Call to Action Button: 101


A Call to Action (CTA) is exactly what it sounds like – it’s getting a customer to follow through with an action. You likely have at least one CTA on your website, but if you’re not getting calls or emails, it isn’t working. Perhaps your CTA isn’t reaching your target audience? Or, maybe you don’t have a strong enough incentive? Or, there’s a chance that it’s just plain boring. There are many ways to go about making an effective CTA, but here some tips that work for anyone, in any industry.

Be Direct

The most effective CTA’s are the ones where a visitor can’t help but do exactly what you want them to do, whether that’s starting a free trial or signing up for a newsletter. The key to reaching this level of success is by creating a clear, direct path to your CTA button. Superfluous visuals and text will cause visitors to lose interest and leave the page. Your button needs to be eye-catching, yet simple. Play around with button size and placement, and use bright colors, such as green and orange, or go the opposite route and play with blank space. Birchbox is an excellent example of the latter.

Be Creative

Let’s face it – filling out forms is the pits. They’re long, boring, and tedious. Show me someone who enjoys filling out forms, and I’ll show you what enlightenment looks like. Despite how monotonous forms can be, they’re part of life. It’s high time we spice them up. Compelling copy within your CTA button can be the difference between a sale and a bust. Instead using phrases like, “click here” or “submit” or “join now,” go with something more topical. Blue Apron, a meal ingredient delivery service, encourages prospective customers to get cooking.

Always split test your CTAs to see what’s working and what isn’t. If the results show that your audience responds to more traditional terminology, go with it. Whether you choose to spunk things up or not, keep in mind that your button should contain a command. Here are some common commands:

  • Download
  • Submit
  • Find out
  • Join
  • Learn
  • Buy
  • Shop
  • Order
  • See how/why

Offer an Incentive

Your CTA commands that your prospective customer do something, but there needs to be something in it for them. Give your customer a reason to click, whether it’s a FREE trial, consultation, or download. If you are offering a freebie, make sure that fact is loud and clear. Encouraging your customer to go get their credit card is a surefire way to lose their interest. MailChimp makes it clear that signing up will get you a free trial.


The holidays are right around the corner, which means people are ready to purchase. CTAs on your website are important for bringing in new business, especially if you are selling a product on your website. Time to get cracking!


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