Optimization tips > Call-To-Action (CTA)

How the Call-to-Action (CTA ) will help you improve your conversion rates

CTA is one of the most important optimization factors

Amy W, 07/09/2016
CTA is one of the most important optimization factors

What is a CTA?

CTA is an acronym for “call to action”. It is a term used in marketing as an instruction to provoke a response. It usually includes a verb to make an active sentence. like: “call us now” or “find out more”. In web forms, a CTA is used as a banner, button or promoting text that tries to get the user to submit your form. Converting him into a lead and later into a customer.
Because you may have lots of visitors on your page, but if you can’t convert them into customers it doesn’t mean anything. It is up to you to let your visitors know what it is you want them to do. It is up to you to convince them.
Now that we’ve determined what we want our users to do when they get to our site, the next step is simply telling them to do it.

CTA Types

There are several types of CALL-to-Action button, for example:
- CTA for lead generation, in forms where you are trying to turn visitors into leads. These CTAs are usually put on a blog.
- CTA for submission. Get a visitor to enter and submit your form.
- CTA for sign up. To get your visitor to register to your service. By offering free trial,
- CTA for the actual sale. To get those visitors to pay and become clients..
- CTA for event sign up. To get visitors to register and attend your event


How many CTAs?

Do not use many CTA’s on your page. Joel Klettke explains this very well in his post “The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Calls to Action” when he says that “People love to SEE variety, but too much variety actually inhibits people from making a purchase decision.”


Simple way to create a CTA text

Lisa Raehsler, in her post “Improve Your Call-to-Action in PPC Ads” provides an easy way to create a call-to-action. She starts with choosing the action word that describes what you need the consumer to do on the website in the best way (for example: register, contact,purchase,upgrade etc). Next she proposes to come up with a reason for this action (a special offer, prize, benefits etc). And finally put these two together (“Buy now and save 10 percent” Or “Subscribe and get a free ebook”).


Stay away from intimidating words

There are certain words that can make the visitor uncomfortable such as : buy. This word may scare off a potential buyer. According to Aaron Beashel in his post “How to create the perfect call to action for your email marketing campaigns” It is much better to use “frictionless words like ‘Get’ or ‘Learn’ and follow them up with a benefit statement (I.e. Get your free account).”



There are many examples of good and bad call-to-actions. Needless to say there is no “one fits all” answer. Furthermore, each form category requires a different set of call to actions (for example real estate calls to action will be different than human resources calls to action).
Vinny La Barbera lists the Most Commonly Used CTAs in real estate and also gives good and bad examples of CTAs in his post “Real Estate Calls to Action”.

With this is mind maybe you should get some more tips on how to optimize your CTA button.
Nicole Dieker, in her post “37 Proven Ways To Create The Strongest Call To Action Copy” says that your call-to-action button is “Possibly the most important component.” of your landing page. And offers a “step-by-step guide to help you optimize every aspect of your call-to-action button: copy, color, shape, size, and location”.


Reassurance is important

CTA sometimes needs to be followed by reassurance. Sign up forms, for example, can be intimidating for users who are not sure about whether to register or not, and what it implies.
A good example of this can be seen in the “NETFLIX” landing page, where the CTA button clearly states a monthly trial is free. Reassurance is given in addition saying you can cancel anytime.

Another example of reassurance well done is “Treehouse”, which also puts “free” on the CTA button. However this is done with a small but significant change. The text on the button is “Claim your free trial”, which implies that this is something you are entitled to, and therefore should claim it.


CTA button color

Smriti Chawla, in her post “Call to Action Buttons: The Ultimate Guide on Which Ones Convert and Why”(https://vwo.com/blog/call-to-action-buttons-ultimate-guide/) discusses 4 factors you must consider for a higher converting call-to-action. One of them is the button color or more accurately - the contrast. She says that “Your button color should be in stark contrast to your background colors. Something so vibrant that it catches attention in the first glance itself. And preferably the color that hasn’t been used anywhere on the web page”. Red, for example is a useful color if you want to establish a sense of urgency.
Green and orange are reported to perform best on forms, however if your form background colors have green or orange in them it may make the CTA blend too well with the background instead of standing out.

