CTA - Call-to-Action

Get the Click with these CTA Best Practices!

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the buttons you use in your website and on your landing pages that guide users to take actions.

Compelling CTA leads to conversions/actions

How to Write an Unstoppable Call to Action

You need to writing a compelling CTA to get desired results but what are the ingredients to do so?  Here is a list of ways you can write unstoppable call to actions!


1. Use Action-Packed Text

Call to action buttons should feature striking, action-oriented text. Substitute boring words like “submit” and “enter” for more action packed words like “get,” “reserve,” and “try.” Your action words should go along with specific text relating to your offer like:

  • Try Our Free Trial
  • Reserve Your Seat
  • Apply Now
  • Schedule Service
CTA example schedule service

2. Evoke Emotions

Many people buy services and products because of the way it makes them feel. To build on that, you may include a CTA like “Make your dream a reality” or “Feel healthier today”.

CTA - sense of urgency

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Constructing a sense of urgency in your call-to-action buttons can yield some impressive click-through rates. For example, you could use button text like:

  • Sign Up and Get 35% Off Today Only!
  • Download the Build Apps E-Course for $30 $10!

Even just adding “now” builds a subtly sense of urgency for users:

  • Register For the Ultimate Networking Event Now!

4. Color Selection Matters

Who knew button color matters?  Yet it does in click rates.   Give careful consideration to your button colors.

Resort show, green and orange buttons in general perform the best. Ultimately though it will depend on your site design, as contrasting colors work best to make striking buttons that stand out. You wouldn’t want a green CTA button on a green background.

The Best Rolling Tool Boxes of 2022 is a good example of incorporating green buttons with a simple white background for good contract.

CTA - button color

5. Use “Free” and other Value Propositions

Who doesn’t like to get things for free?  Many of us like to get free or discounted services and purchases.  “Get My Free eBook” is more enticing for users to take action than “Get my eBook”.  Consider ways to use “Free” or other value propositions on your CTA buttons.   

6. Let’s Get Creative

Every day we’re bombarded with many CTAs whether we like it or not. Traditional examples like “Buy Now” are so overused that they’ve lost their effect. Coming up with totally unique CTAs, like “Yes, I want in!” grabs attention and can be incredibly effective.

Below is a great example of a creative CTA to grab attention.

Creative CTA

7. Large and Legible Text but not Obnoxiously Large

Your button text should be large enough to read easily, but not so large that it looks obnoxious or intimidating.

Too large text may come off as obnoxious or even in a subconscious level threatening. Your button text should be big enough to draw attention, but not so big that it completely overwhelms the rest of the content.

CTA too large button and text
This is example of too big button/text
This button and text are just the right size

8. Go With 1st Person Speech

Michael Aagard of Content Verve shared a study in which he discovered that changing button text from second person (“get your free template”) to the first person (“get my free template”) resulted in a 90% increase in clicks! See how changing your CTA button to 1st person (putting yourself in your customer’s shoes) affects your CTRs.

9. Button Hierarchy

Sometimes you’ll have other buttons on your web page that are not your main call-to-action conversion buttons. Those buttons should be less attention-grabbing than your main CTA button. For your non-CTA buttons, try using gray scale buttons or monochromatic colors. Your main call-to-action button should always be the biggest and brightest.


  1. Bonus Button Text.

There are some situations in call-to-action marketing where you may want to consider adding an extra line of information within your button text.

This practice is common with free trial buttons. For example, a free trial button might say “30-day trial, no credit card” in smaller text beneath the main “Start Your Free Trial” button text. This is valuable info that will encourage users to click through to begin their trial.

CTA bonus button

These “click triggers” won’t always be necessary with all buttons, but when it fits, this extra information can help CTRs a lot.

Alternatively, you can put that extra information underneath or beside a button. Some examples of click triggers include:

  • Testimonials
  • Anxiety-Suppressing Info (e.g. No credit card required)
  • Key Benefits
  • ROI benefits (e.g. users see a 40% increase in shares when using X)
CTA cart

11. Cart Calls to Action

E-commerce sites will want to spend the most time A/B testing their cart/purchase buttons. Even small adjustments in cart buttons can dramatically affect conversion rates. Be sure to offer buttons for other payment options like PayPal, Apple pay, among others.

Having a PayPal button can be a huge incentive – there have been MANY times ordering food where I’ve been too lazy to fish out a credit card and only move forward by the grace of PayPal.



12. Less is More When it Comes to Choices

Us humans tend to suffer from the choice overload – we enjoy choosing between an apple or an orange, but present us with apples, oranges, dragon fruit, grapes, pomegranates, bananas, clementine, and mangos and our heads may nearly explode with indecision.

If you do want to include multiple button choices, give weight to once choice over others to help funnel users towards a specific path. It doesn’t even matter what path really – users just wanted to be guided!

CTA multiple buttons

13. Follow the Natural User Flow

In Western culture, we read top to down and left to right. Keeping this natural reading flow in mind can help influence smart button placement. Call-to-action buttons placed towards the bottom or to the right of content often outperforms alternative placements.

Most importantly, never force users to backtrack in order to click a button – CTA buttons should appear in appropriate places that align with a user’s experience. For example, you would want to put a “sign up now” button in a spot where a user would find it after reading about your offer or product, not before, as it would make no sense for a user to sign up for an offer, they know nothing about!


14. Widen That White Space

Your CTA buttons should always have a healthy chunk of white (open) space surrounding them. White space helps call the users’ attention to your button and helps it stand out.

CTA with good white space

This CTA button from Friends of the Earth Action has good amount of white space

15. Snazzy Button Shapes

Button shape can also play a significant role. You’ll need to consider whether you want to go with a more rounded button shape or a button with square edges. Test shapes and see what works best for your click rates and biz!

CTA button shape

In the above example the color and shape improved the conversion.

16. A/B Testing is Vital

Final Note: Testing with CTA buttons is important! If you haven’t done much A/B testing before (tsk tsk), the call-to-action buttons are a great place to start as even small, easy-to-make changes can have dramatic effects. Test these tips out and see which variations work best for your business!

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