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  • Writer's pictureKevin Lindon Ryan

Um, It's Urgent: Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Calls-to-Action [Plus, 100 Keywords]

online marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, call to action, marketing, email marketing campaigns

A call-to-action's purpose is simple: inspire desired behaviors. Sometimes, it's as simple as getting a customer to click a link in an email. Then, the landing page might lead to signing up for a webinar, making a donation, or whatever you want your audience to do. When crafting email calls-to-action, try out new phrases, but create a sense of urgency for best results.

When my boss at my corporate job tasked me with writing all copy and managing our content calendar for the member e-newsletter, I was so into it. I had designed and launched email marketing campaigns for small businesses and organizations, but never for an audience of over 444,000 recipients. . . until that moment.

The pressure was on, and it was invigorating. Our e-newsletter typically features three to four articles, two promos, and a video. That means crafting six or seven headlines, body copy descriptions, and calls-to-action.

I'd been involved with the e-newsletter for 11 months, starting in June of 2017, but I began writing all copy and managing our content calendar in May of 2018. I've always been a skilled writer, and my team uses me instead of copywriters. However, my first go at my new role showed a decrease in the effectiveness rate (unique clicks divided by unique opens) by 15.7% compared to our previous month's edition.

I was discouraged and attributed this change to the copy I had written. Then, I saw that the results were also low in June of 2017 and 2016. 2018's June e-newsletter actually performed better than the previous years. I felt a sense of relief. Still, I wanted to hone my skills and get better at writing compelling email copy, including effective calls-to-action. So far, so good. Read about my number one tip below.

  • Create a sense of urgency. Your goal with email calls-to-action is simple: provoke an immediate response. Urgency gets us to act quickly, and the sooner you can inspire action, the better. Use quick call-to-action phrases that increase immediacy and prompt clicks such as “Act now,” “Get started today,” and “Don’t miss​ out.”​ You can also show countdown ​clocks or timers to invoke urgency and promote webinars or events. These have worked well for my clients to improve click-through ​rates, raise registration ​volumes, and ultimately drive conversions and sales. I’ve learned to create a sense of urgency, but avoid using fear-based language that may inspire clicks without conversions. ​

Follow this tip when you craft your next calls-to-action in your email marketing campaigns. If you need help coming up with some phrases to test, here's a list of 100 keywords.

I challenge you to review this list before you craft your next email marketing campaign, and try some of these keywords or phrases in your calls-to-action. Test them out, and see what performs best for your audiences.

If you have any questions, never hesitate to reach out. I'm only an email or message away.

Thanks so much,



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