Emails with Multiple Calls to Action

A recent article from Search Engine Land got me thinking about email calls to action.

The article – Should You Expect Sales-Ready Leads From Search – is about the sales funnel and how business-to-business decision makers work their way through the sales funnel. The article discusses the role search has during the decision process when business leaders are investigating a company they are considering doing business with.

In the article, the point of having multiple calls to action is mentioned. The theory is that traffic from search engines will bring potential customers to a website during various points of their buying process. If there is only a single call to action (often to the call to purchase) then a potential lead or sale is lost. If visitors are only in the research phase of their purchasing decision they are not interested in a direct call to make a purchase. In fact, these folks might be turned off by the presumption of the content.

In order to appeal to all of your sales leads, look to create multiple calls to action.

Multiple Calls to Actions in Marketing Emails

Now, if you have business clients that are making decisions on behalf of their company, you need to focus on the same sales funnel from the article.

B2B Sales Funnel

Let’s tell the story of a local print shop.

Joe’s Printing serves local clients in their local town. Joe’s Printing handles anything from business cards, post cards, and even posters. Local businesses come to Joe’s for these printed materials.

Recently, Joe has started an email program. All of his clients with email accounts have signed up for Joe’s email list. There is typically one contact at each of the businesses Joe works with.

Also on the list are prospects. These are the folks that have contacted Joe for information. They haven’t committed to any purchase. Some are simply asking for some preliminary information while others have asked for some details on how the entire process works. The folks left in this last segment have also typically stated that they are comparing Joe’s Printing with other local printing shops.

In each of Joe’s emails he focuses on each person on the list. The first thing in Joe’s emails is an offer for a new style of postcard he’s offering. This product is targeted at the folks that are already customers. Joe has some copy included next to a graphic of the new postcard describing how those with businesses can expand their offering and improve their direct mail programs.

Underneath that offering Joe has a headline that calls out for the attention of the other folks on his list. These are the people that have yet to make an agreement, but are interested. In this area Joe offers viewers of the email a case study from a client. The case study goes into detail the ways printed material and direct mail has helped their business grow and increase profit.

Finally, underneath this information Joe has an introduction to his company. He figures there are some people that may have just signed up for his email and don’t yet have a clear understanding of what his company is about and what it has to offer. There is a brief introductory paragraph and a link to a landing page on Joe’s website that discusses the history of Joe’s Printing, the people, the services, and the customers.

Create Real Life Emails

A good way to think about emails like the one in Joe’s Printing example is to imagine that you’re talking to your customers and potential customers in person. Each person that Joe would talk to is included in the email. Their specific needs are addressed by the content in the email. Joe tries to handle their potential questions just as he would in person.

Joe’s current customers frequently ask him about new ways to improve their business. Joe has worked to offer the product and is featuring it in the email. For the prospects, Joe offers some information about previous clients and the successes they have had. This is a common method used in face to face sales by salesmen. Joe is using the content in the email as a way to encourage more action down the sales funnel.

Finally, Joe has the prospect that he has just met. He gives background on the company and works to form the relationship. He knows the person isn’t likely to commit right away so he doesn’t push the envelope.


Email marketing is a lot like making sales in person. When you can’t be there in person, email makes a great gateway to your website. Email is a great communication tool for each of your customer segments no matter where they are in the sales cycle.

A few things Joe could even include beyond this would be calls for feedback. He could ask current customers what they think of his service. He could then use this information to improve the business and even share some with prospects.

Multiple calls to action serve business managers well in the case of Joe’s Printing. It can also work well for your business.

Eventually Joe might also think about hiring more resources and create separate emails for each customer segment.

That could probably be the topic of another blog post.

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