How to boost your click-thru rate without being sleazy

Four quick and simple tips to help grow a trusting relationship with your email subscribers. They might seem obvious, but even the best content marketer will often forget to do these four things.

woman checking her phone

If you have ever had the experience of saying something to someone, something important, something that you really wanted them to hear and understand, and then you turn around and realize they left the room before you started talking and no one heard what you just said. Then you know what it feels like to send an email and not have anyone engage.


Relationships are two way, and this is true of you and your followers. You want to actually build a relationship with them, which means that you need to get them to engage with you because this is going to increase that know, like, and trust factor. 


4 rules to follow if you want to increase your click-thru rate


These four very simple rules that will help you increase the engagement that you see inside of your emails. So what do I mean by engagement? Well, I mean that you ask your subscribers to do something and they do it. That’s what I mean by engagement, you are asking them to do something and they actually do whatever it is you are asking them to do.


So we call this, in the marketing world, a call to action. You will see it abbreviated as CTA. I’m going to give you four rules today for your CTA, for your calls to action. 


#1 – Always have a Call to Action


That seems so obvious. And yet, so many times (I challenge you to go back and read your own emails or read the emails that people are sending you) so very often there is no call to action. There’s no opportunity for you to engage with the people who are sending you emails. It’s actually fairly rare. So while this seems like a very obvious thing, it isn’t, it is not super obvious.


I really want you to think about “how can I ask my subscribers to do something for me every single time I email them?” Giving them that opportunity is going to help them realize that you know, like, and trust them. That is going to increase their know, like, and trust factor with you and build this relationship. So rule number one is that every email you send should include a call to action.


#2 – Only have ONE call to action per email


Now let me clarify. I am not saying that you can not ask the same thing multiple times. So you might have a call to action that is “please go read this blog post.” Now you could ask that in the middle of a paragraph with just a simple hyperlink, you could ask that again as a button in the middle of the email, you could ask it a third time in the PS section of your email. You could ask that multiple times. That’s fine.


What I mean when I say one call to action is that you are asking them to do one thing. So even if you put that call to action in 10 places through your email, it is the same call to action. Now, why does this work so well? Why is this so important? You’ve heard me say it multiple times throughout this podcast season. The reason is because of analysis paralysis. When we have too many options, as humans, we tend to choose nothing because that’s the default, right?


We are afraid of making the wrong choice so we default to making no choice. So you need to make it really easy for your people. Either they don’t do what you’re asking or they do do what you’re asking. That’s it. They only have two choices. Yes or no.


I promise you that when you start employing this method in the majority of your emails, when the majority of your emails have just one call to action, you are going to see increased engagement. You are going to see people doing what you’re asking them to do far more often. So rule number two is just one call to action per email.


#3 – Have the call to action on its own line at least once in the email


More often is great, but at least once that call to action should be on its own line where it is the only thing in an entire paragraph. It’s hanging out there all by itself. It’s solo.


Why? Because it will attract attention to itself that way when it’s all out there by its lonesome. If you see a sentence, a paragraph, an entire paragraph that just has five words in it, it grabs your attention and people will be more likely to see it and consider it and act on it. So rule number three is your call to action should be on its own line.


#4 – Vary your call to action


It shouldn’t be the same call to action every time. Every email you send should not say, “read the blog post, read the rest here.” It’s called a tip of the iceberg email where you share the first paragraph of your blog post, and then you say click here to read more. That’s a great call to action. Totally fine. You should do that sometimes, but you should not do that in every email you send.


Examples of a Call to Action that will increase your click-thru rate


So I have a few examples here for you of various calls to action that you might want to consider:

  • Listen to the podcast episode
  • Buy a product. So for me, you know, enroll in Tech School might be my call to action
  • Watch a video. Your actual call to action could be Watch Now.
  • Tag me on social media. This is a really fun one. If you have just taught them something, this can be especially helpful. If you’ve just given them a real quick hack, something they can do really quickly and simply, invite them to snap a picture of it, share it on social media, and tag you. Or maybe you have them answer a question from your email on social media. Answer this question on social media and tag me.
  • Comment on a social media post is another one. So you have a social media post on Instagram, on Facebook, and you link to that post from your email and ask them to comment.
  • You can ask them to forward the email to a friend.
  • You can ask them to reply to your email. This is an especially good one because once someone has replied to one of your emails, that is almost a guarantee that you will never end up in their spam ever again
  • What about taking a survey? You can invite them to click on the link and take an actual survey. What would you like to hear about next month? What do you want to learn more about inside of Tech School? You can ask questions inside of an email and you can have two or three answers. And depending on which one they click on a tag gets added to their account in your email service provider. And now you have data about these people, about what it is they want to hear about. Another way to do a survey is to actually just have them click to a survey. You can create the survey with a Google form to be super, super simple. Or you can use something like Survey Monkey.  There are lots of programs out there that will allow you to create a survey.




So there you have it, a whole bunch of different options for calls to action, all things that benefit you. So you’re asking them to do something for you, but that encourages them to engage with you. This builds trust both ways. Relationships take effort from both parties and you want to build a relationship with your email subscribers.


If you can build that kind of trust, I guarantee you click-thru rate will increase.

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Listen Here

This post originally aired as an episode of The Goodness Squad podcast. New episodes are no longer being recorded, but you can still listen to past episodes on your favorite podcast app.

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