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How to design effective calls to action?

Published by Teresa Alba on August 15, 2017

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When looking for information on how to create a good marketing strategy, it is quite common that sooner or later you start reading advice on creating effective  calls to action.

Most webmasters call it “CTA,” which stands for a call to action.

However, what you have to know is not its name, but how to implement them in your strategy to achieve your goals.

But, what are calls to action in general terms?

Calls to action are direct messages that are created To indicate what the user should do.

For example, it could be a button that shows the next step that the user should take to buy a product. In other words, it is the gateway to get leads and guide the user through the conversion process, directing the customer to the checkout page.

So you can imagine the importance of this element in any digital strategy, both to guide users during the purchase process, or to fill out a form (among other actions).

However, for a call to action to be effective, it must be convincing enough. To do this, you will have to respect certain rules regarding location, format, design, message, as well as the media you will use and how you will add it.

In this article, I want to help you work through all these aspects, so that your calls to action will be efficient and help you to grow your business.

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Aspects and elements for attractive CTAs

Now that you know the meaning of calls to action, we will see how to use them when creating online marketing campaigns.

Remember that depending on where you will use the CTAs, they can have different formats and layouts, as not all designs,  will be compatible with some media.

In addition to increasing the conversion rate, the purpose of a call to action is to convey the brand values through different aspects.

Let’s see what you should consider when creating a professional call to Action:

►Aspects and elements for attractive CTAs

Now that you know the meaning of calls to action, we will see how to use them when creating online marketing campaigns.

Remember that depending on where you will use the CTAs, they can have different formats and layouts, as not all designs,  will be compatible with some media.

In addition to increasing the conversion rate, the purpose of a call to action is to convey the brand values through different aspects.

Let’s see what you should consider when creating a professional call to Action:

  1. Font: You should choose fonts always thinking about the readability of the text. When writing a message for an online channel, keep in mind that readability on the screen is always harder than paper, so you should work with easy to read fonts. In the case of a call to action, the space is too small, so that readability becomes even more necessary.
  2. Colors: In addition to using colors that match the brand, you should consider facilitating the readability of the text contained in the call to action. It is better to create the text and background using contrasting colors.
  3. Size: The space of these CTAs typically is quite small, so you have to be very careful with the scale of the elements that you want to use. It is best to prioritize and evaluate the most relevant aspects of each case.
  4. Symbols: In addition to text, you can use exclamation marks, arrows, underline, etc., as they are Nuances that you can use for creating a visually attractive  CTA, which will help draw the attention of users visiting your site.
  5. Spacing: As important as the design, is the spacing between them. You should not overload the user with several calls to action, as this could have the opposite effect and drive away potential customers.
  6. Location: Another thing to consider is the location of the call to action within the content or channel you are using. The location can determine the effectiveness of the CTA.

In addition to good use of the elements, you should also test different styles for the channels you will use in your online strategy.

It is essential to use original phrases that can help differentiate your message from the competition. However, you should think carefully about these phrases, because they will tell the user what to do. When the message is not clear enough, some visitors will not be sure about what you want them to do.

In this regard, some communication channels, such as email, allow us to test different options through A/B tests, so that we can determine what kind of messages work best and use the CTAs that are generating the best conversion rates.

►Formatting Options

If you already know how your CTA will look like regarding design, you should take a step further to see what are the options for formatting it correctly?

The most common is the use of a button (or at least it was the most common option until a few years ago), but if you don’t use your creativity, with all the evolution of digital marketing strategies, you will be missing out on excellent opportunities for creating different and attractive CTAs for your campaigns.

Each format has its strengths and weaknesses, and to decide which one you will use, you will need to analyze the type of content you will publish.

Let’s see some options:


As you know, this is the classic format, but even so, it is very practical due to its simplicity (the user will be able to view all items simultaneously and statically).

A CTA will always have a link that will take the user to the destination page when he clicks on it. The buttons can improve click-through-rates, as long as you create them  correctly, making sure that the user can see immediately that it is a call to action (You can do it by shading or highlighting elements, so they are not confused with other content.)

