What Is a Call-to-Action?


When reading a blog post, you might notice that in the middle or even towards the bottom of the post, there is a phrase or a button which prompts you to click either for more information, to purchase something, or get something for free. These can be helpful links as they direct you to what you are looking for.

These links or buttons would be called a Call to Action (CTA).

What is a Call to Action?

The official definition from the dictionary states a CTA is “a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act”. This may look like a button that says “Learn more >>” or it could simply be a phrase, “Start listening to this podcast”. CTAs are everywhere you go. Below are just a few of the most popular types of CTAs.

  • Purchase this product
  • Listening to music or podcast
  • Donate
  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Register for a class

These types of CTAs are used across many of the most popular websites in the world. Some of these might be a CTA button. These can be included on their own, but sometimes they also are attached to a limited time offer. This brings a sense of urgency, making the CTA even more powerful.

Bring CTAs to your website

When writing a new blog post or a new website page, it is important to be very clear with what you want your audience to do. If your CTA is complicated, it causes confusion, bringing potential loss.

Say I run a doggy bath service. Customers can bring their dog to my company and we provide all of the supplies so that they can wash their dog. We recently launched a blog and have been writing posts on the importance of giving your dog a bath every week. As I close out the blog post, I include a CTA. Would the CTA that I included below this sell you on bringing your dog to my doggie wash every week? No way, the CTA does not have to do a thing with bringing your dog to my doggie wash. It doesn’t give the customer any motivation to come and try it out.

The best CTAs will attract the customer either with an offer or a free product. Let’s go back to my doggie wash example. Say that I met with a marketing expert and he gave me advice on CTAs. Here is my updated post.

This CTA is a lot more powerful. We are now offering a discount. This is a great start. The color of the button that I am using for my CTA is bright, but it is not following the color scheme. Making a button or text a bright color is a good thing for a CTA, but you want to make sure that the color semi-fits your color scheme. Using hot pink like this brings a very unprofessional feel to the overall website.

To help you get started with adding CTAs to your website, we have included several call to action examples.

  • Special Gift Giveaway – Enter in your email address and be entered to win a free iPad Pro.
  • Free Instant Trial – Sign up for a trial of our software and we’ll add an extra 30 days.
  • Free Download – As a way to say thank you, download two tracks from our most recent album.

These are just a few effective call to actions. Each one of these CTAs would have a button or a field directly associated with it to capture the customer’s email address.

Conversion Rate Observations

As with any marketing campaign, you will want to watch your analytics and see if your CTA is helping drive traffic to a specific page or if you are getting email sign-ups. If I found that people were not clicking the CTA in my doggie wash example, I would change the color and the placement of the button and see if that helps. If that did not help, I would look a bit deeper into making sure the button or link is working properly across all devices.

The placement of the CTA and the button color comes down to your website color and style. In this case, my doggie service is offering a great CTA and the color and placement fit with the overall website design.

Conclusion

Call to Actions are important as they tell your reader what you would like them to do. CTAs also help drive your reader either to a certain page or to submit contact information. Adding CTAs to all of your pages including blog posts can help with driving traffic throughout your overall website.

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