Call to Action (CTA)

A Call to Action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step you want your audience to take.1

It’s a prompt that can directly lead to a sale, like telling readers to “Click to buy,” or it might guide them closer to becoming customers, such as “Learn more about our services.

The CTA is designed to move people from just viewing your content to actually engaging with your products or services.2

Visual Representation:

Call to Action Visual Representation


The primary purpose of a CTA is to encourage website visitors or an audience to take a specific desired action.3

It acts as a clear signpost, removing confusion and making it easy for users to know what step to take next.

CTAs link users’ interests with offers that are both relevant and valuable.4

How Call to Action Works

A Call to Action works by clearly directing users toward the next step you want them to take after engaging with your content, advertisement, or website.

It’s a specific instruction designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale.

Here’s how it helps:

  1. Grabs Attention: After you’ve got someone interested in your content or offer, a CTA catches their eye with a clear message like “Sign up now” or “Buy today.”
  2. Gives Clear Directions: It tells people exactly what to do, making it easy to follow through without guessing.
  3. Makes It Urgent: Good CTAs often say things like “Hurry, limited-time offer!” to make people feel like they should act quickly.
  4. Leads to Action: When someone clicks on a CTA, they’re taken to where they can do something, like a page to buy a product or sign up for a newsletter.
  5. Lets You Improve: By seeing how many clicks and actions your CTA receives, you can make changes to improve its effectiveness over time.5


CTAs are used in various digital marketing materials and platforms to guide users toward taking a desired action.

Here are some common places you’ll find them:

  • Websites: Like a “Sign up” button on the homepage or a “Download” link at the end of a blog post.
  • Emails: In messages asking you to “Click here” to see more or get a deal.
  • Social Media: In posts and ads like “Learn more” or “Buy now.”
  • Online Ads: On banners or videos that invite you to visit a site or see a product.
  • Shopping Sites: Telling you to “Add to cart” or “Check out” when buying something.
  • Events: Links to “Register now” for a webinar or an event.
  • Videos: Asking you to “Subscribe” to a channel or “Watch more.”
  • Apps: Suggestions to “Upgrade” or “Buy” something inside an app.

Types of CTAs

CTAs can vary in form and function.

Common types include:

  • Transactional CTAs: These are aimed at finalizing a sale or another type of conversion (e.g., ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Checkout’).
  • Lead Generation CTAs: Used to gather contact information (e.g., ‘Download Free E-Book’, ‘Sign Up for Webinar’).
  • Informational CTAs: Designed to provide more details or context (e.g., ‘Learn More’, ‘Read More’).6

Placement and Design Considerations

The effectiveness of a CTA is influenced by its placement and design.

Ideally, a CTA should be placed in a prominent location where it naturally draws the eye, such as above the fold on a webpage or at the end of a blog post.

The design should make the CTA stand out, using contrasting colors and clear, actionable language.

The size and shape should be noticeable but not overwhelming.7


Here’s an example of a CTA depending on the situation:

Scenario: You’re running a blog about healthy recipes and published a delicious-looking smoothie recipe.

Goal: You want readers to try the recipe and subscribe to your blog for more content.

CTA Option 1 (Button CTA):

  • Text: “Blend It Up Now! Get the Recipe”
  • Design: A bright green button with white text that stands out from the surrounding recipe content.

This CTA is clear and concise and uses an action verb to entice users to try the recipe.

CTA Option 2 (Text-Based CTA):

  • Text: “Feeling inspired? Download the recipe and subscribe to our newsletter for more healthy meal ideas delivered straight to your inbox!”

This CTA highlights the benefit of downloading the recipe and entices users to subscribe for more content.

Related Terms


1. Kenton, W. (2022, December 27). What a call to action (CTA) is and how it works. Investopedia.

2. Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, November 13). Call to action (marketing). Wikipedia.

3. Handayani, R. C., Purwandari, B., Solichah, I., & Prima, P. (2018, September). The impact of Instagram” Call-to-action” buttons on customers’ impulse buying. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Business and Information Management (pp. 50-56).

4. What is a call to action? (n.d.).

5. Boulette, A. (2023, November 7). 16 call to action examples + how to write a CTA.

6. Stanimirovic, U. (2023, January 24). Everything you need to know about the importance of ctas for videos. Target Video.

7. Eisenberg, B., Eisenberg, J. (2006). Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results. United Kingdom: HarperCollins Leadership.

Scroll to Top