Rikke Berge Thomsen, a marketing blogger at Sleeknote, reminds us that creating calls to action (CTAs) in email is different from typical CTAs on web pages and ads. Why? Because email has limited space, so we have to make the most of it. That means we can’t risk readers losing interest while reading content and missing the call to action we want them to see because it’s buried and they aren’t engaged enough to keep scrolling.

In an email, in some ways every word is a call to action. Emails invite your readers to engage — to view something, try something, or read something. You can learn how to make your emails more engaging so readers will open them and read all the way through here and here.

When it comes to writing a call to action in email, here are the five most effective approaches. These examples are guides, because your calls to action will be unique.

You’ll also want to test your CTAs as you do with your email content, whether it’s the subject line or send day or time. Try new and different CTAs and monitor them to determine which ones work best for your particular customers or clients.

“View Details”

Alexis Rodrigo explains that the organization Vero ran research to test the differences in click-through rates between a CTA button that said “Show Now” and “View Details.”

Vero found that more people clicked through on the “View Details” option. Why? Because as Rodrigo explains, the “View Details” option wasn’t asking readers to do too much too soon.

Suppose you think of the CTA button as a step in building a relationship with someone. Would you ask that person to go on a two-week vacation with you only three days into knowing him or her? Not likely. So don’t do the same when it comes to building your relationship with your prospective customers. Allow them to build trust with you and your brand slowly. Your email will have provided some insight into your organization and what you have to offer; be low-key and give them more, don’t straight up ask for the sale.

“Learn More”

Like the “View More” option, this CTA eases potential customers into finding out more or deepening their connection to you and your brand. But, again, it is a way of enhancing what you have already provided.

Your email might talk about a specific workshop or information session you are holding. Using the “Learn More” CTA in your email could send readers to your website or registration form where they more information about the workshop, including a “Frequently Asked Questions” section where they can begin to learn the vision behind what you offer.

“Get Your 10% Off”

Notice how personal this CTA is. MailerLite explains that by personalizing the CTA as if you are speaking to a friend or colleague, you are likely to see a significant increase in your click-through rate. For example, Unbounce found that “using the first-person pronoun in your button text resulted in a 90% increase in clicks.”

This makes sense. If I am going to offer you something in my company email communication and build a relationship with you, why wouldn’t I offer you the discount? I know you and want to strengthen our connection.

“Discover How To…”

By using the word discover at the start of your CTA, you invite your reader to do something more. Discover is considered a low-friction word that is less likely to turn off readers. Your call-to-action aim is to be inviting. When you use discover, you are asking the reader to find out more. It is a word that allows the reader to take a journey, and that is something they do willingly do.

“Connect With Us”

If you want to gain more subscribers, asking people to connect with you is more inviting than a CTA that says, “Subscribe Now.” Engage with readers in a way that lets them know you want to develop a deeper relationship with them. The words in your CTA need to be inviting.

This CTA has a specific purpose, just as do all CTAs you use.

The key to creating a compelling call to action for your email subscribers is understanding what they want to know more about and offering that just a click away. What information are they seeking? What tools do they need? What insights are they looking for? What can you help them learn?


Use the CTA To Build On Your Relationship With Your Reader

Remembering that any call to action button must build on your relationship with the reader is the key to having great click-through rates. If you test different options based on the marketing strategy you want to deliver, you will likely find a combination of words that work for your specific audience.

When running an email campaign, remember that each email has a different purpose; therefore, the CTA in each email will be different.

Consider the Whole Button for Effectiveness

Words alone don’t make a compelling call to action. Other things you must consider are:

  • The color of the button — Is it inviting and in good contrast with the text?
  • Where the CTA is placed within the email — Is it buried or easily overlooked?
  • The font you choose — Can it be clearly read?

Keeping your call-to-action button simple and engaging is the best option. With proven wording with the right combination of button features, and you’ll add to the effectiveness of your delivery and strengthen the chance of your readers taking the next step to click your call to action.