6 Tips to Using CTAs Effectively in Your Email Marketing

The point of any marketing message is to get a response, and to get a response you need the coveted trifecta of Email Marketing:

  • A strong subject line to entice readers to open your email.
  • A solid offer within their storytelling copy that holds their interest.
  • A clear call to action (CTA) to get them to click.

We’ve talked about what makes a great subject line and you know what kind of offers which add value to your customers, so now let’s discuss calls to action or CTAs.

Ready to make them work for you? Read on to learn how you can get more action from your calls to action.

When you create an email marketing campaign, one of the most important components is the Call To Action or CTA. A call to action grabs a subscriber’s attention and encourages him or her to act.

6 Tips to Use CTAs in your Email Marketing

Here are six tips to use CTAs effectively in your next email campaign.

1. CTAs Purpose

Before you start writing your call to action, you need to define its purpose. Think about the action you want recipients to take. Keep in mind that the action should be something they WANT to complete.

2. Number of CTAs

Calls to Action - Sport Running Track

How many calls to action should you have in one email?
It might seem like more CTAs give subscribers more options, which means increased engagement with your brand. But that’s not always how it works.

If your email has too many calls to action, subscribers could get overwhelmed. Make the choice simple by providing one call to action and if you must have more than that, give your secondary CTA a different weight by making it a different color or placement.

3. Placement of CTAs

While the number of CTA’s plays a significant role in click-through rates, another important factor is where the CTA is placed.

So, where’s the best place to put a CTA?
There’s a lot of debate on this one. Some email marketing experts say your call to action should be “above the fold,” which means subscribers should see the call to action without scrolling down.

While others say placing the call to action at the bottom of an email makes the most sense.

They’re both right.

Figure out which one is right for your email, by using common sense. If a subscriber can quickly understand the purpose of your email, placing a call to action above the fold makes sense. However, if your offer requires some explanation, put the call to action at the end of the email.

Best CTA Placement on Email

Also, if most of your CTA’s are found on the right-hand side of your email marketing template, now might be the time to test a new email design and add your CTA on the left-hand side.

4. CTA Design

Your call to action should stand out. That means you should make a few design decisions that encourage subscribers to click.

  • Creating a Button
    You can still include hyperlinked text in your message, but don’t use it as the sole call to action. Create a call to action button. Using a button rather than a hyperlink can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.
    CTA Button Examples
  • Picking a unique Color
    Make the email call to action a color that’s not used, or rarely used, in your email so it stands out.
    Check out Medium’s Email Design Trends of 2016 post where Email marketer Mike Nelson points out certain call-to-action button colors have become the top favorites for email marketers.
    As you can see from the usage distribution bar graph above, blue and green are the favorites.

5. CTA Copy

Don’t underestimate the importance of word choice in your call to action. The words in your call to action provide the necessary direction for subscribers to follow through with an action.
Use these tips to get your wording right:

  • Use Action-inducing Words
    You want subscribers to act fast, so make sure your word choice reflects that. Use action words like “shop,” “book,” and “order.” Tack on an urgent word to encourage instant action like “now” or “today.” Consult this list of 80+ marketing words for more choices to use in your email marketing campaigns.
  • Keep it Short
    Your call to action should be short and to the point.
    KISSYou will notice that most of the call to actions in our master list below are about 2-4 words long. That’s what you should aim for.
  • Be Relatable
    More and more calls to action contain “I” or “me” in the copy. You’ll notice several examples in our list below like, “Yes! I want a free upgrade” or “Count me in!.” By using language like this it makes a call to action more relatable and encourages subscribers to click.

6. Test your CTA

A small change in your call to action can make a big difference. You might not expect higher click-through rates as a result of moving your call to action above the fold, or changing the color, but it happens all the time. That’s why testing is important.

Agile Results Method

You can test every aspect of your call to action. From placement to copy, you can test various aspects and let your audience’s response decide what’s best.

Of course, you only want to test one thing at a time or you

won’t know which change makes a difference. For example, if you want to test call to action copy, one group of subscribers gets an email with “Shop Now” as the call to action copy and the other group gets an email with “Shop our Spring Collection” as the call to action copy. The test focuses on one thing: the text.

Use the data to make the best choice.

BONUS: Our Masterlist of 66 CTAs that Get Clicked!

CTAs that Encourage a Purchase

Shop now
Shop our fall collection
Shop now. Get 50% off.
Shop our best sellers
Act now
Save today
Buy now
Buy now. Pay later.
Buy it today
Yes! I want one.
Order now
Repeat your order
Claim your coupon
Reveal my mystery coupon
Start saving today
Don’t delay. Save now.
See your hand-selected deals
Get 50% off now
Shop for the clothes you want
Get the style you want
Get your winter wardrobe
Get free shipping
Free gift with purchase

CTAs for Content

Learn more
Read more
Curious? Read on
Download the eBook
Download now
Keep reading
Read the full story
Get the app

CTAs for Video

Watch now
See the crazy video
Hear from our CEO
Hear her story
See the difference you make

CTAs for events

Reserve your seat
Register now
Book your tickets
I’m coming!
I’ll be there!
Count me in!
Book now for early bird prices
Sign me up
Save me a spot
Register for our webinar

CTAs for service-based businesses

Book your next appointment
Start your free trial
Upgrade now
Yes! I want a free upgrade.
Make me a VIP
Sign up and save

CTAs that focus on results

Find out how
Start today
See how your business benefits
Get results now
Start now. Get results.
I’m ready to see a change

CTAs to collect feedback

Complete our 5-minute survey
Take a survey
Leave a review
Give us your feedback
Let us know how we did

CTAs for social media

Follow us
Stay connected on social
Like us on Facebook


Using this extensive list of calls to actions and the tips to create emails that encourage swift action from your subscribers.

Want more Help with your Email Marketing?
If Yes, check out these related articles:
Tips to Make Cold Emails Work for You
4 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Email Marketing

The best Entrepreneurs learn how to use attraction marketing which is the concept of leading with value to attract your perfect prospects to you. Which is important when doing Email Marketing effectively. We recommend that like us and our mentors that you check out the affiliate program that teaches Entrepreneurs attraction marketing and much much more.

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Talk Soon,
Nicky and Dave