Email Marketing

6 Cold Email Calls to Action that Get a Reply

Get your prospects to reply


Anam Jalil


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As an email marketer, you may wish you had a magic wand like Harry Potter to put a spell on your prospects so that they would respond to your emails. You fail to understand why someone can't hit "reply" and drop a line in response to your so carefully articulated cold emails.

It's not like you are asking them for a million dollars! You just want them to click on your CTA, land on your landing page, and book the next meeting or live demo. On the other hand, they can also just straight out buy your product.

You aren't asking for much, right?

But no luck.

Your next tactic may be to send a personalized video begging them to pay some heed to the super-beneficial thing you are telling them (or selling to them). Desperate times call for desperate measures!

You may be thinking that those genuinely interested would be happy to ask for a quick meeting and those not responding to your sales email are just not likely to convert.

That's not entirely true.

Also Read: Let's Talk about the Best Cold Email Subject Lines

Here are a few reasons why your cold email outreach is not delivering effective results.

Why are people not taking the desired action in your cold email campaign?

Let's assume you are doing a fantastic job with your content and have a great product/service to offer, but your email campaigns are still failing.

Let's go over a couple of reasons why this may be occurring:

  • Your target audience is not adequate. Perhaps you are trying to sell to a target audience that does not require your product or you have incorrectly identified your buyer persona. If your target audience is incorrect, regardless of how many follow-ups you make, you are not likely to get far.

  • You are not contacting the best person. You have identified your target audience correctly, but you are not contacting the right person. For example, when selling home decorations, you may want to contact the person who is in charge of home decorations (we won't be gender-specific here). If you are selling software that makes marketing easier, you need to contact the Marketing Manager. It is important to be in touch with the decision-maker. If you are talking to the wrong person, ask them to kindly refer you to the person who handles the decision-making in your domain. Otherwise, your lead generation efforts may be futile.

  • Your product/service does not meet the current business goal. You may have your sales approach right, your target audience right, but the process that your product/service assists may not be a top priority right now. For example, if you have software for outbound lead generation, perhaps using cold email as a sales process is not the topmost priority right now for the company.

  • Your prospect is super busy. Your prospect may have many other high-priority tasks on their list and may have not had the time to review or consider your email. In this case, you must make it easier for them to reply.

  • Your subject line does not address their pain point or is not generally appealing. Even if your email marketing campaigns are to the point, you won't be able to make your prospects respond if they never read your email. Your subject line needs to arouse interest or address a pain point to make your email marketing campaign work.


  • Your cold email call to action is not effective. If your email call to action doesn't elicit a response or isn't convincing enough to coax your prospects to take the desired action, your sales outreach efforts will plummet and your next campaign will fail.

This is what we are here to talk about. Your cold email CTA should help move the deal forward. Sometimes tweaking a simple phrase can do the trick, while other times you have to employ your creativity skills.

Let's look at these six email CTA examples that can make your cold email campaign get many positive responses and help you strike up more sales.

cold email call to action specific and direct

1. Are you available to talk on Wednesday, 8:00 pm EST? 

Let’s say you are ready to make a cold call or want to give a live demo and would like to send a lead generation or introduction email.

Simply asking your prospect if they would be interested in talking about buying your software, water cooler, life insurance plan, (or anything you are selling) may not be effective. They can simply say no or just ignore your email.

Even if your prospect is interested, it doesn’t instill a sense of urgency and it is too much work and back and forth to decide a time to talk. Give a specific date in your cold email call-to-action. 

Say something like, “Would you be available to talk on Wednesday, 8:00 pm EST?” This would automatically make your prospect check their calendar and give you a response that you can work around to get to the next step in the buyer journey. 

Asking an open-ended question like "When would you be able to talk?" may prevent them from replying positively or giving you a response at all. The best call to action is specific, direct, and makes it easy for the recipient to respond.

You can also include a calendar link so they can choose an alternate day and time if your specific date is not suitable.

A bonus tip is to remember to send an automatic meeting reminder a day or about 6 hours before the call.

