How to Craft an Effective CTA

By: Mahnoor Awan

What is a Call to Action (CTA)?

A Call to Action (CTA) is a button or other link, usually found on a website landing page, or shown prominently in an e-blast. It is responsible for goal conversions. Goal conversion is a measurement of some action, an individual has done interacting with your site or e-blast.
Some examples of goal conversions include:
  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Downloading something you have to offer through your website
  • Making a purchase
  • Clicking to social accounts
  • Watching a video
Your web visitors have to click the CTA button for the goal conversion. Common examples of CTA buttons include:
  • Download
  • Subscribe
  • Add to cart
  • Take the free trial

Examples of social media CTA's.

If your website doesn’t have Call to Action buttons, or you feel they you are not achieving your goal conversions, here are a few tips for an effective CTA button.

  • The Look
  • The shape and the colors of a CTA button are very important. They have to attract your visitors to click on them. They should be different than the rest of your landing page, and have to stand out. Make sure their shape signifies a button, usually a rectangle, oval, or an arrow works well. You could also have a 3D effect to make them look different and stand out from the rest of the page. They should be big and visible on a landing page or e-blast, so visitors’ eyes are first directed to them.
    The colors should be in contrast with your landing page for the button to be distinctive. Common colors used are oranges, greens, or blues because they don’t look too jarring on the page, and yet attract attention. Try avoiding a grey color for your CTA's because that makes them look disabled. If you do use grey on the website, consider having a different ‘hover’ color to confirm the visitor that these buttons are clickable when they pass over it with their mouse.

  • Wording
  • The wording of your CTA buttons is also really important because this is what will urge your web visitors to click on the buttons. Your wording should be compelling but not too pushy. Write in the first person so it feels that you are directly conversing with the customer.

    Regular CTA vs. First Person CTA

    Try using action packed text, in line with your branding strategies that motivate the visitor to click the button like, ‘Take This Course!’ or ‘Host Your First Webinar!’.
    An example is Man-pack, where you can create your own version of a bag that includes men’s necessities. Their CTA, ‘Get Your Man-PACK On!’ goes perfectly with their branding, which they claim to be masculine and macho. It is action packed that encourages their target audience to proceed with clicking, and it stands out with contrasting colors and bold text.

  • Click Triggers
  • Click Triggers are extra wordings you put around your CTA buttons, that work as boosters to convince more people to click on it.
    A few click triggers commonly used are:
    • Testimonials
    • Tweets
    • Star Ratings
    • Guarantees
    • Value Proposition
    • Adding a sense of urgency
    The click triggers can either work as anxiety reducers or add a key benefit. An example of an anxiety reducer click trigger is Netflix.
    Netflix requires paid subscription on a monthly basis and sometimes, people are worried of cancelling subscriptions or consider it a hassle, in case they don’t like the service. Netflix reduces this anxiety by adding 'CANCEL ANYTIME' right before their CTA.
    Another example is UberEATS. Their key benefit click trigger is ‘Your favorite local restaurants are always a tap away.’ This convenient statement right before their CTA persuades the customers to download their app.

  • CTA Styles
  • The CTA buttons don’t necessarily have to be above the fold of the page, as long as they stand out and are visible to your web visitor, that’s what actually matters.
    Some websites use a pop-up banner to display their CTA options. However, pop-ups are distracting because they interrupt what the visitor is viewing on your website. They will most likely close it immediately, without even glancing at the pop-up, to continue what they were doing.
    Some websites use a mandatory sign-up pop-up window, where the customer has to click the CTA in order to view the page. That is an extreme example, and since visitors are not given a choice, it may lead to a higher bounce rate for the website because they might not want to go through with your CTA.
    A slide-up banner is a better alternative because your visitor can see something pop-up, without interrupting their flow. And if something catches their attention, they may go through with your CTA, once they are done with what they were doing on your website.
    CTA’s can also be on the sidebar, other than on your landing page. If you have a blog page for example, you can have ‘connect with your social media accounts’ CTA’s on the sidebar.
    Above is an example of a Huffington Post blog page. As a reader scrolls down the blog, the CTA to connect with their social media keeps moving down with them. This approach may seem obtrusive to some people, but it gets the job done by keeping the CTA’s fresh in your visitors’ minds.
Call To Actions help with generating the end goals of your website. They are like a final instruction to your reader, something that you would want them to do on your website. Using these few tips to make your CTA buttons more attractive may help you with generating the results. For similar tips and tricks, click here to read our weekly blogs.