Call to action (CTA) Definition


What Is Call to action?

A call-to-action (CTA) is used to entice a reader to take a desired action that meets the primary goal of the content or channel in question. Examples of CTA are “Buy Now” buttons in online stores or “Learn more” links in articles or newsletters. A CTA is an important part of your website because it affects how your target audience moves in your digital ecosystem.

In Inbound Marketing and B2B marketing, it is common with Call to Actions (CTA) which encourages a visitor to download content e.g. an e-book, a white paper or a guide.

But it can also be about signing up for a webinar or subscribing to your blog.

Common is that a CTA wants to get the visitor to take the next step, to take action and take action.

What is a Call to Action?

Call to Action, or CTA as the abbreviation reads, is an important part of a website, advertisement or digital material that should capture a person’s attention and get them to perform an action.

In digital marketing, CTA is there to transform a visitor or reader into a lead for the sales team. A CTA can have different types of prompts depending on the purpose and goals.

It is also available in different variants that are governed by the environment they are in, the target group they are to influence and the purpose of the call.

I will go into more detail on each of them later in the article but here are the most common types:

  • Links / Texts
  • Buttons
  • Image banners
  • Video banners

Why is a CTA needed?

A CTA on your site is used to help the visitor take the next step and to decide what happens next. Most of your visitors probably do not do what you want them to do.

Instead, they cancel their visit to your site and the reasons for that can be many.

This could be because they do not find what they are looking for or because they are distracted by something.

To reduce the number of interrupted visits, you can guide and urge your visitors to take the next step. This is where your CTA comes into the picture.

An invitation to subscribe to the newsletter is an example of a regular CTA on the website.

When it comes to CTA in ads, they are of course incredibly important for the results of your ad. If the recipient does not understand what to do, or feels motivated to do so, your result will be low engagement.

A good CTA simplifies for the visitor

How you should design your CTA is affected by some parts that you should think about before:

  • Who is the recipient of your message? Is there anything you can clarify so that the recipient understands immediately that it is you you are turning to?
  • What is the purpose and goal? Why should they click on your CTA? It is important that you highlight the biggest argument – the gain for them to perform their action. And set the right expectations for what will happen after they click the button.
  • Where is the recipient in their purchase trip? Have they come in contact with your brand before? Maybe they are leads that you should convert into sales-qualified leads?
  • Where will your CTA be located? What environment should your CTA fit into? What content is there around that can distract attention and how do you get it to get attention?

Also remember to keep the same tone, color and shape so that the recipient recognizes themselves in your brand, or in the campaign / project.

To use several different CTAs

It can be tempting to put several different CTAs on your site in order to help the visitor, but you risk making the experience worse, so it should be done with caution.

The reason for this is that the visitor feels pressured to make a choice instead of following a natural next step.

You can also cause decision anxiety by presenting several different choices or prompts on the same page, so try to steer everything towards the same prompts and goals.

But on a particular website page, it may be appropriate to have several CTAs, such as a CTA about subscribing to the blog, a CTA about contacting your company and a CTA about reading an article.

On a landing page where you want the recipient to click on to download a guide, it fits better.

So in general, you should limit the number of decisions that need to be made and simplify for your visitors so that the choice feels natural and obvious.

9 tips for writing call to actions

  • Develop a goal for the text. What do you want the reader to do? Write it in the prompt.
  • Highlight the value. Why should you click the button? You can present this in text before the invitation.
  • Think about the visitor’s needs. Show that you understand the problem by presenting the solution and then the prompt
  • What information is the reader looking for? Highlight it.
  • Make use of prompts. Try writing “I want…” and use the text that comes after it.
  • Be clear rather than speckled. There should be no room for misunderstanding the text.
  • Be as specific as you can. Avoid “Click here” or just “Read more”. What really happens when you click?
  • Do not sprinkle with call to actions. One per page or text is enough.
  • Review your existing texts. Does your site have clear call to actions on all pages?

Place your CTA where your visitors expect it

Although you should be careful about how many prompts you have on a page, you can still use the same CTA in several different types, just remember not to confuse the person by displaying different CTAs in one and the same view.

