The importance of a strong call-to-action in email marketing

Email marketing can be a highly effective marketing channel for your business, allowing you to connect with your customers on a regular basis, build brand loyalty and increase sales. However, in order to get the most out of your email campaigns, it's important to have a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages recipients to take action.

A call-to-action is a statement or button that prompts the recipient to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, downloading a resource or signing up for a newsletter. A strong call-to-action can make the difference between a successful email campaign and one that falls flat.


Why is a strong call-to-action so important in email marketing?

Research shows that calls-to-action are important because:

  • It increases engagement: A clear and compelling call-to-action can increase engagement rates and encourage recipients to take action. If your email simply provides information without a clear next step, recipients might read it and move on without taking any action. But a strong call-to-action can prompt them to engage with your business and take the desired action.
  • It drives conversions: The ultimate goal of email marketing is to drive conversions, whether that's making a sale, generating leads or building your email list. A well-crafted call-to-action can help you achieve these goals by providing a clear path for recipients to follow.
  • It provides value to recipients: A strong call-to-action provides value to recipients by directing them to helpful resources or special offers. This can help build trust and loyalty with your audience, making them more likely to engage with your business in the future.
  • It gives directives: Your call-to-action makes it easy for your audience to know exactly what you want them to do. So, for example, if you’re promoting your ebook, it’ll tell them to download it. If you’re selling a product, it’ll tell them to buy your product, etc.

How to create a strong call-to-action in your email marketing campaigns

1. Placement matters

The placement of CTA buttons in an email can significantly impact the click-through rate and overall success of your email marketing campaign.

Here are some best practices for placing CTA buttons in your email:

Above the fold: The area of the email that is visible without scrolling is known as above the fold. Placing your CTA button above the fold ensures that it is visible to the reader without requiring any scrolling.

In the body of the email: The body of the email is the most natural location for the CTA button. Try placing it at the end of the email or near a section of the email that references the product or service being promoted.

Mobile optimisation: With the majority of emails now being opened on mobile devices, it's important to ensure that your CTA button is easily accessible and visible on a mobile screen. Place it in a prominent location and make sure it's large enough to be clicked easily.

2. Be clear and concise

Your call-to-action should be easy to understand and clearly communicate what action you want recipients to take. Use clear and concise language and make sure the call-to-action stands out in your email.

Here are some tips for making your CTA button clear and concise:

Use actionable language: The language on your CTA button should be action-oriented and clear. Use verbs that are specific and encourage the reader to take immediate action, such as "Buy Now," "Subscribe Today" or "Learn More."

Keep it short: Keep your CTA button text short and to the point. Limit it to three to five words, so it's easy to read and understand quickly.

Be consistent: Use consistent branding and language throughout your email campaign to help reinforce the message and create a cohesive experience for the reader.

Ensure it's visible: Make sure your CTA button is easy to find and stands out within your email. It should be prominently placed and easily accessible, so readers don't have to search for it. Having enough whitespace around it is highly recommended.

3. Buttons work better than text links

Buttons are a popular and effective way to prompt readers to take action in email marketing campaigns and web pages. They offer several advantages over text links, making them a preferred choice for many marketers.

Visibility: Buttons are more visible than text links because they often use contrasting colours, bold text or different fonts, making them stand out and catch the reader's attention.

Consistency: Buttons provide a consistent design element that can be used across multiple emails or pages, creating a cohesive look and feel for the brand.

Ease of use: Buttons are easier to click than text links because they are larger and more visible. This can make it more convenient for readers to take action, which can lead to higher click-through rates and conversions.

Mobile optimisation: Buttons are easier to use on mobile devices, where space is limited and finger tapping is the primary way of interacting with the screen. Buttons are designed to be easily tappable, whereas text links can be too small or difficult to click on mobile devices.

Aesthetic appeal: Buttons can be designed to look more visually appealing than text links, which can enhance the overall look and feel of the email.

4. Offer value

Your call-to-action should provide value to recipients, whether that's a discount, free trial, or helpful resource.

To offer value through your CTAs in your emails, you need to ensure that the action you're asking the reader to take aligns with their interests and needs. Here are some tips for offering value through your CTAs:

Offer incentives: Offer a special incentive, such as a discount, free trial, or exclusive content, to encourage readers to click your CTA button. This can be an effective way to show the value of taking action.

Incentive-based CTA examples:

  • Use your WELCOME50 discount code now
  • Treat yourself to 15% off
  • Give 10%, get 10%

Focus on benefits: Highlight the benefits of taking action, rather than just the features. For example, if you're promoting a product, focus on how it will improve the reader's life or solve a specific problem.

Benefits-based CTA examples:

  • Sign up now and receive a free e-book on how to improve your productivity!
  • Get our premium subscription to unlock exclusive content and improve your skills today!
  • Join our loyalty program to earn rewards and save money on future purchases!

Address pain points: Identify the reader's pain points and offer a solution through your CTA. For example, if you're a financial services company, you could offer a CTA that reads, "Get Free Tips on Saving for Retirement."

Pain point-based CTA examples:

  • Tired of wasting time on manual data entry? Try our automated solution today!
  • Sick of dealing with slow load times? Upgrade to our faster, more reliable hosting service!
  • Frustrated with your current software's lack of functionality? Switch to our all-in-one platform now!
  • Struggling to stay organised? Sign up for our task management tool and take control of your workload!
  • Fed up with limited customer support options? Switch to our service and get 24/7 assistance from our expert team!

Be specific: Be specific about what readers can expect by clicking on your CTA. For example, instead of a generic "Learn More" button, use language like "Discover 5 Secrets to Boost Your Productivity."

Specific CTA examples:

  • Click here to sign up for our newsletter and receive 10% off your first purchase!
  • Download our free e-book now and learn the top 5 tips for improving your social media strategy!
  • Register for our upcoming webinar and discover the secrets to successful email marketing!

Pro tip: Do some A/B testing. Testing different versions of the call-to-action can help determine what works best for your audience. A/B testing different variations of the call-to-action can help identify which elements, such as language, placement or design, are most effective.

Final thoughts

A strong call-to-action is an essential part of any successful email marketing campaign. By providing clear instructions for recipients to take action, you can increase engagement, drive conversions, and provide value to your audience.

Are you using standard CTAs or are you looking forward to trying some variations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Contact us
for help

Fill out the form and we will get back to you.

Join Our

Ready to enhance your email marketing campaigns?
Sign up to our weekly email newsletter for email marketing news, tips and tricks.