What is CTA (Call To Action) in Marketing? Meaning, Types & Tips

¿Qué es un CTA (Call To Action)? Significado, Tipos y Consejos

In a digital landscape full of noise, it’s no longer enough to sell great products or deliver fantastic services. It is now more complicated than ever to persuade your audience to take action. But what is CTA in digital marketing? When and how should you use them?

In this article we are going to explain the meaning of CTAs, what are the different types of call to action and how they should be used effectively. Let’s get to it! 😉

What is Call To Action (CTA)?

A call to action (CTA) is a term commonly used in marketing that refers to any message or term used to persuade, provoke and guide users to take action towards a specific goal.

In general, CTAs look like buttons or hyperlinks, and are usually placed strategically on any website, email, blog post or banner ad. The actions that these messages usually promote can be very varied, from encouraging the user to buy, subscribe to a newsletter, download a document or start a trial period, among many other things.

It is also important to note that CTAs are often used in imperative language to better direct people toward a desired goal.

Types of Call To Action (CTA)

As we have explained above, Call To Actions can vary from their format (buttons or hyperlinks), the tone of the language, and their effectiveness depends on the context in which you are going to use them.

In other words, depending on the objective you are looking for, such as boosting sales, generating leads or improving the level of user interaction and the place where you are going to use them, it is advisable to use a certain type of call to action.

In the following table you will find the different types of CTAs, their applications and some practical examples so that you can take note of how you can use them effectively.

Types of CTA by category:

Types of CTAPurpose of useExamples
Direct CTAsThey are commonly used in the field of digital marketing and advertising. This type of CTA seeks to make the user perform a direct and immediate action.“Buy now”, “Register”, “Download here”, “Request a demo”
Indirect CTAsThese CTAs are usually used in blog content or emails that seek to capture the attention of users by providing more information and achieving greater engagement with people. They are not usually used to generate sales.“Read more”, “Watch video”, “Learn more”, “Get Inspired”, “Check out our page”
Lead capture CTAsCommonly used to generate leads or potential customers. These CTAs are usually used in registration forms, lead capture pages and squeeze pages.“Subscribe to the newsletter”, “Download the free eBook”, “Sign up for the free masterclass”
Social media CTAsThese CTAs are used on social media platforms with the objective of capturing the attention of users and increasing the level of interaction with them in different ways.“Follow us on TikTok”, “Click Like”, “Share this post”, “Leave a comment”
Event CTAsThese expressions are mainly used to promote events, webinars or conferences. Their goal is to get users to register or attend the event.“Book now”, “Register for the event”, “Sign up for the webinar”
Sales CTAsThese are specifically designed to drive sales. They usually appear on product pages or in email marketing campaigns and their main purpose is to drive instant sales.“Add to cart”, “Shop now”, “Checkout”, “Claim Your Discount”
Trial CTAsThis type of CTAs are used to offer a free trial period of a product or service, allowing users to try before they buy.“Start a free trial”, “Try it now”, “Request your free demo”

You may be interested in reading: 180 Call To Action Examples to Boost Your Conversions

How to use a CTA effectively?

A call to action is a powerful communication tool, but you have to know when and how to use it.

Many times, these phrases are not used correctly, so it is essential that you understand the context in which users see these expressions and, that you know when to use them.

Remember, a CTA is more than just a button on your website or a line in your email. It’s an important part of your strategy that guides users through your sales funnel and helps you achieve your business goals.

Let’s see how to use them in different situations.

1. To get potential customers

If your goal is to generate leads, your call to action should direct users to a scenario that converts them into leads. It is common to find forms that include buttons asking users to enter their data in exchange for downloading a document or eBook, starting a free trial, or signing up for a free seminar or course.

Try to offer something valuable to the user so that they end up providing their data and be sure to use a CTA that invites them to provide the information. In these cases, you can use phrases such as “Download free eBook”, “Start a free trial”, “Register now”, “Request a demo”.

2. To increase sales

In case you are looking to drive sales, you can focus on phrases that point out the steps to complete a purchase and increase the user’s sense of urgency.

Phrases such as “Buy now”, “Add to cart” or “Checkout” clearly communicate this objective. Pair them with phrases that contain expressions of urgency, such as “Limited time offer” or “Get it today,” to drive immediate actions.

3. To increase commitment

You may also be looking to improve user participation and interaction rates, so you can use CTAs that invite users to do so. If you are able to use simple and persuasive language you will get users to take action.

For example, “Leave a comment”, “Share your opinion” or “Join the discussion” are examples of really useful CTAs. You can also use social sharing phrases such as “Share on Facebook” or “Tweet this” to help amplify your content on social networks.

4. To create a community

Creating a community around your brand or product can provide numerous benefits, including increased customer engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. However, building a community is not an overnight task, it requires consistent effort and strategic use of call-to-actions. Your CTAs should not only incite action, but also promote interaction, contribution and a sense of belonging.

Use phrases like “Subscribe Now”, “Vote in Our Latest Poll”, “Join Our Community”, “Join Our Live Webinar” or “Follow us on TikTok” to invite users to stay connected in the long run.

5. To educate customers

Finally, you may be looking to educate customers about a product or service. In this case, we recommend using CTAs that indicate to the user that they will be redirected to a site that offers informative resources. Phrases such as “Learn more”, “Read our guide” or “Watch the tutorial” can direct users to further information.

