How to Write Your CTAs to Fit Your Campaign

You’ve planned and created your best email campaign yet and
you’re excited to hit “send.”

Now, before you do, ask yourself this question, “Did I
remember to include an actionable CTA?”

We don’t mean a simple “buy now” CTA. If you want your CTA
to be truly effective, you must know how to write your CTAs to fit
your campaign.

CTA strategies
include “Buy now!” or “Visit today!”
However, to make your CTA truly stand out, you need to stay up to
date on CTA writing and design best practices and take some time to
learn from outstanding, real-world examples.

How to write your CTAs: It will affect the success of your

Each of your email campaigns serves a purpose. Without a CTA,
your subscribers have nothing to act on, leaving your emails nearly
useless. Having either a hyperlinked CTA or a clickable button CTA
gives your readers a chance to act on something, such as:

  • Downloading a freebie
  • Clipping a virtual coupon
  • Heading over to your shop to browse

An effective CTA example from Victoria’s Secret

Source: Gmail/Victoria’s

Without these CTAs, there is, again, nothing for your readers to
act on, making your emails nothing more than a digital piece of
information—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you
won’t get the ROI you’re aiming for without an actionable

Learning how to design and write your CTAs can make or break your

Taking the time to learn how to write your CTAs and design them
can make a significant difference in the overall success of your
email campaign. From placement to color choices and choosing
between hyperlinked CTAs and button CTAs—they all play vital
roles in not only whether your readers will choose to interact with
your CTAs, but whether your readers will even notice them.

That said, here are some interesting facts regarding CTA
creation and use in email marketing:

  • Forty-eight percent of brands choose to match
    their CTA to a color that they used in their brand logo –

    Really Good Emails
  • Button-based CTAs can improve click-through
    rates by 28% –
    Campaign Monitor
  • Benefit-focused copy in a CTA button can
    increase click-through rates by nearly 10% –
    Campaign Monitor
  • First-person text in a CTA can increase clicks
    by almost 90% –
    Campaign Monitor

button-based CTA example by Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor

Having a CTA in your email marketing campaign can make all the
difference. However, merely slapping in a traditional CTA simply
won’t do it anymore. That’s why taking adequate time to learn
how to write your CTAs and how to design them is crucial.

Learning how to design your CTAs effectively

Traditionally, email designers put little thought into designing
the actual CTA that was included within the body of an email
campaign. For many years, this was simply left to the writing team
because hyperlinked CTAs were the way to go. In many cases, these
CTAs are still perfectly acceptable. For example, in the case of
this welcome email from social media guru, Kelsey Chapman.

Example of a hyperlinked CTA by Kelsey Chapman

Source: Gmail/Kelsey Chapman

As we move into a new century, technology is changing, and with
it are consumer preferences. That’s why it’s vital to know not
only how to write your CTAs, but how to design them as well. So
we’ve compiled an essential list of the most crucial CTA design
best practices that you should keep in mind during your email
design phase.

CTA buttons perform better than hyperlinked CTA text.

While hyperlinked CTA text is still a viable design option,
brands have noticed that consumers prefer a clickable button CTA
over a hyperlinked CTA. In fact, during our own research, we found
that simply adjusting our CTA in one campaign from hyperlinked text
to a clickable button increased our overall click-throughs by

CTA button vs. hyperlinked text example

Campaign Monitor

Make sure your CTA is clearly identifiable.

One reason why consumers prefer clickable CTA buttons is that
they’re much easier to find than hyperlinked text options.
Unfortunately, while using a hyperlinked CTA is still common
practice, many brands leave the text in the same color as the rest
of the email text. This makes it nearly impossible to identify

Here’s the thing: Only a handful of your readers are going to
take the time to read your email. The rest are going to scan for
important information, including the CTA button. If it’s not easy
to spot, then your readers are going to move on without a second

CTA placement is vital.

Since more consumers are spending time scanning their emails for
relevant information, it’s vital to consider the placement of
your CTA within the body of your email. While many brands include
their CTAs at the end of the message, you want to place your CTA
above the fold.

Above the fold means within the first viewing window your
readers get after opening your message. The more scrolling a reader
has to do, the less likely they are to find and click on your

Example of a CTA placed above the fold

Really Good Email

Learning how to write your CTAs effectively

Now that you’ve gotten a chance to review some CTA design best
practices, adopt the same philosophy into how you write your CTAs
to get the most out of each campaign.

Always include action-oriented text.

Remember, the entire point of your email marketing efforts is to
drive action. The most effective way to do that is by always
including action-oriented text within your CTA. Popular action
words for CTAs include:

  • Try
  • Buy
  • Get
  • Order
  • Reserve
  • Download
  • Add
  • Sign up
  • Register

 Examples of CTAs with actionable text

Source: Self-made

Avoid “friction words.”

While you want your CTAs to be actionable, you also want to make
sure you avoid the use of friction words.
Friction words
are either words or phrases that imply your
reader must do something that they may not really want to do. Some
common friction words that are traditionally used in email
marketing CTAs include:

  • Submit
  • Order
  • Download

While these are all actionable words, they tell the reader what
to do instead of encouraging them. Here are various ways you can
alter your CTAs to include frictionless words:

  • Download – Get
  • Order – Reserve
  • Apply – Learn

Example of an actionable, frictionless CTA from Breguet

Really Good Emails

CTA text should be both large and legible.

When designing your email CTA, we mentioned that you have to
make it easily noticeable. The most effective way to do that is by
making sure your text is both legible and big enough to stand out.
However, that doesn’t mean you want to make it obnoxious.

Take this example from Resy. Their CTA is very legible, thanks
to the font and coloring they chose during the design phase. They
took it a step further by choosing to bolden the text. Notice,
however, that it doesn’t look clunky or out of place.

 Example of a bold, short and sweet email CTA from Resy.

Really Good Emails

The best way to make your CTA bold and legible is by choosing a
font that matches your text hierarchy. To do this, choose something
similar to the fonts that you used for your heading text.

Keep CTA text short and sweet.

Along with having a bold, legible CTA comes one that’s both
short and sweet. At this point, your reader should already
understand the benefit of clicking on your CTA, so you want to keep
the text short and simple. Ideally, your CTA will only be 3-5 words
in length. Anything more than that begins to look too messy.

Short and sweet email CTAs in action

Source: Gmail/Chewy

First person/personalization goes a long way in your CTA.

Now, adding first person into your email CTA doesn’t have to
be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as saying “Reserve
my seat” instead of “reserve a seat.” Studies have shown that
simply changing this one word in a CTA can increase clicks by
nearly 90%, a number that warrants consideration.

If first-person doesn’t really sound right in your mind, then
simply personalizing with the second-person point of view works
great too. So, instead of “reserve a seat,” you can opt for
“reserve your seat.” This added touch of personalization makes
your call to action that much more inviting to your

Example of a personalized CTA by PlayStation

Really Good Emails

Wrap up

Knowing how to write your CTAs is a vital part of your email
marketing process. Again, if you want to see the ROI from this
marketing strategy, you have to give your email subscribers
something to do.

When it comes to your email CTAs, you’ll want to keep in mind
some of the design and writing tips we’ve minted, including:

  • Include action-oriented text
  • Avoiding “friction words”
  • Using a button vs. hyperlinked text
  • Keeping it short and sweet

Looking for a little more guidance on how to write and
optimize your email CTAs? Then make sure you
check out our email CTA
optimization guide today.

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How to Write Your CTAs to Fit Your Campaign
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How to Write Your CTAs to Fit Your Campaign