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Crank Up Your Click-Through Rate By Learning From These 6 Email CTA Examples

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

A call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most basic components of an email.

It’s also one of the most important.

After all, the time and energy you spend creating copy, images, videos, and other media is basically for naught if your CTA fails to hit its mark. 

So I can’t stress enough how vital it is to understand email CTA best practices and work continuously to perfect your strategy. 

According to recent data, the average e-commerce brand has an email click-through rate of around 2.5 percent, but they should be aiming for at least 4 percent.

Some brands have even been known to get it as high as 5 percent. 

For this post, I’m going to take a deep dive into how you can optimize your CTAs. 

I’ll include several email CTA examples from e-commerce brands that have gotten this down to a science, highlighting the specific techniques they use. 

That way, you’ll know what to focus on and should walk away with some tangible ideas you can apply to your own email marketing campaign right away. 

Here we go.

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Pulp & Press Juice Co.

This is an Ontario-based company that sells fresh, organic cold-pressed juices.

They’re part of a red hot industry that’s been growing like crazy as of late. 

Their website and the emails they send both have great aesthetics, with plenty of crisp visuals that do a great job at selling their products. 

Here’s one of their emails promoting “The Green Cleanse,” which is a five-day cleansing system. 

It features a beautiful image of the products, so prospects know what they’ll get by ordering.

And their CTA is excellent. Here’s why. 

First of all, it’s well placed. 

One of the most critical parts of crafting an effective CTA is simply putting it in the right location. 

In this case, Pulp & Press Juice Co. position it in a place that immediately follows the product copy, outlining how it works and the benefits. 

The email starts with a title, then features an image, then copy and finally a CTA.

There’s a very logical flow to it where subscribers first get key information and are then presented with a CTA so they can learn more and make a purchase. 

And that’s usually the format you’ll want to stick with when inserting your CTAs. 

You want to give prospects a brief overview of your offer and let them know why they should buy before hitting them with the CTA.

There are exceptions, and some brands have success inserting a CTA right near the top, but I find that Pulp & Press Juice Co.’s formula works extremely well.

Second, this example shows that you don’t want to drone on forever with lengthy copy and overwhelming information.

You just want to concisely highlight the offer and make it easy for subscribers to click-through. 

Third, this email uses very specific wording in the CTA, with “Order the Green Cleanse.”

It doesn’t say something generic like “Click Here” or “Learn More.”

Instead, it lets subscribers know the exact action they need to complete, which is ordering the juice cleanse. 

This may seem like 101 level stuff, but it’s crucial that you make it abundantly clear what you’re asking prospects to do and where they’ll end up by clicking on your CTA. 

In this case, it takes them to “The Green Cleanse” product page, where they can get more details and buy. 

Finally, there’s plenty of contrast between this CTA and the background of the email. 

The green contrasts perfectly with the white, which is a natural attention grabber and helps subscribers focus on the CTA.

It also meshes well with their brand identity, which focuses on being healthy and organic. 

Here’s a quick recap of the best practices used here:

  • Use proper CTA placement
  • Use specific wording
  • Create adequate contrast between the CTA and email background

You can think of these as “the big three” and should be your main focal points. 

Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a Japanese casual wear company that sells the latest essentials and focuses on innovation and value. 

There’s a feeling of elegance and simplicity to their brand that resonates with many shoppers.

And this is definitely evident in their email marketing campaign.

Here’s a good example. 

This email is super straightforward and features three products based on a subscriber’s previous online shopping behavior.

First, there’s a sweater.

And then there’s a wool coat and some boxer briefs.

Everything is laid out very cleanly, and the bold red colors certainly stand out.

And let’s take a close look at the CTAs—there are three in total. 

Like my previous example from Pulp & Press Juice Co., Uniqlo does a great job of creating contrast with these CTAs.

In fact, you can’t get much more of a contrast than a black CTA button against a light gray background. 

So subscribers can’t help but see these CTAs as they scroll down. 

There’s also plenty of white or “negative space” around them.

This helps bring a subscriber’s attention to the CTAs and prevents the email from feeling cluttered. 

Another thing they do well is create a sense of urgency by saying, “Shop Now.”

This is important because an Experian report found, “Emails conveying a sense of urgency had 59 percent higher transaction-to-click rates, and twice as high transaction rates compared to their average marketing emails.”

And this example shows that you don’t necessarily need to use over the top wording like “Get 25 percent off today only!”

Often, simply including “now” is all you need to create a subtle sense of urgency and get subscribers to take action right away. 

So keep this in mind when deciding the wording to use in your CTAs. 

Also, Uniqlo does a great job of keeping it simple with, all three CTAs being the same. 

Most experts agree that less is best when it comes to choices, and it’s easy to overwhelm prospects if you throw multiple types of CTAs at them.

