Call to Action: Everything you need to know

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Call to Action is a call to action, very common on websites, emails and advertisements, telling the user what should be done. Usually a Call to Action (CTA) is a link or a button, with an accent color, and explores the imperative terms as “go” and “click”.

If you pay attention, you will see that every day we are impacted by different calls in different environments.

  • “Push”
  • “Open”
  • “Among Air Conditioning”
  • “Smile you are being filmed”
  • Or even the green light on a traffic light

All these are signs to indicate what we should do in that context or how to interact with a particular object.

In the online environment is no different.

There are several actions that we wish to be done, such as making a register to receive the newsletter, fill out a form, make a download, ask for a quote, make a free software testing or follow a link to a blog post like this.

In practice, we know that each business has its own peculiarities and needs, but everyone wants users to understand what they are and perform these actions.

What is Call to Action?

The role of the Call to Action is serving as a bridge for this action. It should reflect in a single call to the draft provision in question value.

In short: Calls-to-Action serve to indicate the next step your company wants a visitor perform.

In this post, we’ll explore the role of the Call to Action in the conversion process, how to write a good text in the CTA, which put a CTA, how to choose the best format of a CTA and how to analyze the results of a CTA.

For a more complete study, download here our eBook “The Call of the Practical Guide to Action” .

The Call to Action in the conversion process

Before you start talking about how to make a Call to Action, it is important to understand how they collaborate in the conversion process.

There is a long time, a widespread concept – and still valid – in marketing and advertising called AIDA .


According to this principle, since when we open a page (or look for an ad) to the moment we decide to act, we go through different stages. Each of these steps requires own care and your website must be prepared to meet the specific objectives of each step:

  • Note: when we gained the exclusive attention of a visitor and we do it to continue browsing.
  • Interest obtained attention, visitors have the first impression of what is looking and decides to look for more information about the offer.
  • Desire: this time, a more detailed analysis of the offer is made, seeking its benefits and features to make sure that it meets the needs.
  • Action: finally, with the decision, the action of the conversion is performed.

The Call to Actions usually help especially in the stages of attention and interest (that last a few seconds) and action, which is often the act of clicking on the CTA.

How this works in practice

There is a fairly simple way to identify if your Call to Action is calling the attention or not: the test of 5 seconds.

Call someone who does not know your site and ask that person to look at your page. At the end of 5/2, minimize the browser and ask what was on the page and what could be done there.

If the answer she did not know to say what was the next step that should be taken, it is likely that the Call to Action is not working as well as it should.

To capture the attention there are some aspects that should be looked at very carefully, such as:

  • The size of the Call to Action in relation to other page elements;
  • The position where it appears the CTA;
  • The dithering of the page and the color of the Call to Action;
  • The images used;
  • The number of Call to Actions options available;
  • Other elements of the page pointing to the Call to Action.

Now, there is no point to attract the visitor’s attention to the Call to Action if he does not feel interested.

And usually, the text is the element that helps a lot at this stage. So Calls-to-Action in style “click here” or “contact us” are not recommended: they generate no interest and do not transmit the offer’s value proposition.

In other words, the main objective of the text in CTA is to make the visitor understand what will happen next and who you are or feel safe with it.

The text of your Call to Action

A CTA should never come alone, without context. It should summarize in a few words, the offer’s value proposition and say what happens after the click

That is, it is important that the page elements “speak” the same language and are converged to convince the visitor to perform a certain action.

It sounds complicated but it is not.

For example, see the email campaign below:

As you can see, this email provides access to a site analysis tool . In this tool, you have access to an assessment of the performance of your website including SEO, to compare with the websites of your competitors!

In the above paragraph, we use 24 words to say about the same thing 3 words CTA: analyze my website.

We could give many other examples of good CTAs texts we see out there, but there is one case in particular that is worth being highlighted: the CTAs of the Amazon purchase page.

call to action - amazon

This picture, the right side of a product page this summarizes various information that is important for making purchase decision: price, discount amount, freight value and availability. To complete, there’s still two options: add to the cart or skip this step and buy with just a click.

In the case of an ecommerce, where each visit is a chance of making a sale, have a good Call to Action can often define whether this sale will be, or not realized, and Amazon does it well, reducing the friction of conversions.

In short, CTAs must have short texts that convey the principal benefit of the offer and tell what happens next.

