Call to action, i.e. a demand an action of your client

December 08 2022

A yellow arrow clicking on a button with the word CTA

What is Call To Action?

Call To Action (CTA) literally means “do something”. And in fact, it is a message aimed at provoking your recipient to take a specific action. It can be a purchase, as well as signing up for a waiting list, or going to the next page.

You can say that CTA is a spell that makes the visitor of your website or company profile do exactly what you want. Seems too good to be true? Read and learn more (you’re answering my Call To Action right now!).

Where can CTAs be used?

In fact, CTA is not really an order, but a facilitation for your client. A good call to action means that the recipient does not have to wonder what to do to achieve their goal. Want to subscribe to the newsletter? Click – sign me up! Want to buy something at a super low price? He presses the button that says “Buy Now!”. Remember to use the CTA in this context, i.e. having in the back of your mind what your client would like to do at the moment.

Call to action is a procedure that can be used in the content of posts and ads on Facebook. It is usually the last paragraph or even the last sentence of a given creation.
After describing the situation and arousing the desire to possess, an accurate shot follows:

Sweet promotion for Children’s Day!
Your little one will love a t-shirt with their favorite animal
Buy now and save up to 40%!

A great place to use CTAs are also advertising banners that are placed on websites, as well as on sales platforms such as Allegro or Shopee. In this case, the so-called button, which is a graphically accentuated and appropriately linked button.

Animated silhouette of a woman making an online purchase surrounded by call to action buttons
A properly selected call prompts you to take specific action.

Another area where call to action is used is the website of your online store. With the help of appropriate graphic elements, you lead the customer by the hand, confirming the choices he makes on his shopping path. Here, the terms “confirm”, “cancel” or “go to the payment page” are used.

The CTA button should be the right size, color and shape. Its location is also important - it should be the only element that your customer wants to click at the moment.

Call to Action takes place wherever you communicate with your target group, so it is also worth using it when writing mailings or designing all kinds of promotional materials, even non-digital ones.

What are the types of Call To Action?

A call to action is especially effective when we are dealing with time pressure. That’s why “buy now!” “book a seat!” or “see the last pieces!” are among the most effective “spells”.

However, sometimes you may not have the intention to push your customer towards the checkout right away – and that’s fine! Often your “action” is subscribing to the company’s newsletter, or a non-binding familiarization with the offer. Therefore, in this case, it is better to reveal the secret by using the encouraging “see more”.

When your customer makes a purchase, they may also receive a call to rate their experience with your brand or recommend it to friends.

How to write an effective Call To Action?

Imperative, but polite

In general, try to use the imperative mood so that your client knows exactly what to do. Here are popular examples of Call To Action that you can use: “Subscribe”, “Buy”, “Discover”, “Book” but also “Be tempted”, “Hunt” and even … “snap a discount”! Your copywriter’s creativity has room for action here, so that the message is eye-catching and perfectly matched to your brand’s communication strategy. However, there are some catches here, which you will read about in a moment.

"Grab a discount" was our idea for a pet food store. We even used the slogan "I wag my tail and receive a discount". The group of recipients of this brand are people endowed with a sense of humor, which is why we knew that we could afford a linguistic slack.
Photo of a happy woman sitting on a sofa, ordering online shopping using a laptop
The better you know your target group, the more effectively you can match it with a catchy Call To Action.

The purpose of the message in the first place

Remember to keep two things in the back of your mind at all times. Firstly, who are you addressing your message to, and secondly, what do you expect from this group.
A message encouraging teenage fans of sports shoes to buy looks completely different than a CTA for sheep breeders or customers of a shop with elegant tablecloths. That is why some people will be more direct “jump into the newsletter” and others will say “take advantage of a professional consultation.”

How to talk so that the recipients react?

It is worth paying close attention to what language your followers speak. Catch their language in the comments under posts or shopping-related communication, and then even duplicate specific phrases. Example? If your target group expresses enthusiasm with “Mega! I’m going shopping”, using this exact phrase at the end of the email about the sale will be most appropriate.

Messages in which you play the role of your recipient, i.e. you write in the first person singular, are highly effective. So, test how “subscribe me!” messages work for your brand or “I want a discount code”. According to Freshmail, this can increase click-through rates by up to 90%!

A screenshot of the store's homepage, where the most clicked places are marked
Heat maps allow you to see which elements on the page are clicked on the most.

Call To Action: important what and important where

The CTA that converts should be placed in the right place. Typically, action is requested at the end of the message – this is the case with the content of posts. When it comes to mailing, the rule is CTA above the so-called. fold lines (imagine being able to fold the entire page of your mailing in half). This is where most of the audience’s attention is focused. You can also uniquely repeat your CTA at the end of the email to give an extra boost to those who made it to the end.

So many recipients are focused on the top part of the received email (according to Freshmail).

In turn, in the case of a blog article, it is best to use Call To Action in the content of the text, somehow smuggled between paragraphs. HubSpot reports that this CTA placement increases the chances of conversion by 47 to 93% vs. a measly 6% when you place the CTA button at the very end. This is probably due to the fact that while reading we click on what really interested us, and the final message is associated more with intrusive sales.

CTA - what should you watch out for?

Too many calls at once

The most important dangers related to the use of call to action include saturation of the content or page layout with them. When you ask a client for everything at once, expect them to do nothing. Perhaps because it is not yet ready for action, or simply given too much choice.

"Too much choice is no choice" is one of my favorite quotes, and it's perfectly reflected in the use of CTA. Think about what specific action you expect at a given moment and focus only on one action.

That’s why it’s so important to use literally one CTA. Make sure what you’re asking for doesn’t conflict with another message, such as a popup that directs you to the “end of collection” category. A customer who has just received a message about a discount code will automatically think that he can combine the sale price with an additional discount. If it turns out that from combining the thread discount, it will most likely leave your store and go to the competition.

It also doesn’t make sense to ask to subscribe, purchase and read a new blog article at the same time. Online shopping is supposed to shorten the purchasing process, not to prolong it – so respect your customer’s attention and simply show him a specific step to take.

Excess of form over content CTA

Another threat that lurks your copywriter is the desire to reinvent the wheel. When looking for verbal distinguishing features, you can get pretty tangled up and lose the essence of Call To Action, i.e. the clarity of the message! That is why, at various stages of creating content, it is worth making stops and answering the question: what action do I expect from the client. Of course, it would be great to have a message that no one else has, but there are situations where “buy now!” seems the most reasonable option and there is no point in creating flowery poetry around it.

Photo of a dissatisfied woman in front of whom a button with too long a call to action is displayed
The shorter the better, clearer and more effective.

Call To Action that whispers rather than calls

It may happen that according to the rules you place one specific CTA button on your page. However, it will be ineffective if it dies among the other elements of the page. This is where the experience of your web designers comes in. They should make sure that the call-to-action button is the right size and color and is placed in the right place.

Love until… the wedding day

Your customer responds correctly to a CTA, but then hits a wall shortly after. Incorrect linking of the button on the page. Confusing purchasing process. Negligence in the field of UX. Newsletter, which is limited to sending a discount code. Make sure your call to action has a continuation. Only then will the action taken by the recipient make sense.

The photo shows the Specialist for Social Media at the Click Leaders agency - Jagoda Wichurska.

Jagoda Wichurska

In the creative department, she is responsible for creating content and making up marketing ideas, which then form into neat plans.

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