split-testingIn email marketing, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. Each and every one of your subscribers will respond to different things, and what works for one campaign might not work for another. With this being the case, what can you do to help ensure maximum results for all of your email marketing campaigns? Split testing is a great way to find out what works and what doesn’t in a marketing campaign. You can split test almost any element of your campaign, from your subject line to the images that you use. But, are you split testing your call to action?

When it comes to your Call To Action (CTA), you might not think that there are that many variables to test; a simple ‘Buy Now’ (or similar) button will do the trick in most cases:

Shop Now

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the CTA is often the most influential part of a marketing email, and even small changes can have a big impact on the success of your campaign. Here are some of the things you can test:


The colour that you make your call to action button can have a major effect on your customers. Design should play some part in the colours you choose, but the most important consideration should be whether the colour is eye-catching and attractive to the customer. However, the colour you choose should also be tasteful and in-keeping with your brand. If we take the example above but change the button to bright green:

Shop Now Green

The button is arguably more eye-catching, but the colour is extremely garish and has nothing to with the Amazon brand. That could be a turn off to customers.

Choose a few appropriate colours and see which one works best for you.

What your call to action says is just as important as how it looks. Text on your CTA button should be kept to a minimum, but should convey a sense of urgency to your customers. That’s why the simple ‘Buy Now’ button is often so successful. However, for less experienced Internet users, the words ‘Buy Now’ could imply that they are entering into a contract. They may respond better to words like ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Add to Shopping Cart’. Remember, your CTA should communicate exactly what will happen when a customer clicks on it.

Make a few small changes to your CTA text and see which your customers best respond to.


For most calls to action, simpler is better. They shouldn’t be too graphic heavy. However, sometimes, the addition of a basic graphical symbol could be all that it takes to give your customers the push that they need. For example, here Debenhams have added a small arrow to their CTA:


This suggests a continuation of a journey with them.

Try a CTA button without a graphic alongside ones containing an arrow, plus sign or shopping cart symbol for example, and she which one achieves the best results.

Button Vs. Text Link

You don’t necessarily have to use a call to action button at all. It’s likely that almost every marketing email that your subscriber receives has one, so doing something a little different could set you apart. Try using a text link for your CTA, rather than a button, and see what results you achieve.

These are just a few of the things that you can split test. There are many more variables to your call to action that you can test. Keep experimenting, and you’ll soon find out what works for you and your customers.