A call to action (CTA) on a website is a prompt to the visitor that encourages them to take a specific action.
A call to action is usually a simple instructional text, such as “call now”, “find out more”, or “subscribe to our newsletter”. CTAs are an important way to engage your audience and encourage conversions.
CTAs are not only found on websites.
They should also be integrated into all of your marketing material from email campaigns to social media posts, ads and blogs.
The average adult human makes an average of 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. A designer creating content for your website or other marketing channels is tasked with limiting that number of decisions, rather than adding to it. This is where CTAs come in.
The purpose of a CTA is to guide the user to take the desired action, such as purchasing a product, signing up for a service, downloading a resource or making a booking.
Proper planning is important when creating CTAs. Determine the ideal path for the user, whether it be a specific sequence of pages on your website, or from a social media post to a product page, and map out each step of the journey including the necessary CTAs at each point.
The best place for a CTA is at a decision point, like the end of a page, caption, presentation slide or video campaign. This allows the user to easily choose to follow the suggested action, leading them down the desired path that you've set out.
To improve user experience, limit the number of options given at once by using only one CTA button. Having too many buttons can overwhelm the user and increase the number of conscious decisions they need to make.
The effectiveness of your CTA depends on various factors, primarily the audience that you're trying to target, as some audiences are naturally more open to following the path set out for them. Certain strategies can increase the appeal, and the likelihood that your CTA will be clicked:
Consider your language and tone when creating CTAs. Make them relatable, and spoken in the same tone as your target audience.
The visual look of a CTA will also impact it's effectiveness. Avoid making it appear too aggressively promotional. Instead, make it visually appealing to your target audience.
Optimising your CTAs will take time, as with any aspect of your marketing plan. Remember to build the trust of your user and guide them towards a decision in a subtle manner that leaves them feeling confident in their decision.