Email marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies used by the brands to reach their prospective customers. In fact, it has the highest ROI, generating revenue of about $38 with every $1 spent. Email marketing is a platform where you already know your users and it just takes a good marketing approach to convert those users into customers. A systematically planned email marketing strategy enables a business, mainly e-commerce stores, in generating leads for sales.

It should be kept in mind that the success of any email marketing campaign depends upon the ROI generated and this ultimately depends on the quality of the email content and number of users/subscribers of the same. Just because you have relevant content and few subscribers, it does not mean that you have successfully achieved your email ROI.  Despite several email campaigns, you might not be able to get enough clicks to your website or landing pages. The reason behind this issue is a simple one. The Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons used in the email campaign is probably not well optimized and hence is ineffective. As a result, the users/subscribers are not convinced enough to accept the email proposition, thereby generating no sales leads. Therefore, an effective CTA has formed the climactic point of the email.

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What are CTAs?

The CTAs are the brightly displayed buttons or links that are usually displayed at the end of the email. This command acts as a guide for the readers which directs them to the next steps of the decision so taken viz. to agree or to disagree to the email proposition. It is a critical component of an email campaign that makes the users to act on a specific task related to the content they have been reading/viewing. If you do not have a CTA attached to your email, the readers who want to subscribe, purchase or download the resources will feel lost and misguided.

Importance of CTAs in Email Marketing

CTAs are an essential part of an effective email marketing campaign. The CTAs bridge the expectation gap between the brand and the customers. A compelling and impressive CTA ensures the growth of web traffic by increasing and improving consumer engagement. This ultimately materializes into higher conversion rates and sales. Broadly speaking, CTAs are important in email marketing in 3 ways which are listed below:

Boosts Digital Marketing Campaigns:  digital marketing is primarily used to promote the products and services of a brand. You need to promote your brand and advertise it among your customers and simultaneously create a sense of confidence and curiosity among them. However, no matter how well-planned your advertising strategy is, if it does not contain CTA, the viewers will not have any lead that will take them to the next step, which is obviously purchasing your product.

Assists the transition in the buyer’s journey: a well placed and effective CTA button/links in the emails smoothes your sales by assisting the transition of the buyers between the phases of the buyer’s journey. When a buyer sees a CTA, they know what needs to be done. A well placed CTA ensures buyers to take immediate action, whether it is to make a purchase or subscribe to the brand email list.

Improving consumer experience:  CTAs are not only beneficial to the businesses but also provides the buyers with the ease of making a sound decision. In most of the cases, the buyers expect a CTA and rely on it for taking them to the next step. As a buyer, you will always feel delighted to land upon the concerned webpage to which the CTA is linked and avoid the unnecessary task of browsing through the brand’s website.

Secondary CTAs: these are equally important as primary CTA in boosting the email marketing strategy. The secondary CTA acts as a supportive link or an alternative action to the primary CTA. It enables marketers to cross-sell their services by providing the viewers with an alternative CTA for other services.  It also assists businesses in achieving organizational goals other than sales such as fundraising, promoting an event, filling out surveys, etc.

Things That Needs To Be Kept In Mind While Writing A CTA Text

Formulating a CTA text is an easy task. First and foremost, you need to keep in mind the kind of audience you are dealing with. In addition to this, take note of the following things while writing a CTA.

Create a sense of urgency: people hate to miss out on offers and benefits. Create a sense of urgency in your email that persuades the viewers to take action immediately. Make them feel that they will lose out on some special benefits if they do not comply with the CTA. To ensure a sense of urgency, you can use phrases such as ‘limited offer’, ‘special discount only for you’, etc. You can also include a countdown timer in the email to enhance the sense of urgency.

Personalize your CTA:  you can personalize your email by using a direct speech while talking to your audience. Incorporate the first-person pronoun in the CTA text as several studies have shown that the use of the same increase the clicks approximately by 90%. For instance, you can use phrases such as “place my order”, “book my tickets”, “get my 30% discount”, etc. Personalized CTAs as such is more appealing to the customers and thereby compels them to take action immediately.

Optimizing CTA Buttons

You can include CTAs in the form of a button, clickable image and a link, however, CTA button provides a better user experience as compared to its counterparts. It is evident from the survey report of Econsultancy User Experience that more than 95% of the respondents look for good user experience while accessing sites on the internet. Therefore, it becomes important to optimize the CTA button by making it look clickable even on small devices like mobile phones.

Optimize your CTA buttons by following these tips:

Use vibrant colours: using vibrant and contrasting colours for your CTA button helps in grabbing the attention of the readers. As per your email template, design your CTA button in such a manner that it appears to pop out from the rest of the content of the email. If you just have one CTA in the email, make sure to customize it by using the loudest colour. However, there are times when your email will require more than one CTA response. You might feel the need to include CTAs that call for either positive or negative action.

For a positive CTA response, use cool colours like blue and green with white text in order to create a high contrasting effect. Neutral and negative CTA responses should have no colour fill, however, at times, modest colours such as light grey can be used. You should keep in mind that the negative actions should not have a higher contrast than the positive ones.

Make it big and interactive: the CTA button should be big and interactive enough to increase customer engagement. Try to use shading around the button to attract the attention of the viewers. Another way of enhancing the interactivity is to make the button change its depths and colours when you hover the mouse pointer over it.

Making the CTA button big does not provide you with the liberty to make it large and obnoxious. However, make it big enough so that it can be easily traced on the screen. You can decide on the size of the button by self-screening.

Moreover, you do not want your CTA button to be overpowered by texts and images. A cramped up email interferes with the visibility of CTAs. Therefore, you should try to reduce the visual noise around the CTA button by providing enough white space around it. You can also use directional cues and images pointing at the CTA. It is a good way to draw the attention of the reader to the CTA button.

Where Should You Place Your CTA?

The placement of CTA depends on the structure of the email content. Depending on the logical progression of the email, which is generally from the top left to the right end of the content, the CTA should be placed at the bottom right of the email.

However, the majority of the experts would encourage to place the CTA ‘above the fold’ in the email. This means that the viewers should be able to focus on the CTA without scrolling through the entire content. Such an approach encourages the viewers to click the CTA button without any delay, thereby reducing the risk of customers deleting or dropping out of the emails.

Use this approach only if the readers are able to get a clear intent of the email at the outset, or else, you can put CTA button at the end of the email to be on the safer side. Newsletters usually have multiple sections of information. Each content section should include a CTA button to provide the user with better access to your website.

Furthermore, do not use too many CTA options as it will confuse the readers. Stick to one or two CTAs. Also, make sure that the CTA is linked to the landing page which has the information similar to the content of the email.  Any discrepancies found between the information of the landing page and the email content increases the risk of bounce rate, which in turn lowers the customer engagement and compromises the brand’s credibility.

Since the majority of the users also click on different components of an email, you should link the headlines, logos, and images in the email with the landing page used in the CTA. This increases the users’ access to your website.

Well designed CTAs are persuasive and helps you convert users/subscribers into customers, thereby generating sales leads. By following the tips mentioned above, you can optimize your CTA and ultimately boost your click-through rate. However, remember that one size does not fit all. Different types of emails require different CTAs. In fact, you can test the effectiveness of CTAs by using A/B testing tool. You can try can send similar emails with two different types of CTA and identify which email has more click-through rate. If you want to attract your customers through email marketing then you have to provide excellent content for this you can hire any reliable content writing company.

Author's Bio


Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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