What Is a Call-To-Action: Its Meaning & Importance

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What Is a Call-To-Action: Its Meaning & Importance

Do you want people to take a specific action after they find and consume your content?

The action is the thing you want them to do next. For instance, it could be making a purchase, reading another blog post, or downloading something.

If your answer is yes, you require a call-to-action (CTA) to convince them to take that action.

Essentially, a CTA is a piece of content intended to prompt users to carry out a particular action. It can be a line of text, a button, or an image. It usually takes the form of a directive or instruction and uses action verbs like “register”, “buy”, “follow”, “sign up”, etc.

You need to create a precise and effective CTA if you want customers to take a specific action when they land on your website.

Want to know more about what is a call-to-action, its importance, and how to craft the perfect CTA? Keep reading.

What Do Calls-To-Action Mean?

Put simply, a CTA is a marketing term referring to a prompt on a site that asks users to carry out an action. For example, you can ask them to download a demo, sign up for a newsletter, or purchase a product.

A CTA can appear in different places on a website, such as:

  • Checkout pages or purchase pages
  • Side panels
  • Ads
  • Pop-ups and slide-in content
  • End-of-page for landing pages or articles
  • Persistent headers

You can see a CTA as a hyperlink text or a clickable button. When potential customers click on it, they move a step closer to conversion.

Now, let’s discuss the types of CTAs.

The CTA types you will find on any professional website include:

  • Newsletter subscription CTAs
  • Social sharing
  • Purchase CTAs
  • In-line content upgrades
  • Learn more
  • Contact form submissions

Common Call-To-Action Examples

You may have seen or clicked on CTA buttons such as:

  1. Buy now
  2. Sign up today
  3. Learn more
  4. Download template now
  5. Get 25% off your first order
  6. Add to cart
  7. Follow us on Instagram
  8. Schedule a free consultation
  9. Add to wishlist
  10. Get your free ebook
  11. Register for free webinar
  12. Share on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn
  13. Try a 15-day free trial!

You can also view CTAs as hyperlink texts in action phrases like:

Wish to know more? Read our post on XYZ!

Here are some top CTA examples ‌you can use in 2022:

1. Take a peek

Use “take a peek” on your CTA button when you want to give a tour of your platform. Using it can be a great substitute to “Learn more” as well. Here’s how thryv.com have used it:

CTA Examples Take a Peek

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2. Try It

You can consider replacing “Sign Up” with “Try it” on your CTA button (if the context fits).

Here’s an example:

Call to Action Examples Backlinko Try it Hop On

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3. Sure

Sure” is a great way to replace the “yes” CTA button. Check out this image:

Call to Action Examples Sure

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4. I’m In

You can also use “I’m In” on your CTA button if it fits the context. Here’s a great example of a fact-based, amusing CTA that incorporates it:

CTA Mailerlite

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Why is a CTA Important?

Strategic CTAs effectively assist your visitors through the buying journey. They affect your conversion rates in a direct manner. A compelling and powerful CTA will grab the visitor’s attention, pique their interest, and encourage them to take action.

Let’s take a look at the importance of CTAs in closer detail:

  1. The Next Step Becomes Easy and Obvious: When you make the next step easy and obvious with the help of a CTA, people are more likely to continue through your sales funnel and convert.
  2. CTAs Encourage Interactions With Your Website: Let’s understand this point with the help of an example. If you add a CTA at the end of a blog post to provide links to the readers to read more information on a subject, you can convince them to stay on your site. This way, they interact more with your site. As a result of these interactions, they start to familiarize with your business and develop trust in your brand.
  3. Visitors Don’t Have to Struggle: A CTA is an important aspect of the pages of your site. CTA links or buttons double up as signposts, signaling visitors about the next step they need to take. This way, they never have to struggle to find the route to sign up for a service or purchase a product.
  4. CTAs Eliminate Decision Fatigue: Simple instructions or directive statements tell your clients what to do next and where to go, making the user journey simpler and time-efficient.

How to Write a CTA?

There’s not one defined formula to follow when it comes to writing the perfect CTA.

Here’s an example formula for crafting a CTA:

problem + solution + action

Take a look at this image that implements this formula:

Hotjar CTA Example

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Listen Up: Consider these two key things when you write a CTA:

  1. It should be impactful and catch your audience’s attention
  2. It should convince your audience to take the required action

How to Create an Effective CTA?

Today, people expect to see a CTA in a prominent position on your landing page and website. Even if you place it correctly, you need to craft an outstanding CTA to convert your potential customers. Without a clear and effective CTA, site visitors may click away after feeling overwhelmed or confused.

To get your CTA right, you can take the help of some proven techniques. Here is a list of steps you can follow to create a tantalizing call-to-action:

1. Go for an Eye-Catching Design

Your CTA image or button should stand out from the design of your landing page. It needs to make a solid impact. Create it in a way that it pops out, combining brand colors and fonts that match your style.

Here are some helpful pointers on creating a powerful CTA button design:

  • Size

Your site visitor is more likely to notice and click on a large CTA button. However, don’t create an oversized button as it may create a feeling of pressure on the visitor.