Tip: To maximize the effectiveness of your CTAs, you should make sure they are visually prominent, contextually relevant and aligned with the content you are going to show the user.

How to create a successful Call To Action (CTA)?

You may be thinking about creating your own CTAs for later use in your marketing campaigns. Creating a compelling call to action can make the difference between success or failure with potential customers. But how can you write an effective CTA?

To give you the short answer, you’ll need to take care of aspects such as language, style and placement. Let’s take a look at some best practices.

1. Use an imperative verb

The ideal is to use verbs in the imperative mood to give strength to the message. Imperative verbs are used in the second person because they express orders, requests, demands or supplications.

For example, if you want them to subscribe to your free course, your CTA could start with “Subscribe”. In case you plan to promote a product or service, you can use expressions like “Buy” or “Book”.

2. Generate enthusiasm or excitement

Another essential aspect is to try to generate enthusiasm and/or excitement in those who read the CTA. This can be achieved by using compelling and energetic language, or by creating a sense of urgency.

For example, “Start your adventure now!” or “Hurry up and book” or “Try it for a limited time” can drive instant actions.

3. Use words that refer to value and rewards

Another useful practice when creating an effective CTA is to use words that talk about solving a problem, a benefit or a special offer.

In this sense, phrases such as “Buy now and save 50%”, “Buy one, get one free!”, “Enroll now and get a free consultation!” or “Sign up and get a free eBook” work very well.

4. Add click triggers

Along with CTAs, you can incorporate words or phrases that work as “click triggers” to reduce the reader’s anxiety. These are additional messages that can reduce perceived risks, addressing any last-minute objections.

In this case, you can incorporate phrases that dramatically increase the chances that the user makes a click. Phrases like “No credit card required”, “Money back guarantee” or “Cancel anytime” significantly improve results.

5. Make a simple and direct text

If you overcomplicate the message or use long sentences, you may confuse users and they may not take action. Therefore, it is essential that your CTA uses concise, clear and easy to understand text.

For example, “Download now” is a much simpler and concise sentence than “Proceed to download our software”. Simplicity of the message is a key aspect.

6. Test and refine your CTA

Finally, it is important to note that the best way to test the effectiveness of a call to action requires A/B testing with different variations of CTAs. We recommend measuring through web analytics to collect data that will allow you to refine and optimize your CTAs for better conversion rates.

Tip: In addition to creating a specific message or text, it is important to combine it with an eye-catching design. In this sense, we recommend placing the text inside a large button with a striking color that invites the user to click. Remember that people should receive a high impact.

Where to use a Call To Action?

At this point, it is time to talk about where you can use CTAs. The truth is that you can use them in as many places as you want as long as you don’t saturate the user and you manage to improve interaction and conversion rates.

Let’s see where you can use them.

Websites

This is probably the most common use of CTAs, which are usually the key element to generate conversions on the Internet. That is why it is very common to find them on websites, landing pages, online stores or blogs.

Among the most common locations, they can appear in places such as in the top navigation bar, within a banner, on a product page, within a form, at the bottom of any blog post or even in a pop-up window. It is important to strategically place these CTAs to maximize their effectiveness, and to make them visible and attractive.

Social Networks

CTAs are also very useful in social media. They can be used to generate interactions, drive traffic to your website or to promote special offers. We recommend using them to encourage users to share posts, follow your account, click on links or to invite them to participate in contests.

CTAs can be effective on these types of platforms because the actions are usually quick and easy to perform. For example, Instagram allows you to add them in sponsored posts, where users can see messages like “Buy now,” “Install now,” or “Learn more.”

Email Marketing

Emails are another common place where CTAs are often used, especially when it comes to promotional email campaigns. It’s a great way to encourage recipients to take action when they are presented with product promotions, event registrations or simply invited to learn more.

CTAs in email marketing are usually presented with a button or a prominent link to attract the reader’s attention. Here are some examples you can use in your campaigns: “Claim Your Exclusive Discount Now”, “Find Out More on Our Website”, “Pre-Order Now to Get 20% Off” or “Discover Our New Collection”.

Digital Advertising

Finally, another common place to find CTAs is in digital ads (both in text and image format). You can use them to encourage users to visit your website, download an app, make a phone call or buy a product.

CTAs in advertising are often very explicit and tend to communicate with a commercial focus. It is easy to find ads with texts like: “Click Here to Discover More”, “Buy Now and Save 30%” or “Download Our App for Exclusive Deals”, “Chat with an Expert Now” or “Call Us Now!”.

If you found this content useful, please feel free to share your comments or questions in the comments section below 😉

Want to learn more?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are call to actions important?

Calls to action or CTAs are essential in digital marketing as they allow you to direct users to the next step you want them to take. A well-designed call to action can increase user engagement, improve conversion rates and help you achieve your business goals.

Where should a call to action be used?

CTAs should be strategically placed where the user is most likely to take action. This can be on a website, an email, a social media post or in an ad space. It is important to measure the impact of these messages thanks to web analytics tools to perform A/B tests and see which ones work best.

How to create an effective CTA?

If you are looking to create an effective CTA you must make it short, clear and compelling. It is important that the message indicates exactly what the user will get by clicking on it. It is advisable to use language in imperative mode that is persuasive.

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