8 Brilliant Tips For Creating Effective Calls-To-Action

8 Brilliant Tips For Creating Effective Calls-To-Action
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New visitors to your ecommerce site can sometimes act like they have lost their way midway while browsing. They know they want something from you, but they don’t immediately know how to get it and where to go. A Call-to-Action button (CTA) is your staff for visitors so that they can be properly directed on what to do next. Effective Calls to Action provide information like “Buy Now” or “Request a Call Back.” These instructions are indispensable guides for visitors and should not only be self-explanatory but also visible and easy on the eye.

Call to action buttons need to jump out at the shopper and leave them in no doubt about the next step they need to take to make a purchase. Visitors can have low attention spans, and an effective call to action which catches the customer’s eye can make it clear what the next step should be.

There is no definitive answer on which buttons work best, so it is important to test different combinations of colour, button size, wording and placement to see what is most effective.

As a general rule though, if it doesn’t stand out clearly on the page, there is room for improvement. Every website should have a call to action, a response you want users to complete. But how do you encourage users to act? How do you create an effective call to action? That is because an effective call to action is an essential part of any website. A call to action is not only limited to ecommerce sites. Every website should have a goal it wants users to complete. Whether it is filling in a contact form, signup for a newsletter or volunteering their time. A call to action provides – focus to your site, a way to measure your sites success and a direction for your users.

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the buttons you use in your website and on your landing pages to guide users towards your goal conversion. It’s the part of the landing page that the user needs to click in order to take the action you want them to take. CTA buttons can vary in style and size depending on your goal conversion and website style. Some common examples of call-to-action buttons are – Add to cart buttons, Free trial sign-up buttons, Download buttons etc. CTA buttons have a very specific goal: to get your web visitor clicking and completing a conversion.

Let us have a look on these brilliant tips to create effective call-to-action buttons to help you get the most clicks out on your website:

Colour Combinations

Different colours and contrasts allows your CTAs to stand out on a page. Use colours that match/correspond to each other to avoid dissonance, and try to make whitepace around something important to highlight it. A good amount of white space in a message will reduce the amount of distractions and therefore increase the likelihood of someone focusing in that area. The button must stand out from the background, as well as from any other icons or images on the product page. A colour should be chosen which contrasts with those used on the rest of the page, preferably a bright colour which catches the eye. A bright colour can stand out best, but it is also important to consider that some colours may create certain associations in shoppers’ minds.

Orange is sometimes recommended as the ideal colour for calls to action, as it draws attention to a button without being too bright. Some colours have other connotations; some may associate red with danger or debt, while green can signify ‘go’. These are all things to consider when choosing a colour. Testing variations will help you to find the best colour for your website’s call to action buttons. Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to elements. This is especially true if the rest of the site has a limited palette. The extreme contrast leaves the user in no doubt what they should do next. Of course, never rely solely on colour because many users are colour blind and will not see the contrast.

Prompting Directions

Direction indicators such as arrows can lead visitors to look at your CTAs more readily. These allow the viewers eye to locate the most important information on the page quickly and easily, which is what you ideally want. You can add directional prompts when complex layouts, or ones that requires a hierarchy of steps, cause too much confusion and result in less click-throughs or conversions.

Customers should be presented with all options, but it’s worth drawing more attention to the action you’d most like them to take. Even the brightest and most clearly worded call to action will struggle to stand out on a cluttered page. However, for most sites, it’s important to make sure that there is some clear space around the call to action button. This will avoid the risk of it being drowned out by the rest of the elements on the page.

Before a user is willing to complete a call to action they have to recognise the need. Infomercials do this well. Before they ask people to respond, they first identify a problem. They then present a product that solves that problem. You also need to communicate the benefits of responding. What will the user get out of completing the call to action?

Creating Urgency

Psychologists and marketers may already be aware that building  urgency increases desire for a product or service. This urgency only  works however when there are clear instructions for visitors to  follow. So “’buy now’” as opposed to “’buy’.” When you build a window of opportunity and provide the instructions for how to take advantage of it, your visitors will be more willing to make an immediate purchase. Creating a sense of urgency in the customer’s mind can nudge them into a purchase decision there and then.

This may not be applicable for every site, but if you have a sale on, or limited stock, or perhaps can guarantee next day delivery if the order is placed within the next hour, then this can be a powerful technique. Make sure your call to action is not only found on your homepage. Every page of your site should have some form of call to action that leads the user on. If the user reaches a dead-end they will leave without responding to your call. Consider what happens when a user does respond to your call to action. The rest of the process needs to be as thought through as the call to action itself.

