How to create an effective call to action?

A call to action (CTA), translated into French by a call-to-action button, is an essential tool in converting your visitors into qualified prospects.

Leading Internet users to head to a landing page, that is to say a website voting page where your visitors "land" after clicking on a CTA, it has an essential place in an inbound marketing strategy.

Would you like to know more about the call to action and know the tips to optimize them? Our article is for you!

Morvan Carrier

Acquisition Strategist & Co-Founder


What is a call to action?

The definition of a call to action

A call to action, or CTA, is a clickable element that is very often found on the pages of websites, but also in blog articles or in emails. The goal is to influence Internet users to carry out a specific action as part of a marketing strategy, and useful to advance them in their conversion process.

Like what:

  • Download a guide,
  • Register for a webinar,
  • Subscribe to a newsletter,
  • Request a demo, ...

A CTA can take several forms: an image, a button, a pop-up, a link, etc... It most often refers to a landing page, or landing page in French, dedicated to the offer initially proposed by the CTA (example: download of a white paper, registration for a webinar, appointment request, ...).

You are beginning to understand that the call to action is much more than just a button! It is one of the pillars of a good inbound marketing strategy. However, its objectives and implementation may differ depending on:

  • The chosen target.
  • Its level of maturity.
  • The action you want her to perform..

💡 You can also set up a "smart" CTA. Let's take an example: a visitor downloads a white paper, which means that the next time they visit your website, they will be offered a new download. The CTA then adapts to the user, which allows you to personalize your contacts.

The call to action in an inbound marketing strategy

As explained earlier, CTA is an essential element in your inbound marketing strategy. It is the link between your content (helps attract visitors) and your offer (turns the visitor into a lead).

For example, an unknown visitor starts reading your blog. During this reading, he comes across a CTA of an article: "Download our template".

  • In a first, it will land on the landing page associated with the CTA.
  • He will then take note of the offer.
  • And fill out the form to have access to the template in question.

And that's it, you now have one more lead in your database! But the call to action is especially interesting to use during the stage of converting your lead into a prospect. It is he who triggers this conversion.

Indeed, let's imagine that your new lead receives your newsletter. You talk about your new offer, and insert a CTA "Learn more". Wishing to know more, your lead clicks on the link in question and, in a perfect world, wants to make an appointment. From lead, it passes prospect.

As you will have understood, without CTA you will have a hard time achieving your goals:

  • Your articles will only serve as a reading for your visitors.
  • Your landing pages will not be visible.
  • And your forms will be just as useful as a sweater in the heat wave.

Conclusion: without a call to action, your content will be purely and simply informative.

Why is a call to action important?

A CTA is an essential element on a web page, it is a signal sent to Internet users that tells them the actions to be performed. That's why without an easy-to-understand CTA, your target will have a hard time knowing what to do to continue their journey. He will remove the obstacles and encourage him to continue.

Internet users then clearly know what action to take as they move forward in the marketing funnel. CTA makes conversion easier, so you need to maximize your chances by making the process easier for people.

You can also have multiple calls to action on a page, which can cause the user to perform multiple actions. Be careful, however, not to lose it, your CTAs must be thought out and placed strategically.

Let's take a simple example. When you read a blog post, if you can't find a clear call to action once you're done reading, there's a good chance you'll leave the website without having made any other interactions.

On the other hand, if you come across a CTA at the bottom of the page offering you articles related to the one you have just read or subscribed to a newsletter, it will encourage you to continue to interact with the web page.

💡 Also, keep in mind that by offering free downloadable content, you can request contact information through a form. You turn your visitors into leads!

Before optimizing a call to action

Building a CTA is being prepared, just as building a house without having laid the foundation is not possible, or you may end up with a more than wobbly building. That's why you must first define your goal and then establish the profile of your target.

Define your goal

Do you want to create one or more CTAs? Very good, but for what? What actions do you want your visitors to perform? Want them to sign up for a webinar? That they ask for an appointment? Or that they book a demo?

Whatever the goal, it must be precise and straightforward. Do not knock out your target by offering several choices or too many options. This could hurt your conversion rate. So you have to be in a vase with yourself and what you desire.

Know your target

We can never repeat it enough but all marketing actions begin with a good knowledge of its target! What for? Because by understanding her needs, her problems and her motivations, you will know more able to persuade her that your offer is the one she needs! For this one, just work your buyer persona.

You can then optimize your CTAs by thinking:

  • The tone to be used: formal or informal.
  • Design: choice of colors, typography, visuals, etc...
  • To the desired action: such as downloading a guide, receiving a template, getting an appointment...

How to optimize a call to action?

To work and optimize your CTA, you need to focus on four elements, mainly: the design, the message, the location of your CTA and the tests to be performed. By following these tips, you should be able to boost your conversion rates!

