Combining Multiple Calls to Action in Your Marketing E-Mail

By John Arnold

Your e-mail marketing list probably consists of prospects and customers at different stages of the buying cycle with slightly different interests, so a portion of your audience will never be ready to immediately respond to every call to action. Even if everyone on your e-mail list is ready for action, your calls to action are sometimes made more visible by combining two or three activities.

Using multiple calls to action can give your audience more than one choice for responding to your e-mail content and gives more visibility to each action. These call-to-action combinations allow you to capture responses from a larger percentage of your audience:

  • An options call gives your audience a list of three consecutive options, each requiring less of a commitment than the previous option. For example, an offer to purchase a new mountain bike might include this options call:

    • “Order this unique bike online today to ensure your color preference.”

    • “Read more about this unique bike on our website now.”

    • “Share your mailing address so we can mail you a brochure.”


  • An echo call gives a single call to action more visibility by repeating it in three places in your e-mail. Repetition reinforces the call to action and helps your recipients to commit it to memory as they scan through your e-mail. For example, an offer to design a new website for someone might include this echo call:

    • The call to action at the end of the e-mail’s opening paragraph reads, “Take the website quiz below and then call for a free website checkup.”

    • The call to action immediately following the quiz reads, “Call now for a free website checkup.”

    • The call to action at the end of the e-mail’s closing paragraph reads, “Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to call for your free website checkup.”

    A variable call allows the same call to action to address multiple interests by rewriting it with three different interests in mind. For example, an e-mail featuring information about ski vacations could include

    • An article about the benefits of ski rental with a call to action that reads, “Free ski rental when you book your vacation online before Friday.”

    • An article about the current snow conditions to target with a call to action that reads, “Book your vacation online before Friday to take advantage of current snowfall conditions.”

    • An article about worry-free ski vacations with a call to action that reads, “Book your vacation using our concierge service for a worry-free experience.”

If your call to action requires multiple steps, try one of these:

  • “Reply now and request our quick step-by-step guide.”

  • “Proceed to step one now using this link.”

  • “Download our easy-to-use action guide in a flash.”

  • “View our incredible online video instead of watching TV tonight.”