Browse by...
Home Resources Blog

Are you unhappy with the click-through rates of your email campaigns?

You’re writing great copy and using beautiful images, but for some reason your click-through rates are lower than you’d like them to be.

The problem could be the calls to action you’re using.

With the release of our new email builder Canvas, it’s now super easy to add call to action buttons anywhere in your email.

But is it worth it? Do buttons improve click-through rates over using standard text links? We decided to investigate.

Do buttons increase click-through rates?

At Campaign Monitor we’re huge fans of A/B testing, it increases the click-through rate of our own email campaigns and enables us to share what we learned with you! So we decided to test using a link vs. a button as the main call to action in one of our recent campaigns to figure out which works best.

Here’s the version of our email with the link as a CTA at the bottom:

And here’s the version of our email with the button as a CTA at the bottom:

The result? Using a call to action button instead of just a text link got us a 28% increase in click-throughs.

We’ve also seen other results that further support the effectiveness of buttons over linked text. For instance, we received a 127% increase in click-throughs when we redesigned our blog subscribers email a few months ago, and the addition of a button over a text link was a significant contributor to this.

Why buttons increase click-through rates

So why do buttons increase click-through rates? Both the button and the link have the same copy and offer the same end result, so why such a big difference?

Research shows most people scan email campaigns rather than reading them word-for-word, so using buttons for your call to action means they will stand out to skimmers while text links will often go overlooked.

This is because buttons have a number of unique attributes linked text doesn’t, including:

  • Size – Often times a button will be much larger in size than a linked piece of text, catching the skimmer’s eye.
  • Design – Buttons often have design elements that links don’t, such as shadows, gradients and other effects. This can make them ‘pop’ off the page and stand out to skimmers.
  • Color – Often buttons will have a different color to the background and text, and this contrast draws the eye and makes the reader notice them more.
  • Whitespace – When a button is set away from other elements in the email, the whitespace around it creates an area free from distraction – leading the reader right to it.

Using a button for your call to action draws significantly more attention to it, making it easier for a reader to take the conversion action and ultimately resulting in an increased number of people doing so.

Here’s how to add buttons to your email marketing campaigns

Now that it’s clear how CTA buttons can help improve your conversion rates, it’s time to incorporate some into an email campaign of your own. Unfortunately, many email clients opt to block images by default so creating your button as an image isn’t the best idea.

So how do you add buttons to your email campaigns?

If you’re using Canvas, you can easily add beautiful buttons that work across all devices and email clients by simply dragging and dropping the button wherever you need it. Alternatively, you can use the Bulletproof Button Tool to create customised buttons that will work across all devices and clients. You simply select the options you want, enter the text for your button and then copy and paste the code into whatever email tool you are using.

In conclusion

Using buttons for your calls to action can help increase the click-through rate of your email campaigns, and tools like Canvas and Bulletproof Buttons makes it simple to get started.

So give it a try — test a link vs. a button in your next email campaign and let us know if you saw a difference. Just make sure to get your microcopy right.

If you’ve already implemented buttons as CTAs, what tactics have you found work best? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to improve your email marketing?

Join over 20,000 other marketers & designers who get tips on improving their email marketing delivered directly to their inbox.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Straight to your inbox

Get the best email and digital marketing content delivered.

Join 250,000 in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox.


Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free