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Call to Action (CTA) Best Practices

Call to Action Best Practices

Written By: Tom Ogg



No matter if you are using a website, email or other digital media, your “Call to Action” should be the focus of the media to get prospective new clients to take the action that you want them to take.


A value packed CTA will dramatically increase the results that your digital marketing can produce for you and this should be your primary objective of digital marketing.


Having a strong CTA will produce a higher CTR (Click Through Rate) and will result in more leads to convert to sales. So let’s take a look at some of the best practices for a robust CTA. Here are some things to consider when creating your digital marketing campaign and your CTA.


“What’s in it For Me?”

Your Call to Action should be benefit oriented, not activity oriented. Remember the old marketing saying “sell the sizzle, not the steak?” nothing could be more true when crafting a motivating CTA. Your CTA should address and answer the reader’s question “What’s in it For Me?


Here are some common buttons and sayings that simply ask for activity that you should avoid at all cost.

* Click
* Click Here
* Download
* Shop
* More
* Continue
* Fill Out Form
* Submit Your Information


All of these common CTA buttons or text don’t tell the reader why they should take the action. Worse, they all sound like work and in some cases invasive to their privacy. They are more likely to repel clicks than garner them.


Also, all of these tend to be focused on the CTA provider, not the customer. None of them answer the question “What’s in it For Me?”


Here are some examples of benefit oriented CTAs that will motivate clicks and leads. These assume that you are using eBooks to further the reader’s interest and to generate leads

* Cruise the Danube Like a Pro!
* Discover Waikiki’s Hidden Beaches
* 15 Secrets You Must Know Before River Cruising
* Lock in Your $200 OBC NOW!
* The Truth About Jamaican All Inclusive Resorts
* Save $100s on Alaska Shore Excursions
* Hidden Jewels on a South American Cruise
* Limited Space Left. Reserve Your Vacation NOW!


As you can see, in the first group it seems like the CTA is simply work for the reader and in the second group the CTAs are laden with benefits for the reader.


Make Your CTA Multi-Faceted

Many people that read your digital message may rather telephone, text or email to reach out to you in the way they feel most comfortable. This is definitely true if you are selling to niche markets as seniors will especially want to use the telephone to contact you. For this reason your CTA should also include clickable telephone, text and email links in addition to the CTA for your landing page.


This additional information doesn’t need to be included right in the CTA button or graphic, but should be readily available on every page.


Above the Fold

Decades ago it was no secret that the best position for a newspaper advertisement was on the right hand side of the page “above the fold”. Above the fold referred to the area above the fold mark of the newspaper. This area had the greatest readership and was highly coveted. In digital media “above the fold” refers to the area that appears on the screen without having to scroll down the page to view it.


In fact, the most viewed part of a static digital image is just above the fold and slightly to the right of center. However, given that your message may be appearing on a desktop, notebook, tablet or smart phone you can easily see the challenge.


The very best solution is to create a succinct and precise presentation of your specific value proposition with a CTA that appears above the fold in all situations. One can easily link below the fold for more detailed information and also pursue links to other content for further information. In all cases, the CTA should appear both able the fold and also at the conclusion of your most compelling content describing your value proposition. This gives readers an opportunity to thou=roughly evaluate your offer and make an informed decision if they want to pursue it.


Consistency is Everything

Your Call to Action needs to be completely consistent with your overall marketing campaign. Whether you are dealing with email marketing, social media marketing, website marketing or any other type of digital media marketing designed to produce potential leads, your CTA needs to be consistent.


Let’s say that you are content marketing for river cruisers and have produced an article entitled “10 Must Dos for a Successful River Cruise” and your objective is to get potential river cruisers to download an ebook so that you can capture their email address and permission to email them content. Your CTA should be consistent with the content of the article and promise further “Must Dos”. In this case the CTA might read “23 Additional Must Dos for River Cruising Success”


CTA Buttons Colors and Contrast

The most critical element of a CTA is that it must be recognized for what it is, be engaging and motivating, be easily seen on all devices and also be easy to read and click. Choosing the right button shape and color is critical to achieving a high click through rate. While the two best colors are green and orange, it all depends on the page that the CTA button appears. In all cases it should offer a high contrast with its background and also be easily readable.


Remember that the CTA may be viewed on various types of devices and it is critical that it be readable and clickable on smart phones, as well as desktop monitors and everything in-between.


Also, avoid colors that are not contrasting and also avoid using beiges, tones of red and pink and other colors that those with color disabilities might have difficulty seeing clearly. High contrast is always the look you should opt for.


By making your CTA an integral part of your overall digital marketing campaign you will be rewarded with exceptional results and additional clients.