Email Marketing and Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

Email marketing is pretty straight-forward. And, it's important to realize it falls under the content marketing umbrella.

As an email marketer you send out emails in order to create a relationship with your subscribers, build trust, and ultimately sell what you’re offering. It may be a book or other product. It may be a service. Whichever it is, the saying goes, ‘people buy from people they trust.’

It’s important to keep in mind though that you should genuinely be striving to help your audience, especially your subscribers, reach their goals. It shouldn’t be ALL about selling.

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are words that motivate a viewer to take action. It may be to sign up to your mailing list. It may be to buy your book or other product. It may be to take a survey. It may be to sign up to your course or class. Whatever it is you’re offering or selling, it needs a CTA.

According to an article at, “You should have a big, standout call-to-action in every email marketing message you send.”

But, are CTA’s one-size-fits-all?

No. No, they’re not.

There are a number of elements in CTAs, such as the background color, the text, the text color, the size, the positioning, the design, and so on. Even how you use a CTA can vary.

Simple Changes, Big Results

An example of how simple changes can increase conversions (clicks / sales), Heinz Ketchup decided to test the effect of changing the color of their product. They changed it from red to green and “sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months.”

Another example is Performable. They changed their CTA button from green to red. It resulted in a 21% increase in conversions.

Testing is a big factor in all marketing. Testing variations of your CTAs can prove to boost your conversions.

A Bit of Knowledge Can Go a Long Way

To tweak your CTA, it’s important to have an idea of which direction to go. This means you need to know your audience and you need to know what elements you want to test out.

Is your audience mixed, men and women?

If so, you should know that women prefer blue, purple, and green. Men prefer blue, green, and black. Testing your CTA button or text with the color blue or green will cover both bases.

Is your audience primarily English reading?
This reader reads from left to right and top to bottom. Having the copy (wording, text) lead the reader down to the CTA and having the CTA on the left should help boost conversion.

Is your copy easily understandable and anxiety free?

Marketing Experiments conducts ongoing marketing research into what increases conversion. They’ve found that easy to understand text is essential. They also found that the wording must be right.

You might think that offering a “Free Consultation” or a “Free Trial” will motivate your reader to take action, but the opposite may be true. A free consultation or trial may produce anxiety in the reader. She may feel there’s an implied cost involved.

“Get Started Now” doesn’t have an implied cost attached, so it’s more likely to boost conversion.

Summing it Up

Email marketing is a powerful way to reach your audience. It’s should be used to help them as well as promote what you’re offering.

Your CTA is what will prompt the reader to take action. Test out the various elements within the CTA to see what works best for you.


Conversion – This is the process of readers moving from reading to action by clicking on your links, in other words taking the action step in your CTA.


I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.

P.S. If you liked this article, PLEASE SHARE IT!


Need help with your content and email marketing? 

Check out: Karen Cioffi, Freelance Writer



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