But following Uniqlo’s formula lowers the cognitive load, ensuring that prospects don’t become paralyzed when reading through an email.

Hawthorne

This is an e-commerce brand that specializes in personal care products like shampoo, deodorant, soap, and fragrances.

I love the professionalism of their website and how sleek their visuals are.

Their email campaign is also top-notch and takes a very minimalist approach that jives perfectly with Hawthorne’s overall brand identity. 

Here’s one featuring two travel-sized bottles of cologne, for work and for play.

Check out the beautiful juxtaposition between the white and black colors.

And here’s what we’re really interested in—the CTA, which says, “Get Yours – $45.”

This is definitely one of the more unique CTAs I’ve seen and takes a slightly different approach than what many brands use. 

But it’s a great example because of how hyper-specific it is. 

Rather than just saying “Get Yours” and stopping at that, Hawthorne includes the exact price on these products — something I’m sure many prospects will appreciate. 

As you’re probably aware, transparency is incredibly important in business these days.

“Being more open about your products, prices and results will set you up for success,” writes Michael Weinhouse, Founder and Co-CEO of Logical Position, an award-winning digital marketing agency.

When a prospect can instantly tell at a glance how much something is, this often increases their odds of clicking-through.

While using this method won’t work if you want subscribers to browse through a large selection of items, it can work great if you’re just focusing on a product or two. 

And like the other email CTA examples I’ve mentioned, this one uses a nice color scheme, helping it stand out from the rest of the content.

The majority of CTAs use buttons with dark colors and a light background, but this one goes the opposite direction and uses a light color and a dark background. 

This goes to show that there’s plenty of room for customization, and as long as you create enough contrast, you should be in good shape.

Huckberry

Let me start off by saying that this email from adventure gear company Huckberry by no means reinvents the wheel. 

It’s quite basic actually. 

But what I love about it is how great of a job it does at clearly stating the value proposition, which encourages a subscriber to take action. 

Here’s what I’m talking about. 

It’s nothing fancy, but Huckberry does an excellent job at getting straight to the point with their CTA that says “Claim Your Prize.”

This email was part of a contest they ran a while back, which gave contestants a chance to win a $500 prize. 

I like it because it’s short and sweet and quickly states the value that stems from clicking on the button. 

I know that my interest is instantly piqued when I’m told I can win a prize.

It’s human nature to be compelled by a CTA like this. 

As long as you deliver and prospects truly get something of value out of it, this is a fantastic way to crank up your click-through rate. 

And of course, Huckberry follows best practices, like creating contrast, using enough negative space, and generally making it uncluttered. 

So there’s a lot to be learned from this example.

The Hill-Side

The Hill-Side is a men’s clothing and accessories company. That’s their bread and butter. 

But they also carry other interesting products like Japanese sake pitchers and tumblers. 

This is one of the more interesting email CTA examples I’ve seen, solely based on the level of creativity. 

It’s promoting three of their scarves.

While there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that, check out how they approach their CTAs.

The Hill-Side actually uses the image of the products as the CTA, and they include an arrow instructing subscribers to click there.

There’s one arrow pointing to the top image.

And there’s another arrow pointing to the bottom image.

I’ve analyzed a ton of emails from every niche you could imagine, but this is by far one of the most creative ones I’ve seen. 

And that’s super important. 

While there’s a basic formula that e-commerce brands should follow, it’s always nice to be innovative whenever you can.

This is key for grabbing a subscriber’s attention and distinguishing your brand from the countless others flooding their inbox.

It also helps build rapport and increases the likelihood of a subscriber checking out future emails you send them. 

So don’t be afraid to experiment and push the envelope. 

As long as your emails follow a natural flow and include the key elements, this can help you boost your click-through rate. 

And as you gather more data, you can always go back and tweak your campaign later on. 

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Conclusion

I think many email marketers view CTAs as somewhat of an afterthought.

Most of their focus is on the copy, images and other elements, which are obviously important. 

But sometimes, it results in them overlooking their CTAs.

In turn, they don’t put a lot of effort into it and simply slap up the first thing that comes to mind, like “Click Here” or “Buy Now.”

But these epic examples show that email CTAs are every bit as important as other key elements.

They also prove there’s a lot you can do to optimize your CTAs and make them more enticing and click-worthy. 

It just boils down to following some fundamental best practices and letting your originality shine through at times. 

And of course, you’ll want to perform ongoing experiments to determine what works best and what your subscribers are most receptive to. 

It’s all about perpetual tweaking until you find a winning formula. 

Hopefully, these examples have given you some practical ideas you can use for your own email marketing campaign.

So when it’s all said and done, you can make the most out of the prospects who open your emails and send your click-through rates soaring. 

Are there any particular triggers that compel you to click on an email CTA?

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