A call-to-action, or CTA, is a word or phrase that guides users to a take an action. Marketers use CTAs in content to provide users a clear direction and to encourage the audience to engage with a message.
Commonly used CTAs include actions such as:
- Sign up
- Learn More
Notice: All of these words are verbs. CTAs should always begin with a verb.
It can be displayed as a simple hypertext phrase, or as a more technical timed pop-up. A button is the most popular format, which highlights the most important actions.
Make your CTA clear
It’s important not to confuse a consumer with numerous CTAs in one communication. Choose the most important action you want users to take, and focus your messaging on that.
Make the CTA a bright color, different from the rest of the content on the page, to make it more noticeable.
Also, 2rite your CTA to be clear and direct. If a user clicks the “register” button, a user should be led directly to the registration page. The surrounding copy should encourage the user to click “register” by describing the event and the benefits of attending.
The placement of CTAs
A CTA should be prominently placed and easy to find. Emails and websites can include embedded links as well as large buttons with a CTA. Videos can include instructions on the final slide.
Without an easy-to-find CTA, users will feel frustrated if they have to search for it, and they will be more likely to exit the page early. Then you’ll miss out on the opportunity to engage a user and possibly even generate a new lead.
Measuring the success of a CTA
The click-through-rate, or CTR, of a CTA can be measured and optimized for best results. Monitor the CTR of ads, download buttons, email links, etc., to determine if your CTA is generating desirable results.
If a CTA has a low CTR, try optimizing it by taking one or more of these actions:
- Place the CTA higher on the page
- Make the CTA better stand out on the page
- Change the formatting of the CTA (ex: from a hyperlink to a button)
- Rewrite the CTA to better describe the action
- Edit the surrounding copy to better encourage users to take an action (try appealing to emotion with one of these tactics)
- Analyze the form where the CTA lives – the form may require too many boxes to fill out, affecting completion rate