Power Digital receives strategic capital investment from Court Square Capital Partners.

Learn More
Blog Post

How to Perfect Your Email CTAs

February 14, 2018
Table of Contents

CTA is an acronym for call to action. However, a CTA is also what marketers call the button or link which prompts a reader to click. In short: the CTA is the door that leads to your product… the door you want your audience to open.

Perfecting your CTA(s) is often a feat accomplished through trial and error. By default, if your email’s design or content isn’t high-quality, a pretty button isn’t going to accomplish much. But if it pairs well, has an inviting placement, and has an eye-catching aesthetic, it can work wonders.

If you’re currently trying to improve your CTA, then read below for a few tips on how to do so. Ultimately it’s the entire emails presentation that’s going to land you those customers, but the CTA needs to be executed with the same diligence and quality as everything else.

Visibility & Readability

Your audience needs to be able to see your CTA and know exactly what it is at first glance. You have only one chance to impress them, so don’t overdo it. Invasively large lettering can often seem tacky or desperate, but too little can be hard to pick up on. The presentation should be subtle and not boisterous, but it shouldn’t be a small detail on the email. While this mixture isn’t an easy recipe to perfect, it can certainly improve.

Motivate Your Audience To Click

This is especially tied into the language you decide to use. They’re not called ‘call-to-actions’ for no reason. In the journey of your audience, this is when they decide to get to know you. Make sure you use engaging, concise, and actionable text. Make sure it’s specific to your company as you don’t want to come across as ‘click-baity.’ Try not to be so generic or formal and use simpler action words to attract your audience. ‘Submit your order,’ is often beat by ‘buy the product.’

Keep It Concise

If you have large text that promotes the idea that ‘here’s where you click’ then you probably don’t have space for a lot of words. It’s commonly said that 2-3 words is the sweet spot and that you should never exceed six. Keeping your CTA concise will help someone read it quicker, which will help them process whether or not they want to listen to you quicker, too. We’re prone to make decisions faster, and we’re often bored by text that drags (we know, even six words can be too much for people these days).

Be Bright

We don’t just mean be intelligent and creative in your text, but literally. Your CTA needs to standout. You want your audience to immediately know what the button is before they’ve even read its text. But be careful not to be too distracting. You want to pique someone’s interest, not startle them. There are some colors that objectively work better than others (we’ve seen orange work really well) but obviously it depends on your company’s color scheme.

Utilize White Space

A balanced dose of white space can work wonders on a CTA button. By isolating the button you can use your white space as an oar to steer your audience’s attention. Dependent on the format, white space can guide a recipient along until they reach their destination: your CTA button. Not to mention that, particularly on mobile devices, the white space makes navigating the page easier.

The art of perfecting your email CTAs is on par with the rest of email marketing; it’s complex and difficult. But if you follow these steps and start reworking ideas, you might find that you experience will be quite a bit more success with varying CTA designs. Remember, a huge part of email marketing is variation. Often you have to split test your CTA buttons to find a winner.


Empowering you to break the mold.

Kind of like a full-service agency, kind of like an in-house CMO. Elevate your brand's presence with custom strategy, channel expertise, and flawless execution.

Learn More