Creating CTAs Customers Actually Click

27 Feb Creating CTAs Customers Actually Click

You’ve seen them in our blogs – you may (hopefully!) have even clicked on them –but how do you create effective CTAs for your own marketing materials?

A call-to-action, commonly abbreviated as CTA, is an image or text that prompts readers to in fact, actually “take an action”. CTAs can be found anywhere from blog posts, to emails, to your website and range in desired action from downloading a whitepaper to signing up for a webinar. Essentially they are buttons that point out the action you would ultimately want visitors of your website to take.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as slapping a CTA up there and waiting for clicks and leads to come in. CTAs need to be compelling – both in design and text – to encourage people to actually take the action you are hoping for.

So what should you do to encourage readers to engage? Here are a few hints for creating CTAs users want to click:


  • Clearly explain what the user will get. Just saying “click here” is not enough. Make sure readers know exactly what they will be getting from the action and why they should want it. Use clear, concise, active language that is straight to the point. Words should include: register, subscriber, donate, etc. It can also help to put a time limit on your CTA to create a sense of urgency. An incentive that expires after a certain deadline will likely entice readers to take action quicker than they otherwise would.


  • Limit your usage and stay focused. It is very rare to see multiple CTAs used in a post, and for the most part, it should be avoided. More than one CTA can overwhelm readers leaving them not engaging at all, or not know which step to take first. By limiting the amount of choices a user has, the mental effort is reduced and you can essentially guide them through the action. When choosing what CTA to include, make sure to weigh what is most relevant to your audience. “Buy Now” isn’t necessarily the most important command for a user who just read an introductory blog post about your organization. In this case, it might be more relevant to include a CTA encouraging them to download a 101 guide or a whitepaper on the benefits of your solution.


  • Position the CTA correctly. After you go through the trouble of wording and messaging the call-to-action appropriately, the worst-case scenario is readers simply over looking your CTA because they don’t notice it. This scenario is not limited to positioning alone, but also color and design. When the CTA is rather large and included in a primarily black and white blog post (like this one) a colorful call to action is hard to miss. But in an email blast packed tightly full of information? It might not stand out quite as much. Depending on the material, ideal positioning is generally central and placed high on the page. Regardless of where it is placed, don’t forget to leave space around it so it stands out amongst the clutter. Using contrasting colors can also help draw attention to the action leaving little doubt in reader’s minds of what you are asking them to do.

Obviously CTAs come in all shapes and sizes and have numerous different objectives so there is no set right or wrong, just tips to increase the odds of getting clicks. The most important thing to keep in mind is creating a value proposition that users understand.  The greater the perceived value– the more likely users will want to click and find out more – and potentially turn into a lead.

So go ahead and click on the below. You know you want to…

Kathryn Kaplan
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