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Factors to Consider when Placing Email CTA Buttons

The CTA button is a critical part of your email – if you’re not getting clicks, you’re not getting conversions. Best practices can vary by both industry and target audience and the best way to determine what works is to test, test, test. We have identified three main factors to consider in determining the optimal CTA button placement for your email program. Mobile device behavior, the complexity of the message, and standing out from the central message should all be taken into consideration when determining a test plan to improve click-through rates and drive conversion.

Mobile Device

While you can’t just copy and paste CTA button placement strategy across campaigns and industries, knowing how your customers are viewing your marketing email is a great place to start. Research shows that emails are most commonly viewed on mobile devices – 55% of email opens come from mobile devices while only 16% are opened on desktop clients (Return Path Study, 2017).
So, what does that mean for marketers? For starters, your email is being viewed on a smaller screen; this means consumers will engage with your content differently. On a mobile device, consumers expect to have to scroll through and do so with a simple swipe. 64% of mobile emails opened were read with users spending 7 seconds or more viewing the email (Return Path Study, 2017). This means consumers are more likely to see your full email and the traditional thinking that a CTA button must be placed above the fold is no longer the standard.

Complexity of Message

Consider how complicated the message you’re communicating is. An email that calls out a special offer isn’t (and should never be) difficult for your customers to digest. If your message doesn’t require heavy explainer copy, placing the CTA button at the top of the email can increase conversions.

An email promoting “40% off All Sale Items” is most likely not going to cause anxiety for your consumer and doesn’t require reading the full message to drive action and click through. However, if you’re communicating something complex that will require education and some convincing placing the CTA button high within an email could scare your customer off and reduce conversions. By first taking the customer through the features and benefits, you have the opportunity to minimize consumer anxieties before presenting them with the desired action.

Stand Out

Remember, the majority of consumers are looking at your email on a mobile device. While they’re more likely to scroll through your e-mail, they’re also more likely to skim your message. Designing your CTA button to stand out within your email design is even more critical in this case. There are multiple ways to make your button pop. Leveraging whitespace and placing your button away from other elements in the email, designing it in a contrasting color from the overall color theme of your email, and CTA copy that reduces consumer anxiety all decrease the likelihood of your CTA button being overlooked.

Like we mentioned, the only way to know what will work best for your program and audience is to start testing and never stop. Developing an ongoing and comprehensive test plan is the only way to continuously improve your performance metrics and adapt to your audience’s viewing habits as well as ever-evolving technology.