To get a good contrast Mary Fernandez (“Which Color Button Converts Best? Here’s What Research Shows”) offers to “pick a complimentary color: one that is opposite to your dominant color on the color wheel.”
She also adds that the color chosen needs to match your brand personality by giving an example of a Harley Davidson landing page: “For instance, let’s say your brand is tough, rugged, and masculine… like Harley Davidson. Now imagine if they used pink call-to-action buttons instead of orange ones. It wouldn’t quite work, would it?”

Button size

Ensure your call-to-action is big enough so visitors don’t miss it. It should not be too big - because it can through your whole layout off balance, making it look less professional.
Make it simple as well as obvious for visitors to understand where you are going. If your CTA button has same size and general look as the other elements on the form it may get overlooked and instead of leading the visitor to your goal it will make him get lost. This does not mean the button has to be fancy, or flashy. It simply needs to stand out and get noticed.

Button shape

The most common shapes for buttons are a regular rectangle and a rounded rectangle. The results are not conclusive regarding which one works best, so it may be a good idea to test this if you are not sure which to use. Either way - the button needs to make sense in your design - so if you have a curvy design, maybe you should go with the rounded corners..

White space

It is recommended to have white space around the button. This is especially true if your page has a lot of content in it.white space is not only a design tool but it also helps your button stand out.

Sarah Quinn provides some refreshing insight on choosing the best design for your CTA button in her post “From Click to Win: How to Get People to Click Your Call-to-Action Buttons” and while She stresses the importance of testing by saying:”it differs from site-to-site and the only way to really understand what works best for your business is to A/B test, A/B test, and A/B test again.” she also provides a sweet little trick to measure how well your CTA stands out.
By intentionally blurring your vision and looking at your page. If the CTA button does not stand out than it will need changing.

Make sure your image isn’t stealing the focus

The main image you choose is bound to make a big impression and grab attention, however you must make sure it does not steal all the focus from the CTA button. It is better if your image has a connection to the button, for example if the figure in the image points to the button, or does something that is connected to the button text.

Text in the first person

Tim Ash, wrote a very interesting post about the use of pronouns in your CTA: “Me vs. You: How Pronouns Affect Click Conversion Rates". He says that The pronoun you choose makes a huge difference. He gives examples of split tests that were done to test this and clearly showed a dramatic result in favor of using first person pronouns. So this tip according to Ash is “a simple adjustment that could make a big impact on your bottom line”.


The design may be stunning, the main image, the fonts, the layout may work harmoniously together, however this can all be for nothing if the CTA button (or any other main text for that matter) is not clear. “TinyLetter” makes a good example for this. The device image under the text
Is not permanent, it appears every few seconds, but it becomes a diversion from the main message, plus it makes the text hard to read.


Keep it consistent

Tiffany Monhollon in her post “Tips for an Effective Call to Action for Your Website” says that it is important to “keep your call to action consistent both in wording, action, and design. Repetition can be a great way to reinforce your message and can help boost conversions throughout your website.”


Keep it above the fold

The fold is the point in the page, where you start scrolling. This makes the area above the fold the first a user sees. The content in this area will determine whether a visitor will continue below the fold, or even click on the CTA button. Since this area is so significant, it is recommended to place the most important elements there, including your CTA button..


How do i implement all this?

All this information (and more) may be found online. It is available to all, however not everyone has the time or the inclination to start “digging” through it all. Wouldn’t it be great if while you were creating your form you could get specific tips on how to optimize it, right then and there?
Well, this option is now made real with FormTitan online form builder, which is not only a tool for creating web forms and landing pages, it is also an optimization wiz with the built in CRO engine to guide you through the form creation process wisely.