What Is A Call to Action and
Why Does It Matter?

Learn what a call to action is and how to incorporate one into your form for better performance.


But wait, there’s more! Call in the next 15 minutes and you’ll get two for the price of one! Ever wonder how infomercials manage to get people to pick up the phone? Check out their calls to action. They are clear and urgently tell customers what to do: call now.

Digital marketers can adopt stronger calls to action that increase conversions without being cheesy. Intrigued? Act now: read this guide!

What is a Call to Action?

A call to action (also known as CTA) is an imperative instruction that encourages action. Put simply, it’s a command to do something on your website such as Buy Now or Click Here.

Most digital marketers want their customers to take a specific, measurable action. For example, you might want people to sign up for your email newsletter, download an e-book, or make a purchase. A clear call to action should spur customers to click.

One easy way to see if your form’s call to action is effective is A/B testing. Try a simple, free testing tool like SplitButton to experiment with button copy. Find out which words or phrases really convert on your site.

Do Online Forms Need a Call to Action?

Yes! Every online form requires a submission. Your customers probably don’t submit forms out of the goodness of their hearts. They are motivated by desire or a promise. Since online forms capture valuable data, their calls to action must be compelling and persuasive.

There are two main places to encourage submissions of your online form: the headline and the submit button. For example, a survey headline might state: Share your opinion and help us improve our product. The headline can communicate your value proposition as well as encourage users to fill out the form.

Your submit button is the last place that users might hesitate. Does the button take advantage of that moment? Submit is a pretty vague word. Use a clearer word or phrase—such as register, buy, or contact us—to offer a better picture of what submission will accomplish.

Call to Action Best Practices

  • Don’t use boring call to action buttons. Choose clear language that indicates what you want your customer to do.
  • Limit the number of CTAs per page. Users get confused when they are offered a bunch of choices.
  • Use click-friendly call to action phrases. Words like next or learn more cause users to hesitate because they don’t know what will happen when they click.
  • Include relevant microcopy, such as last-minute instructions. What concerns might someone have while their mouse hovers over the submit button?
  • Experiment with placement. Test right and left sides as well as above and below the fold.

Call to Action Examples

To encourage your users to submit information on an online form, put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to know? Make your call to action as clear as possible so it fits the scenario presented by the form. Here are some ideas to get you started:

calls to action

What Elements Matter in a Call to Action?

Effective CTAs boil down to good design and strong copy. Choose the elements thoughtfully and test them to see what is working. Your website copy and design should be clear, easy to understand, and not overwhelming to users. If your page isn’t getting the conversions you want, the problem could be your overall design.

design and copy

Remember: always be testing!

Urge Customers to Act

Providing a strong call to action makes the process easier on your customers. They will know exactly what you want them to do: click, buy, sign up, etc. Help reduce their concerns—and friction—by providing clear, simple directives in your calls to action.

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