For this, some tips:

  • Start with verbs and be specific. If what you expect is that visitors take an action, make clear what is it. Also indicate to the user exactly about what the offer is. Use, for example, “download your eBook here” or “receive an email budget.”
  • Use verbs in the imperative ( “download”) or the infinitive ( “download”). The ideal is to test both options in different settings to find what works best.
  • Create urgency. Words such as “today” and “now” show how easy and immediate action is.
  • Use numbers to show benefits. It is interesting to make as clear as possible to the user what he is doing and a way to better demonstrate the benefits of action is indicated by numbers. “Win now 30% off” or “Buy now for only $ 15” are good examples.
  • Offer something worth being clicked: This is the most obvious, but often overlooked. Do not expect the user to perform the action only because that’s what you want. It will only click if his interest. So it is important that the call offer is interesting indeed.

Where to place a Call to Action

All pages of a website should have a goal. For example, while in some the main purpose is the sale of a product, we may have other download materials, budget requests, start a free trial etc.

Based on this principle, every page should have a Call to Action, ie indicate which is the next step to be taken.

However, today it is common to find sites that have been made without thinking in these objectives, posts or pages of products and services without a specific goal. This leads these sites to leave out several business opportunities.

Regardless of these problems, the big question is to identify which Calls-to-Action should be in every place.

For this, consider at least these three factors:

1 – Personas

It sounds simple, but think for anyone who is offering and what problem your persona solves this offer.

For example, in a post on the blog focused on technology companies, a material on strategies for education companies will not make sense for the persona you want to attract.

2 – Offer stage in the purchase journey

Think of CTAs that make sense to the provision in question.

For example, a Call to Action budget request in a blog article that has the objective of attracting many visitors who do not know your company probably will not have good performance.

Similarly, on a page where you explain your product, it makes sense for a Call to Action in order to get a subscription to the newsletter.

3 – Background

As stated earlier, the CTA context will be essential to define your success.

A great example that illustrates the proper use of contextualized CTAs and synergy between personas and buying journey is the Teclan , a company that has a solution for contact centers.

By accessing a product page that talks about IVR (Interactive Voice Response), you find two CTAs: a budget request, for those who are closer to the time of purchase, and the other offering a half funnel material, whose focus it is to attract the interest of those who are not yet sure about the solution and want to delve into the concept:

call to action - teclan

Another important point is that one need not be confined to your site.

Calls-to-Action can also be in the PDFs of your company in campaigns Email Marketing , in email signatures of employees, social media, videos, printed materials , and elsewhere can communicate.

To understand how the environment impacts the result of conversion of a page, we recommend the Webinar “Creating Effective Landing Pages” .

The context and page optimization as a whole are very important in the conversion process and the guilt of a bad conversion rate may have nothing to do with the Call to Action.

There must be a very great harmony between him and the rest of the page so that both work well.

This is because, remembering the AIDA concept, the attention and interest can from the Call to Action. The desire, however, requires a slightly larger examination by the visitor and is part of the Landing Page to provide this information and make this conviction.

How to choose the ideal format of a Call To Action

There is a plethora of shapes and versions a CTA can take, but they all start from basically three, which we will explore in this chapter.


Buttons are one of the formats found in the opening pages of sites (usually above the fold, that is, visible before a visitor scroll down the page), forms, email campaigns, ecommerce shopping pages, among others.

Usually they help facilitate action on a decision that has been made at that time.

An example is the home page of Dropbox , which has a form and a button that full page action.

call to action dropbox

Another example is the site of Digital Marketing .

In it there are two buttons with two different colors (watch a demo and test free – with more emphasis):


Currently, it is one of the most used formats on blogs, social media and display ads on networks.

It is an image that, by itself, provides more context than just a button, depending on other page elements.

One example is a fixed CTA to use in the sidebar of our blog:

call to action banner sidebar

As you read the article, it is always present and in this particular case, the offer is not strictly related to the article, you need to give more context on the image itself.

Another example is what we use as imaging materials to promote on Facebook:

call to action myths of digital marketing

Links in texts

This format, though often have a character of internal link , is not limited to blog posts or other pages on the site. You can also use them in other environments, such as emails more personal tone, texts eBooks, videos etc.

In the example below, in an email of results trails , we chose to use CTAs in text format to ensure that they appear even if the email images were not displayed.

call to action results trail

5 tips to make your Call to Actions being noticed

The general calls are mixed in the middle of all page content cake, which often causes them not to be perceived by users. To make your call to stand, separated five interesting tips for use:

Use contrasting colors

All elements of the site, including text, images and logo are competing directly with the call by the user’s attention.

