How to Create Calls to Action That Convert

Think about all the times you’ve signed up for things: Are you going to watch a movie on Netflix when you get off work? Have you downloaded Spotify Premium so you can listen to your favorite tunes in the car? Do you use Slack to communicate with your co-workers?

Each one of these signups is likely a result of an effective call to action (CTA). A call to action is either text, an image, or a button that links directly to a landing page so people can find and download an offer — and it is the secret sauce to driving people to your offer. If your CTAs aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to click, then it makes the offer useless.

CTAs can be used on website pages (non-landing pages), in display ads, email, social media, direct mail, and pretty much anywhere you can market your offer. But not all CTAs are created equal. In a world where every brand is fighting for consumers attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors.

Here’s how to create CTAs that convert.

Be Crystal Clear

Oftentimes, marketers will put more focus on being clever than clear. When it comes to CTAs, clarity trumps persuasion. Be crystal clear about what offer is in your CTA — and be specific.

If you’re giving away a free guide, say “Download our FREE guide to X.” If you’re hosting a free webinar, say “Register for our FREE webinar on X.” X should clearly convey a compelling benefit of receiving the offer.

This is much more effective than “Download Now” or “Get a Free Article.” These simply aren’t specific enough and can create a feeling of frustration with leads if they feel like you were manipulative to get them to click on a CTA.

Use Contrast

A call to action is meant to stand out, so if your CTA blends in too much with your site design, no one will notice it. You want as many eyeballs to land on that call to action as possible, so use contrasting colors to make the CTA stand out, and more importantly, use design to make it clear it is a clickable call to action.

Link Your CTA Correctly

This tip might seem minor, but it’s incredible how often businesses miss this opportunity. Calls to action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer.

Don’t use CTAs to drive people to your homepage. Even if your CTA is about your business (and perhaps not an offer like a download), still send them to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.

Make Them Easy to Find

Calls to action on website pages typically do best when placed “above the fold” — the space where your web page is viewable to the user without having to scroll down. According to heat map analysis, anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of people who visit your page. Doubling impressions on your CTAs can significantly increase your lead count.

Keep in mind, many of your website visitors will be looking at your site from their mobile device, and a seamless experience across all devices very important. Make sure your website is responsive, or mobile-friendly, when placing your CTAs.

Generally, if you place your CTA button where visitors start navigating your site, you’ll increase your click rate. And if you position your button right there with compelling copy and enticing font color, it'll be even more likely that you can get these users to click and take action.

After a website visitor has completed a form to download an offer, they are typically routed to a thank you page. Thank you pages present the opportunity to share other offers you have available that are related to the offer they just took advantage of.

Creating great offers and calls to action can reduce your cost-per-lead while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team, but these tips are just the beginning. 

Lead Generation


Join our Elite group of subscribers and get exclusive content marketing and sales tips straight to your inbox.