Picture this: after countless hours perfecting the body text and avoiding pesky spam trigger words, it's time for the grand finale — a call to action (CTA). Brace yourself, for this is a challenge that plagues many savvy marketers.
But you might think, “What's so tough about stringing together a few words?”
Well, allow us to drop a truth bomb. The 2022 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report shows that the average click-through rate (CTR) across all industries is a mere 2.3%. A disheartening figure, indeed. The good news is that you can significantly increase this rate with a smart, personalized, and explicit call to action.
As a sales expert at Folderly, I’m happy to share insider tips for creating CTAs that truly work in 2023, along with six winning B2B call to action examples you can use as a template.
PS: To be honest, I don’t promise you that the CTAs we’ll discuss will skyrocket your success rate (I wish it was that easy). But I promise you’ll get inspired by some great ideas and applicable tips on B2B calls to action.
Let’s dive in!
The Article Walkthrough:
What Is a Strong B2B Call to Action (and Why Does It Matter)
Think of a B2B call to action as the catalyst that drives a specific action to achieve your desired outcome. Important: the catalyst is not the desired action! It means the step that would finally lead to the desired outcome. It’s an instruction, a finalization of your intent. It’s the addition that helps you make your emails less vague, increasing engagement with your emails and, consequently, your email sender reputation.
Did you know our minds expect a CTA in some communication channels? Whether it’s a landing page or a new email from an unknown person, we automatically expect a CTA once we see it and choose to open it. In psychology, it’s called the perceptual set theory. In brief, after we select to pay attention to a sensory stimulus (in the case of email, it’s a visual stimulus), we think of other emails we've gotten in the past and recall how we acted on them. Then, we interpret the former experiences and automatically expect a CTA in an email (emails with a single CTA can increase clicks by 371%!).
That’s why your potential leads already know how to act on cold emails, and it increases the chances they will click if your offer is interesting and relevant. Their minds have already decided there will be a CTA before they open the message.
Your email's most important final sentence (or strong CTA) should meet the following criteria:
✅ Answers the question, “So, what do you want me to do?”
✅ Revokes the interest
✅ Is relevant and personalized
✅ Is brief and explicit
✅ Is related to email content
Also, there are two types of B2B calls to action: A soft CTA and A Hard CTA:
So, an example of a soft B2B call to action would be: Open to finding out more?
An example of a hard B2B call to action: I’d love to schedule a conversation next Tuesday at around noon to discuss more—would that work for your schedule?
(In the next paragraph, I’ll discuss which are better in a specific scenario.)
Now, enough with the theory. Let’s move on to the actionable tips, along with examples. 👇
Winning B2B Call to Action Examples (+ Insider Tips)
Crafting a compelling CTA requires strategic thinking, creativity, and a deep audience understanding. It's not just about motivating a potential customer to take action. It's about inspiring the intrinsic motivation that resonates with potential leads on a deeper level.
So, before I present CTA examples, remember this:
❗ There is no one correct and most suitable B2B call to action example. Use them smartly. If something works for one audience, it doesn’t mean it will work for another. Experiment, do A/B testing, and get inspired, but never use it as a copy-paste strategy without deeply considering your TA.
We don't recommend relying on AI to generate B2B CTAs. However, there are some amazing chatgpt email prompts that might assist in crafting the best CTAs.
Interest-oriented soft B2B call to action examples
- If I can [potential personalized benefit], would it be worth a conversation?
- [Potential personalized benefit]. Are you open to finding out more?
- [Potential personalized benefit]. Worth a conversation?
Simply put, it’s all about asking for interest instead of time. And you might think it’s not as persuasive as scheduling an appointment. In some ways, it’s not.
But being soft isn’t a sign of weakness when used smartly. It can indeed become part of a bigger strategy you apply to warm up your audience (that’s why, in international politics, soft power is used for positive attraction and persuasion). The goal is still to get to a meeting/ demo sign-up/ purchase. You just made this “softer” step before.
Why it works:
- Self-learning possibilities: with highly developed self-guided tours, demo videos, presentations, social media pages, etc., many clients would prefer to learn about the solution by themselves (without/ before the meeting).
