CTA in Email: What It Is and How To Write Your Call To Action



June 18, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

In marketing, communication with customers is essential to building relationships and making sales, and email communication is a powerful form of marketing. You can make your marketing emails even more effective by adding calls to action (CTAs).

Email CTAs are buttons or links that you can add to the bottom of your emails to encourage prospective customers to complete an action like making a purchase or signing up for a free trial of your product. Email CTAs can help you strengthen your relationships with your customers, nurture prospective customers to leads, and increase sales.

What Is a Call To Action in an Email?

A call to action is an element that you can add to your marketing emails to prompt prospective customers to take a specific action. The ultimate goal of including a call to action in your email is to keep your customers engaged with your company by encouraging them to take action.

Typically, an email call to action prompts customers to make a purchase or take another action that strengthens their relationship with your company, including signing up for a free trial or following your social media pages. Often, email CTAs take the form of hyperlinked text or coded buttons that are placed at the end of an email. Great CTAs typically have a combination of well-written copy and eye-catching design.

At CopyPress, we can help you create effective marketing emails that get results. You can browse our knowledge base and our best practices for email marketing.

Why Is a Call To Action Important?

A call to action is an important addition to your marketing emails because it can make your emails more interactive and help you further your relationships with your customers. CTAs can help you convert more email recipients into sales leads, and they can even directly result in a sale. This makes a CTA a valuable part of a marketing email.

How Does a CTA Prompt Someone To Click?

A call to action button prompts someone to click by grabbing their attention and telling them exactly what action they should take. Interactive buttons, including buttons that change color when a user hovers over them, can make users more likely to click. CTAs can also prompt someone to click when the copy of an email complements and adds context to the CTA button.

How Does a CTA Combat Decision Fatigue?

Calls to action can help your email readers take action without causing decision fatigue. Decision fatigue occurs when individuals become tired of making repeated decisions. This can cause the quality of their decisions to decrease. A good CTA can combat decision fatigue by telling the user exactly what action to take at each step in the decision-making process, marking a refreshing change from making a constant stream of decisions.

The copy of your email starts by guiding the user to the CTA button, and the CTA button copy prompts the user to click. It’s also important to clarify what action the user should take after clicking the CTA button. This can help the user avoid decision fatigue and make them more likely to convert.

Why Should I Use a CTA Button?

A CTA button is worth including in your marketing emails to help you increase conversions and get more results from your emails. Including a CTA button tells your email readers exactly what action they should take, which can allow you to make more sales, get more sign-ups, or achieve another key marketing goal. Furthermore, CTA buttons are interactive and clickable, which can make users more likely to click them and take action.

How Can I Optimize Results From My Call To Action?

You can optimize the results of your CTA by catering it to your target market. Try to use language that appeals to your target market and relates to your brand. For example, if your company is in the food industry, you could use appetizing colors and choose sensory words like “sweet” or “savory” to make your particular customer more likely to take action.

Testing your CTA is another step you can take to optimize your results. Be sure to test your CTA button by clicking it to make sure it’s responsive and sends prospective customers to the right place. You can also test how your customers respond to your CTA through A/B testing, which is also referred to as split testing. The goal of A/B testing is to compare how your customers respond to two different versions of a CTA. You can test different elements like copy and design to help you make the most effective decisions for your CTA.

Call To Action Tips

Here are some tips for crafting the copy and design for your call to action:

Copy Tips

Copy is one of the key elements of a call to action button. Here are some tips to help you write great CTA copy:

  • Use action verbs. To have the most impact on your email readers, start your CTAs with action verbs like “buy” or “shop.” Action verbs can help customers understand exactly what action they should take, which can prompt them to click your CTA button and take action.
  • Keep it brief. Be sure to write short and concise text for your CTA button. This can help keep your CTA simple and easy to understand. If you need to, you can include additional context in the body text of your email surrounding the CTA button.
  • Quantify your CTA. Including specific numbers in your CTA can help customers understand the results of taking action. For example, if your CTA includes a discount, you could quantify the discount by writing “25% off.”
  • Think of sensory words. Sensory words are words that describe the senses, like “soft,” “sweet,” “fresh,” and “comfy.” Consider how you can use sensory language to relate to your product or brand. Using sensory words in your CTA can help you appeal to your customers’ senses, which can make them more likely to take action.
  • Create a sense of urgency. You can write copy that conveys a sense of urgency to prompt prospective customers to take action. For example, you could use language like “limited-time offer” or “now” to encourage customers to complete your desired task now instead of later.
  • Address the worries of your prospective customers. Let them know right away what they’re signing up for, and relieve their worries about sharing personal details like addresses or credit card information. This can help make your prospective customers feel comfortable enough to take action.

Design Tips

The other main element of a CTA button is eye-catching visual design. Here are some CTA design tips:

  • Pay attention to placement. The placement of your CTA button can make a difference in whether or not your audience decides to take action. Typically, CTA buttons are most effective at the bottom of an email.
  • Use contrasting colors. Contrasting colors can help make your CTA button more eye-catching and help ensure that your audience doesn’t miss it. Be sure that the colors you choose are easy for viewers to read together. You can use your brand’s color palette, but be sure that the colors of your CTA button stand out from the rest of your email.
  • Make it interactive. Your CTA button should be clickable so that customers can take action. You can show your audience that they can click the button by making it interactive, including coding it to change color when a viewer hovers.
  • Include images or illustrations. Make your CTA button even more eye-catching by including images or illustrations. For example, you could include an image of a customer using your product to encourage your email readers to buy the product. CopyPress can also help you create custom illustrations for your brand.

