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Email CTA Best Practices to Boost Engagement and Conversion Rates

Email marketing is a tried-and-true method of reaching your target audience and encouraging them to take action. But, as the competition for subscribers’ attention continues to increase, it’s more important than ever to optimize your email calls-to-action (CTAs) to boost engagement and conversion rates.

In this article, we’ll explore email CTA best practices, effective strategies, and tactics to boost conversions, how to improve email engagement through CTA optimization, design high-performing CTAs, common mistakes to avoid, and examples to try in your emails.

The importance of Email CTAs

First, what is CTA in email signature or above the folder? A call-to-action in email (CTA) is a link, or button, that prompts the user to take action. It’s also called a link, which takes the user to a landing page where they’ll complete their desired action. CTA is used in marketing campaigns and other forms of digital content to inspire users into performing certain tasks, such as signing up for emails or visiting your website. It’s the key to turning email subscribers into customers, making them a crucial component of any successful email marketing campaign.

An effective CTA should be eye-catching, clear, and concise, conveying a sense of urgency to encourage immediate action. It should also be relevant to the content of the email and aligned with your overall marketing goals.

Think through the CTAs before each mailing to find the best option. And use Atompark’s mass email sender to make your marketing campaign even more effective. It saves you time and gives you useful information like opening and click-through rates. This way you can see if your CTAs are working.

Types of calls-to-action

There are many types of CTAs that you can use in your emails.

Depending on the location in the email, there are:

  • Primary call-to-action (CTA): A primary CTA is the main call to action that you want users to take. It’s usually at the top of your email, but can also be found in other places, like an image or button on a landing page.
  • Secondary CTA: A secondary CTA is a secondary version of your main call-to-action and frequently appears after another piece of content in an email campaign, such as a blog post or video. This gives readers options if they don’t want all three CTAs being presented at once in one big chunk at the top of the email template design document. You can use these secondary CTAs throughout different parts of your marketing campaigns, so long as they fit within contextually relevant areas where users might click through them.

Depending on the context, there are:

  • Direct CTAs: These CTAs explicitly tell the reader what action to take, such as «Click here to buy now» or «Download our guide».
  • Indirect CTAs: These CTAs are more subtle and encourage the reader to learn more about your product or service, such as «Explore our offerings» or «Learn more».
  • Urgency-based CTAs: These CTAs create a sense of urgency and encourage the reader to take action now, such as «Limited time offer» or «Don’t miss out».
  • Social proof-based CTAs: These CTAs use social proof to encourage the reader to take action, such as «Join over 10,000 satisfied customers» or «See what others are saying».

Now you know more about CTAs. But how to write a call-to-action email? Let’s talk more about it.

CTA Best Practices

To ensure that your email CTA is effective, follow these best practices:

  • Be clear and concise. Your CTA should be clear and concise, with a message that’s easy to understand. Avoid using vague or ambiguous language that could confuse subscribers. Use action-oriented language that tells subscribers exactly what they can expect when they click through to your website or landing page.
  • Use action-oriented language. The language you use in your CTA should be action-oriented and encourage subscribers to take immediate action. Use action words like «buy», «sign up», or «subscribe» to create a sense of urgency and encourage subscribers to act now.
  • Be descriptive. Your CTA should clearly describe the action that subscribers will take when they click through to your website or landing page. Use descriptive text that gives subscribers a clear idea of what they’ll get when they click through. For example, instead of using «Click here», use «Download our free guide» to make it clear what subscribers will receive when they click through.
  • Keep it short. Your CTA should be short and to the point, with a message that’s easy to read and understand. Avoid using long or complicated language that could confuse or overwhelm subscribers.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Use language that creates a sense of urgency, such as «Limited time offer» or «Act now to claim your discount». Read more about how to create an effective limited-time offer to take immediate action in our previous article. 
  • Test and Measure. Testing and measuring the effectiveness of your CTAs is crucial to optimizing your email marketing campaigns. Try different CTAs, button colors, and placements to identify what works best for your audience. Use data and analytics to measure the performance of your CTAs and adjust your strategy accordingly.

And by the way, before you send emails, remember to check that your mailing list is up-to-date by using Atompark’s bulk email checker — that way you won’t get in trouble for sending emails to addresses that don’t exist. In this case, even the best CTA won’t help you get the results you expect. 

Effective email call-to-action strategies and tactics to boost conversions

To boost your email conversion rates, try these effective email marketing CTA strategies and tactics:

  • Segment your email list: Personalize your CTAs based on your subscribers’ interests and behaviors to make them more relevant and effective.
  • Use a single CTA: Using multiple CTAs can be overwhelming and reduce the effectiveness of each one. Instead, use a single, prominent CTA that stands out and clearly communicates the desired action.
  • Place the CTA above the fold: Position your CTA above the fold (the part of the email that’s visible without scrolling) to ensure that it’s immediately visible to your subscribers.
  • Use social proof: Use social proof, such as customer reviews or ratings, to make your CTA more compelling and encourage action.
  • Use a countdown timer: Use a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate action, such as «Only 24 hours left to claim this offer!»
  • Offer an incentive: Provide a clear and compelling incentive to encourage subscribers to take action, such as a discount or free trial.