Animated GIFs

GIFs are more fashionable than ever, especially in marketing. So using them for calls to action is a good idea to convey a modern and up-to-date brand image.

Also, the use of animated GIFs can give movement and dynamism, which encourages interaction with your content.

► Banners.

Many sites have one or more areas where you can add different promotional banners or sliders.

It might be interesting to evaluate this section to introduce a creative banner with a call to action that will direct users to achieve a particular goal.

► Pop-up.

Abusing of pop-ups is a bad idea because neither the visitors nor Google will accept this type of strategy. However, if well used, they can give good results.

They can be displayed both when the user accesses the page, and when the user is leaving the site. I think that it would be better to set it up to be displayed after a few seconds when the user accesses the site for the first time, or after not having visited the page for an extended period (a week for example).


This format lived its golden age on social networks during the past few years. These images are simple charts that summarize information and help users understand the message in a short time.

In fact, its power to simplify information in just a few seconds can be very useful, as the webmaster can insert a CTA in the footer of the image, something like “see more at www” “Follow our Twitter profile.” “Contact us for more information.”

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What are the main online channels where you can include calls to action?

You can work with calls to action on virtually all the online marketing channels. What you should never forget is that you will have to adapt the CTA for each platform, because only in this way will it be possible to attract new visitors to your pages.

Let’s see the top 4 online channels where you can work with this strategy and the features of each one of them:


On the website is where you have all the information about your products or services, so the only way to increase your conversion rates, is by creating calls to action.

You can add CTAs on the homepage of your site, to catch the attention of users who visit the site for the first time, or include them on the internal pages, such as the contact page or “about us.”

This second option aims to segment a bit and get only the data from visitors who wish to get more information about the website, as they certainly will be more interested than those who accessed the homepage and left the site without opening the internal pages and interacting with the content.

►Landing pages

Landing pages are very useful in planning a strategy for capturing leads. Most webmasters will create an opt-in form, with a “bait” or lead magnet to offer as a gift in exchange for the subscription.

Many companies also use them as a preliminary and inexpensive step before developing a comprehensive and complete corporate website.

Publications in social networks

Whether through free or paid posts, you can also use calls to action on social networks.

Not all social networks allow you to do it directly, but some already offer the option for inserting a button such as “see more,” “continue reading” or similar, in a post or profile page.

► Newsletter

Using a call to action in a newsletter is essential if you want to boost the results of your email campaign.

Remember that in addition to providing quality content to users and strengthen brand image and online reputation, email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to convert, as only users who are interested in your products will receive the newsletters.

Through this service, your subscribers will receive relevant information about the brand, such as discounts, promotions, etc. As they are the ones who subscribed to your newsletter, they will be predisposed to taking the next step and purchase from you.


In this article, you saw the importance of trying to establish a closer relationship with your readers and get their attention through amazing calls-to-action.

To do this, we have seen the different branding elements that make up a compelling call to action, the options available on the internet, the formats and channels where you can add CTAs.

A call to action is responsible for guiding the user to the purchase or subscription page (among others), so it is necessary to offer quality content, solutions for their needs and answers to their comments and questions.

Do you use calls to action in your online marketing strategies?

Where do you add them, so they are most effective?

Teresa Alba

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  1. Javi

    Gran artículo.
    Muchas gracias.
    Ahora mi principal problema es elegir un plugin para crear CTAs fácilmente en WordPress, porque el que utilizo actualmente es una pesadilla.
    Un saludo

    23/02/2018 - 12:46:14 Publicar una respuesta
  2. Wendy

    ¡Me encanta! Justo estoy haciendo una landing page y me viene de perlas.

    05/09/2017 - 02:33:22 Publicar una respuesta
  3. Nestor Salazar

    Interesante, muchas gracias.

    16/08/2017 - 14:33:56 Publicar una respuesta

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