What is CTA in Marketing?

Converting visitors into customers is the core task performed by digital marketers. This conversion requires grabbing the attention of your target audience and persuading them to take action (and convert). This makes the call to action (CTA) the most crucial part of any marketing campaign. It is used to persuade your ideal customers to click and convert. If you don’t know what is CTA in marketing and why it is important, keep reading.

What is CTA in Marketing?

what is cta in marketing

A CTA (call to action) is a prompt (e.g., a button or link) on your website that guides users to take a specified action. CTAs are usually instructions that lead the users to the next step in the sales funnel

Here is an example of a CTA button:

cta example

The red button below the email form is the CTA button that serves two key purposes:

  1. It grabs user attention as it is prominent and stands out of the crowd
  2. It tells the users what they’re supposed to do to move to the next step.

CTAs are used extensively in marketing where you want to convert visitors into leads. At the same time, a call to action is used to guide visitors and tell them what they’re supposed to do once they’re on your website.

Not all internet users know what they’re supposed to do when they visit your website. You have to guide them via CTAs. Imagine a landing page without a call to action. Visitors will not know what to do and they’ll leave the website.

So, a CTA guides users on what action they need to take once they’re on your website.

Why CTA is Important

A call to action is one of the most important elements of your website. 

It is directly linked to conversion rate and one of the first elements that you have to test for CRO. A prominent and attention-grabbing CTA on a landing page persuades visitors to click and convert:

call to action stats

Here is an example of how CTA increased conversions by 36%:

call to action case study

CRO and CTA go hand in hand. The first thing that you have to do to improve conversions is to test CTA. Create its variations and see what works best in terms of conversion rate.

From this perspective, call to action plays a direct role in leads, sales, and revenue.

Besides, CTA is also linked to user experience. As discussed, the primary purpose of a call to action is to guide users on what action they’re required to take to move ahead. And this is a key component of user experience.

For example, think of an ecommerce store that has no ‘Add to Cart’ button and no ‘Checkout’ button. How’d users feel?

Lost, right?

So, a call to action improves user experience by guiding them on your website.

3 Elements of an Effective CTA

Despite the importance of using CTAs, a lot of marketers don’t use them. A whopping 70% of websites don’t have a CTA button on their homepage:

call to action statistics

Those who use call to actions, don’t use them properly. An ineffective CTA is useless. It won’t grab attention and will ruin the conversion rate. Here are the elements and techniques that make your CTA effective and worth clicking:

  1. Prominence
  2. Accept/reject
  3. First person.

1. Prominence

The call to action must be the most prominent element on the entire page. And the best way to make CTA prominent is to use a contrasting color.

It is scientifically proven that humans have the natural ability to detect contrast in their environment and we pay attention to visually different elements. Here is an example:

call to action case study

Changing button color from green to red increased conversions by 21%. This isn’t about the red color rather the contrasting color. The red button is more prominent than green on this landing page and this is what grabbed user attention.

Make your CTA prominent so it grabs attention immediately without any delay.

2. Accept/Reject

According to a study, if you force people to accept or reject an offer, it triggers loss aversion. This is because they start considering the benefits they’ll miss when they’ll reject an option. And this makes them accept the offer so they can enjoy the benefits.

Joanna used this technique to see how it impacts conversions. She increased the conversion rate by 400-500%. Here is the CTA that she used:

call to action example

She created two different CTAs where she gave an option to the users to reject or accept the offer. This is what did the trick.

In such a case, people are most likely to accept the offer to avoid missing the benefits. Use this technique to increase the CTR of your CTAs.

3. First Person

Using the first person in CTA text is a proven technique to increase click-through rate (and conversions). Here is an example:

call to action case study

Changing a single word increased the CTR by 90%. It wasn’t a fluke, rather a scientifically proven technique. Research shows that a person is more likely to perform a task if he/she can see himself/herself performing it. This is what exactly happens in the first person. Your target audience can see itself doing the task and they click the CTA button.

According to another study, people develop a favorable attitude towards a stimulus if they can mentally interact with it (also known as self-projection). They can mentally evaluate the CTA and see themselves doing it due to the first person. And they end up clicking it.

Using first person wording in your CTAs persuade your target audience to click it and convert.

CTA in Marketing is Everything

Yes, a call to action is everything.

Because your marketing campaigns are aimed at persuading people to click the CTA and convert. Think of a PPC ad, blog post, landing page, or any other marketing collateral. They’re all based on the call to action.

Creating a CTA, however, isn’t a one-off task. It requires optimization by A/B testing different variations. You need to tweak CTA elements (as discussed above) and then test different versions to see which one performs better.

Don’t just stick with a single CTA.

Featured Image: Unsplash

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