Where To Put Your Call To Action

Often, call to action buttons are most effective when they’re placed at the bottom of an email. You can structure the copy of your email so that it leads up to a climax at your call to action button. You can also place calls to action throughout your email.

For example, depending on the length of your email, you could include one CTA button in the middle of the email and one at the end. It’s important to avoid including too many CTA buttons, as this can overwhelm your reader.

Best Practices for CTA Buttons

Here are some best practices for using CTA buttons:

  • Code an interactive button. Interactivity is an important component of an effective CTA button, as it can make customers more likely to click the button and take action.
  • Use high contrast. Try to create a CTA button that contrasts the rest of your email. This can make your CTA more eye-catching, making customers more likely to see it and take action.
  • Keep it simple. Your CTA button can have simple text and a clean layout to make it easy for customers to read it and take action.
  • Choose the right size. Make sure your CTA button suits the size of your email and is easy to use on mobile devices. Additionally, make sure your CTA button is big enough for readers to easily find and click.
  • Make it responsive. You can help ensure that your call to action is effective for customers who have a variety of devices, including mobile devices, by making your email responsive to different devices.

What Makes Email Calls To Action Different?

Email calls to action are different from other calls to action, such as those in sales calls and face-to-face sales pitches. The key difference between email CTAs and other CTAs is that email CTAs must be compact enough to fit at the bottom of an email. Therefore, CTA buttons should include only a few words of text, ideally less than five, and your emails should be relatively short.

It’s important that you write your email text in a way that leads up to the call to action button. This can help you make sure your CTA button expresses all the information you want it to while fitting within the space near the bottom of your email.

Types of CTAs and Examples

You can use CTAs to encourage customers to make a purchase as well as complete a variety of other tasks. Here are examples of CTAs for several purposes:

CTAs for Business

Some sample CTAs for business include:

  • Schedule your consultation
  • Book your meeting
  • Improve your business
  • Invest in your business now
  • Learn how your business can benefit

CTAs That Prompt Customers To Purchase

Here are CTAs that you can use to encourage your customers to make a purchase:

  • Buy now
  • Shop now
  • Get your coupon
  • Shop now for a discount
  • Order now for free shipping
  • Get a free gift when you order now
  • Add to your cart
  • Reserve yours now
  • Claim your limited-time offer
  • Place your order\

CTAs for the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, you can use these holiday-themed CTAs:

  • Shop holiday deals
  • Find gifts now
  • Order now to get it before the holidays
  • Get your holiday coupons
  • Find your perfect gift
  • Get in the holiday spirit

CTAs for Content

You can include CTAs that direct your customers to content you’ve published, including:

  • Read more
  • Download now
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Learn more
  • Get inspired
  • Find out more
  • Download your free eBook
  • Keep reading

CTAs for Video

You can also direct customers to your video content with CTAs like these:

  • Watch now
  • See for yourself
  • Start watching
  • See more
  • Watch another video
  • Hear the story
  • Watch our video

CTAs for Events

You can use these CTAs for events:

  • Get tickets
  • Register for our event
  • Sign up now
  • Register now
  • Book now
  • Save your seat
  • Reserve your spot

CTAs for Services

Here are some useful CTAs for businesses that provide services:

  • Start your free trial now
  • Book your appointment
  • Sign up now
  • Try now
  • Try for free
  • Claim your free trial
  • Get started now
  • Join now
  • Join us
  • See how

CTAs That Are Results-Oriented

Some results-oriented CTAs include:

  • Get results
  • Start seeing results
  • Kickstart your results
  • Start your journey
  • Start now to see results
  • Jumpstart your results now

CTAs for Customer Feedback

You can prompt your customers to give you feedback with CTAs like these:

  • Take our survey
  • Give your feedback
  • Leave us a review
  • Ask a question
  • Tell us how we’re doing
  • Talk to us

CTAs for Social Media

Here are some CTAs for social media:

  • Stay in touch with us
  • Follow us
  • Like our page
  • Give us a follow
  • Stay connected
  • Connect with us
  • Let’s connect

How To Create a Powerful Email Call To Action

Here are seven key steps you can follow to create your own email call to action:

  1. Determine the purpose of your CTA. The first step of creating a call to action is determining the purpose. Think about the action that you want to prompt your customers to take, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, or reading an article. Knowing the purpose of your CTA can help you make important decisions about the design and copy for your CTA button.
  2. Write your marketing email. Once you know the purpose of your CTA, you can write the email. Be sure to write a great subject line to make customers more likely to open your email. As you construct your email, try to tell a story that leads the reader all the way to the CTA. Keep your email simple and fairly brief to keep most of the readers’ focus on your CTA.
  3. Write the copy for your CTA button. Once you know the purpose of your CTA, write the copy for your CTA button. Try to write concise and compelling copy that draws your reader into your email and guides them to the CTA button.
  4. Design your CTA button. The design of a CTA button is crucial, so take time to choose contrasting colors and aesthetically appealing fonts. Be sure to design your CTA button so that it stands out from the rest of your email.
  5. Place your CTA button in your email. After you’ve completed the design and copy for your CTA button, place it near the bottom of your email.
  6. Link your CTA button. Be sure to link your CTA button to the place where your customers can take action.
  7. Test your CTA. It’s important to test your CTA to revise it to be as effective as possible. Test the copy, design, and placement to determine which elements are the most effective. Additionally, test your link and button code to make sure your button takes prospective customers to the right place. This can help you optimize the results of your CTA button.

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