What are Calls to Action (CTA) and How Do You Use Them

Marketing tragedy is often born from poor Call To Action (CTA) strategy.  Nothing is worse for a marketer than to learn that customers were ready to move forward but lacked clarity on what to do next. 

Some struggle to incorporate calls to action because they feel insecure about asking prospects to commit. Others simply have poor attention to detail and spend all their time on ad design and targeting.

But understanding what CTAs are and how to use them can make the difference between scaling or closing your business. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Call to Action (CTA)?

A call to action, or CTA, is a marketing term for flagging the consumer’s next step of the buyer’s journey

Usually displayed in the form of a short phrase, hyperlinked text, or button, CTAs urge ad respondents or web visitors to “act now,” “buy today,” or “click here to learn more.” CTAs keep prospects moving forward in the buying process and eliminate any ambiguity about what they need to do next.

Why are CTAs Important?

Believe it or not, CTAs are UX design 101. In UX (user experience) design, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for a web visitor to take the next step.

Without a healthy CTA strategy, buyers may not know what to do with the information you provide, especially if you’ve created an ad and hope to generate sales. Just as it’s inappropriate to assume that all prospects are ready to buy, it’s also wrong to assume that prospects aren’t interested in making some level of commitment to solve their problem with your help.

That’s why every marketer should make liberal use of CTAs throughout their marketing mix and media. Not every CTA needs to urge prospects to buy. In fact, many CTAs simply invite prospects to move forward with a click to view a webpage or sign up for a newsletter.

What are the Benefits of a Call to Action?

CTAs are a must in any marketing strategy, and any website, ad, or branded post without a call to action could result in lost sales. Aside from it being an essential component of your marketing efforts, CTAs offer several benefits.

Create a Sense of Urgency

CTAs can anticipate customer reactions and generate a sense of urgency. If they were interested yet felt somewhat lackadaisical about next steps, a strong CTA could win them over.

That said, over-using ultra urgent words and phrases could reduce the effectiveness of your CTAs. If you don’t feel comfortable crafting compelling CTAs, you should consider speaking with a digital marketing professional.

Break the Sales Process into Several Low-risk, Actionable Steps

Most buyers don’t read an interesting post, ad, or blog and feel ready to spend money right away. Creating CTAs with various commitment levels can break down your sales process into several steps, each of which brings the prospect closer to a sale.

Under “Call to Action Examples,” we’ll see how some brands accomplish.

Give Prospects More Opportunities to Take the Initiative

Regardless of how complicated your product or service may be, many buyers would like to take the initiative. Creating relevant CTAs gives your customers an opportunity to do so. 

If you feel the need to onboard your clients, you can create alerts as prospects click the next CTA in the sales process. You can reach out to clients proactively and continue the onboarding or sales process. 

Trackable CTRs

Calls to action linked to landing pages and web forms give you and your team the opportunity to track your customer buyer’s journey. Using analytics tools, you can watch the path that each prospect takes from the moment they first engage your brand to the point of sale.

These trackable links point to CTRs, or click-thru rates. Your CTRs measure how often and when prospects clicked a hyperlinked call to action on a web page, ad, or post.

Increased Sales

The obvious byproduct of a strong CTA strategy is increased sales. Clearly marking where the customer can buy or add products to their cart allows customers to complete their transaction seamlessly.

Call to Action Examples

Calls to action will look slightly different depending upon your products, services, and audience. They will also depend greatly on your marketing objectives. For example, if you’ve built a campaign to generate awareness, then you’re more likely to utilize a “Learn more” CTA model than you would a “Buy now” model.

The screenshot below comes from a landing page built for LinkedIn ad from Advisory Cloud. Upon arriving on the landing page, the prospect has the opportunity to “Get started” by providing an email address.

By entering their email and pressing the CTA button, Advisory Cloud now has opt-in permission from the prospect for newsletter or special offer emails. Additionally, the prospect can ease into the sales process through Advisory Cloud’s carefully constructed landing page sequence.

Direct-to-consumer brands, such as 6dollarshirts (see below), can use CTAs to take a social media user off their Instagram newsfeed and into the online store. 6dollarshirts displays a few product examples and then invites the consumer to “Shop now.”

Another popular CTA among web services providers is to invite web visitors to “Schedule a Demo,” like the Emotive page below demonstrates. Demos are usually free and allow prospects to experience the product/service risk-free.


One of the best places for CTAs is on the product offering page of your website. You might list your services or product line with a description and – depending on your strategy – your prices. 

In the Google Suite product page below, prices are clearly marked with a CTA to “Get started.” Notice how Google doesn’t say “Buy now.” Instead, they offer a limited trial, ongoing price point, and then invite users to launch their free trial with a compelling – yet non-pushy – CTA.

Each of these CTA examples can help you incorporate a CTA strategy for your business on your website, ads, and social media posts. 


In Conclusion

As a quick recap, failing to include calls to action on your owned and paid media will not just confuse prospects, but it will also cause you to lose sales. Further, you can structure your CTAs to help you track the path your customers take from brand awareness to purchase decision. 

Your CTAs should urge prospects to buy when the time and environment is right. But just because the situation doesn’t call for a “Buy now” CTA doesn’t mean that you should neglect to use one at all. A CTA can invite consumers to visit your online store, try a product demo, subscribe to a newsletter, claim a coupon code, and more!

The right marketing company will help you put the strategy together and handle the implementation. Your successful CTA strategy can be just a few clicks away. Contact us today!

1 thought on “What are Calls to Action (CTA) and How Do You Use Them”

  1. hi there. thanks for sharing this information with us in such a precise manner, this article is really very informative and easy to understand.

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