A call-to-action (CTA) is a call to action for the target audience to generate a specific response. Examples of CTAs are “Try Now”, “Learn More” or “Download Now”.
The call to action can be used in text form or as an image or as a combination of both media. The CTA is often a prerequisite for the user to interact with the page. At the same time, a sensibly placed call to action can increase the conversion rate.
A call-to-action is always used when the recipient is asked to deal with the product in a certain way in the context of advertising, regardless of the medium. However, the goal of a call-to-action is not always direct conversion. Different objectives such as generating leads are also possible. A CTA can also consist of encouraging the reader to click on other articles or media in order to increase the length of stay.
Possible goals of the call-to-action
- Purchase of the advertised item
- Arranging a consultation appointment in a specialist shop
- Calling up a specific website with further information
- Placing a product in the shopping cart
- request for information material
- Prompt for a call
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Registration on a website
- Arranging a test drive in a car dealership
- Start of a download
- Request for further reading
- Recommendation of other products, articles or pages on a website
A call-to-action is an important element in marketing campaigns that have been shown to increase response rates or conversion. The call-to-action is not only used in print and online advertising but also in TV and radio spots.
Possible applications of the call-to-action
- Landing pages: Classic landing pages work specifically with CTA to generate conversions.
- Mailings: In newsletter marketing or e-mail marketing, call-to-action plays an important role so that users react to the letter.
- Websites: E-commerce websites always use call-to-action to convert visitors into buyers.
- TV Ads: Any TV ad usually contains calls to action for the viewer.
- Radio Spots: Radio commercials typically ask the listener to take action after listening to the spot.
- Print ads: In the print sector, too, advertising is designed in such a way that it explicitly prompts the consumer to take action.
- Display ads: Banner ads usually always work with CTA.
- Online text ads: Text ads through programs like Google AdWords contain a limited amount of call-to-action. Google itself recommends these elements for text ads.
- Meta Description: Meta descriptions used for the snippet in the SERPs should contain a CTA to increase the CTR.
Placement of the call-to-action in digital media
The call-to-action must be placed in such a way that the recipient of the advertisement can perceive and understand the message. There are two possible positions for this. In principle, it can be placed at the beginning of an advertisement or a website. In this case, one speaks of “above the field”. More often, however, the call to action is placed at the end, where it can take the consumer’s positive impression of the product or company and turn it into a reaction. The call-to-action thus forms the “highlight” of a text or graphic, for example, “Buy product xy online now!!” at the end of a product description in an online shop.
Design of the call to action
The call to action must always be formulated in such a way that the consumer does not feel patronized. Rather, the desire should be awakened in him to become active. A call-to-action is naturally formulated very briefly and should not exceed a maximum of two sentences. Ideally, it is only one sentence or a few words long. The call-to-action should also be visually distinct from the rest of the ad, website, or landing page.
In Internet media, so-called “buttons” are often used. These are buttons labelled with the call to action that directly trigger the respective action. They often stand out in colour from the rest of the website. The design of the buttons is usually very simple and consists of a text element with a contrasting background.
Example of a call to action
In addition to this simple “button solution”, a call-to-action can also be combined with a strong image. For example, working with faces on websites has proven itself because they inspire trust in the visitor. These CTAs are often used, for example, to encourage visitors to make a call.
Click-rate optimization with call-to-action
The call-to-action is an important element for optimizing the meta description. This meta element of a website is used by search engines for the search snippet in the SERPs. If a user has now entered his search query into the search engine and receives the search results, only a few milliseconds remain before he decides on a result that he clicks on. If a call-to-action is included in the snippet, the chance that the user will click on exactly this result and be redirected to the website increases. The call-to-action can thus contribute to a higher CTR in the SERP. In this sense, it also becomes an SEO-relevant element of on-page optimization.
Linking the CTA to artificial scarcity
Response to a call-to-action can be improved by working with what is known as artificial scarcity. The advertiser artificially creates a feeling of scarcity, for example by only offering certain discounts for a limited period of time or by limiting the number of items offered. A typical example of artificial scarcity is the call to action: “The first 50 customers receive a special discount of 20%. Secure your special price now!”
Benefits for online marketing
Digital advertising media or websites without a call-to-action often contribute to the fact that the user looks at the content but does not act in the desired way. As the name suggests, a call-to-action asks him to take action. The user becomes active. The call-to-action can be formulated very simply and also appear in the body of the text to keep the reader engaged. But regardless of how the call-to-action is ultimately implemented, it is a central element of any advertising campaign and just as important for visitors to interact with a website.