In support of the release of our CTA Guide (How to Build a Strong Email Call to Action), we’ve been sharing some tips on how to create a CTA strategy.

We started by talking about tips around where to place your CTAs (and how many CTAs should you include in an email) and today, we’ll cover the descriptive text in your CTAs.

To begin, your CTA should meet two main objectives:

CTA Objective #1: Tell the reader what to do.

Rely on the main message of your email to showcase the benefit of your offer and leave the role of closer to your CTA. Keep your CTAs short and sweet, providing clear direction as to next steps. Use phrases like “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” “Request a Demo,” or “Register Now.” Try being creative with your text (this is a good element to test) but be sure not to be too obscure for fear of losing your potential click.

Also, only add additional information if it provides added value to the reader, or as Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers suggests, if it reduces anxiety for the user. To make the decision to click less nerve-wracking for a user, she suggests adding a proof point next to the button, like a customer testimonial. (Read more tips from Joanna here.)

CTA Objective #2: Deliver on your promise.

When your user clicks on your CTA, there should be a direct connection between the email message, the CTA, and the destination. Drive the subscriber to a landing page or web page with a directive that is contextually relevant to your email and to the destination. For instance, don’t make the user click on “Register Now” and lead them to your homepage. Instead, direct them to a landing page with a form that provides instant gratification. The last thing you want is for the reader to feel let down when they went through all the effort to click on your message.

CTA Content Reminders

  • Don’t be too wordy. Instead be clear and direct, so there is no ambiguity around what action your user should take.
  • Create a sense of urgency by adding the words “now” or “today” to your CTA copy.
  • Only add extra information if it will encourage the desired action.
  • Connect the destination directly to the CTA.

The CTA can be the most vital piece of your email, so take the time to develop a cohesive strategy for your CTA copy. Make sure that the copy is in line with the main content of your email, but is actionable enough to garner a click. Be sure to develop a variety of options for your CTA copy and then test accordingly.

For more tips, check out our CTA Guide or tweet us your CTA strategies. 



Jillian Wohlfarth
As SendGrid's Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.