What is a Call to Action (CTA) and why is it important in marketing?

What is a Call to Action (CTA) and why is it important in marketing?

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt telling the user to take a specific action.

Written as a command like ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Learn More’, it typically appears on a button or hyperlink and guides the user to their next action. The CTA can be a small step like requesting a social media follow or a big step like requesting a phone call.  

It can be the critical difference between a lead and a conversion and tells the user where to go next. When done effectively, it can reduce confusion and help the user take further steps. 

How does a CTA work?

When a prospective customer or client has interacted with your content and is debating where to go next, a CTA can help direct them to the part of the user journey that will keep them engaged in your marketing funnel. 

If there is no clear CTA, they might find it difficult to see how to proceed further along the buying process. A strong CTA helps eliminate decision fatigue and simplifies the user journey, helping to orient them and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed or confused. 

The more CTAs you create, the more you can test which of them are the most effective. When you use plenty of strong CTAs throughout your marketing ecosystem, you build your audience by converting more users into followers and more followers into paying customers.  

Examples of a CTA could be: 

  • Learn more here (directing them to a relevant webpage)
  • Book a call (leading them to your contact details)
  • Sign up for our newsletter (referring them to your ongoing emails)
  • Begin free trial (directing them to the relevant sign-up page)

You can measure the effectiveness of a CTA through the following metrics: 

  • Click-through rate: this tracks how many of the users who see your CTA click on it
  • Clicks to submissions: this tracks, from those who clicked on the CTA, how many went on to submit data
  • Views to submissions: this measures the percentage of users who see a CTA end up becoming a lead.

Why is a CTA important?

The CTA is essentially a transition point in the user journey. Either the user will stay with the marketing process that has been designed for them and take immediate action, or they will leave the marketing funnel. 

When you make it easy to take the next step, people will increasingly proceed with the user experience and move through the process. Most users enjoy having CTAs, and customers today have grown to expect them, as they want to know where to go next after engaging with your marketing. 

Not having a CTA can leave the users directionless and unsure where to go next. The more intuitive the CTA, the better. It can build a sense of urgency or softly direct your users toward the checkout line. Ignoring the importance of the CTA and not having a thoughtful and clear signpost can cause many users to drop out of the marketing process sooner than they otherwise would.