Tricks to get people to take action on your emails

I hope you’re ready, because in the next 3 lessons, I will drop a good amount of information on you. We’ll cover every single trick to make your subscribers take action on your campaigns.

Imagine if, after putting in a lot of hard work into getting your subscribers to open your emails, only a small percentage of them are taking action. It will all go to waste.

Let’s get to work on that then… Are you ready?

One goal

I want to get this point out of the way because we’ll cover it in one of the following lessons, but I want to say this:

One of the main reasons people get stuck without taking action is because they are presented with too many options. This happens on web pages, on landing pages and even when you ask your spouse which movie to watch. Email is not the exception.

Keep your campaigns focused on only one goal.

Call them out

Chances that every subscriber will be motivated to act on your campaign are very low. Even in your email, there are people with different interests or at different stages.

A group of people will exclude themselves from your offer because they are not interested or your offer simply doesn’t cover their needs at the moment. But is a group of people that will be, those are your ideal prospects for this specific campaign.

Focus on the people that will benefit from your offer and forget the rest, they won’t take action anyways. In order to do this, you call them out.

Look at the following example, chances are not everybody in the list is going through a career transition at the moment, or looking to get a promotion. This is how you call out the ones that are. This is for them.

Call them out

OneMonth offers different kinds of course for startups. People that took a course on Ruby on Rails might not be interested in learning content marketing, or they might, in that case they will feel the impact of the call out.

OneMonth call out


You’ve probably seen all kinds of emails, long and short. But, can the length of an email influence how many people take action?

According to Vero, it doesn’t make much of a difference, unless you over 500 words, where it drops 3% compared to the 100-150 bracket.

Copy length affects CTR

But I’ll give you my theory: I think that long copy can help conversion, and your subscribers won’t mind when they are used to taking action on your campaigns, but if your subscribers are not, I’d keep my copy short and to the point.

Of course, you should also consider:

  • Communicating in an effective manner is more important that the length of the copy, if you need to go for 573 words, go for it
  • You should test this

Open Loops

Remember “Open Loops”?

I know we already covered the concept, so I won’t take too much of your time on this.

The difference is that instead of writing an open loop for your subject line, in this case it will inside your email body and will focus on getting the subscriber take the next action.


This is a mistake many people make. When you’re promoting content from your site, you should never include the entire post in the email.

If you do this, you’re completely eliminating the need to click through. You’re killing one of the main sources of highly targeted traffic to your site and your subscribers get used to not taking action.

Instead, the copy in your email should focus on selling the click to read the post.

Blog post teaser

Of course, open loops also apply in this point.


This is the most important part of this lesson because most of the time, the goal of your campaign will be to achieve a click on a link.

These are the best practices for links:

Links should look like… links!

This goes back to conventional behavior. As human beings, we get used to things, and we’ve been using the internet for a while now. We recognize a link on the screen without thinking about it.

But there are people that insist in styling links in different ways. Don’t.

A link is either…

  • A button
  • Or a piece of text that is usually underlined and has a different color from the rest of the text

If your link doesn’t exactly look like a link, you’re running the risk that some people will miss it.

Make your links obvious.

Obvious links

Above the fold

This is known as the “Top 2 Inches Rule.” We’ll cover this in the next lesson, so I’ll be brief…

The common preview pane of an email is 2 inches in height, this is the first thing you see once you open an email, and people make a decision wether or not to continue reading your email based on this small section.

This is why it’s very important that you include a link within this space.

Here’s an example:

Top 2 inches

Link the headline

Your campaign will typically have one or more headlines. And, if you think about it, we are used to clicking on them on a blog or a post on Facebook.

If you’re promoting a blog post, add a link to the headline. If you’re are promoting a product or products, add links to the names of the products.

Link your headlines

Multiple links

You should always include multiple links in your emails to increase the chances of a click.

We already mentioned that you should add links to your headlines and product names, where else can you add links?


Wether they are the featured image of a blog post…

Featured image of a blog post

or the hero shot of a product.

Link product images


Your copy should also include multiple links pointing in the same direction.

I’m sure you heard about over-selling. The customer is already sold and the sale person won’t shut up. In some cases, your subscriber is ready to click half ways through your email.

In the following example, I actually clicked on the first link.

Multiple links in the copy


I’m sure you’ve asked yourself why is it that so many people use a P.S. in email?

Here is the theory as I learned it a while back:

When you read something, wether it’s a blog or an email, there are usually 3 things you remember:

  • The headline
  • An unusual part
  • And the last thing you read

Yes, the P.S.

And this is why the P.S. is the perfect opportunity to summarize. Copyblogger says the P.S. should have 3 things:

  1. What the reader stands to lose (the prospect’s problem)
  2. What the reader stands to gain (the solution you offer)
  3. The urgency factor. This could be the deadline, a limit on the number of items you’ll sell, or whatever you need to get the reader to act right away.

It’s also not unusual to see a link inserted in the P.S.



Finally, how about asking?

Sounds silly, but I’m not just talking about asking…

In fact, links and buttons should be supported by a quick call to action. Let me show you a couple of examples:

CTA before the link

Or it can be a little more subtle.

CTA before button


We probably covered too many things to try in just one campaign, so let’s start with this:

  1. Establish one goal for your campaign. Do not have other things to do in it
  2. Call out the people that will benefit the most
  3. When you write your copy, make sure you tease them so they take action
  4. Make sure to use multiple links and they are obvious

Come back and share your experience in the comments below.

  • Hi Francisco. I have a few questions about this material here:
    1) I’ve always understood that there should be fewer links, not multiple links in order to help focus the reader, which seemed supported in the place where you told us to focus on 1 goal only with an email. So i suppose what you’re saying here with “multiple links” is that they should all lead the reader to the same “end point” and the same ‘whatever’ being promoted with the email. ?

    2) Under “Copy” you say we should have “multiple links pointing in the same direction”. What does that mean exactly? (…Leading to the same end point/result?) If that’s true, then i didn’t fully understand what “Multiple Links” was recommending.

    3) Then in the “Copy” section, you mention overselling … As if your example has done something wrong, and show an example… but could that example also be showing good use of multiple links? . . .


    • 1) Yes, we are talking about increasing the number of possible clicks in the campaign, when I talk about linking the image, the headline or using multiple links, I mean to the same destination. You’re right, always one goal per campaign.

      2) Again, multiple links to the same destination.

      3) Sometimes a person is ready to click through half ways your campaign, or even at the beginning, that’s why I recommend adding multiple links. The example was meant to be a good one, perhaps my wording wasn’t clear. I’ll see how to make that clear.