Effectively Crafted Calls to Action

Alex Gorton

Arguably one of the biggest tools in an effective email is a Call to Action (or CTA for short). Typically rendered in the form of a button, a CTA is created in order to drive traffic or persuade a subscriber to perform some other task. Oftentimes, an email’s entire purpose may be to promote a Call to Action. So don’t hide your CTA’s in your email, highlight them and help them stand out as one of the most important functions to grab your subscribers’ attention.

Less is More

It’s important to note, do not inundate your readers with a hundred different buttons in your email. In fact, more than 2 Calls to Action may be too many. The point of a CTA is to draw attention to the action you are trying to get the subscriber to perform. Including more than 2 CTA’s and your reader’s attention may be spread too thin. One or two Calls to Action will help direct the focus to the purpose of the email and drive the traffic how you want.


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The language used in your CTA’s is just as crucial as the CTA itself. No longer will something as simple as “click here” work effectively. Instead, it is best to be as concise as possible in order to convince your subscribers to interact with it. As an example, if you want to drive traffic to your blog, don’t use “read more”, use “read more on our blog.” The difference is subtle, but it provides a clear purpose to your readers what your CTA is going to do when they click on it.

Make it POP!

Being that the CTA’s point is to draw attention, it needs to stand out from the rest of your email. Here are 3 ways to make your CTA’s stand out:

  • Size and Placement: The size of a CTA tends to be more important for the mobile community as it needs to be finger touch friendly. The overall consensus is that the CTA should be at least 44px squared. Another great point to make is to give it plenty of breathing room so your subscribers are not accidentally clicking on another link that might be too close in proximity. It is also good to have the call to action appear early in the email so that it is viewed quickly.
  • Contrast: Since we want the CTA to stand out, use contrasting colors from the rest of the email and background so that it does not blend in. As the title suggests, Make it POP!
  • Different Types: Finally, there are a few different types of CTA’s to experiment with. These include images, HTML buttons and text links. It’s worth noting that images and HTML buttons tend to grab the attention of viewers more than simple text links. For subtle calls to action throughout the email (especially if many are being used), text links might be a better route. Try each of them out to see which your subscribers tend to click on more!

What have you found useful in making your CTA’s stand out?

Here are more design tips from the Informz blog.

About the Author
Alex Gorton

As a Digital Marketing Designer, Alex is tasked with the creation of client templates, educating clients on design best-practices and assisting with internal marketing needs. Out of the office, Alex is an self-proclaimed adventurer, snowboarder and tinkers on his custom-built computer.