Also Explore: How to Determine the Best Time to Send Emails

cold email call to action-don't ask for too much time

2. Can we get on a quick call to discuss Company A’s/your needs? 

It’s no secret that only 1% of cold emails are responded to, but if you have a long email list, you don’t have a big problem. However, if you really want to ensure you get maximum responses, do not ask for a huge chunk of time to explain your offer, straight out. 

For example, do not say “Can we get on a 30-minute call to explain the benefits of this software?

This isn't a compelling CTA as it puts too much pressure on the recipient. Thirty minutes may sound like too much for someone who isn’t a warm lead yet - and most people are already tired of getting on too many calls.

Also, it's not a good idea to make your product or service the center of attention. No one wants to know why your product/service is great. Honestly. What they do want to know is how your product/service can help them. An effective call to action focuses on the recipient and their needs.

Include some keywords in your email CTA such as "quick" or "jump" that make the commitment seem small.

You can say, “Can we jump on a quick call to discuss your needs and how our product can help meet them?” The word “quick” just makes it sound so much easier for a person to give you their time and "jump" also makes it seem less challenging to get on a call.

You can also say "Can we quickly chat about your current business challenge and how our product/service can help beat it?"

cold email call to action confirmation question

3. Please let me know if you would like to explore this offer for Company A/You. 

Let’s face it, time is of the essence.

You can keep asking people to book a live demo, ask them to participate in a free study, or to check out your product/service with no results if they are not interested at that point in time.

You can put a cherry on top and promise you are offering a simple buying process. The cold truth is if your cold email is not resonating with them or they are not interested at this time, it’ll most likely be a wasted effort.

However, you can explain your offer, ask them if they find it interesting for their company and think it would be worthwhile. This is an effective tactic to see who may be worth a shot and who seems completely uninterested.

It would be beneficial to do a little research on their company and reach out with specifics your product/service is a good fit. You can then tailor your cold email outreach to highlight how your product/service can help solve challenges for the prospect.

You don’t want to waste time on a prospect who may not be interested in your product at all or may not be considering it at that point.

You want to reach the right person. You want to speak to the decision maker and get the show on the road.

Your email CTA can be "Please let me know if you would like to explore this offer for Company A (or You)".

To make it easier for your recipient to reply, you can include multiple-choice options. For example, a multiple choice option can be

"Yes, I would like to consider, but not right now"

and another can be

"Yes, let's have your team jump on a quick call with mine".

You can provide a calendar link next to this option or send a calendar link in your next email for those that choose this option.

These are email CTA examples that make it easier for the prospect to respond.

The examples above show an actionable CTA, where the prospect chooses a course of action by simply replying with a number. If you ask open-ended questions, your prospect may find it harder to give you a response or may simply ignore your email.

benefits focused cold email call to action

4. Start Getting Hired Now! (or a similar CTA according to your product or service)

Let’s say you are selling a course or a subscription to a job board. Instead of writing Click here, Register Today or Get Started, it’s a better idea to write a benefits-focused CTA. Tell your prospect what they will get if they click on that button. 

If you write, Start Getting Hired Now as your call to action, it focuses on the benefits they will get such as more job offers and more leads on which companies are hiring. You can change the CTA to whatever you please according to your offer.

However, make sure you highlight your benefit so it isn’t a generic call to action. This will remind prospects why they should click and what they will get if they do. This way you will get more clicks than if you had a generic statement on your CTA button.

Here are a few email CTA examples:

  • Create your own website instantly!

  • Let's book that vacation!

  • Start sending me free advice!

cold email call to action that asks a question

5. Are you considering…..?

Imagine proposing to someone already married/engaged and has no plan of changing that. Big no-no, right?

It’s the wrong time or situation to contact them and you would best stay away and look for another candidate.

The same rule applies to a cold email message. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who isn’t even thinking about opting for your product/service or may not be interested in choosing it in the near future. 

Ask them a simple yes/no question as a confirmation question to see if they are considering going for something like your product/service or need the benefits that your product/service provides. Gauge their interest. 

David Gong from Gong Labs found that this was the CTA that was most responded to in cold emails. According to him, you must sell the conversation, not the product/service at this stage. 

That means you talk about the prospect's pain point and mention that you have a solution for it, briefly stating its benefits. Then, you ask them if they are considering this course of action.

You may be thinking that this isn't a compelling call to action. It's a great call to action for a sales email because it keeps the conversation going, elicits a response, and lets you divide prospects that are not interested yet with those who are interested in hearing from you.

That way, you can exert more effort for those that are likely to convert.

cold email call to actions that include a lead magnet

6. Click here to download the report/document

Jeffrey Gitometer says that people don’t like to be sold to but they love to buy! That is more evident than global warming. Nobody really likes a salesperson lurking around them urging them to buy or somebody calling them up with an irrelevant pitch - but they do love the information! 

That is why many email and digital marketers opt for inbound marketing versus outbound marketing and provide content to their prospects, indirectly giving them more information regarding the product/service. 

There are a few different types of lead magnets that you can use. They can be in the form of a report, blog, video, podcast, or seminar. 

Include a CTA that directly allows your prospect to download the content after creating a free account on your website. Later on, you can start moving them toward a paid plan. 

Why is this email call to action effective? Because it is actionable and if what you are offering provides value, your prospect is likely to click on the CTA button and comply with your request. Once you get them to make an account, you can always re-engage them with drip campaigns and upselling campaigns.

We have included six call-to-action examples that you can adapt to your particular situation, but we would just like to squeeze in one more.


cold email call to action discussing pain point

7. Is this a problem you are facing currently?

After you describe a pain point and subtly mention that you may have the perfect solution to it, you need to ask your prospect if this is a problem they are currently facing. This isn't an open-ended question but your prospect has the discretion to respond with a simple yes/no or to explain their predicament.

However, this call to action identifies whether you are speaking to the right prospect and whether they are likely to convert, and also helps begin a conversation by making it easy for the recipient to respond in as little as one word.

You can give them multiple-choice options in the call to action to make it even easier to respond specifically. For example, you can include an option that says "Yes, but I want to talk about this later" or "Yes, but I am not sure about whether what you are offering is the best solution".

This way you will know exactly where to place the prospect in the sales cycle and what content to send them in your next email.

If they aren't interested yet but would be later, you can follow up with them again in a month or so. If they aren't sure you provide the best solution to their problem, send them a case study or social proof.

Bottom line

Make sure that your calls to action are appropriate for the level of the conversation and how many times you have been in touch with the prospect. Simply remember when choosing your email CTAs, to make it very easy for the prospect to respond, ensure the response gives you valuable information, and you are able to continue the conversation.

Try these email CTAs as soon as possible and start getting more positive replies.

We hope these call-to-action examples pique your sales, but to implement these CTA examples, you need to create email messages - with an email marketing service.

GoCustomer provides an all-in-one email marketing solution with amazing features such as drip campaigns, email verification and warm up, and our very own exclusive AI email writer.

We can help you generate unlimited email CTA examples once you get started with our generative AI tool, but do remember to tweak them to suit your purpose.

Try GoCustomer now for a great high-conversion email marketing experience!

An image to showcase the email warmup feature

Reach more customers with your cold emails

Table of Contents

    In a nutshell

    You may not be contacting the right target audience, you may not be in touch with the right person in the target audience. your subject line may not be appealing, your prospect may be super busy, or your CTA is failing to grasp interest.
    To make a CTA more effective, you have to make it easier for the prospect to answer. You can do this by requiring a yes/no answer or giving them multiple options.
    Instead of writing a generic CTA, it's a good idea to make your CTA state what the prospect is getting by clicking on it. For example, Start Getting Hired Today, Lose 4 Kilos Now, Start Improving Your Writing Skills are better CTAs than Get Started.
    You should send the prospect a calendar link to enable them to select an alternate date.
    This way you can easily evaluate whether they are a potential customer or not and it is also a great conversation starter. First, you identify whether this is a need for your prospect and only then do you begin pitching your solution to them, instead of pitching something irrelevant to them at that point in time.
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