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Crafting the Perfect Cold Email Call to Action: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering cold emails in B2B marketing is key, yet tricky. It’s your secret weapon to unlocking endless opportunities—if done right. Otherwise, it’s straight to the ignore pile. Learning from over seven years of experience and collaborations with over 100 businesses, I’ll show you how to craft killer cold email calls to action that not only get noticed but also get results.

Understanding the Call to Action

At its core, a call to action (CTA) in your cold email is the bridge between your message and the recipient’s action. It’s what you’re asking someone to do after reading your email. Yet, the art of crafting an effective CTA is where many falter, cluttering their messages with multiple requests or vague propositions.

It’s important to understand that different industries resonate with unique types of CTAs. What drives action in a tech-savvy audience might not click with the healthcare sector, so finding the ideal CTA for your specific audience becomes the goal. 

To achieve this, we can use the CTA Scale, a method for striking the perfect balance between what you’re asking your audience to do and what they get in return. On one end of the scale, you have hard CTAs, and on the other end, you have soft CTAs.


Hard CTAs: Proceed with Caution

Hard CTAs demand significant time or action from a prospect like setting aside time for a call or filling out a detailed survey. They’re like asking someone to run a marathon with you; the stakes are high, and so is the potential payoff. 

But here’s the catch: hard CTAs work wonders only if you’re coming in hot with something equally tempting in return. Think top-tier brand reputation, an offer that makes their jaws drop, or undeniable proof that clicking that link is the best decision they’ll make today. It’s a bold move that demands you to back up your ask with some serious clout. 


Soft CTAs: Maximizing Engagement

On the flip side, soft CTAs are designed to be easy for the prospect and, admittedly, a bit more challenging for you. They adopt a more gentle approach, inviting prospects to naturally qualify themselves or express interest in learning more about your offer. Whether it’s prompting a reply with a thought, a nod of interest, or a quick engagement, soft CTAs are designed to spark the conversation and keep it flowing. 

Moreover, soft CTAs are not just about initiating a conversation. They also play a crucial role in boosting email engagement and nurturing your pipeline of leads. By gently guiding prospects through your content with subtle nudges, you’re not only keeping the conversation alive but also steadily building the foundation for relationships that could blossom into valuable business opportunities. Think of them as the seeds you plant today for a fruitful harvest in your business tomorrow.

The Secret Sauce: Balancing The Scale

The key to CTA mastery lies in split testing. Mix hard and soft CTAs, gauge responses, and refine your approach. You should aim to test variations of soft CTAs in 75% of your emails and variations of hard CTAs in the remaining 25% for that perfect balance. 

Furthermore, you can blend soft CTAs with hard CTAs in one email to open up a whole new realm of creativity. For example, you can add a soft CTA within the main body of your email, subtly nudging the reader towards a desired action, and then pair it with a more direct, hard CTA, like a link to book a call, in your email signature. 

Something like,

“Can I share more info?” (Soft CTA in the main body)

“Book a call: (link)” (Hard CTA in signature)


“Can I share a 3-minute loom video of how that would apply to (Company Name)?” (Soft CTA in the main body)

P.S. If you’d like to discuss over a call instead, feel free to book a time here: (Link)” (Hard CTA in postscript) 

This dual approach not only caters to different reader preferences but also enhances the overall impact of your email. You’ll get responses from people eager for a direct call right away, as well as from those preferring to gather more information before engaging in a conversation. All in all, whether it’s a direct ‘book a call here’ or a more nuanced ‘can I send more info?’, you’ll be able to pinpoint the most effective CTAs for your specific audience in no time.

Examples That Work

Hard CTAs
  • Do you have some time to talk tomorrow or Friday at (time)?
  • Worth setting up a time to discuss further?
  • Click this link to see the process for (xyz).
Soft CTAs
  • Sounds interesting for (Company Name)?
  • Thoughts on this (First Name)?
  • Can I share some ideas on (XYZ)?
  • Can I send over a walkthrough of how we did (XYZ) for (Case Study) and how it can apply to you?

Beyond the CTA

While the focus here is on the CTA, it’s crucial to remember that it is but one element of your cold email. The subject line, opening line, and the body of your email all play critical roles in setting the stage for your CTA. 

If you’re looking to master the entire cold email craft, explore our comprehensive guide on email opening strategies where we delve into creating compelling subject lines that pave the way for your CTAs.

**Catch Line**: Mastering cold email calls to action is not merely about choosing the right words; it’s about understanding your audience deeply, offering them undeniable value, and making the path to engagement as frictionless as possible.

Step into the realm of cold emailing mastery with our deep dive into crafting the perfect call to action. From seasoned insights to nuanced strategies, we’re here to elevate your B2B outreach, transforming cold prospects into warm conversations.


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