4 Awesome Email Marketing Calls to Action


You’ve perfected your subject lines, wrote a great headline, and created some stunning content. Now for the most critical part of your email body, the call to action (CTA). Are you going to take the easy route and slap a “Shop Now" or “Learn More” button in your beautiful email? In a word, no. In a few more words: You’re better than that. 

CTAs drive 40% of the contribution to clicks, according to Persado research across all industries. In most cases, it’s the single most impactful element that will get someone to click to a landing page. Brands who do CTAs the right way use high-performing language, eye-catching color combinations and innovative ideas to get consumers to take the next step in their journeys to purchase. These four brands are pros at coming up with email marketing calls to action that are infinitely more creative than “Learn More.”

Related Content: The Best Website Call to Action Examples We've Seen Lately




Scott's Cheap Flights


Industry: Travel

Scott is obsessed with finding cheap flights and wants to share these deals with his subscribers! His services, which are free to email subscribers, save wanderlusters hundreds or even thousands on domestic and international flights. Scott’s daily emails follow the same template, but take a look at the great CTA at the top: "Get ALL the deals" 

Let's break down what Scott is doing right: 
Is it visible? Heck yeah — the contrasting button pops off the blue text box behind it. Given that the rest of the email uses a heavy amount of whitespace, it's really hard to miss this button!
Is the benefit clear? Yes, very: right above the email marketing CTA, there is text that indicates the deal premium subscribers were alerted to last week. You wanted to go to Sicily? Well, you could have flown cheaper if only you went premium! 
Is it using the right words? Almost. "ALL the deals" is great. It indicates that there are even more bargains the customer isn’t getting, and “deals” is a compelling word in an email marketing CTA, according to Persado research of thousands of travel industry emails. It nearly always performs better than other phrases tested against it, including “Access Now,” “Take Me Away,” or “Start Saving.” The only tweak I would make is changing one little word: "Get." Words like “See” or “View” suggest that users can browse all choices rather than making an immediate commitment. 

Rent the Runway


Email type: Editorial, New arrivals

To alert subscribers it had new styles in stock. RTR put together a gorgeous email that screams spring. The actual CTA button seems beside the point — the lead image is highly engaging. The monochromatic photo stands out against a border of "NEW." Now to the actual button...
Is it visible? While it's a little lower down the fold than we recommend, it's still fairly prominent as the only solid black element in the email.
Is the benefit clear? If the recipient is interested in refreshing her wardrobe and gets satisfaction from picking out those must-have items, then yes! 
Is it using the right words? This has some good CTA mojo. "BE THE FIRST" conveys both emotions of Exclusivity and Urgency. Though using emotional language in a call to action is fairly unusual, it works very well in the context of this email because it plays on the recipient's ego — if she clicks fast enough, she can be the first to rent and wear the amazing new styles available. Perhaps to hedge against any performance loss by not using a traditional CTA, RTR could have added "Click to,” which tells the subscriber exactly what to do, and can have a positive impact on click rates.



Email type: Confirm opt-in/reactivation

email marketing calls to action

I'm glad I peeked into this email because it made me smile! The header image is a throwback to the 90s (I'm going to assume they couldn't afford Christian Slater to appear in the mailing). But the real action is all in the sweet email marketing CTA!
Is it visible? Indeed, the red text box on white background stands out from the blue and yellow in the hero image. 
Is the benefit clear? This is a very interesting example because the hero image actually doesn't express exactly what the user is missing out on. I understand I may not keep getting emails from Kmart unless I opt back in, but why do I care? Oh there it is - right *below* the CTA is the reason you want to click if - "NOPE! NO DEALS FOR ME." Ooooh, now I get it! 
Is it using the right words? It certainly looks like it. In my work on thousands of campaigns at Persado, I’ve seen that using first person in a CTA tends to perform well.  Additionally, it's employing a handy arrow symbol, which our data tells us is effective in CTAs. Lastly, the "AW YEAH" is likely to stop subscribers in their tracks - it's such unusual language that one can't help but click. It's fun, engaging, and an example of effective copywriting.

Tasting Table


Email type: Newsletter

email marketing calls to action


From hot new restaurants to helpful tips readers can use in their own kitchens, Tasting Table knows how to deliver the food world’s most delicious news. As its name implies, the weekly best-of email serves up the top stories of the week. A reader may or may not be interested in the remodeling of French Laundry or the latest Instant Pot news. That’s not what is important here. What makes this newsletter special is all of the CTAs are customized to the story they refer to, which gives each a bit more than the same, bland “read more” button all the time. 

Is it visible? Yes, the CTAs stand out from the white background in a bold red box with all capped red fonts.
Is the benefit clear? The calls to action relate directly to the topic of the story, which ties all the content together very well and shows that someone put some effort into creating unique content. Obviously, readers not interested in Star Wars or Solo cups won’t click, but it’s still a good customer experience.

Is it using the right words? This is debatable. The CTAs are not the typical ones we would test in a retail or financial services email. However, I suggest using this as inspiration for your next test. Is it more effective to use an email marketing CTA that says “Shop Pants” or “Get a Leg Up”? Try to have some fun with your email and see what resonates best with your users!


About the Author

Kat Dessenon is the VP of Campaign Management, North America. Over the past seven years, she has designed thousands of marketing experiments in nine languages for Persado’s clients and now leads a team of 17 to deliver compelling, on-brand content to increase customer engagement. She firmly believes in the power of testing to improve performance. Her past work has taken her all over the United States and beyond—from San Francisco, CA to Athens, Greece—and she now resides in New York City where she spends equal time in the gym and scrolling through the Gmail’s Promotions tab for inspiration (sometimes simultaneously). She holds a BA in English from Douglass College.