Lessons from Email Marketing for Your Video’s Call to Action

Email marketers have long known that crafting a compelling call-to-action (CTA) is an important step in creating an effective campaign. Writing great subject lines and copy will only get you so far, since it’s your CTA that will motivate readers to ‘click’ and ultimately convert into sales.

When it comes to video marketing, a call-to-action can be verbally stated in a video’s narration, or included as a button for viewers to click (or both). You might be asking a viewer to visit your website, to download an offer like an ebook, to sign-up for an event, or to contact you for a consultation. Whatever the action you’re calling for, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

Here are 4 lessons from email marketing to optimize your video’s call-to-action.


1. Use Action-Oriented Language

Put the “action” back in “call-to-action” by using compelling verbs like get and learn instead of boring words like submit or click here, and follow them up with a clear benefit statement (eg. “learn more about how you can increase conversions”).

Email marketing platform Campaign Monitor has a great list of 75 Calls to Action that might help you generate some ideas for your own action-oriented CTA’s. They also warn us against using “friction words”, such as Download, Buy, Order or Submit, as these can imply that the viewer has to do something requiring a certain amount of effort.

2. Consider Speaking in the First Person

Studies have shown that changing button text from the second person (eg. “Get a free ebook”) to the first person (eg. “Get my free ebook”) can result in up to a 90% increase in clicks.

Human beings tend to be driven more by avoiding loss than by achieving gain. Using first person possessive determiners such as “my” can give the viewer a sense of ownership, triggering that drive for loss aversion.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Emails that create a sense of urgency are more likely to convert, and videos are no different. When the human brain feels a sense of urgency, we tend to respond more impulsively, which is a great thing for us as video marketers.

You can create a sense of urgency in your video’s CTA in several ways:

  • Set a deadline for a discount. Reward viewers for taking advantage of your offer within an alloted time period (eg. “Save $50 when you register by 11:59pm”).
  • Create a sense of scarcity. Offer something in limited supply by including text like “Limited Edition”, “These won’t last long”, or “RSVP now: Only 8 Spots Left”.
  • Pair an active word with an ugent one. Pair that action-oriented word we discussed above with an urgent one, for phrasing like “Book today”, “Start saving instantly”, or Get your free ebook now”.

4. Test and Iterate

Your calls-to-action are arguably one of the most important components of your videos in generating measurable results, so it’s important to continually test and iterate. Use A/B Split Testing within a single video, or simply try different calls-to-action on several similar videos in a series to see what works best.

The language you use should be specifically tailored to the tone and personality of your brand, so keep testing to see what resonates with your audience.