If you want the user to look for a particular call, it must stand up in his eyes (a).

Use a color that contrasts with the other page elements can be a good way to ensure attention.

In the circle, a color contrasting with that is in the opposite position. Tools like Paletton facilitate this process of identification.

Choose a good position

Put the call on a position comfortable for viewing.

It is important to leave a visible call without the user having to scroll the bar. On the Internet we call it leave “above the fold”.

The term, which means “above the fold”, has its origins in the printed newspaper, in which the most important headlines should appear before the point where the cover is folded.

Insert images

The images naturally get more attention than words on a first look. If your call contains an image, it’s likely to be perceived.

As an example, we use normally calls for eBooks Digital results contain an image of the cover of the eBook.

Indicate with arrows

Arrows have an almost unique power to implicitly say “ignore everything else and look here, that’s what matters.”

Stir with size

Of course, the call size also makes much difference. Use the size of each call according to their importance.

6 tips for making your Call to Actions clicked

Many small details of the call can sometimes make all the difference. It does no good just to be noticed, you need to make it interesting to be clicked. So go here over six tips:

Be specific

Tell you exactly what you want him to do and how.

Use, for example, “receives here your eBook” or “register yourself” instead of a simple “click here” or “contact”.

Create urgency

Phrases such as “buy now” or “receive today” show how easy and immediate is the action and usually work just fine.

Use numbers

It is interesting to make as clear as possible to the user what he is doing and a way to better demonstrate the benefits of action is indicated by numbers. “Win now 30% off” or “Buy now for only $ 15.00” are good examples.

Ensure that your calls follow the web of conventions

Keep underlined and / or in a different color from the rest of the text links. If using a button, it is interesting to use a 3D effect that gives the appearance of clickable.

Make sure everything works as link (texts, images or buttons) change the default mouse cursor format (one small arrow) to the clickable mode (a pointing hand).

Stir with emotion using colors

Besides the already mentioned contrast, it is important to use the colors by emotion they carry.

Orange for example, is often associated with positive feelings. But the green carries the message of permission or go ahead and so on.

The post “Design oriented to conversion: How to choose the colors of a Landing Page for the best result” better addresses the issue.

Offer something actually worth being clicked

This is the most obvious, but often quite forgotten.

Do not expect the user to perform the action only because that’s what you want. It will only click if his interest.

So it is important that the call of the offer is interesting indeed.

How to analyze the results of a Call to Action

The main success metric of a Call to Action is the CTR (Click-through Rate, or Click Rate).

This is answer the following question: of all people who may have seen the Call to Action, how many clicked?

There are a few ways to get that information. A very affordable and it requires little (actually almost no) technical expertise is through Google Analytics itself.

You can do as follows:

  1. By choosing the link to where your point CTA will also create some tracking parameters in the URL Builder and use this link on your CTA tracked.
  2. Let the CTA in the air for a while, and when it’s time to analyze the results, go to the GA and see the number of visitors to the page where the CTA is.
  3. Now see how many visitors came to the landing page of the CTA through the tracked link you created in step 1 (the post that indicated there, you will find the way to reach that number.

The CTR is the division between the third step number (visitors from CTA) and the second step number (the page where visitors are CTA).

For example, if 1,000 people visited the page where the CTA is 100 and visited the page to which it points CTA, the CTR is 100/1000, ie 10%.

To pick up these two numbers, stay tuned to the selected period in Analytics to be the same period of analysis in both surveys.

By doing tests to change the CTA, always measure the CTR, it is the metric that will translate the performance of your calls.

Putting their hands dirty

Now that you know what you are Call-to-Actions and all the importance in a inbound marketing strategy, it’s time to learn how to create CTAs in practice.

The final tip is that is research well before creating your CTAs. Look for references, look at pages of companies that you admire, see what the big conversion optimization players are doing. Also analyze the emails, social media and advertisements of these companies.

Do not forget, to do this research, look for an optical critical thinking on the steps of AIDA, the page value proposition, the elements that are around the CTA etc.

To learn more about this practical part, now download “The Practical Guide to the Call to Action” , a material that, beyond all theoretical contextualization presented in this post, also has a step-by-step how to create CTAs own and some ready and editable templates for you to use in your promotions.