  • Color

You can make your CTA buttons more noticeable with the help of color as well. Colors can cause a shift in emotions and mood, so use them accordingly. Here’s a complete list of color meanings for your ready reference:

  • White: Clean, calm, and simple.
  • Red: Confidence, power, and youth.
  • Green: Peace, health, and growth.
  • Orange: Friendly, energetic, and warm.
  • Purple: Luxurious, wise, and creative.
  • Yellow: Happiness, warmth, and optimism.
  • Black: Reliable, experienced, and sophisticated.
  • Blue: Security, trust, and stability.

Note: Bold colors such as red, black, and orange can instantly grab attention.

  • Shape

The shape of your CTA button also plays a key role in making it noticeable to the site visitors. Refer to these shape meanings when you decide to design your CTA button:

  • Rectangles and Squares: discipline, courage, reliability, strength, and security.
  • Triangles: risk, excitement, danger, stability, and balance.
  • Circles, Ellipses, and Ovals: eternity, magic, and universe.
  • Abstract Shapes: uniqueness and elaborate.

Conventionally, CTA buttons are given the shape of horizontal rectangles, giving them the appeal of clickable buttons.

CTA Button Shapes

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Listen Up: We suggest you design your CTAs with rounded corners as they draw attention to the copy.

2. Create an Actionable Copy

Channel your inner copywriter and craft an action-focused copy.

Ensure you strike a balance between clear, simple instruction and jargon-free, compelling copy.

Also, don’t forget to use action words such as “start”, “register”, “download”, etc. in your copy.

Listen Up: You can always take inspiration from major brand websites to get creative while crafting your copy.

3. Make It Sound Urgent

You can also add a sense of urgency to your CTA to keep your visitors focused on the action you want them to take. Are there only a few items left in the stock? Is it a limited offer? Adding the element of urgency will let the visitors know that they need to take an action at that point in time instead of putting it off for a later stage.

4. Keep Your CTA Short in Length

For a CTA to fit into a button format, it needs to be short in length. A longer length of CTA can fail to grab attention in such a format. We recommend you keep the words to five or even less.

5. Tell Your Customers What They Should Expect

No one wants to get tricked or deceived into clicking on something that offers no value to them. Ensure you craft a copy that clearly communicates to your customers what they should expect if they click the CTA. We recommend you create an informative CTA that explains the benefits of clicking on it. For instance, you can tell your customers if they will be taken to a new page to complete an order or will they be signed to a newsletter.

Tip: If you incorporate target-audience-specific language in your CTA, you get to increase the conversion potential.

Bonus tip: You can consider using SEMrush’s Keyword Gap tool to search for keywords to use in your CTA. This will help you craft some unique CTAs (that your competition isn’t using) and assist you in your SEO ranking.

6. Ensure a Smooth and Logical Flow

It’s crucial that you align your CTAs with specific stages in the buyer’s journey so that you can make relevant offers. Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Promoting a full-year premier delivery subscription to a new visitor will be futile as it will be too early in their buying journey.

Ways to Create an Effective CTA

Call-To-Action Strategy

You can always use some effective CTA strategies to increase inquiries and customer data capture, which will in turn help you increase your sales. Here are some of these strategies:

1. Include More Than One CTA

The most common way you see a CTA appear is in a sentence, placed at the end of a blog, email, or website. However, you must incorporate more than one CTA in your blog to prompt the reader about what they should do next.

2. Don’t Go Overboard

While we recommend that you have more than one CTA in your marketing material, you must know how much is too much. Don’t include too many CTAs and overwhelm the readers. They may find you insincere or simply desperate if you go overboard with CTAs.

3. Placement Is Important

A difficult-to-find or hidden CTA doesn’t benefit both you or your audience. Ensure your page layout is such that your potential customer can easily find a CTA.

Here’s what you can keep in mind while deciding the placement of your CTA:

A simple offer that doesn’t need a lot of thinking to make a buying decision can use a CTA that’s placed above the fold. But if you think your readers need to digest all the information they have got and then make a decision, you should place the CTA at the end.

Best CTA Location

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4. Prioritize Your CTAs

It’s important to note that not every CTA of yours will carry the same priority. For instance, a CTA prompting a customer to “buy now” will be of greater priority as compared to the one that offers a white paper to read. Ensure the CTAs with the most priority are the easiest to locate.

5. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing compares two versions of a CTA to check which one performs better. The performance is checked based on real-time data and statistics.

Why do this kind of testing?

This is because it will let you know if you have the right message, placement, and design.

Now, when you create A/B test versions, ensure you change only a single detail so that you know what impacted the results.

Here’s an example of A/B test variations:

CTA A/B Testing

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Wrapping It Up

Used in marketing campaigns, a call-to-action is a written directive that encourages visitors to take the desired action. From eliminating the decision fatigue of your site visitors to increasing the number of interactions with your website, the importance of using CTAs cannot be emphasized enough. A persuasive CTA can help you gain subscribers, shares, likes, and customers. If you follow the tips and strategies we have discussed above, you will be able to create a CTA that's powerful enough to encourage your site visitors to take the desired action.

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Mobile App

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Unlimited Sub-Accounts

Unlimited Users

All Apps

All Features


Active Community

Mobile App

Live Support

100+ Tutorials