Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Succeeding with digital marketing isn’t about chasing a silver bullet that will transform your conversion rates. No, it’s about trying and testing different techniques to incrementally improve your results. Sometimes sweeping changes will deliver the gains you’re looking for. Other times it can be simpler.

And it doesn’t get much simpler than adding one sentence to your emails.

Go beyond social icons

Most businesses have added social icons to the footer of their emails. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. But icons alone don’t work hard enough to encourage a clickthrough. Perhaps your social icons link to pre-formatted status updates that allow your subscribers to share an online version of your newsletter. Or maybe the icons simply link to your social media channels. Either way, adding a motivating call to action to your icons is an upgrade that – when you get it right – will give you results.

And very few businesses seem to get it.

Give people a reason to clickthrough

People respond to benefit messages. They are more likely to follow you on social media if they understand what they get out of it. Provide genuine value or stoke the reader’s interest and they’ll come along for the ride. If they want to. If they don’t, that’s fine too – but at least you empower them to make an informed decision. More informed than they would be able to make with social media icons and no explanatory call to action.

What should your call to action say?

That depends on how you use social media. Do you use it to promote fresh new content? Or hilarious cat videos? Or competitions? Then your call to action might look something like this:

Follow us for a head’s up on our best new content, giveaways and – on slow days – videos of cats in onesies.

Be honest. The strength of your call to action is not the main determinant of whether your reader will clickthrough. It’s the strength of your content that wins the day, which – as an email subscriber – your reader should already be familiar with.

Adding a sharp, simple call to action is a small strategy that could make a big difference to your clickthrough rates. Don’t leave your reader to guess why they should follow you on social media. And don’t bank on them clicking out of curiosity. Give them a clear reason to clickthrough and they will come along if they want to.

Try it and see what works for you. We’d love to hear about your results.