Does Every Email Need A ‘Call To Action’?

I need to clarify something:

This list and my blog are *not* my main business—more like a hobby, a labor of love.

I write these emails because I enjoy sharing what I’m learning in my “day job” at Simple Programmer, and because I enjoy interacting with fellow entrepreneurs like YOU.

Because of that, there are some things I do in these emails that I would do differently if this WAS my main business.

For example, let’s talk about the good ol’ “call to action.”

Reader Chad asked recently:

Alright! My daily emails are up and running. Received some good feedback from trusted friends about the content, but they didn’t know what to do next. Were they supposed to share, “like,” go to website?

Sounds like I don’t have a clear CTA.

But, most of the time you don’t either.

I told one guy that the purpose for now was to build a relationship.

Still, I wonder if (since I’ve just kicked this off with an updated website/blog with products for sale there) if I should try to direct traffic back to the site. And if I do, how often should I raise this flag?

Chad’s right—most of these emails I send you don’t have a CTA or a pitch.

The confusion this causes some of my subscribers is funny sometimes.

I regularly get people emailing me at the end of my “email course on email courses” saying something like, “Hey, wait, where’s the pitch?!?”

They sometimes assume that I must have some kind of masterful sales funnel, and I’m only pulling them deeper and deeper into my web before I’ll finally spring the trap.


No, the only reason I don’t have many pitches and CTAs in my emails is I just don’t want to invest the time.

I’m plenty busy doing marketing for the *real* business that my business partner and I are building at Simple Programmer.

And I’d rather focus on that spending the time to optimize this site, which only generates about 10% of my income anyway.

So all that is to say, don’t look at what I’m doing here and necessarily copy it directly.

And this topic of CTAs is a great example.

Even though I rarely have CTAs in these emails, over at Simple Programmer I’ll pretty much *always* include one.

Sometimes the CTA is a “soft pitch” to check out the sales page for a product. That’s what I typically do at the beginning of an email course.

Sometimes it’s a hard “buy now” pitch.

Sometimes what I’m “selling” is actually a free resource.

In fact I’m working on an email right now with a CTA that just links out to a free resource.

By always including some kind of CTA, you’re training your subscribers to take action—and expect that you’re going to pitch to them.

That way they won’t set their hair on fire just because you dared to include a link to your product.

P.S. Again, these emails do NOT always mirror what I’d recommend you do in your business.

To see how I structure an email sequence “when it counts,” including both “soft” and “hard” pitches, check out: