What is a call-to-action (CTA)?
A call-to-action (also known as a CTA) is a short marketing message intended to motivate users to take a certain action, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter. The term usually refers to a hyperlink or a button on a website that includes an imperative command (e.g. 'Register Now!' or ‘Read More’). It can also include the sentence above or below the button.
The strategy behind adding a CTA is to create a sense of urgency around the task in the hope of triggering an immediate response and leading the user to take action.
The importance of CTAs
A call-to-action is crucial for your marketing goals, as it's one of the most effective tools in converting a user into a customer. Moreover, users expect to see a clear call-to-action that guides them towards the next step. If they can't locate one, having to look for it could be a frustrating process which will make them leave your page without taking any action.
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How to create an effective call-to-action
A good call to action should be a showstopper that stands out from the rest of the page and draws your users into taking the next step. This can be achieved via the design of your CTA, as well as the actual text. Here are tips on creating a successful CTA:
Make it stand out: Don't be afraid to make your button big and bold, using contrasting colors. Otherwise, it won't command attention. However, an oversized CTA may seem unprofessional and distract your users from the main message of the page.
Use commanding verbs: Start your CTA with a strong, imperative verb like 'Buy', 'Get' or 'See' to provoke a quick response. Make sure that the tone matches your target audience. It should be compelling, but not annoying.
Identify user’s wants and needs: Once you identify the user's potential intent, use it in your CTA. Speaking to people's desires is a strong tactic to draw their attention to your copy. You can incorporate this above the button, for example: 'Want your dream house in an affordable budget?' above a 'Get it Now' button.
Explain the reward: Your CTA should explain what people will gain from taking the next step - or what they will miss out on if they don't. For example, 'Register Now - Get a Free Gift' is more convincing than a simple 'Register Now'.
Reassure users they’re making the right choice: Lower the "stakes" around the action. If it's simple or quick (or both!), mention it in your CTA. Another way of reducing the perceived risk is adding guarantees that could make users feel confident in their choice, like offering a free trial before purchasing the software. This extra piece of reassurance can appear above or below the button as an additional means of convincement.