Insightful statistics: 75 percent of American Gen Z & Millennials revealed they prefer to talk via text message instead of speaking
- Relief for busy people: Buyer expectations have changed, and for those with no time for meetings, a quick, self-independent recap is the only solution.
- Showing instead of convincing: Most buyers prefer to self-educate before taking meetings and evaluating solutions because they want to avoid being convinced or sold something.
When to use: If the product is straightforward and the prospect can do a fair amount of due diligence to self-educate on it, then an "interest-based CTA" will probably align the best, especially if they can self-serve the purchase of the said product.
But ❗Based on personal experience, C-level executives of fast-moving/growing companies usually hate flirting before being asked for a dance. Their time is money, and I don't know how many of them will be reaching out to create a dialogue via e-mail. So use it smartly.
🤔 Is an interest-based CTA better than a meeting-based CTA?
It depends. You'd have to run heavy tests on specific markets and titles with both approaches and see what leads to better conversion. Then you'll have irrefutable evidence of what works better for which vertical and persona. Also, it would depend on the product offering being offered in the email.
Easy-to-take B2B call to action examples
- How about a quick [conversation/chat/demonstration] next Tuesday at around 2 p.m. EST?
- I'd love to show you a quick demo of our product to see how we can help. Are you available for a call tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST?
- Let's schedule a meeting to go over the details. How about Thursday at 11 a.m. EST?
The examples above have a suggested time and date and specify the type of meeting to make it easy for a prospect to schedule the appointment.
Including a call to action in the form of a yes or no question can significantly increase conversions in B2B cold email campaigns. The point is to make it as easy as possible to take CTA and ensure a prospect can respond with only one word — “YES” (or “NO,” of course).
Why it works: You show that you respect the prospect’s time and do everything for him—offer the meeting day and time, and make it simple to reply with YES or NO. Minimal effort means more desire to take action.
When to use: If there is complexity to the product or offering and the best way to determine alignment is through a meeting, then I think a "meeting-based CTA" is probably recommended. Also, it may work perfectly with C-level executives of fast-moving/growing companies, who usually hate flirting before being asked for a dance.
Sense of urgency B2B call to action examples
- We're offering a free trial for a limited time. So I would like to talk to you ASAP to make sure you can get the best offer. Is Thursday at 2 PM a good time to connect?
Another approach that might work is utilizing a sense of urgency. Create a sense of urgency by using words like "now," or "limited time" to encourage the recipient to take action.
So, if you use a sense of urgency, give suggestions instead of orders. There is no place for acting bossy or commanding. CTAs like “Hurry up and check our new service page” or “Tomorrow is the last chance to get a discount” sound like an order. You don’t open emails just to get pushed around; neither do your prospects.
Your B2B call-to-action with urgency must sound like a useful recommendation or an outline of your intention. Be friendly, be well-meaning, not bossy and pushy.
Why it works: It motivates people to act quicker and agree to your proposed nearest meeting time. For instance, urgent subject lines can skyrocket the open rate by an average of 22%. And the same is true about CTA.
When to use: Use urgent calls to action in B2B emails only if you are sure your offer is 100% relevant to a prospect and the benefits outlined in the email are explicit. But, in my case, I use this strategy carefully and on rare occasions.
Value-focused B2B Call To Action examples
- Let's schedule a call to discuss how our social media marketing services can help you expand your reach and connect with more customers on social media. Are you free for a call on Monday at 1 PM EST?
Value-focused B2B calls-to-action are a powerful tool for engaging potential customers, differentiating from competitors, and motivating action. Make it all about them. Simplify your value proposition as much as possible. Put the prospect in the center.
Why it works: Value-focused B2B call-to-action examples are effective because they highlight the benefits and value the potential customer will receive by taking action. They are designed to appeal to the customer's needs and desires rather than simply focusing on the product's features or capabilities.
When to use: Ideal customers are those who closely align with the target market and have a high likelihood of benefiting from the products or services being offered.
NB ❗️ When using this type of B2B call to action, you need to believe in your product or service and convey that confidence in your email. Remind yourself: You don’t need to win the potential prospects because you and your tool are the rewards. Put the customer first, but play it cool. 😎
Risky and creative B2B call to action examples with a triplet
- Would you be open to a conversation on Monday at 1 PM EST, for instance, where we talk about business, how to improve your email inbox deliverability, and baseball lessons applicable to your strategy?
