15 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Sales Email Call To Action


Andy Cabasso

December 6th

A call to action (CTA) is the “next step” that you want your readers to take. And before you hop on the “I don’t believe a CTA is that important in my emailing strategy” train, let me tell you one thing: 

Emails with a single CTA increased the click-through rate by 371% and sales by 1617%

And one other thing that goes hand in hand with crafting a compelling CTA is inserting your unique value proposition (UVP) in your sales email. You can’t have one without the other, and here’s why! 

Let’s say that you tell your prospects why your product is better than competitors, but you don’t insert a CTA to get them to do something. Your recipients will be confused, and they might even think something like, “good for you, but that’s nothing to do with me.” 

Now let’s assume this time you insert your CTA, but you don’t tell your recipients about your brand’s UVP. If your brand can’t make a positive impact in someone’s life, why would they want to move the conversation forward? Mentioning your business UVP grabs their attention and gets them excited to collaborate with you.

So here’s a quick guide with the most frequent mistakes you should avoid in your sales email and a few tips on how to craft a better CTA as well! 

15 Common Mistakes in Sales Email Calls to Action

1. Don’t Forget to Add a CTA

And this includes even those situations when you think you don’t need a CTA because your email body is clear enough. Spoilers – you always need a CTA! It makes your email 10x times clearer and more engaging! 

cta patrick call to action postaga meme

However, sometimes you’re so focused on getting your sales email right, you just forget about CTA. Don’t worry – it happens to the best of us! Just double-check your sales email before sending them, and make sure your CTA is short and appealing! 

2. Don’t Include Too Many CTAs

Here’s an example of a bad CTA: 

Do you want to double your conversion rate? I’d love to show you how! Do you have 7 minutes to talk tomorrow? Can I send some helpful tips until then? Get a quote for your project and sign up free if you want to skyrocket your business! 

I can already hear you saying, “Whoa, hold on a minute – what was that? What should I do first? Slow down a bit!”

cta call to action cat meme

And that’s precisely how your readers feel if you include too many CTAs: confused and overwhelmed to the point where they won’t take any action at all. Instead, your prospects will just close your email thinking, “Wow, glad I dodged that bullet!”

One CTA is enough to grab your prospect’s attention! 

3. Don’t Hold Back on Humor

No one likes to do business with someone who turns your smile upside down – people are already stressed for one reason.  

Prospects and customers notice your sense of humor in a second. So a funny tone will make the sales email lighter, and even their problems might seem easier to solve.   

Just a quick reminder, though: 

  • Don’t make offensive jokes
  • Don’t make jokes only you understand 

Keep in mind that you’re asking them a favor, so don’t be disrespectful!

4. Don’t Ask Them to Take Difficult Decisions

When you’re reaching out to people you’ve never met, asking them to make tough calls right from the start will get you a strong “no!”. Possibly a few blocks too. 

Your call to action should get your readers curious about your product, making it as easy as possible to follow through. 

critical cta call to action difficult decision

Besides, no one is ready for a strong commitment right from the start, especially when they haven’t heard about your brand. Tough decisions need time, so don’t try to push your prospects out of their comfort zone because you’ll come across as aggressive and spammy

5. Don’t Send It Without Double-Checking

There’s nothing more unprofessional than a sales email full of grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and links that don’t work. 

Plus, check if your call to action button is optimized for both desktop and mobile users. 50% of global website traffic is mobile devices, so there are high chances that everyone from your email list will see your message from their phone or tablet.

Making sure that your CTA looks great is a key element of improving the user experience. Prospects will be more willing to read your emails, and, as a result, it reduces your bounce rate. And it’ll have a positive impact on your marketing efforts too! A CTA that looks and works just fine will get your readers to take one step further into your sales funnel.

6. Don’t Forget to Include Your Readers’ Pain Points

Addressing pain points directly is a great way to grab your potential customer’s attention and make them feel excited about your products. You know, “Finally, someone who understands what I have to go through, I bet they have great solutions! “kind of excitement.

Even more, if you include a CTA that mentions your prospect’s pain points, it’ll validate their struggles and make them feel understood. It shows your customers that you care about their experience and empathize with their needs. 

And that’s because people don’t buy things; they buy solutions to their pain points. 

If you forget to add value and prioritize your readers’ needs, the chances are that they won’t interact with your email at all. Instead, give them a solid reason to be interested in your company by being loud and clear about what you can do for them. 

7. Don’t Command Your Readers – Persuade Them Instead

Just because a CTA sounds slightly more imperative than a neutral sentence doesn’t mean you can command someone. 

In some cases, you might even use scarcity to create a sense of urgency; that’s true. But that’s still a long way from commanding someone. If your leads feel pressured in any way to do something, you’ll lose them. 

Besides, don’t forget that you’re reaching out to them because you need to ask them a favor, not the other way around. 

8. Not Personalizing Your CTA

Another mistake to avoid is having your call to action generic and too broad.

Here are two calls to action examples that can make your email friendlier and more engaging: 

  • So, Joe, whose name should I put on the paperwork? 
  • So Joe, let me know if you’re ready for growth. 

