Make sure to click with your recipients!

Calls to action are everywhere; whether you’re reading emails, using an app on your mobile, or browsing a website for a new pair of shoes, you’ll be subjected to literally hundreds of buttons asking you to act.

There are a fair few CTAs scattered across our site – spend an hour or two on the internet and you’ll see thousands. Whilst every brand in the world has a different voice and uses different calls to action, the goal is always the same: to get people to act. NOW.


Here’s the takeaway from this blog – sweat the small stuff. Those CTAs are important; make them work for you. Creating CTAs that prompt a high click-through rate should be your top priority, after all, more clicks have a positive impact on revenue.


Here’s how you can deliver killer CTAs every send.


Utilise live image optimisation. Run a live test during a send to a set number of opens and then automatically display the highest converting image to everybody thereafter. Running this process on CTA buttons is a huge engagement and revenue opportunity that very few brands are actually using. It’s a real quick win.


There are so many things you can test.


Tip 1: Language

Test the language you use in your CTAs. Remember that you're testing calls to action, so keep the action in mind. If possible, skip unnecessary words like submit, enter, click.


Ideas to test:

  • Formal language vs informal
  • First-person vs second person:


  • Boring words vs. compelling words:



Unbounce shared a study which found that changing button text from the second person (“Start your free trial”) to the first person (“Start my free trial”) resulted in a 90% increase in clicks. Those results are dependent on products and personality, but numbers like those certainly warrant a test.


Tip 2: Colour

Buttons are better than hyperlinks so pick a colour. Or pick a few and test to see which your recipients respond to the most. You could consider testing:

  • Black and white vs colour
  • Colour reverse (test button colour and text reversed)


  • Similar colours vs clashing colours:


Tip 3: White space

Really draw attention to your CTA by giving it the whitespace it deserves. Don’t squash it into the email and let it get lost amongst other content. Give it the space and respect it deserves.


Tip 4: Formatting

SOME PEOPLE THINK SHOUTY CAPITALS ARE ANNOYING, some people like them. So test to see what works:

  • Bold text vs normal text


  • Punctuation! vs no punctuation (!.>)
  • Caps vs lower case



Tip 5: Length

Despite the length of this blog post, I prefer shorter, to-the-point CTAs but it’s worth testing longer CTAs vs shorter, punchier versions.


Tip 6: Size

Size doesn't matter, but it could. A bigger CTA certainly stands out more but it could be too big and irritating. CTAs should be large enough to read clearly but not so huge they take up the whole email. Test:

  • Big buttons vs smaller buttons
  • Test different sizes for mobile devices! 
  • Button shape: rounded edges vs square edges

Sharp v round-1


Tip 7: Optimise for device

Actions are different depending on the device. For example, you don’t click on mobile. Consider testing specific CTAs based on device. Test:

  • Tap to shop (mobile) vs. Click to shop (desktop)*

*Retailers optimising CTAs for mobile have seen over 15% increase in CTR!


As an email is a confined space, your CTAs need to pack a punch, get the message across and stand out from the off. That’s a lot to ask from a little button! Utilising a live image optimiser can help you achieve your testing goals and provide invaluable insight into what your customers want to click on.


To get started, put a plan in place to test your CTAs to figure out which ones get the most clicks and conversions. Design a few options, upload them into the optimiser and run a live test in your email. After the test has run, the highest converting option will be displayed to everyone else that opens the email. It takes less than 2 minutes to build and can seriously improve email performance. If it’s not worth testing, I don’t know what is!! Testing different variants of a button across sends could be the difference between smashing your revenue target or missing them by a mile.


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