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How can I master the use of Email CTAs effectively?

CTAs are small email components, but must not go unnoticed! Here's how to craft CTAs that convert. Read on to know more!

Icegram blog general

Last updated on January 17, 2024

What happens when you leave your child by themselves when they are doing their math homework?

The result? They shut the book, and it’s playtime for them. And you wouldn’t even know when they’d feel like getting back to completing their homework!

In the world of email marketing, it’s almost the same!

So when you inform and delight your audience with your offering, the next step must be to direct them to the right course of action. And that’s exactly what CTAs do!

We are listing out everything! How CTAs work and how to craft a perfect one for your emails so that you don’t have to test, trial, and make errors!

How do email CTAs work?

After a deep analysis of what triggers your audience’s emotions, you can craft emotions that help you get under your audience’s skin. These parameters include their likes and dislikes, occupation, age, gender, demographics, buying patterns, preferences, and other details.

These triggers cause a ripple effect on the audience’s subconscious emotions. It leads the audience to reflect on their pain points and likewise see a solution in your offering.

Just like the variations in the types of emails, their CTAs differ too. The list includes abandoned cart emails, sales emails, and repeated purchase emails to name a few.

Now on to the big question:

How do you craft the perfect CTA for your emails?

Call to action placement

“It’s just a CTA” – Said no one ever!

Just as the right CTA is important, so is its placement. Placing your CTA in the right place can be a game-changer for your conversions.

As per your email layout, your CTAs must be placed in the most noticeable section. Ensure the placement of the rest of the elements so that your subscribers can’t miss it. Leaving sufficient white space around the CTA can make it easily recognizable amidst the email copy and other elements. However, you need to figure out what works for your brand depending on the email length, layout, copy, and the number of CTAs.

Why do I say that? Well, I can back that up with a claim! As reported by VWO, CTAs that are surrounded by less clutter and more white space are expected to get an increased conversion rate up to 232%. See? It’s not just a CTA after all!

Number of calls to action

It’s always better to not throw your CTA as confetti. If there are more CTAs than required, your brand can appear excessively persuasive, which can ruin the readers’ experience. Although there is no magic number, it’s important to balance it out just right. Hence, it can be safe to stick with at least 3 CTAs in an email.

Picking a unique color

Colors have the power to influence your mood and I’d say conversions too! Use eye-catching colors that align with the brand elements and those that evoke positive emotions. You can experiment with a brand-related color palette, color wheel, or contrasts that align with the brand tonality. While you pick the right color you must also consider the colors of the elements around it. A good way to do this is to pick colors that contrast with the background.

Some CTAs might be a bit difficult to read because of low color contrast or because of similar background and text colors. Believe it or not, colors convert too.

CTA copy

The words you use in your CTA can make or break your email copy. As with your email copy, with your CTA copy. Lead your CTA copy with purpose. In a nutshell, your audience must know what they are investing their time into, even though the outcome is not explicitly mentioned. The CTA copy must align with the email copy so that it doesn’t look abrupt.

Whereas, it must also stand out, so that it doesn’t look like a part of the email copy.

Get creative with the button

You can use imaginative writing or graphics to capture your readers’ interest. Images compel readers to take action faster than with endless paragraphs. Experiment with shapes, styles, and sizes. Likewise, it’s important to not overdo it with unnecessary elements and details. Taking this a notch ahead, you can use bulletproof buttons for your CTAs, instead of hyperlinked text. Why, you may ask? That’s because as per Campaign Monitor, button-based CTAs improved click-through rates by 127%.


The shorter the better! Ideally, CTAs must have around 3-4 words. However, if it’s even shorter it can sound abrupt and can fail to deliver the message. Whereas if it’s long it can get lost in the email copy. Hence, in a nutshell, ensure brevity and clarity. Refrain from providing every detail in the CTA.


Ideally, CTAs must evoke an emotional response, build a sense of urgency and appeal to the readers’ interest. It shouldn’t be lengthy, rather it should be targeted towards benefits. It must highlight why choosing your brand can benefit the reader. To craft perfect CTAs, consider what you are doing, what audiences must expect and what they’ll get from it.

Maintain relevance

It shouldn’t just be about what you do but also about why you do it. Lack of clarity might confuse the readers and can cause the click-through rates and conversions to drop. After all, who better than you to know your audience? Ensure relevancy in every step you take. From the colors, CTA button, copy, tonality and more. Besides keeping the language easily understandable, use a first-person perspective for better conversions.

Trying too hard to sell

Ever come across someone trying too hard to sell you something? That only leaves you with a negative impression and might even hurt the brand image as well. Moreover, it also brings desperation to the surface, leaving the audience feeling suspicious and causing a steady decline in trust.

Use action words

When you want them to take action, use action words! Some of the examples of action words include, buy, learn, download and more. These action words make the next actionable steps clear. By evoking emotions and enthusiasm, these words can trigger a response from the audience.

Action words can offer the final push to the audience for them to take action. You can begin with an action word or a verb that helps the users with the benefits of getting the product.

Mobile-friendly CTAs

We cannot emphasize the need for mobiles and you know why! While you use your mobile to do multiple tasks, reading your emails on your mobile is an activity most of us do when on the go. Ensure the CTAs in your email templates and newsletters are designed for the same. Likewise, GIFs can also quickly capture your audience’s interest and attention. Brand relatability for these GIFs will be a cherry on the cake.

Balance tone and voice

Should the tonality be cute, quirky, professional, or funny? Regardless of the tone you use, speak directly to your audience. The CTAs must feel like those are exclusively for your audience! As mentioned above, ensure that the tone and voice align with the content and the CTA. In simpler terms, the CTA should tell the same story with the same style.

Abruptly shifting gears to different writing styles and voices can create a disconnect, leading to a drop in click-through rates. Stick to the story you are telling rather than swaying in multiple directions.

A/B testing

Confused about which CTA could work well? You can conclude by creating 2 versions of emails with different CTAs and then using A/B testing on those. Since the testing is only for the CTAs, refrain from altering the email copy and the audience segment. This can help you test multiple iterations of your CTA and employ the one that works the best for your emails.

Why is a CTA important for emails?

Provides the right direction to users

A strategically placed and logical CTA shows the readers the direction that they should take. This eliminates the need to clarify more with email content and other aspects. Simplifying the next step can also be helpful to increase conversions.

Enhances the click-through rates

Once you’ve struck a chord with your audience’s interest, it will lead to increased clicks and conversions. Now that’s what we call the magic of conversion-focused CTAs.

To turn prospects into consumers

CTAs usually break the readers’ reading pattern while reading long texts and remind them what to do next. This allows the CTA to stand out as the final command of what to do next.


The type of CTAs that you should use depends on the content vertical you are using and your expected results. Although a CTA is one of the smallest elements of an email, it isn’t always so easy to embed. There are tips you must consider as well as note that these guidelines are subject to change depending on factors such as an industry.

After all, you can’t just let your audience decide what to do next. Don’t leave your audiences going around in circles about what to do next. Tell them! Be it CTAs or anything else, avoid leaky funnels with Icegram Express! Automate personalized campaigns, reduce costs and much more.

Visit our website and let us assist you on your journey towards success.

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