Anatomy of a CTA

What is CTA?

A Call-to-action (CTA) is an element used to encourage users to take any action. At some point, we all have clicked on the CTA button without even realizing it. There are millions of CTA buttons clicked around the world every day but still, many overlook this important element. Some popular examples of Call-to-action are – Contact us, Subscribe, Click here, Learn more, Share, etc. A CTA can be seen in two ways:

    • In marketing, a call-to-action(CTA) can be seen as an direction  to the audience to take any action on a marketing campaign, by using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit our store today”. Ultimately, the goal of any marketing campaign is to guide your audience in the buyer’s journey so they eventually make a purchase.

    • In web design, a CTA is usually a button, banner, graphic, or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click which will help to continue a conversion funnel. Usually, here CTA acts as a signpost that lets the user know what to do next.

Regardless of how we see CTA, in simpler words – CTA is seen as something that directs users to take action. 

Why do we need a CTA? 

Let’s say, a reader lands on your blog article and there is no call to action at the bottom of the post/article, your reader will likely leave the blog page without completing any other tasks. However, if there is a CTA at the bottom of the post asking them to read your other articles or to sign up for an email newsletter which will lead them to continue interacting with the site. 

A call to action makes it clear to potential customers which steps to take next and removes friction in moving the user down the sales funnel. A CTA acts as a signpost that lets the user know what to do next. 

The right call to action can mean the difference between hundreds or even thousands of conversions over a lifetime.

Without those clicks on your CTA, you’re not going to get subscribers, orders, or attendees. As simple as that!

What is a strong CTA?

A common misconception people have is that just sticking a simple “sign-up” CTA in their ad design or website is enough to drive conversions. We tend to give very little importance to a CTA and then end up slapping a half-hearted call to action which drives no conversions at all. 

You don’t need just any CTA; you want a strong one that convinces people to act.

The factor that separates a strong CTA from a weak CTA is motivation. There are two purposes of a call to action: to tell what they should do, and give them the motivation to do so. People often forget the latter. People remember to tell what one should do, but they forget the why part of the equation. 

In the next section, you will know what it takes to design a strong CTA and what are the major features of a good call to action.


5 Characteristics of a strong CTA?

Unfortunately, there’s no universal template or hard and fast rules for designing call-to-action that works better than other CTAs. What works for one, might not be good for you.

But there are still some guiding principles you can follow to figure out what might work for your product or audience. Here are 5 characteristics for a persuasive call-to-action button:

1. Size

Just like everything should be balanced, the size of your CTA must be a balance between too small and too large. The size of your CTA shouldn’t be too small as it will get ignored by the user. The size shouldn’t be too large either as users might not understand that it is clickable and just scroll it over.

 2. Placement

The position of a call to action depends on no. of factors. It includes the overall design of the page and the interest of the visitor. But having a CTA at the top of the page will always encourage your user to dive deep into your website. You can also duplicate depending on the length of your page.

3. Color

The color of a CTA is one of the significant features which will make your CTA noticeable and actionable. You can choose CTA’s color according to your brand color. Some go by the website theme and add contrasting colors to it. But in the end, all that matters is that the color of your CTA should stand out from the rest of the elements of the design. It will capture the recipient’s attention immediately.

4. Whitespace

Nothing gets spotted in a crowd. Similarly, your call to action will get lost if other elements are crowding it. So use the whitespace wisely and let your CTA breathe. Having enough whitespace around the CTA will make it easy to be spotted.

5. Copy

This is one of the most important features of a good CTA. Make the user feel that taking action is easy with your call to action. Use FOMO and create a sense of urgency. Replace common phrases like “Subscribe” with “Subscribe and get the free ebook”. Leverage your copywriting skills in designing a good CTA. After all, writing good copies always leads to conversions.


There’s a lot that goes into creating an effective call-to-action. But it all starts with understanding what you want the prospect to do and on what platform. 

Ultimately, a successful CTA is one that answers the questions “What’s next” and “Why should I?” 

Never let a bad CTA stop you from getting more sales, subscribers, or attendees.