How to Create an Effective Call-to-Action

Posted by Innovations Branding House

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A call-to-action (CTA) encourages your audience to do something. That something can be as simple as “read this article,” or it may involve more effort, such as “sign our petition.” Either way, CTAs are used to tell the reader what to do next.

With inbound marketing, CTAs usually involve bold buttons that stand out from the rest of the page.

There are two types of CTAs: primary and secondary. Primary CTAs reflect the main action you want visitors to take.  Maybe you want them to get involved with your cause or to buy a product. Secondary CTAs exist for other, slightly less significant, actions you want visitors to complete. 

These will still provide value to the end user, but they don’t require as much commitment. Such actions might include downloading an eBook or following your company on social media.

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DoSomething.org displays a primary CTA ("Do This") with 3 secondary CTAs below it.

To begin developing an effective call-to-action, you’ll first need to know your target audience.  Who is your ideal consumer? Once you have a clearly-defined persona in mind, ask yourself which primary action you want this person to take. What about a secondary action?

When designing CTAs, there are three key elements that will help attract your ideal consumer:

  1. Grab their attention

With your buyer persona in mind, create a striking design that will appeal to this type of consumer. You have a small window of opportunity in which to attract them. Otherwise, they’ll quickly move on to something else.

  1. Why should it matter to them?

You must clearly identify how completing this action will help improve your visitors’ lives. What sort of value is being provided?  Will clicking your CTA help lighten their load, teach them new things, or make them feel better?

  1. Choose your words wisely

To produce action, use words that encourage action. The right CTA button is clear but not wordy, direct but not commanding, and inspiring but not soft.  Verb choice is essential here. A few good examples include “Sign up,” “Start,” “Learn,” “Donate,” and “Help.”

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The American Red Cross website uses a design that captures your attention, a value statement of why your help matters and a CTA button that gets to the point.


If done correctly, CTAs can easily increase your company’s customers and improve your conversion rate.  Learn more by consulting with the marketing professionals at Innovations Branding House!

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Topics: Marketing

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