Last week, I was in a webinar held by Unbounce when I heard something that blew my mind. You know when you hear something that seems so brilliant, you can't wait to repeat or share it?

That's how I felt about this. And that's why I needed to blog about it as soon as I had a chance.

The webinar topic was how to create email marketing campaigns that convert, and you can sign-up to watch the recording easily. Chris Hexton, co-founder of email marketing company Vero, was the guest of honor.

When we got to the point in the webinar where we were talking about calls-to-action when my mind went "BOOM!" Chris introduced me to a method for creating effective CTAs called CRAFT.

Not as in arts & crafts (although I do love those and this post's picture rocks my socks off), but as in C.R.A.F.T. You want your CTAs to be colorful, relevant, actionable, forceful, and targeted. What I love about it is that this isn't just for CTAs in email campaigns; it's true for calls-to-action anywhere. All kinds of marketing materials need CTAs and they all need to be excellent. They can make or break a landing page's conversion rate.

Put more power into your CTA by getting a little CRAFTy. (Tweet this)

Colorful

You want your call-to-action to be bright and attention-grabbing. Use a big (but not ridiculously so) button and make it stand out. If you have to use a text link instead of an image, this is even more important. Think about how you can make it so that the eye is drawn to the most important part of your email. The CTA decides what the reader is going to do after the email - delete it, or click through to your landing page.

So sure, it's great to keep things in your brand colors so that all of your marketing is consistent. But becoming too obsessed with keeping colors the same may mean your CTA is blending into the rest of your content, running the risk of your readers not noticing it. Make those CTAs big, bright, and beautiful and you'll notice a difference in click-through rate compared to a more subtle one.

Relevant

You should know by now that generic copy won't get you very far in marketing. This is also true for CTAs in your copy. While readers may know what you mean when your call-to-action button says "Go" or "Submit," these generic CTAs could be attached to anything.

Instead, make your CTA copy specific to the offer it leads to. Mention a value proposition. Allude to what the reader will get by clicking through. For example, for an offer for a free read, your CTA could be "Download for free today." This is much more relevant to the offer at hand and lets the reader know exactly what they're going to get when they click.

Actionable

Going back to my example in the last section, notice how the CTA includes an action to take: Download. Calls-to-action literally means a call for someone to take an action. Effective calls-to-action include the action in them. While you may argue that "Submit" and "Go" are also actions, they're not the specific action you want readers to take.

The example cited in the webinar was an email from Amazon with a bold CTA that said "Review this product." Because it was bright and bold (as we talked about in the first section), it's the first place your eyes were drawn to when you looked at the email. With such a specific, actionable CTA, it may not even be necessary to read the rest of the email before taking action.

Forceful

Be direct and don't beat around the bush. Don't be afraid to be a little bit pushy; you just don't want to push your audience over to your competition. Being vague, asking a questions, or wording it as a question rather than a demand won't get you the results you want.

For this example, Chris referred to a CTA that had the word "maybe" in it. Do you want your customer to "maybe" make a purchase, or do you want them to make a purchase? Once again, calls-to-action are supposed to tell the reader what you want them to do. Don't be indirect about it.

Targeted

Everything about marketing should be targeted. Ideally, someone clicks and ad or opens an email because they see something that interests them, and that won't be the same for everyone. Once they're there, the copy should appeal to them based on what got them there in the first place. The call-to-action should match the messages in all the material that came before it.

Make super-targeted CTAs in email marketing possible by using list segmentation. Let's say you have a webinar on social media coming up. Instead of sending something to everyone with a vague CTA about signing up for a webinar, segment your contacts so that you can send something to those you know are interested in social media. That way, you'll be able to use a more targeted message, plus your non-interested subscribers won't be disappointed when they click through to the webinar's landing page and discover it's something they don't want to do.

What other acronyms can we use to improve our marketing messages? Leave them in the comments!