Every time you subscribe to a newsletter, install an app, download a case study, or purchase a product, it’s because someone invited you to do so. Even if you seek out the thing (whatever that may be), you click on a button that says something like “Buy Now” or “Learn More,” right? You are responding to calls to action (CTAs).

If you want people to buy a product or service, or get involved with your cause, don’t assume they know what you want them to do. You need calls to action to do the job.

At its most basic, a call to action, or CTA, is used to try to get someone to do something you desire them to do. “In marketing, CTAs help a business convert a viewer, visitor, or reader into a lead for the sales team,” writes Brittany Leaning for HubSpot. Effective CTAs range from deepening engagement sales, repeat sales, and happy customers telling others how great it is to do business with you.

“If you want people to buy a product or service, or get involved with your cause, don’t assume they know what you want them to do. You need a call to action.”

Where to use a call to action

Every piece of marketing content you create needs at least one CTA. Once you have someone’s attention, don’t waste the opportunity — ask them to take a next step of engagement with you. The call to action is not always an ask to buy something. Even a primarily informational piece of content can invite readers to download a summary or infographic, respond with comments, or subscribe to a podcast on the topic.

Good marketers and web designers know the strategic importance of CTAs to achieve marketing outcomes, as well as to help visitors navigate a website. According to this article in Entrepreneur, “Customers want signs or buttons in order to act, be it ‘Buy now’ or ‘Sign up for our newsletter’ or ’Click here for more information.’” In fact, they likely won’t stick around long enough to take any action if they can’t easily and rapidly see where you want them to click next.

Different marketing goals need different calls to action

Let’s look at how CTAs might be used at three stages of the customer’s journey to making a purchase: awareness, consideration, and decision.

Deepen their awareness: Invite them to download a tip sheet or a checklist, watch a video, or read an e-book that validates your expertise in your area of specialty.

Assist their consideration: Invite them to sign up for a webinar or schedule a brief no-risk discovery call. Offer a free sample or product spec sheet.

Facilitate their decision: Provide a discount code for a first-time purchase. Offer a free trial or a demo. Create a simple process for getting an estimate or quote.

At the appropriate time, in the appropriate place, ask them to buy. But don’t stop there. After the purchase, ask them to review your product and service and to share their positive experience with others. Other post-purchase CTAs can include access to product updates and customer service forums.

Design your CTAs to be attractive and function well

Link to what? Where does the CTA button take readers? Make sure they can complete the action with the least possible clicks. If the call to action is about getting specific information, make sure the button takes them to the intended info, rather than sending the reader on a wild goose chase.

Button or in-text? Buttons stand out. Blog posts often position a call to action in the final paragraph as well as using a button that links to a “contact us” page, a scheduler app, or a sign-up page.

Color and size? Use a color that stands out. Most readers skim, so make the call to action big enough to jump off the page. Don’t be shy.

Position on the page? Consider positioning your main call to action button on the right near the top of the page. Place an identical one at the bottom of your content. Sometimes it’s even appropriate to repeat it in the middle when it makes sense because of the content.

How many? The human brain can pay attention to only so many things at once. It takes scarce energy to sort through information, and busy prospects are subconsciously conserving energy. A good call to action invites them clearly and simply to take the next step, one at a time.

What does it say? Make it short and direct, but more interesting than “Learn more” and more welcoming than “Submit.” Ugh. Think about it — do you know anyone that wants to submit?

And now we’ve reached our own call to action. Let’s make it easy – Could you use some help nailing calls to action on your content? We can help. Call us at 720-722-2987 or click the blue button below to request a meeting with our team.