By the way, in one of our articles, you can learn more about small business email marketing tips to make your email campaign more effective. 

Improving Email Engagement through CTA Optimization

CTAs are not only important for conversions, but they also play a crucial role in improving email engagement. By optimizing your email call-to-action, you can encourage subscribers to interact with your email content and ultimately lead to more conversions. Here are some tips to optimize your CTAs for engagement:

  • Use descriptive text: Use descriptive text that gives subscribers a clear idea of what they’ll get when they click through to your website or landing page.
  • Create a sense of curiosity: Use teasers that pique subscribers’ interest and encourage them to click through to learn more.
  • Use interactive elements: Use interactive elements such as quizzes or polls to encourage subscribers to engage with your email content.
  • Offer personalized recommendations: Use data and segmentation to offer personalized recommendations based on subscribers’ interests and past behavior.
  • Use dynamic CTAs: Use dynamic CTAs that change based on subscribers’ behavior or preferences to create a more personalized and relevant experience.

Designing High-Performing CTAs

In the context of email marketing, a CTA is a button that prompts users to take action. When designing CTAs for your emails, it’s important to consider how each element interacts with others. Designing an effective CTA involves more than just choosing the right text and color.

Here are some tips for designing high-performing CTAs.

Button design

Use button design to make your CTA stand out and encourage action:

  • Use a button that’s easy to click on. Make sure your CTA button stands out from the rest of the page, so it’s easy to see.
  • Use a button that’s easy to read and understand. Make sure your copy is clear and concise; this will help avoid confusion or misinterpretation of what you’re asking people to do next in order for them not only to understand what they’re supposed to do but also to feel comfortable doing so without any hesitation or uncertainty about their choice being wrong or misguided in some way.

The right color and size for your CTA

The color and size of your CTA can have a significant impact on its effectiveness. Here are some tips for choosing the right color and size:

  • Choose a contrasting color: Choose a color that contrasts with the rest of the email to make your CTA stand out.
  • Use a color that matches your branding: Use a color that’s consistent with your branding to create a cohesive experience for subscribers.
  • You want to use colors that are eye-catching and that stand out from the rest of your email campaign, but not so much that they look garish or distracting. Your CTA should be noticeable without being overbearing.
  • Make the bottom big enough: Ensure that the button is large enough to be easily clickable on all devices.

CTA placement

The placement of your CTA can also have a significant impact on its effectiveness. Here are some tips for choosing the right CTA placement:

  • Place it above the fold: Place your CTA above the fold to ensure that it’s immediately visible to subscribers.
  • Use whitespace: Use whitespace around the CTA to make it stand out and draw attention to the desired action.
  • Consider mobile users: Ensure that the CTA is easily clickable on all devices, especially mobile.

CTA Mistakes That Kill Email Performance

There are a few things that can kill your email performance, and they’re all related to CTAs. The most common CTA mistakes you should avoid:

  • Using generic language: Avoid using generic language like «Click here» or «Learn more» that doesn’t clearly communicate the desired action.
  • Using too many CTAs: Using too many CTAs can be overwhelming and reduce the effectiveness of each one.
  • Using too little white space: Cluttered emails can be overwhelming and make it difficult for subscribers to find the desired action.
  • Using the wrong color: Using a color that blends in with the rest of the email can reduce the effectiveness of your CTA.
  • Not testing: Not testing different CTAs and strategies can prevent you from identifying what works best for your audience.

Examples of CTAs You Should Try in Your Emails

There are many ways you can use a CTA for emails, but the most important thing to remember is that you want it to be noticeable and easy for your subscribers to understand. There are many forms of CTA, that marketers use, but here are the two most common ones:

  1. Button. The most basic form of CTA is a button that simply says «Subscribe» or «Sign Up». You can use this type of call-to-action button on its own, or combine it with another form of visual communication like an image (like a social media icon), video, and/or text link
  2. Text Link. If including buttons isn’t possible due to space constraints (or any other reason), then consider using text links instead — they’ll still get people where they need to go without taking up too much room inside the body text section. Just make sure each one includes strong call-to-action language like: «Learn More About Our Product!», «Download Our Ebook Today», etc., so readers know exactly what they’re getting themselves into when clicking through.

CTAs can also be in the form of images. Read more about using images in email in our article.

Here are some examples of effective CTA in email that you can try in your emails:

  • Sign up now
  • Get started today
  • Claim your discount
  • Download now
  • Schedule a demo
  • Learn more
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Register for the webinar
  • Buy now
  • Get your free trial


Effective CTAs are a crucial component of successful email marketing campaigns. By following our email call-to-action best practices, you can optimize your CTAs to boost engagement and conversion rates. Remember, even if you think you find the best email CTA, always test different variants and strategies to identify what works best for your audience. By continually refining and improving your CTAs, you can take your email marketing campaigns to the next level and achieve greater success. Modern approaches to bulk emails make marketing campaigns even more successful. Use Atomic Mail Sender to automate your email campaigns today. Download our email sender and learn all its features for free during the trial period.

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