In marketing land where people love abbreviations, a CTA is a “call to action.”
Basically, it’s what you do once you’ve made your pitch (for your ICO, for your proof-of-caring, for your Telegram channel).
In other words, it’s when you actually tell people to do some damn thing.
You can be blatant about it, and just say, “Click here to contribute.”
Or you can be clever: “Put on your accounting visor, get your pocket calculator out, and check out our smart contract on GitHub.”
But whatever you do, don’t make any of the following CTA mistakes, all of which I’ve seen in emails from ICO companies:
# 1. The shy CTA
The biggest mistake you can make is to simply omit a CTA.
Some people feel that if they lay out their case well (“here’s why our ICO is so great”) then the reader will automatically make the connection (“OMG I should invest now”).
Don’t count on this.
People have enough on their minds to distract them, and if you don’t include a CTA, you’re shooting yourself in both feet.
(By the way, including a weak or unrelated CTA, along the lines of, “If you have any questions, feel free to contact us,” also falls into this category.)
# 2. A CTA without a cause
While a CTA is important, it won’t carry a sale on its own.
That means you have to sell people first on what you want them to do, and only then include a CTA.
Seems obvious right?
But I’ve seen lots of emails that come out and say, “Dear valued investor, we’re a fantastic ICO, click here to invest.”
That’s lazy and ineffective.
# 3. W well-camouflaged orange CTA
When I get a colorful, webpage-like email with lots of buttons and images, I’ve found something interesting.
I scan the page to find the actual small, black, regular-sized text and that’s what I read, because I assume that’s what’s interesting and unique to this email.
I end up ignoring the loud and flashing buttons that are supposed to draw my attention.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, test this out for yourself.
Send out the same email content with minimal formatting or with your usual fancy HTML template.
And check how the responses vary when your CTA is a plain, blue, underlined link instead of a loud orange button.
# 4. An aggressive CTA army
This is a close cousin of the orange and camouflaged CTA.
It’s when one CTA decides to bring all of his CTA friends.
So it’s not just “invest now”, but there’s also “share on Facebook,” “check out our whitepaper,” and “join our Telegram channel,” plus about 7 more.
Nobody will do all of these things.
And paradoxically, giving people so many options might end up meaning they won’t even do any single one of them.
# 5. The begging-and-pleading CTA
Finally, don’t beg and plead with your readers to do what you want.
Begging doesn’t have to be overt like saying “please” or “We really hope you will help us make the world a better place.”
Begging can also be a whiff of desperation, conveyed through too many exclamation points or groundless urgency.
But you might say, the companies that send out emails like this have been raising millions of dollars in their ICOs.
And it’s true.
That doesn’t mean they couldn’t have raised more money, more quickly, if they had done their email (and overall) marketing a bit better.
And it certainly doesn’t mean that future ICOs, which might need to have tighter marketing game than today’s lucky crop, should copy the same mistakes.
At least that’s how I see it.
Anyways, if you want my take on how CTAs should be done for your ICOs email marketing, here’s where you can get in touch with me: