The #1 Thing Missing From Email Marketing: Effective Call To Action

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Modern marketing relies heavily on marketing automation and email marketing to target and prospect thousands of people. Marketing tactics and strategy over the years have evolved significantly. Back in the day, marketers relied on traditional advertising, like newspaper ads, billboards and commercials. Although some of these traditional strategies still work, they are more costly and less efficient at reaching the masses.

Looking towards the future of marketing automation we see enormous potential and rapid industry growth. From a study in 2014, we saw that there were nearly 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation than in 2011 (SiriusDecisions).

The industry is growing exponentially, as email marketing catches fire, successful email campaigns illustrate purchase intent and email ROI becomes clear. However, importantly, there is still much missing from marketing automation and email marketing today.

Email Marketing Has BLOWN UP!

  • 95% of companies using marketing automation are taking advantage of email marketing (Regalix).
  • Email marketing technology is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies (Ascend2).

Wow! Almost all companies using marketing automation are also using email marketing, and, more than four of five businesses are using email marketing to market B2B (Business to Business). The problem is, If a major percentage of businesses are relying on weak email marketing, they are wasting their money. Businesses must put their trust in email campaigns that are proven to work—not all email marketing has the same effectiveness.

Tip: In order to truly understand a service before you spend your hard earned money, request a demo or sign up for trial offers. This will ensure that the marketing automation and email marketing suits your business and what you are looking for.

Captivating Email Campaigns

  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate).
  • 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media (Monetate).
  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, and the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media (McKinsey).

Not only is email marketing the most efficient marketing technique used by businesses today, it’s proven to be effective as well. The transition to social media marketing has become very important for businesses, but the numbers don’t lie: email marketing still takes the cake.

Tip: Use an email marketing system with call to action buttons, not text that is hyperlinked to landing pages. Including a call to action button instead of a text link can increase conversion rates by as much as 28% (Campaign Monitor). Prospects are drawn towards call to action buttons, and without CTAs, you might be losing opportunities to convert on leads.

Below is an example of an email campaign with a text link (left) and a CTA button (right).

Text-Link-Email-Marketing CTA-Email-Marketing

Worried About the Cost of Email Marketing? Return on Investment for Email Marketing is HUGE!

  • Email marketing has an ROI of 3800% (DMA).
  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI (Campaign Monitor).
  • 50% of marketers anticipate their company’s spend on email to increase (DMA).

Business runs on budgets, and often, marketing budgets are tight. Not to mention most marketing automation platforms are very expensive. However, there really is no price tag on marketing that has an enormous return on investment. The numbers above show just how powerful email marketing has become, and the influence that email marketing has on a business’s revenue.

Now not all marketing automation or email marketing platforms are expensive, but a lot of the major brands will burn holes in smaller company budgets. Make sure to do your research when choosing a marketing platform that best suits your company’s needs.

Tip: If you are one of the few companies whose marketing team doesn’t currently use marketing automation and email marketing, it is likely a good idea to allocate some room in the budget for it. Spending money is always hard for businesses, but there is substantial proof that spending money on effective email marketing will maximize a company’s ROI.

Okay, That’s Great! But What’s Missing?

We understand that marketing automation is growing, but what is missing from marketing automation and email marketing campaigns moving forward? We look to explore THE BIG THING missing from the majority of marketing automation platforms today, effective CTAs.

Effective CTAs

In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response (wikipedia). Rarely do we see call-to-actions that capture tons of clicks and are bringing in endless leads. CTAs are usually simple and go unnoticed; the typical “Sign-Up Now” message just does not resonate with consumers anymore. Most marketing automation platforms have landing pages or send email marketing with boring a call-to-action that goes unnoticed.

Why are businesses paying for marketing automation and email marketing when their money isn’t converting into good quality leads? What a call-to-action must offer is something that really grabs a business’s attention and has them begging for more. When email campaigns are sent out through marketing automation platforms, something must be sent with these emails to get recipients to not only open the mail, but to click the CTA in the email as well. A strategy that Vendasta uses is sending email campaigns with a Snapshot Report, the report acting as incentive to “click-through” in the call-to-action. These reports offer information about a business, and outline successes and weaknesses in a company’s digital presence.

