Creating a powerful call to action that gets your readers to take ACTION is either extremely simple or painstakingly difficult. It all depends on whether you shoot for the "80/20" or you're trying to create the mother of all email CTAs.

We'll focus on the 80/20 for now and progressively move towards the "Goldrandlösung" (a German word describing the absolutely 100 percent perfect, albeit over-engineered solution to a problem; literally the "gold-brimmed solution") in the following chapters.

Focus on ONE action

Every email you send needs one clear goal. It does not matter whether that goal is to get more visitors to your latest article or to get more engagement on one of your social channels or to sell more of your product.

Let your emails reflect that one purpose. Include only one call to action. Don't water your message down.

Other people have tested this for you and their results are unanimous: Having just one call to action (instead of many) increases your conversion rate by up to 1617%!

If you absolutely need to have a second call to action, make it explicit what the main call to action is - e.g. by making the primary call-to-action a button and the secondary CTA a text link.

Repeat your main Call-to-Action

Not all of your readers are alike. When that sales email finally comes around, some might be trigger-happy and want to purchase right away. That's why it's a good idea to have a CTA up front.

Others might need some more convincing to overcome the objections they have. They'll read the whole email before they are ready to buy - so you have a CTA at the bottom of your email. In fact, this will usually be your big, primary CTA.

Others still will read the whole email, then jump back to what you said three paragraphs in about the price of your product (and why it's a bargain). So it doesn't hurt to have a CTA somewhere in the middle of your email.

And finally, quite a lot of your readers will skim through your email and only two things will catch their attention properly: the opening paragraph and the P.S.; so you add another CTA in the P.S.

Obviously, you don't always include four CTAs, but for important (and LONG) emails it is an option. Some things are worth repeating.

Mind you: All those CTAs call for the same action (namely, buying the product), so you're not really violating the "focus on one CTA" principle.

Check your emails for errors before you send them out

I've been guilty of more than one email marketing plunder, believe me.

There was this time when I send an email to my list and spoke to everyone as if they had already bought my book (which most people on my list haven't - just like with any other list). Or that one time, where I created everyone with a colloquial "Hi{subscriber.first_name}!". Or... you get the idea.

Well, I paid for that lesson - but at least I learned it eventually.

Here's the trick: Whenever I'm about to send a new email (or add a new one to one of my sequences) I send a test copy of that email to my Send Check It. Soon after I receive an email that looks like this:

Send Check It sample response email

Now I know that everything in my email works as expected - and I can queue that email up to be sent to my list.