At the heart of every email marketing campaign lies the all-important call-to-action (CTA). Often a button or clickable image, this element of the design needs to be precisely constructed and placed if it’s to encourage subscribers to act.

It’s an incredibly challenging thing to get right. With people becoming more conscious of spam email and unlikely to click on anything that looks even remotely suspicious, email marketers have to work hard to demonstrate that the message being sent is legitimate.

One false move with a CTA and your entire campaign can be ruined. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d look at five examples of brilliant calls-to action. They’re so good, in fact, that you’ll probably want to steal them for your next campaign.

Don’t feel bad if you’re compelled to do just that; there is, after all, only a limited number of ways to construct great CTAs, and the examples we’ve picked out below have doubtless ‘borrowed’ the idea from someone else beforehand.

1. LinkedIn

While their website’s design may leave a lot to be desired, the venerable corporate social network is rather adept at sending out emails which encourage clicks.

The example below demonstrates just how powerful a simple CTA button can be. Following a captivating, tantalising headline and intro copy, the button couldn’t be more descriptive, nor more clickable:

2. Jet2holidays

If truth be told, the design of the following email probably won’t be to the email marketing connoisseur’s taste, but it’s an example of a no-nonsense, old-fashioned sales approach that will chime perfectly with the target audience.

What’s more, the CTA is immediately obvious, although entirely different to the LinkedIn example above; it’s the entire image, which people will instinctively click as soon as they spot the words ’save’ and ‘deals’.

3. Confused.com

Boxset lovers will debate whether or not the subject line of this email campaign was deliberate (BREAKING: Bad news for drivers), but even if it wasn’t, they’ve at least nailed the CTA.

A great call-to-action will offer some degree of personalisation. Remember – subscribers care about one thing – themselves, and if the “what’s in it for me?” question isn’t answered immediately, they’re unlikely to engage.

In the example below, the CTA is labelled ‘SEE PRICES IN MY AREA’, so the recipient knows straight away that by clicking the button, they’ll receive something personalised which should be of benefit to them.

4. ASOS

Some marketers will tell you that you should only ever have one CTA in an email campaign, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes, you’ll need to offer multiple routes for the subscriber, enabling them to click the CTA that best suits their requirement or need.

In this example from ASOS, the marketing team has provided a headline CTA (’shop top coats & jackets’), but have added six more that will direct people to the most appropriate landing page. As a result, traffic to the website will be of a far higher quality.

5. Xpenditure

As Jet2holidays proved above, you don’t need to use buttons as CTAs, and in the following example, Xpenditure has taken an even more daring approach.

At first glance, there isn’t a CTA.

However, they’ve written some fantastic copy, which immediately draws you in (as does the smartphone image, which is animated). As you read, you happen upon the CTA – which is the green ‘Update your Android app today’ hyperlink – and because you’re so invested in the message by that point, you’re likely to click.

Clever stuff.

Final thoughts

We hope that’s got your creative juices flowing, but the key takeaways from this CTA master class are: keep it simple, prominent and draw the reader in with great copy and a focus on what’s in it for them.

Lean on just one of the examples above for your next email campaign, and you should see a far better click-through rate.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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