CTAOur call-to-action is simple, stating “View Your Report Now!” Although it may seem like a simple CTA, coupled with the Snapshot Report, our email campaigns have become irresistible to email recipients.  

Email-Marketing-SuccessOur partners often see staggering results through these email campaigns, like the case study results pictured. The businesses often click through because they want the Snapshot—valuable information that is personalized and relevant to them. Businesses want assessments of themselves, and we offer the reportas a call-to-action so they must click through to see it. Our partners have been very successful connecting with prospects using Snapshot Reports.This data represents the impact of Modesto Bee’s first email campaign with Vendasta.

A total of 730 businesses were targeted. The initial email that delivered the Snapshot report had a 34% open rate and a 49.4% CTR (click-through rate). Every third person would open these emails, which is well above the industry average. Getting prospects to open emails is the first step, but an email campaign is not effective if people simply open the message and ignore the call-to-action. Most email campaigns are unsuccessful in getting prospects to click through to get more information. In fact, the industry average is a lowly seven percent. You might be asking, “How can Vendasta’s campaigns be that much better than the industry average?” Well the answer isn’t a secret, we told you already, the Snapshot Reports! The Snapshot Reports are very engaging, and have the ability to draw attention in from email recipients. With thousands of emails being sent on different email campaigns, numbers like these are sure to convert into many sales opportunities.

Of course, an email campaign doesn’t need our Snapshot Report to achieve a creat click through rate. What it does need is personalized content that makes people want to click on the CTA. A call-to-action must give the prospect something valuable or beneficial to their business. You can’t expect somebody to click on a CTA that doesn’t offer them anything helpful—consumers are hyper aware of marketing, which means they are more hesitant to click on something that might mean more emails crowding their inbox. . You must give prospects something to get them to convert on a CTA—something valuable to them .

Hopefully I didn’t bore you with our data, but as you see from the stats, sourced from all over the internet, we aren’t the only ones excited about email marketing! Here’s an example of another company whose call-to-action button seems to be effective:

Crazy Egg: “Show Me My Heatmap”


Similar to Vendasta offering the Snapshot Report, Crazy Egg offers a heatmap. Using words like “Show Me My Heatmap” or “View Your Report Now” captivates a user’s attention to have people clicking in hopes of gaining helpful data or advice. In both cases there are no obligations in the CTA buttons, which resonates well with users. By offering something beneficial like a heatmap or report to the user, they are much more likely to click on the CTA.

  • Fun Fact: It may seem weird but some researchers were convinced that Orange call-to-action buttons converted WAY better than any other colored button. In fact, WiderFunnel claimed that orange call-to-action buttons converted 32% better in one study.

But, if you dig into the results, you’ll see that orange buttons were almost always tested against a control of no button at all. In cases like these, it’s hardly a surprise that orange buttons make a difference. Of course they do … when compared to no button at all! Practically any button will make a difference, regardless of color (Monetate).

Monetate looked to compare orange buttons against blue buttons, and guess what, blue won! So if we want to dig into the color of call-to-action buttons, we see that Crazy Egg has appropriately chosen blue, a color that seems to convert well, or at least better than orange!

Email Marketing is Only as Effective as its CTA

So whether it’s orange buttons or blue buttons, email marketing can only be effective if its call-to-action resonates with recipients. There are many different tactics agencies use to market; and marketing teams across the world are constantly looking for new, innovative marketing ideas. Despite new ideas and constant changes in the marketing world, it seems as though email marketing is still effective and will remain a huge part of marketing automation for years to come.

With all of the statistics and data presented, it’s safe to conclude that email marketing is very efficient for marketing teams who use it. Although email marketing is efficient, it is only effective if it is consistently providing a substantial return on investment, and if campaigns have CTAs that are converting prospects into sales.

If the statistics above didn’t convince you that you need email marketing, then the cold hard evidence of Modesto Bee’s success surely should have. Investing in marketing automation and email marketing is a no brainer for companies who look to maximize on ROI moving forward into the marketing future.

Zachary Yuzdepski

Zach is a marketing analyst at Vendasta, where he is constantly learning about all things digital marketing and ping pong.