How to Optimize Your Calls-to-Action (CTAS)

January 16, 2017
By Molly Cutler


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In marketing, the part of the process where a brand directly asks a prospect buy, download, or engage further with a product or service is known as a call-to-action (CTA). Often, the call-to-action will appear as a statement like: “Order Now” or “Call to Get Your Free Trial Today!”

On the Internet, it’s usually a big, colorful button with some text that can range from the generic “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” to the creative “Yes, I Want to Get in the Best Shape in My Life!”

Essentially, the call-to-action button is where the prospect clicks to claim whatever offer, content, or product is being promoted.

There are several elements which can enhance the success of a call-to-action.


An effective call-to-action needs to be clear, engage the user, and result in a good experience.

When creating a call-to-action, the first and most important priority is alignment. The call-to-action must match where it lives to what it leads to. For example, if the CTA button says: “Order Now!”, the click should send the prospect directly to an order form. If the prospect is taken somewhere that she didn’t think she was going, she is more likely to bounce. Make sure the subject, quality and emotional appeal of the content aligns with the offer and call-to-action.

Examples of calls-to-action from some top brand names

Here are some great examples of effective and emotionally engaging calls-to-action from premier brands brands, such as Netflix, Uber, Square, and Dropbox.

Psychology of calls-to-action

Communication that evokes emotion is key to motivating a prospect to take a desired course of action. Brandwatch, a leading social media analytics company, suggests there are four major motivational categories that lead to successful call-to-action conversions.

  1. Emphasize benefits of the offer: This might include themes such as “Get Our Free eBook Full of Great Content Creation Tips” or “Start Receiving Benefits Today.”
  2. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): This might include themes such as “Download Now” or “Order While Supplies Last.”
  3. Remove risk: “Download for Free” or “Try Our Free Trial Offer”
  4. Soft sell: Focus on a simple, factual approach. This caters to prospects who are already familiar with your brand and looking for more decision-making information.

Now that you know the basics of what makes a call-to-action effective, we encourage you to take action and start implementing these tips today!

For more marketing and PR tips, download our free eBook, ""PR Essentials for Your Tech Company".

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Categories: Inbound Marketing, Marketing