Ilma from MailerLite

Ilma3 min readTips & resourcesOctober 25, 2016

How to make your CALL-TO-ACTION stand out

How to make your CALL-TO-ACTION stand out

A call-to-action, or CTA, is the most important part of your newsletter. It’s the final gateway before a reader converts.

Here are tips on how to use call-to-action buttons effectively:

#1. One newsletter = one CTA

Use one or two CTAs per email and be specific about what you want your readers to do.

#2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

  • Be direct about what you’re asking the customer to do. Studies prove that you achieve more clicks if the text is simple rather than witty.
  • Use actionable language (Read, Shop, Download, Subscribe, Learn, Donate, etc.)
  • The fewer words, the better.

One of our customers that works in e-commerce recently changed their call-to-action from ‘Get More Information’ to ‘Buy Now!’ and the click-through rate reduced significantly.

Test test test! Get to know how your customers react to different CTAs and adjust accordingly.

#3. Design

A CTA might be a link, an image or a button. Just make sure that it stands out in the email.

  • Use contrasting colors. Some marketers say that the color red increases click-through rates.
  • Remember to be mobile friendly. A CTA should be designed for fingers, not a mouse. Check your newsletter on a smartphone before sending it to readers.

#4. Location, location, location

Since most people won’t read your email for more than 7 seconds, you should have an easily accessible call-to-action directly following your first bit of information.

  • Include your call-to-action near the top and repeat it at the end of the newsletter.
  • Consider using arrows and other visual elements to guide the reader.

→ Some of the most successful CTAs out there have arrows pointing at them. It creates a sense
 of direction and guides the visitor to the important element on the page. This is a way of prioritizing information and creating a flow.

If you have a picture of a person looking at a CTA, that’s where the eye of the visitor will shift. Don’t add images of people who stare right at your audience; have them looking at the spot where you also want the audience to look.

#5. Links

Be sure your CTA links exactly where you want readers to go. Don’t take readers to the home page and expect them to search around for the specific offer they saw in your newsletter.

In addition, consider adding the same link in headlines, logos, and product images, as well as textual links in the body of your copy. People try to click on everything. Use the opportunity.

Here’s the simplest email marketing advice you’ll ever receive:

If you want people to click, use buttons.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February, 2014 but has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.