Use their name and make an invitation, an offer, or even ask a question – anything that catches your recipient’s attention and gets them to reply. 

perfect personalization postaga meme

Don’t insert boring, general, or ambiguous CTA. It might give your recipients the idea that you don’t know who you are talking to or that you’ve copy-pasted your CTA. 

Wouldn’t you feel a bit awkward if someone sent you a copy-pasted template to get your attention? I mean, are they genuinely interested in helping you if they don’t even put any effort into crafting a personalized email? 

You can stir up a lot of doubts and questions with just a few wrong words! Besides, it’s easy to spot a popular CTA template from the internet. If some brands skyrocket their sales emailing outreach with a certain CTA, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for your company. 

So make sure your CTA is going hand in hand with your brand persona. Make it charismatic, funny, dramatic – but make it your own! 

9. Making It Horribly Long & Wordy

No one has time to hear the story of your life, how your company was founded, or who you met in Tesco’s parking lot a few years ago. Besides, the average attention span is considered to be somewhere around 8 seconds, so get to the point and do it quickly! 

And this is available even if your brand’s personality is crafted around a powerful story or charismatic person. Instead, shift the main focus on your customers and how you can solve their problems.

Also, don’t fluff your sales email with pretentious words or industry jargon. Some people might not understand what you’re trying to say, so keep your sentences clear and short. Read your email out loud and ask yourself: Is my language the same as my prospects’?  

10. Making Promises You Can’t Keep

Overselling your brand is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility. Once your customers see that you’re selling them unrealistic solutions, they’ll walk away from your company. 

If you want to show your prospect’s that you can walk the walk, then link a few testimonials or social proof in your CTA. This way, customers can see that you live up to their expectations and your solutions are real and tangible. 

Whatever you do, let your accomplishments speak for themselves! 

11. Going All Out

“Go big or go home” is not appropriate in a CTA.

Your CTA should include just one core benefit, not a bulleted list or a long paragraph that no one will read anyway.

cta doggo marketing meme

Besides, if you come up with too good to be true offers, prospects might hesitate to reply to your cold emails because everyone knows to stay away from those kinds of deals. So it’s ok to hold back and offer a bit less. 

Oh, by the way, do you remember a few seconds ago when we agreed that your calls to action should be short and sweet? Well, you can’t follow that rule AND cover all the benefits your company offers. Your email would be simply too long. 

12. Making Your Offer Hard to Find

Your CTA should be visible right away! The ones that boost conversion rates are placed either a bit above your signature email or at the end of your email, along with the closing words.

You can highlight an important idea by capitalizing, bolding, or italicizing certain words. That’s a great way to add personality to your email, but keep in mind you shouldn’t overdo it! Emphasize just a few words, but never a long sentence. 

To make your CTA even more obvious, you can use a font slightly bigger than the rest of your email and insert an extra paragraph space between your email body and the CTA.

If you decide to go for a CTA button instead of text, double-check it’s working correctly before sending your sales pitch. Plus, use some nice, eye-catching colors – a red, green, orange, yellow button color looks just fine! 

13. Don’t Stop Pursuing Them

Sending one email and no follow-ups decrease the likelihood you get a reply.

Following up means that you have more opportunities to get your recipient to reply.

Statistics show that 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes, so even if they didn’t reply to your CTA, sending a follow-up email is normal. 

In my experience, sending them 2-3 follow-up emails one week apart from each other is the best solution.

But keep in mind that setting a follow-up email cadence is very important. If you send emails too quickly, one after the other, it can hurt your domain. As a consequence, your email address will be flagged as spam. 

14. Being Way Too Casual or Too Formal

With cold outreach, you are reaching out to someone you don’t know.

So, being extremely casual like you are already friends with the person, like, “Hey dude,” will be off-putting.

The same goes for being too formal. “Dear Mr./Ms. ___” is not how people generally communicate via email these days. It makes you stand out in a bad way, your recipient might be suspicious of you, and they will ignore you.

15. Didn’t Check Your Links

One overlooked common mistake is having links in your calls-to-action that don’t work.

It’s surprisingly common.

So, test out your links. Make sure the links work and that they actually go to their destination so that if someone clicks your links, they go to where you want.

Bonus Tip – Do A/B Testing!

A/B testing helps you find out the perfect formula for the most effective CTA. Instead of wondering the better choice between 2 different CTAs, just try out a few versions and see which one performs better. 

For an accurate call to action optimization, you can test variables like: 

  • Position (Sidebar CTA vs. a CTA placed at the bottom of the email)
  • Background color
  • Background image
  • Wording 
  • Size

But make sure to limit your test to one variable at a time, otherwise, it might get confusing, and you get inaccurate results. 

Conclusion

Your email outreach campaign wouldn’t be complete with a compelling CTA. However, learning the dos and don’ts of creating a personalized call to action can reduce the chances of making common mistakes. 

The best part about adding a CTA in your sales emails? Numbers show that up to 70% of small B2B companies lack a CTA. So just including one in your emails will give you a head start on the competition. 

Do you find it hard to craft a compelling CTA that reflects your brand’s personality and gets your recipients to reply to your emails? Let us know the most frequent problems you have to deal with when you create your CTAs. 

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