Email Best Practices Guide Pt. 3: Call to Action

Megan Croke

Megan Croke

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In our previous series of “Email Marketing Best Practices”, we explored how to grab attention through exciting subject lines and previews and how to build consumer anticipation through creative assets and compelling copy.

In the final part of our “Email Marketing Best Practices” series, we are exploring call to actions (CTAs) and how leveraging them correctly can drive conversions and stronger engagement from consumers. We don’t create marketing to tell people things, we create to motivate change and action within consumers. A clearly defined CTA is so important as it’s the next step in the value exchange between your brand and the human reading the email.


The CTA is the primary objective of any email campaign. Naturally, therefore, getting a consumer to follow the CTA is the ultimate aim of a single communication. But it is, of course, just one step in a long-term relationship between a brand and a consumer.

Number of CTAs

Emails should ideally only have one CTA. However, if you must include another, consider changing the design to make it stand out. In the below example from Uber, two CTAs are effective as consumers can click straight through with the “sync now” above the fold, whereas others intrigued by the transparent/bold copy can make their way through via the second CTA.

CTA Placement

Test leveraging CTA above the fold when your email needs to direct consumers quickly or if your email requires explanation, consider putting it at the end. In this example from Lyft they place their CTA above the fold, so no scrolling is needed.

CTA Design

When creating a CTA, look to test buttons, color, size, and white space. In the below example from Everlane, the brand makes the CTA obvious by distinguishing its color from the rest of the email content.

CTA Copy

Word choice can make or break your CTA. The 2-4 word CTA should be actionable and personal. Take the below example from On Running instead of using something more generic like “click to see more,” they used “meet the family” type language, which breaks through the noise. 

Lastly, to determine what is making the most significant impact within email engagement, we recommend testing different elements at one time.

Closing Out

While we have explored all CTAs in this edition of the “email marketing best practices” the most valuable learnings will be from testing multiple variables within your email. In our first series, we explored grabbing consumers’ attention by leveraging exciting subject lines and previews to break through the cluttered noise of inboxes. Moving through to the email itself in our second article in the series, examining how dynamic assets and creative copy can help to build anticipation ahead of conversion and in turn create longer time on site and quicker purchasing behavior. 

These optimizations should be implemented immediately however ensure that your email campaigns are focused so you can more easily manage optimizations in bite-sized steps. With each send look at areas, you can test and optimize to identify more specific learnings. This will provide you with stronger learning to show what type of language and creative influences performance and drives consumer engagement. 

If you’re ready and need help creating winning CTAs and exciting emails to increase engagement and conversion rates, get in touch with us at or on our website.


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Email Best Practices Guide Pt. 2: Building Anticipation

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