Place your call-to-actions in places that feel natural to your visitor.

For example, in a sidebar, after the preface, or at the bottom of a page when the visitor has finished reading the content and is ready for the next step.

By placing your CTAs in different places on the page, you can get valuable information about which CTAs your visitors actually click on.

Keep in mind that many people today visit the website via their mobile.

Therefore, do not use too wide images or receive long prompts, but make sure that they look good in narrower formats as well.

It will be best if you create a completely mobile-adapted layout for these visitors, where the button also has a different format to fit a click on the screen with one finger.

Smart pop-up boxes

Something that companies use for several of their customers is that if a visitor spends a certain time on the website and has not added anything to the shopping cart, a pop up box will appear that says “shop now and get 20% off, use this discount code”.

Or if a person clicks around on a certain number of subpages at a consultant, a pop up box will appear saying “Do you want a free training of 15 minutes? Enter your email and we will contact you ”.

Then you know that the customer is sufficiently qualified so it is worth spending 15 extra minutes to help the person, which increases the chances that he will become a customer with you.

The Triggerbee that some use includes such a solution where you can set up all such things yourself without being able to code, which is good if you do not already have someone who takes care of it all for you.

It is very easy to just choose which design you want on the pop-up box, choose what it should say and then choose when it should appear and on which subpages.

Create a CTA that stands out

That your Call to Action is visible is of course absolutely fundamental. A common mistake if you use a button, for example, is to choose a color or size that is not conspicuous.

A gray button often looks inactive.

As a result, the visitor does not pay attention to the CTA but leaves your page without thinking about the next step.

That your CTA stands out from other designs is crucial. Feel free to use a color that has a high contrast to the context in which your button or image is located.

Of course you should follow your company’s graphic profile, but do you have e.g. an accent color or contrasting color, it is a good idea to use it for your CTA so that it catches the visitor’s attention.

Also keep in mind that a button may “feel” like a button. If you hold the mouse over the button, you should show that it can be clicked.

You can solve this, for example, through a light animation, change of shadow or color.

Text-based Call to Action

CTAs that consist of text work well where they feel natural.

Many people use text CTAs early in a blog article so as not to disturb too much but still give the visitor a choice to take the next step already when they enter the page.

A good tip is to have a distinctive style on your text CTA such as an eye-catching link color and a larger font.

Clear call to actions lead to clear texts

When you have the goal of your text clear to you, it becomes clearer. A clear call to action also makes it easier for the reader to know what to do – and actually do it. It should be easy to act!

No, or poorly worded call to actions, can lead to visitors losing confidence in the sender.

It can also mean that they do not find the right information, make the wrong choice, cancel their purchase and move on elsewhere.

And you do not want this to happen.

Make sure your CTA is relevant

Get to know your website visitors. If you work with B2B products or services, your visitors normally have a much longer decision-making journey to get through than consumer-oriented websites such as. and e-commerce.

Therefore, think through where in the purchase price your visitor is.

If the page the visitor is on is about your products or services, chances are they are looking for a solution and are ready to take the next step to compare products or make a purchase.

However, if they are looking for inspiration and visiting your blog for the first time, you may want to guide them towards content that will help them solve a common problem.

Presenting the right CTA to the right person in the right context is an art but is crucial for a successful web presence – especially when it comes to lead generation and B2B.

Conclusion

Call To Action is among the absolute most basic things to keep in mind when you want more customers from your website and I hope this guide has given you an overview in the field.

Remember that good call to action is an important part of conversion, which means that it is an important part of the sales for your website. It also works for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIN.

In addition to the tips above, I want to point out the importance of really getting to know your customers.

When you know who your visitors are, what is important to them, and what stage in the buying process they are in, it will be much easier to create optimized buttons that make them act.

Sources

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/naq/2017/00000041/00000002/art00005

https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3278252.3278276

https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/isre.2019.0873

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020138318303255

https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article-abstract/72/4/415/1610770

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26974600

https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1595227&dswid=6949

file:///C:/Users/kevin/Downloads/noaa_6438_DS1.pdf

Kevin

This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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