Call-To-Action Graphics: What Works In Email

Want to drive click-through with your emails? Include a logo or banner with a strong call-to-action. Make sure the CTA resembles a button. And do it in black and/or orange. 

Those are among the takeaways from The State of Email Signature Marketing, a study by Sigstr. But don’t jump on them yet—the findings are slightly contradictory.  

Emails with calls-to-action produce a slightly lower click-through rate. Yet, 73% of the studied emails have them, and eye-tracking research found that people are most attracted to banners with a strong CTA, such as “Register Now.”   

And the colors? Blue and orange are the most widely used — by 20% each. But black and orange perform the best.

It’s all part of the science of what Sigstr calls Email Signature Marketing (ESM). It consists of putting your banner — or signature — into every marketing email. This can be done even when you have different departments sending their own emails — just align them in a so-called Sender campaign.



Case in point: RolePoint assigned a banner to its sales and marketing groups to use in prospect emails. One version said, “DEMO,” and “Click here to see it work.” More than 1,700 clicks resulted 

Or, you can deploy your banner in internal campaigns — efforts designed to drive enrollment, employee recognition and participation in events.

For example, Net Health drove employee engagement with a banner saying, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live,” and a button that said “Learn more.”

Finally, there is account-based marketing — one-to-one emails targeting contacts, industries or regions. Send-Grid published several versions of its email guide,and sent them to different verticals, with specific messaging for each.  

Sigstr surveyed 1,000 campaign banners from 120 customers, producing over 205,000 clicks. It has also done eye-tracking research with EyeQuant.

It found that the most prominent color in ESM banners is blue — used by 42%. White was selected by 13%, gray by 12%, black by 9% and green by 8% green. Bright colors like pink and orange did less well. 

But purple is the most effective color, despite the fact that only 5% of emails feature it.

Also, photography is the most effective graphic element, although it’s far from the most widely used. Here’s the list:  

Illustration or icon—38% 

  • Combination—27%
  • Photography—22%
  • Just color—13%

Despite these findings, Pluralsight pulled 3,000 clicks with a strong black banner using color only.

And dimensions? Eye-tracking analysis revealed the most effective banners are those with a width range of 300 to 450 pixels and a height range of 60 to 120 pixels.


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