As a marketer, your holy grail is generating leads and converting them into customers. What if we said you can achieve it at the click of a button using a call to action (CTA)? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you learn the tricks of the trade, you can bolster your conversion rate and increase the impact of your content efforts exponentially. So, let’s explore what “call to action” means, why it’s important, and how you can write a CTA that drives results.

What is a Call to Action?

In the realm of marketing, a call to action is the phrase that tells the reader or viewer what action to take and how to take it. The more persuasive your CTA, the more likely it is for the user to take the desired action. Usually, a content marketing call to action is presented as hyperlinked text or a clickable button.

Now that we know what call to action is, let’s understand why it matters. 

Why Use CTA?

In essence, a CTA is your hook line to convert a user into a customer. So whether you want to increase your newsletter or email subscribers, drive more sales or enroll participants in a giveaway, you’re a button away! 

When used tactfully, a CTA can be your direct doorway to increased content marketing ROI. For instance, on Facebook, adding a CTA lifts the click-through rate by 2.85 times.

content call to action
Credit: AdRoll

However, a lukewarm content call to action doesn’t make the cut anymore. With stiff competition, and waning attention spans, your CTA needs to be convincing and informative in order to be effective. So while you may put immense work into creating an ad, email, or blog to drive results equivalent to your effort, it’ll be all for naught if you don’t have a CTA that stands out and is compelling enough to make the user go through with the desired action. So, what does it take to create a captivating CTA?

How to Create an Effective CTA

There’s a fine line between persuasive and pushy, and you surely want to steer clear of the latter. Once you understand what elements make for a strong, convincing CTA, you’ve won half the battle. Here are a few things to keep in mind when constructing your call to action:

Lead With a Strong Verb

When writing a CTA, get straight to the point. Word count is limited and people are busy. In order to get them to take the desired action, you need to be concise and clear in your ask. In order to tell your user what they need to do, employ a powerful verb. If you want the user to make a purchase, use words like “Order,” ‘Buy,” or “Shop.” If you’d like them to share their contact details, use a phrase such as “Subscribe and be the first to know” or “Find out more.” And if you have marketing assets that they can access and benefit from, use words like “Learn more” or “Download for free.”

content call to action

Make it Time Sensitive or Urgent 

There’s no better motivator than fostering a sense of urgency. People don't want to miss out on offers, deals, or any opportunity that puts them in a place of gain. Make your CTA time-sensitive to get your users to take prompt actions. Using trigger phrases like “Sale ends in two days!,” “Get 20% off for a limited time,” or “Offer available while supplies last” creates the need to act before it’s too late. Hence, users are more likely to perform the desired action. Additionally, using an exclamation mark at the end of your CTA can add to the sense of urgency. However, don’t get carried away. Too many exclamation points may come off as spammy.

Frame a Phrase That Evokes an Emotion

When you write good copy and share good quality content, you’re preparing your user to reach the crucial tipping point—the one where they’ll get past deliberation and feel convinced enough to take the suggested action. To elicit a desired response, you need to trigger their emotions. This can be achieved by infusing your call to action with enthusiasm. For example, for someone who’s looking for a home, “Buy your dream home today!” will generate much more interest in your email or ad than saying “Want to buy a house?.” 

content call to action

Give Them an Incentive 

The most important question you need to ask yourself is why would someone click this link or button? What’s in it for the user to take this action? Always think from the perspective of the user. So instead of saying “Subscribe to our blog”, you could say “Subscribe now to receive your free guide.” Here the incentive is clear: the user will get a free guide if they subscribe to your list. Other examples of effective CTAs include:  

  • “Call now to start your free trial”
  • “Get free consultation if you subscribe now”
  • “Download our e-book for free”
  • “Use code for 10% off”
  • “Register now to get $5 off”
content call to action

Make it Aesthetically Pleasing

Aesthetics are known to evoke emotions. When you see something attractive, you feel a surge of emotions like trust, delight, curiosity, surprise, connection et al. Hence, good aesthetics not only make your CTA easy on the eyes but through these emotions, they create a natural push to take the recommended action. Changes as small as font style or the color of the button can exponentially increase your click-through rate (CTR). In order to understand what makes your target audience tick, conduct A/B tests (an experiment where two or more versions of a website, landing page, or any marketing asset are shown to users at random to determine which version performs better for a particular goal) with variants mentioned above. You’ll be surprised at how these findings can impact the success of your CTA.

How to Measure the Success of Your CTA

It's crucial to measure the effectiveness of your CTA so you know what's working and what needs to be improved upon. The success of a call to action can be measured based on its origin or source.

Email or social media

If you’re sharing the CTA via email or on social media, use click-through rate as your benchmark to measure success. Research suggests that emails with a single CTA get 371% more clicks than those with multiple calls to action. So if you’re tempted to add multiple calls to action, ensure that there’s one that can be identified as your primary. Use design elements like size and color to make it stand out from the rest. 

content call to action


If your CTA appears on a website, use heat maps to monitor the activity on your CTA button. A heat map is a visualization of how users interact with a webpage via colors. If your CTA is in the red zone, then it’s getting plenty of hits. But if it’s reflected as blue, then you need to perform A/B testing to see how you can place your CTA at a more lucrative spot—one that can increase visitors’ interaction with it.

Make CTAs Your Best Friend

Although it may take some experimentation in the initial phase to understand which CTAs work best for your brand, it’s worth putting in the time and effort. Once you master the art of writing persuasive CTAs, you’ll witness an exponential increase in conversions and sales, all starting with the click of a button!

Are you looking to measure the effectiveness of your CTA, then look no further. Knotch can monitor any piece of content that contains a CTA and collect data on how users are interacting with it. Major brands like Ford, Amazon, and Ally currently use Knotch to perfect their CTAs and drive more clicks, leads, and conversions.

Try out Knotch for free today.