How to Craft Compelling Cold Email CTAs and Get Clicks

/ February 26, 2020 | 5 Mins Read

How to Craft Compelling Cold Email CTAs and Get Clicks

Every call-to-action matters. Email subject lines are critical in order to ensure your message gets read. Asking for the right things in the right way, grows your relationships with customers stronger over time.

Picture this:

You’ve just finished writing what you’re sure is a winning cold email that’ll get you lots of conversions. You’re convinced that whoever you send it to will want whatever you’re offering.

Well, mostly convinced.

There’s always that bit of doubt that lingers in your mind when it comes to emails. 

“What if they read my email but no one acts on it?”

But you’re still pretty confident that you’ve done a good job, and then you click ‘Send’.

And then you wait. And you wait. And then you wait some more

You wonder why you’re not getting the conversions you were expecting. 

Chances are you don’t have to picture it because it’s already happened to you.

It’s one of the most disappointing things when you’re offering something, and can't seem to sell it. It leaves you wondering if emails are even worth it. 

But emails can be worth it if you do your email marketing right. You can get considerable conversions from them if you craft the perfect calls-to-action. 

Before learning how to write compelling CTAs, understand what makes them different.

1. Why Cold Email CTAs Are Different From Other Content

The first obvious difference has to do with the very nature of cold emails. 

These emails are unsolicited and there’s no prior contact between you and the receiver. They didn’t search online and find you or your business the way they would when landing on your site.

This email comes out of the blue for them and you’re hoping it’ll interest them. 

And so you try to personalize your cold emails more than you would blog content. You want to create a bond from nothing and make it seem like this email was meant just for your recipient. 

Cold email CTAs tend to come off as more ‘you need them’ than ‘they need you’, unlike articles do. 

With cold emails, you’re likely asking recipients to: 

  • Click a link that takes them to your website to learn more about you
  • Reply to your cold email to start a conversation or set up a meeting with you
  • Sign up for a free trial of a product or service you’re offering 

Sending cold emails is a balancing act. You don’t want to put your recipient off by sounding too sales-y but you do want to persuade them. 

The other big difference is in the space you have to convince recipients to take action. 

No one wants to read a long email, but they are more willing to read detailed content in articles. And long emails just look tedious to go through, especially when people have other emails to read. 

Make your email text too long and most people might not even reach or notice your CTA. 

You need to keep the message short and direct. Every word you use has to matter and persuade recipients to keep reading and take action. Your entire email forms part of your CTA. 

So how exactly should you create the perfect email CTA? Here’s your answer.

Recommended: 10 tips for sending a sales mail that converts in 2020

2. Ways to Create Your Perfect Cold Email CTA

a. Make Your CTA Stand Out

Too often, you might feel like you want people to do more than one thing. You might want them to subscribe to a newsletter and, at the same time, read an interesting article. 

Resist the urge to do that.

Having more than one CTA makes your message lack focus and confuses the readers on what to do. 

Keep it clear and concise by only using one CTA in your cold email

When recipients open your message, they should be able to instantly tell what you want them to do. 

Using a CTA button instead of linked text is the best for your CTA to pop out and grab attention. 

To really stand out, your button needs to be in a high-contrast color compared to the rest of your email. Although, you do want to keep your button color on-brand so that people relate it to your business. 

Using whitespace to your advantage is another great way of making CTAs captivating. You want to place your CTA in an area where there isn’t a lot of content around it. That way it’s clear to see. 

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It’s also a good idea to place your CTA above the fold, meaning in the top half of your email. That way it’s the first thing readers notice and they don’t have to scroll down to find it.

b. Be Specific

If the goal of your cold email is to start a conversation or arrange a meeting, you need to be specific with the details. You want to let your recipient know when the conversation will take place and for how long. You also want to be specific about what will be discussed. 

Take these two examples for instance: 

A)   Would you like to schedule a call?

B)   Can we have a quick 15-minute chat on Monday at 10 AM to answer any questions you may have? 

Example B is way more appealing than A because your reader doesn’t have to strain over the CTA. They don’t have to think long and hard about when a conversation would take place. By being specific with details, you’ve removed unnecessary thinking for the reader. 

Adding a calendar link makes the whole process even easier as you create a reminder. You can use tools like Calendly to do so.

And always add urgency to your CTA. You want your recipient to act immediately.

c. Keep Your Questions Simple

If you want information about your recipients, keep your questions simple. 

For example, if you want to add readers to a mailing list category, provide them with clear multiple-choice options.

How often would you prefer receiving intriguing content about our services?

A)   On a daily basis

B)   Once every two weeks

C)   Once a month with links to all our content 

Reply to this email with your preferred letter option to let me know. 

If you want to have a conversation, asking an open-ended question can be a good way of getting started. 

In this case, start by showing that you’re an authority in your field and then ask your question. Otherwise, why would they share information with a stranger? 

Remember to keep it simple here as well. Don’t ask questions that will make your recipients think or write too much.

d. Add Some Humor

You’re trying to create a bond between you and your recipient even if you’re sending cold emails

Emails with a bit of humor can be very effective by making recipients consider them more than they would dull emails. 

Your sense of humor can convince your readers that your message is worth a reply and open doors for you. 

Here’s an example with a bit of humor: 

Let me know if you have any questions at all and I’ll answer them. (Questions about content marketing that is. I wouldn’t know anything about the perfect birthday gift.)

e. Use the Right Template

Your recipients are likely to read your email on their mobile devices. So it’s important to make your email mobile-friendly. 

The risk here is that your readers may miss out on your CTA if it isn’t easy to find. 

Using a mobile-responsive template ensures that your message will be well received on all devices. 

3. Get More Content For Your Marketing

You now know to craft the perfect cold email CTAs for your goals. Great! 

Now you need the content on your website to go with it. It’s one thing having amazing emails your recipients will act on. It’s another creating a vast amount of content showing authority and expertise in your field. 

That is key, after all, to your recipients trusting you and interacting with you beyond emails. 

But you shouldn’t have to worry about coming up with the content you need. Not if you work with the McKinnon Group which specializes in custom content at scale. 

Everything from blog articles, to printables, slideshares, listicles, quizzes, pillar pages, and more. You name it! 

Katrina McKinnon is the founder of McKinnonGroup. We create content - at scale - for content marketers. Buy pillar pages, skyscraper posts, blog articles, People also ask articles, content upgrades and more.