- Let's chat on Tuesday at 1 PM EST to explore how we can help you amplify your online presence, optimize your sales funnel, and discover powerful productivity hacks borrowed from Olympic athletes.
It’s time to capture attention and stand out from competitors. If you are bored with standard and classy CTAs and are ready to take risks, make sure to try this little-known call to action secret formula called the triplet:
expected benefit + expected benefit + unexpected benefit.
Why it works: This can help create interest and generate curiosity among potential customers, encouraging them to accept the conversation invitation and see how the unexpected benefit ties into their business strategy.
When to use: Use it if you believe the potential customer might be open to out-of-the-box thinking and innovative approaches; you know the customer values creativity and is willing to take risks; and you know the customer is looking for unique solutions to problems or challenges.
NB ❗️ This risky and creative approach may not resonate with all customers or industries. Understanding your target audience and assessing their openness to unconventional approaches is crucial before implementing this type of CTA. Additionally, ensure that the unexpected benefit aligns with your overall offering and provides genuine value to the customer.
Where to place CTA?
Now you know that a well-placed B2B call to action can make or break the effectiveness of a cold email. Of course, only if your email deliverability rate is high and emails land in inboxes.
But where should it go? Of course, where exactly to place the CTA in your email depends on the particular goal of your message, your audience, and the type of CTA you're using.
Here are some best practices I recommend considering:
- Above the fold: The CTA should be in sight without scrolling, encouraging immediate action
- In the subject line: A clear and enticing CTA primes the reader to take action even before they open the email
- In the opening sentence: Hook them early—a CTA in the opening line has the potential to make or break the rest of the email.
- At the end of the email: A strong reminder to take action before the reader moves on to the next message.
Testing different placements can help you determine which one works best for you. So, go ahead and experiment! With the right CTA in the right place, you can turn cold leads into hot prospects in no time.
What NOT TO DO with Your B2B Call to Action in Cold Emails
Finally, here are my three NEVER DO IT practices when it comes to crafting B2B calls to action:
🚫 Using links in your first cold emails
Avoid using a link as your call to action in B2B cold emails; instead, ask if they want the link and then send it, increasing the likelihood of them clicking it.
It’s not because links never work. You need to make the link really valuable to the prospect. Some email clients and servers use sophisticated email spam filtering that automatically flags emails with too many links as spam. This can result in your email not reaching the recipient's inbox. And with around 56.5 percent of all emails being spam in 2023, spam filters are becoming only stricter.
🚫 Linking Calendly
You may ask, “What’s wrong with this?” First of all, it’s against the so-called online meeting etiquette: “open the door” for someone to willingly give their availability. But, what’s even more important is that it’s not mobile-friendly.
So, avoid linking your Calendly in B2B cold emails and instead focus on getting the recipient to say yes to a meeting as the first call to action.
🚫 Using multiple CTAs
Multiple CTAs only distract recipients from the main message of the email. This can result in them ignoring the email entirely.
Bottom Line: Perform A/B Testing To Find Your Perfect Choice
As I’ve already mentioned, there is no one perfect choice. And it’s so important that I would mention it again and again. I can see the value in different approaches depending on the context, and all of them have the potential to lead to conversions.
Try different versions of your call-to-action to see what works best. Do A/B testing and set specific deadlines. Track and analyze the response rates to see which approaches are most effective. Consider the audience.
- Which one has more openings?
- Which one brings more rewarding interactions?
- Which one increases conversions?
- Which one delivers more responses?
In general, you need around two weeks to figure out the best call-to-action for your email marketing campaign.
And you will eventually find your perfect formula, just like my team has.
Also, remember that even the strongest call to action will fail to convert if your email sender reputation is poor and emails simply fail to be delivered. While you create persuasive calls to action, Folderly can take care of your email deliverability, performing a smart email deliverability fix and giving you a comprehensive email deliverability score overview (and beyond!).
Book a call in a few clicks to see how our solution can ensure your CTAs have the chance of being seen and followed :)