What is a call to action (CTA)?

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In advertising, communication, or websites, a call to action is a portion that encourages a visitor to take action. Frequently used calls to action (CTAs) help businesses convert site visitors and readers into sales leads. In accordance with the content’s goal, CTAs can drive diverse types of actions.

Calls to Action: 4 Ways to Use Them

Marketing tools such as a call to action drive web traffic to a company’s site. A CTA should:

  1. Attract customers to their websites: Businesses can attract customers to their websites by directing them there. They will then learn more about the company and its products.
  2. Making a sale: A CTA is a way of turning awareness and interest into a sale. A sales funnel is a way to connect brand awareness and conversions. The conversion rate of a CTA – the number of unique visitors who respond to it – is high with effective CTAs.
  3. Lead generation: The CTA feature is used by companies to identify their target audience and generate leads, i.e., individuals who are curious about what a company has to offer and are likely to become future customers. To market directly to these customers, companies create email lists from these groups.
  4. CTAs direct people to your website: They make it simple for someone to obtain the information they need. With a click of a link, you can lay your products at the doorstep of your customers, so they can buy with ease.

What is a call to action example

Any demand or request that you make of a user on your site would be a call to action, so depending on the context, this can take many different forms. CTA buttons on websites can be incorporated into a blog post’s closing statement, or as a line in an email.

You might typically see these types of calls to action on a blog:

  • Continue reading
  • Become a subscriber
  • Donate to our sponsor
  • Spread the word on social media

The call to action buttons of a B2B company could read as :

  • To get started, click here
  • Join now
  • Trial Offer
  • Contact Sales

Click-through rates can be improved by clearly communicating what the user can expect when they click on a button or take the next step.

As opposed to an e-commerce site, CTAs are more commonly focused on commercial interests.

  • Click “Add to Cart”
  • Purchase or buy now 
  • Click here to buy
  • Added to wishlist

What is the purpose of a call to action?

This key element of a webpage indicates what the user should do next with a call to action. It is not obvious to the user what steps they need to take to complete a task such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter without a clear CTA.

Potential customers can tell which action they should take next by using a call to action, removing friction in their sales process. If multiple actions are desired by the user, multiple calls to action can appear on the same page.

A reader will likely leave a website without seeing the call to action at the bottom of a post when they come to a blog. You can, however, encourage users to hang around the site if there is a call to action at the bottom of the post. This can lead to them looking for more articles on the site, or to signing up for an email newsletter.

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What makes compelling call-to-actions

CTAs are created using a variety of strategies. These are a few examples:

  • Designs: Simple, bright buttons on a page or in an email grab a user’s attention. A contrast between the button color and the page’s background color works well.
  • Visible: Generally, the font size for the call to action needs to be large enough to draw attention.
  • Offering a clear benefit: Telling the user clearly what he or she will receive from completing the transaction is an effective method of enticing them.
  • Text That Is Actionable: As the name suggests, a call to action is intended to encourage users to act, so a good CTA should contain action words like “discover”, “learn more”, and “buy now”.
  • Concise: It’s important for a call to action to be as brief as possible, not a long sentence. Calls to action shouldn’t exceed six to seven words.
  • Sense of Urgency: On the internet, customers are easily distracted by advertisements, so a sense of urgency such as a limited-time offer may prompt them to take action right away rather than delay.

Testing CTAs using A/B tests

Different audiences respond differently to different calls to action. The effectiveness of each call to action can never be guaranteed.

An effective call to action can be measured by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions that the CTA is seen, which is the amount of times the CTA is displayed.

You can use an A/B testing platform, such as Optimizely, to test the effectiveness of different calls to action on your website. The data-backed information provided by this method will help you improve the conversion rate of your CTAs.

A call to action strategy

  1. Have multiple calls to action

Calls to action, including those in emails, websites, and blogs, are the most common. The most straightforward call-to-action would probably be “Contact us for more information” or a variant. The reader must understand the next step to take by clicking on one of your calls to action. Include more than one call to action to maximize response.

  1. Decide where to locate strategically
  • On your site, in your sales letter, or in other content, including a CTA on the first page. Newspapers used the term “above the fold” to place vital headlines and news at the top of the page so that they would make it out when the newspapers were folded and stacked for sale. Your call-to-action should be “above the fold” so that it can be seen immediately without having to scroll.
  • You can motivate visitors to take action by adding “Get Started” or “Learn More” links to the navigation bars at the top or bottom of your page.
  • If you want to encourage people to sign up on the side of your content, include a sign-up button or offer there.
  • The top-of-page call-to-action can be a great anchor for your site, encouraging site visitors to take action as soon as they’ve read the content. Providing a way to further engage them at the end of your text could make them more likely to read your next page or sales letter.
  1. Decide how much is enough

You shouldn’t go overboard by including too many CTAs, however, even though CTA strategies suggest more than one CTA per page. The visitors to your site may be overwhelmed and think that you are insincere or desperate if you do so. Moreover, if the CTAs are all designed differently, it implies that they are each unique, which is confusing.

  1. Be clear about what you are offering

When a customer responds to your call to action, tell them exactly what they’ll receive. 

If you want to produce compelling content, don’t be obscure about what you’re going to offer. You should clarify how often it will be sent if it is a series (such as a newsletter). Subscribers might opt for a weekly roundup instead of a daily email, for example.

  1. Provide easy access to your CTAs

You or your customer won’t benefit from hidden or difficult-to-find CTAs. Make sure your CTAs are clearly visible on your page. Avoid hiding them on other pages, tucking them next to small-text telephone numbers, or making them accessible only after multiple clicks or a search.

  • CTAs should be visible and prominently displayed on a web page.
  • Use graphics or visual embellishments to make CTAs more visible.
  • Use clear, readable type.
  • Put contrast between your submit button and other CTA elements on your website, so they stand out clearly.
  • Be sure to include phone numbers and e-mail addresses in the CTA.
  1. Make CTAs a priority

Please keep in mind that not every CTA is equally important. An offer that says, “Buy now! versus a white paper will be given higher priority. If you want to respond to the top CTAs, make sure they are easy to find and easy to reply to.

  1. Contextualize your call to action

An action button that says “Submit” appears following a survey. It makes perfect sense in this context. By not providing a call to action, the prospect would not be able to reach out to you, which is the most important step. Downloading white papers would be a confusing, abrupt shift in the subject matter if this was a call to action.

50 Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases

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Summing it up

Call to action is an important part of the sales funnel. They might be just tiny buttons but the impact they can have on your business can be mighty. Make sure to always add call-to-action buttons that resonate with your business and its tone.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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