Thinking about design

To get your visitors to click on your call to action, it must be sufficiently visible, that is, it must be different from the rest of the page. It must jump to the eyes of your Internet users, attract their eyes from tac to tac.

You can, for example, test different contrasts, try different sizes and shapes for your CTA, choose colors or visuals impacting, various typographies etc ... Regardless, just remember that the graphic aspect is important!

  • It must contrast sufficiently with the color of the background to be visible.
  • It must attract the eye, but correspond to your brand guidelines

Work on your message

Write an effective offer

The objective of a CTA is to push the User to action. Your message must therefore be transparent and understandable: visitors must know what awaits them by clicking on your CTA and what they will be able to get out of it.

Then check that your call to action clearly indicates to him what he will get in return for his click. And above all, be concise in your words!

Use action verbs

There is no point in having writing skills to write a CTA. You have to be succinct and direct: choose your words correctly and remove those that are useless. And we forget the "click here" a little boat and not really effective!

Prefer action verbs using the infinitive (download), the imperative (download) but also the first person of the indicative (I download).

Create a sense of urgency

The sense of urgency is a psychological device that can be transformed into a real click catalyst! Often, when you don't immediately click on a CTA as soon as you see, there's very little chance that you'll come back to it later.

But with the sense of urgency, you encourage people to take the action next:

  • by using temporal terms like now or today.
  • by creating a feeling of scarcity by limiting the number of places for example.

Be careful though, use this technique sparingly so as not to scare away your visitors.

Choose your location

Always with the aim of being easily identifiable, a CTA must have a strategic and thoughtful location. It must be highlighted and not get lost among the wealth of information present on your web page, in your article or in your e-mail.

It must be visible and easily accessible: it can be in the middle of the page, of more or large size and preferably in an airy space.

To help you, put yourself in the place of your target: when they visit your website, when is they most likely to click on your call to action? Also, don't forget to think responsive, a CTA on a mobile phone probably won't have the same head as on a computer.

Be careful, however, not to take the reader too far away from your content. Your CTA must not interfere with their experience as a visitor.

💡 There is an additional space for your CTAs: pop-up windows. This is a window that is automatically displayed when opening a web page. It is generally used when:

  • a download of a lead magnet associated with an article for example.
  • a subscription, such as a newsletter or webinar.

Some people may consider pop-ups to be intrusive. Others find them rather effective in terms of conversion, when the CTA is successful, that is, when it:

  • offers an interesting offer,
  • in relation to the content of the page,
  • and that the pop-up appears at an appropriate time.

But the only way to check the effectiveness of your strategy is to do tests!

Test and improve

Use A/B test

You can't know in advance what will work, or not, even knowing your target at your fingertips. But by performing tests, you will be able to eliminate unwanted elements, and effectively optimize your CTAs!

The principle of A/B testing is to test a version A and a version B of your call to action over a period. You must then compare the two versions, and choose the best option, the one that will be the most effective according to your goals and your target.

Keep in mind that an A/B test only varies one parameter at a time, which allows you to analyze the impact of the change in question on the conversion rate. Like what:

  • Two different texts,
  • Two different colors,
  • Two different locations.

Use the MVT method

There is a second option: multivariate testing (MVT) or Multivariate Test, a derivative of the A/B test. The idea is to find all possible associations to test for your CTA according to the number of variables.

For example, you want to change the color of your CTA by testing blue, orange, and green. But you also want to change its text because you do not know what to choose between the formulations "Request your appointment" or "Contact our team".

With this technique, you will save time! By adding other combinations, such as changing the location of your CTA (at the top or bottom of the page), to our example we end up with many different variations to test.

The automatic realization of the different associations allows you to be more efficient in the search for the variants that convert the best!

Examples of call to action

A call to action is generally safe:

  • a site
  • an article
  • an e-mail
  • social networks

Generally, the CTA leads to a landing page, which itself proposes a second action to be carried out to obtain the offer initially proposed. The logic often remains the same, but there may be variations depending on your target, their level of maturity and the desired end goal.

FAQ: All you need to know about Call to action

🤔 What is a call to action?

A CTA or call to action translates into French as "appel à l'action". It is an element containing a proposal leading the visitor to carry out a particular action in order to advance him in the marketing funnel. CTA is therefore a digital marketing tool to convert visitors into leads, then into prospects.

🤓 What is the purpose of a call to action?

A call to action is a digital marketing tool. It tells your target how to continue interacting with your website in order to continue their journey and removes potential obstacles. Without cTA, your content has above all an informative value but does not allow to convert a visitor into a lead and then a prospect.

👉 How to test your call to action?

To examine the effectiveness of a call to action, it is possible to use the A/B testing method. The idea is to test a version A and a version B. Then just compare which one worked best. But you can also use the MVT or Multivariate Test method. It involves modifying several elements simultaneously and analyzing the impact.