What Is a Call to Action (CTA) in Marketing?

Any effective marketing campaign has essential components, like a clear and concise call to action (CTA). Without a good CTA, you leave room for confusion and decision fatigue, which can have a negative impact on your engagement and conversion rates.

So, what is a call to action (CTA) in digital marketing, exactly? What benefits does it have to offer? And what are some good CTA examples? In this blog post, we’ll answer all of your burning questions, so read on!

Key Takeaways

  • A call to action (CTA) is a key element in any marketing campaign that encourages viewers to take immediate action.
  • CTAs are written directives that help guide potential customers through the sales funnel by taking them from one point to another.
  • Calls to action come in several forms, including plain text, hyperlinks, and buttons, and most are short in length.
  • You can create effective calls to action by playing on emotion, beginning with a verb, or using fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • A/B testing your CTAs is important so you can examine their effectiveness and see how they compare against each other.
What is a Call to Action in Marketing

What is a Call to Action?

CTAs are written directives that marketers use in their campaigns to encourage visitors to take immediate action, reducing the chances of confusion and decision fatigue.

An effective call to action can be implemented to achieve different goals. You can use it to encourage website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, purchase your product, or try your service.

CTAs are essentially a means of guidance through the buyer’s journey. They help to take potential customers from one point to another in the sales funnel.

Calls to action come in several forms, including plain text, hyperlinks, and buttons. Most CTAs are short in length, but that doesn’t mean that yours can’t run longer. So, instead of typical CTAs like “Buy Now,” you can opt for slightly longer CTAs if you want.

You can also implement multiple CTAs within your web pages if there are several actions that you’d like your viewers to take. For instance, you can have a primary call to action button at the end of your web page and a secondary CTA in the form of plain text or a hyperlink amidst your content.

It’s worth noting that CTAs can be implemented in many marketing materials, including email marketing campaigns, brochures, catalogs, flyers, pop-ups, etc.

Without a clear call to action, your viewers are less likely to interact with your website, especially if they landed on it randomly. They’re also less likely to complete any of the tasks you’d like them to complete.

How to Create Winning CTAs

Creating effective CTAs isn’t as hard as it may seem. Before we share some tips that can help you create the perfect CTA, we need to highlight a few key factors to consider:

  • Visibility – High visibility is the most important factor to consider when creating CTAs that command attention. If viewers can’t see your CTA button, then it’s useless.
  • Clarity – Your CTAs should be clear, indicating the benefit that the website visitor will get from completing the desired action. Also, they should have actionable text, so you need to use strong words that form a compelling call.
  • Length – Compelling calls to action are typically 2-7 words in length. And while there are no restrictions when it comes to length, we suggest sticking to a short and simple CTA.

Now that you know what factors to consider when trying to come up with a CTA, here are a few tips that can help you:

1. Play on Emotion

In most cases, an emotional response is the catalyst of action. So, playing on emotion with your calls to action can help you entice your viewers. But how do you do that, exactly?

Let’s say you’re selling a product or offering a service that deals with a specific problem. You can word your CTA button in such a way that emphasizes the viewer’s struggles with that specific problem and indicates that your product/service can solve it for them.

For example, if you’re offering a pest control service, you can create CTAs such as:

  • Protect your home from rodents
  • End your struggle with cockroaches
  • Rid your home of crawlers

2. Begin With a Verb

Strong action verbs are your best friends when trying to come up with good CTAs. Examples include verbs like start, try, check, buy, read, learn, and so forth.

After finding the right action verb for your call to action, you can add more words to complete your action phrase and highlight the benefit the viewer should expect.

3. Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the most effective emotions that you can use to power your CTAs. Some effective CTA examples that use FOMO to create a sense of urgency include:

  • On sale now
  • Limited time only
  • Limited time offer
  • Only X left (X is the number of items/products left)
  • While supply lasts

What Are Some Call to Action Examples?

If you’re having a hard time coming up with winning CTAs, check out some of the following examples for inspiration:

Blogging CTAs:

  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Check out some of our other posts
  • Follow us on social media platforms
  • Share this post with your friends
  • Read on to learn more

Ecommerce CTAs:

  • Add to cart
  • Order now
  • Buy now
  • View this product
  • Shop for other products
  • Download this ebook

SaaS CTAs:

  • Start your free trial
  • Get started now
  • Sign up for our service
  • Join free
  • Play free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Free trials
  • Risk-free

General CTAs:

  • Click here
  • Continue scrolling/reading
  • Learn/see more
  • Find out
  • Check it out

How to A/B Test Your CTAs

As CTA responses will vary from one target audience to another, it’s important that you A/B test your CTAs to examine their effectiveness. To do this, simply divide the number of clicks by the number of times the CTA was seen.

However, there are different platforms that you can use to A/B your CTAs so that you don’t have to do any manual split testing. Good examples include MailMunch and Optimizely.

In Summary

A call to action has many benefits, from leads to conversions. Calls to action come in several forms, from plain text and hyperlinks to strategically designed CTA buttons. Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is a call to action in marketing?” you can use the tips above to come up with the perfect CTA copy for your next campaign.