Time to talk about calls-to-action.  We see the text ‘Like me’ so often these days we think it should mean something. But to a marketing professional, it means nothing… nothing.

Yet you see this call-to-action thrown into every ad copy you see on a daily basis.  The reason it fails as a call-to-action is that in and of itself, it has nothing to support it.

So why is adding a simple ‘Like’ button a party foul in email marketing land?

Let’s look at the basic role a call-to-action button fills.

If you learned the old A-I-D-A acronym in marketing 101 you’ll know that after Attention, Interest, Desire, comes Action.  It’s the final step in a basic email marketing process.

The important aspect here is that Action comes AFTER the other three stages. If ACTION worked all by itself you wouldn’t need to waste time on the first three critical steps… you’d just run around yelling ACTION in all your marketing campaigns.  And we know that wouldn’t work very well!

So what compels normal people to feel like adding a ‘Like’ button anywhere and everywhere is an effective marketing strategy?  It’s like running around yelling ACTION at every opportunity.

Just the simple human nature notion that believes some people, somewhere, some time will click on it and voila!  New fans.

Here’s an alternate strategy that works way better.

1.  Set a campaign goal for your email; to gain more Facebook fans.

2.  Set your call-to-action BEFORE you write your email; click here to follow us on Facebook (Don’t forget to use a strong benefit statement to tell them WHY to follow you on Facebook.)

3.  Create a stand-alone email to send in which you ONLY build a short, clear argument why your reader should follow you on Facebook.

4.  Only include ONE call-to-action in the message.  Don’t fall prey to the temptation to slip in a link to Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

5.  Measure your results and see how it compares to other strategies.

Repeat for LinkedIn at some other time in the future.

You’ll soon discover that one email with a clear compelling argument will get you more fans that a random button in 10 other emails.

Here’s a call-to-action.  Does it fit this article content?