What is a Call to Action, and Why Do We Need It?

A call to action (CTA) is a button, link, or phrase that prompts the user to take a specific action and "drive a conversion." This could be a purchase, sign-up, download, share, or any other action a business wants users to take. 

CTAs are a crucial component of digital marketing and serve as the next step for the user after reading or viewing content. So, why do they matter so much?

Call to Action Inbound Marketing

If you're in digital marketing, CTAs are critical as they help companies convert website visitors into customers. CTAs guide users to take the next step in their customer journey, ultimately assisting in achieving the desired conversions. By providing clear and compelling CTAs, businesses can improve the overall user experience and increase the likelihood of conversion. 

Benefits of Using a CTA

Before you jump into building your CTAs, it’s essential to understand what they can do for you as a business. That way, you can fully understand and use their impact with intention.

1. Increased Conversion Rates

Using effective CTAs can significantly increase the conversion rates of a website. By providing clear and compelling CTAs, businesses can guide users to take the desired action and convert them into customers. 

2. Improved Engagement with Your Audience

CTAs can improve engagement with your target audience by encouraging them to take the next step in the customer journey. This leads to a better user experience and improved relationships with customers. 


3. Better User Experience

Effective CTAs can enhance the overall user experience by providing clear next steps and guiding users through the customer journey. This leads to improved satisfaction and a higher likelihood of conversion. 


4. Increased Measurement of Marketing Effectiveness

CTAs provide a clear and measurable way to track the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. By analyzing the performance of different CTAs, businesses can optimize their marketing strategies for maximum impact. 


Optimizing your website

(PS. That's a CTA)


Factors to Consider

When creating your CTA, there are some essential factors to consider. First and foremost, consider your marketing objectives and the specific action you want users to take. What do you want your website visitors to do? Subscribe to your blog or download an ebook. Schedule a meeting or start a free trial. 

Next, you’ll want to determine your target audience. Consider the needs and preferences of your target audience when choosing your CTA’s language, design, and placement. Next, identify the context in which the CTA is being used, such as the stage in the customer journey or the type of content being promoted. 

Keep in mind these key considerations:

  • Clarity: The CTA should communicate what the user will get or achieve by taking action. 

  • Urgency: CTAs should create a sense of urgency and motivate the user to take action immediately.

  • Placement: The CTA should be in an obvious location, such as above the field or near the promoted content. 

  • Design: The design of the CTA should be visually appealing and stand out from the rest of the page. 

There are three rules of thumb to use when crafting your CTA. First, keep it clear and simple. The CTA should be easy to understand and communicate the action the user should take. Second, always use action-oriented language. Finally, make sure it stands out and grabs the user’s attention. 

Mistakes to Avoid

While following those tips will get you started in the right direction, there are some common mistakes to avoid when crafting your CTA.

  • Avoid vague language. Phrases that are too generic or vague won’t effectively communicate the desired action to your audience. 

  • Poor CTA placement. If users can’t see or find your CTA, it won’t make an impact. 

  • Overwhelming design. While you want your CTA to be prominent, it shouldn’t overwhelm or distract users from your content. 

Monitoring and Testing

If you create a CTA and are unsure if it will be effective or you don’t see results immediately, not to worry. Creating CTAs can be a trial-and-error process, which is why many businesses use tools to monitor and adjust their CTAs. 

A/B testing allows businesses to test different variations of their CTAs to see which ones perform best. This enables you to test different colors, fonts, and phrases to see which draws in more users. In addition to testing, using analytics to track the performance of different CTAs is highly beneficial. Analytics will help you determine what works and help you make data-driven optimizations. 

Crafting Your CTA

Now that you understand the basics of a call to action, it’s time to begin building. 

Different Types of CTAs

First, pick out which type of CTA you want to use.

  • Button CTAs are graphical elements that invite users to take action, usually through clicking a button. Button CTAs should have a clear and action-oriented label such as “Buy now” or “Subscribe.” 

  • Text CTAs, or link CTAs, are phrases or sentences that invite users to take action, primarily through clicking a link. An example is “Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.”

  • Image CTAs, or graphic CTAs, are images that invite users to take action, usually through clicking the image or a button on top of the image. These should include an action-oriented label, for example, “Download now.”

  • Pop-up CTAs, a pop-up window with a label such as “Sign up for our newsletter.”

Each type of CTA has advantages and disadvantages, and your choice will depend on your marketing objectives and target audience. By using a combination of different types of CTAs, you can create a compelling and well-rounded digital marketing strategy. 

Once you determine this, you can begin working on the language of your CTA. While it may seem like you can throw any phrase onto a CTA and call it a day, the language you use matters. It’s important to consider what action you want your users to take and the platform you’re communicating to them on. Some effective call-to-action phrases include:

  • “Buy now” or “Add to Cart:” This CTA is often used in e-commerce websites and encourages users to purchase.

  • “Sign up” or Subscribe:” These phrases are used to encourage users to sign up for a newsletter, subscription, or membership. It’s often used to build an email list and improve customer engagement. 

  • “Download” or “Get your free trial:” Encourages users to download a resource, such as an ebook or software. It’s used to generate leads and improve customer engagement. 

  • “Learn more” or “Discover:” These are used to encourage users to explore a product or service in more detail. They’re often used to provide additional information and improve the customer’s understanding of a product or service. 

  • “Contact us” or “Get in touch:” This CTA prompts users to get in touch with a business and is often used to provide additional support and improve customer engagement. 

CTAs are highly beneficial in the world of digital marketing. They can take a piece of content without “purpose” and turn it into a method of converting visitors to leads and leads to customers. With a carefully crafted CTA, you’ll be sure to start reaping clicks in no time.

Are you looking for more ways to use Content Marketing to improve lead generation and grow your business? Download our free guide. 

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Nicole is a HubSpot Operations Specialist. She works on campaign management for clients. A Pittsburgh native, she is a lover of the outdoors, good food, and taking advantage of every travel opportunity that comes her way.

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