Call to action

Call-to-action (CTA) definition: Best practices, examples & more

What is a call-to-action (CTA)?

In the digital era, where attention spans are fleeting and competition is fierce, each online interaction needs to count. Enter the call to action; a powerful tool that can transform passive browsers into engaged participants.

Put simply, a call to action is a compelling prompt or action phrase designed to encourage specific user actions throughout the conversion funnel, including to explore related content, drive signups or make a purchase.

CTAs typically take the form of buttons, banners or text links and they're found on websites and social media, in emails and videos as well as various other forms of content.

Here's what you need to know about them 👇

How do CTAs help encourage desired customer actions?

CTAs are effective in guiding customers to complete specific actions because:

  • They provide clear directions, leaving no room for confusion about the desired action
  • They leverage psychological triggers, including action-oriented language and design elements create a sense of urgency and excitement
  • They simplify the user experience by minimising steps required to achieve a goal

Best practices to creating CTAs

Creating attractive CTAs needs thoughtful planning. Consider the following best practices:

  • Visual impact - design CTAs with contrasting colours and bold typography to ensure they catch the eye
  • Strategic placement - position CTAs where they make the most sense, such as above the fold or at the end of relevant content
  • Mobile responsiveness - given the prevalence of mobile browsing, ensure that CTAs are easily clickable and visible on smaller screens
  • Value proposition - clearly communicate the benefit users will gain from clicking the CTA
  • Continuous testing - regularly perform A/B testing to refine and improve your CTAs based on user behaviour.

Where should you place CTAs?

Strategically placing CTAs across a web and landing pages enhances user engagement. Here are the locations you can think about deploying them in:

  • Above the fold - placing CTAs at the top of the page ensures immediate visibility without scrolling
  • Integrated in content - relevant CTAs within articles encourage readers to explore related topics
  • Sidebar companion - sidebar CTAs can offer secondary actions or lead generation opportunities
  • End of content - CTAs at the end of articles capitalise on user interest, prompting further actions
  • Pop-ups - thoughtfully designed pop-up CTAs, when timed well, can be effective in capturing attention

6 CTA examples

Now that we've learnt about CTAs, let's take a look at some key examples:

  • Signup CTAs - "sign up to our newsletter", "sign up to our webinar", "sign up to our event"
  • Subscribe CTAs - "subscribe to our YouTube channel", "subscribe to our podcast", "subscribe to our blog"
  • Share CTAs - "share our LinkedIn post", "forward this meme", "pin this image to your board"
  • Download CTAs - "download our white paper", "download our report", "download our template"
  • Transactional CTAs - "get a quote", "add to cart", "buy now"
  • Exit-intent CTAs - "Wait! Don't leave without redeeming your 15% discount", "Leaving already? Grab our latest report before you go", "Help us improve your experience"

CTAs and A/B testing

Creating a successful CTA is not a one-time task. This is when A/B testing comes in handy.

A/B testing entails producing numerous variations of a CTA and comparing their performance to see which one performs best. Elements such as positioning, colour, phrasing and design can all have a significant impact on the effectiveness of a CTA.

Content providers learn about user behaviour and preferences by running A/B testing. These insights aid in the optimisation of CTAs, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.


In essence, a CTA is a digital guide for customers, directing them towards the actions you want them to take.

By strategically placing clickable buttons or links within content and measuring their click-through rates, you can drive brand awareness, sales and customer loyalty.

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