put a lot of work into designing a beautiful email creative complete with many enticing images, sometimes images break. When you create your call to action, keep this in mind and make sure to code your CTA in HTML rather than images, so it will appear no matter what.
5. Test everything
There are many elements that make up a CTA, keywords, size, color, location, to name a few. To make sure your CTA is as effective as possible, test out the different elements on a small sample of your subscribers, and then deploy the winning CTA to the rest of the list.
Getting a subscriber to click a CTA is one of the final jobs of your email campaign. After all the hard work getting into the inbox and enticing subscribers to open, the CTA takes them over the “finish line” and gets them to perform that last email interaction before they move on to your website. To avoid a last-minute fumble, make sure your CTAs are strong enough to get subscribers over the finish line. Concerned about any other metrics? Take a look at our Guide to Email Marketing Metrics for more insight on what can cause metrics to change and what you can do to fix it.