3 basic elements that make an effective call to action

The call to action (CTA), for most online businesses, is the true superstar of their promotional efforts. An effective call to action is often the difference between decent click-throughs and outstanding ones.

And although online marketers now pay much more attention to CTAs than they did, say, a decade ago, this is a part of business that requires constant optimization and enhancement. And testing.

Here are 3 basic tips to help you go the extra mile with your CTA elements:


Contrast, here, does not necessarily mean difference in colors. For example, if during testing you find that red converts better than green, it is not an indication of the fact in the general sense. Red may just have more contrast with your overall design. Try different graphics.

For this reason, it is never a bad idea to create designs that are a bit more color neutral. This affords you more leeway in making your CTA stand out and be more distinctive.


Ideally you would want to stick with one choice. Two in some rare instances. Go any higher and you are well on your way to confusing your customers. Prioritize, and limit the actions for maximum impact.


No matter how good your call to action button is, the first and foremost thing it must be doing is calling for action. You have to ensure that your actions are indeed, well, actions. Think along the lines of “Free Trial” and “Try it free”. Which one is better? Passive or active?

You can experiment with design as much as you want while you are running tests on multiple CTAs. That is not just recommended but absolutely required.

But your CTA works best when your visitors are quickly (and effortlessly) able to spot them, and they instantly know what they do — contrast, choices and intent. Complicate matters any further, and you enter the land of diminishing returns.

Leave a Comment Below

  • Simple and smart, Bradley! Intent, in particular, is one thing I never really considered but obviously is important for CTA. I’ll keep this in mind!

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