How to create a call to action (CTA) that works

In the past, call to action (CTA) buttons such as Learn More, Sign Up and Buy Now worked, but today target audiences are wising up and those common CTAs of old just aren’t creating the impact previously expected.

In fact, a weak CTA is now one of the main reasons that a sales page, squeeze page or landing page is not converting or turning leads into customers. That’s if you even have one; according to Small Biz Trends up to 70% of small business targeting B2B lack a CTA in the first place – what a missed opportunity.

You need to focus on creating simple and effective CTAs to boost your conversions and establish your business as an authority in the industry.

Here are our tips on creating CTAs that work.

Sell the trial

Having a CTA that offers a free trial removes a barrier to purchase buy allowing your audience to essentially try before they buy. This course of action works particularly well with businesses offering SaaS (software as a service). For example, Shopify increased its revenue by ten times the normal amount within three years by offering a 14-day free trial. It’s important that you have systems in place to engage during the trial period to convert users into paid subscribers; this cannot be a set and forget system.

Offer a benefit

Write a benefit-oriented CTA and let the reader know exactly how clicking on that button will help them.


Your CTA should be sized so that it is easy to find at first glance but not too large as to unbalance the page.


While there is no ‘magic’ colour that will help your CTA appear more clickable, the colour you choose is very important. Colours have strong psychological and cultural associations so it’s important to consider the demographics and make up of your target audience. Complementary pairs – opposite colours on the colour wheels can work well. The colour of your CTA must be considered in conjunction with the size – a very large CTA coloured red can often prove to be a bit overwhelming.

Look clickable

A CTA is not just a design feature, but a functional, interactive tool on your website, EDM or landing page. With today’s audience it will be looked for, expected so it’s imperative that you much sure it is easily found and looks clickable/touchable.

Consider the contrast

When considering how to make your CTA button stand out there are two issues to think about and ensure that they work well together and complement each other:

  • Button colour vs background colour
  • Text colour vs button colour

Determine the right position

As a general guideline, many designers recommend placing the CTA button above the fold but there are some great results from other positions such as the bottom right hand corner. Wherever you place your CTA button ensure that it is surrounded with a certain amount of white/blank space so it isn’t overcrowded and is hard to find.

Copywriting tips for CTAs

  • Make it personal – use language which speaks directly to your target audience to help engage.
  • Create a sense of urgency – using words such a ‘now’ or ‘today’ will help to create a sense of urgency and perception of exclusivity.
  • Start a conversation – For example ‘Let’s talk’ for a CTA that takes the reader to a contact page or contact form.
  • Keep it short and simple – aim for using between two and six words for your call to action.
  • Add a visual cue – considering including an icon such as a shopping cart on the CTA to add an additional clue as to where the CTA will take the reader.

As with all aspects of digital marketing, it is best to conduct some A/B testing to ensure that your CTAs have the best chance at engaging your audience and converting.

Need some help creating CTAs that work? Talk to us about your brand’s website and call to actions today.


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