After all the journey rarely ends when the user clicks the call to action. There might be a sign up process, email communications, or any number of different steps. You need to streamline these to avoid distractions. Distractions which might stop the user finishing the process. Completing a call to action is often a step of trust on behalf of the user. They may have to make a payment or give you personal details. This means they often have questions and concerns. Concerns they will want addressing before they take action.

Size And Placement

The call to action is the most important link on a product page so shoppers need to instantly see it without having to hunt around. It should be the biggest link on the page. After all, the bigger it is, the more chance it has of being noticed, so why not increase the size and test the results? The call to action for the Firefox browser is the biggest feature on the page and as a result it is unmissable. Buttons should be placed somewhere where users’ eyes are likely to scan as they view the product page. Placing the call to action just below the price, or to the right of the product listing makes it easy to scan and spot quickly.

Also, online shoppers are used to seeing calls to action in this area of the page so it makes sense to follow precedent. You should place it high on the page and in the central column. But be careful. This does not guarantee success especially when there are images of faces on the page. Faces draw our attention away from a call to action. Fortunately we can use this to our advantage too. If the face and call to action are associated, it will help focus users on the call to action.

Alternatively if the person is looking towards the call to action, this will draw the user’s eye. Web designers often get annoyed with clients who ask them to make things bigger. It is true that size isn’t everything. But we cannot deny that size does play a large part. The bigger your call to action, the more chance users will notice it. Also a large call to action enables us to add more compelling copy.

Words And Speech

The wording should leave shoppers in no doubt about what will happen when they click the link. It should ideally start with a verb that conveys action:  ‘buy’, ‘add to basket’, etc. Users expect to see phrases like ‘add to basket’ and ‘buy now’, so it may be wise not to deviate too much from this kind of language. Call to action buttons should feature striking, action-oriented text. Your button text should be large enough to read easily, but not so large that it looks obnoxious or intimidating.

While it may seem absurd to imply that large text makes people feel anxious or uncomfortable, many users do experience subconscious distaste for threateningly large lettering. Your button text should be big enough to draw attention, but not so big that it completely overwhelms the rest of the content. Considering that, it may be tempting to stretch out your button text, but that’d be a bad move. Ideally you’ll want to keep that button text to two or five words.

Changing button text from second person (“get your free template”) to the first person (“get my free template”) resulted in a 90% increase in clicks! See how changing your CTA button to 1st person (putting yourself in your customer’s shoes) affects your CTRs. There are some situations in call-to-action marketing where you may want to consider adding an extra line of information within your button text.

Multiple CTAs

Thanks to adding reviews, videos and just about everything – it can find everything that relates to the product. Ecommerce sites often have very lengthy product pages, so the retailer has to add multiple calls to action above and below the fold. These buttons can grab the attention of users further down the page and also increase the opportunities for shoppers to add further items to their baskets. Make sure your call to action is not only found on your homepage. Every page of your site should have some form of call to action that leads the user on. If the user reaches a dead-end they will leave without responding to your call.

It is also important to focus your actions. Too many and the user becomes overwhelmed. Studies in supermarkets have shown that if the shopper sees too many options they are less likely to buy.

By limiting the number of choices a user has to make we reduce the amount of mental effort. You guide the user around the site step by step. This applies to everything from navigational options to calls to action. The number of appropriate calls to action will vary from site to site. But, it is not so much the number of calls to action as the distinctiveness of each.

Adaptation For Devices

There are different considerations for designing calls to action for different devices, though the essentials are the same: it should stand out and be easy to click. You can also look at the way people use devices and adapt calls to action to suit this. Generally we read top to down and left to right. Keeping this natural reading flow in mind can help influence smart button placement. Call-to-action buttons placed towards the bottom or to the right of content often outperforms alternative placements.


Most importantly, never force users to backtrack in order to click a button – CTA buttons should appear in appropriate places that align with a user’s experience. For example, you would want to put a “sign up now” button in a spot where a user would find it after reading about your offer or product, not before, as it would make no sense for a user to sign up for an offer they know nothing about.

Test Often

If your ecommerce site has a large enough volume of visitors, you can use an A/B test to see whether this is true for your site. However there are a number of studies done using eye-tracking software and mouse movements that prove encapsulation works well in attracting visitors and directing them to the appropriate links. This is really the key. If you choose a call to action that stands out you may do very well but until you test it there’s no way of knowing whether you have chosen the best option.


Simple changes to design, colour, wording and size can produce impressive results. Testing with CTA buttons is absolutely vital! If you haven’t done much A/B testing before. The call-to-action buttons are a great place to start as even small, easy-to-make changes can have dramatic effects. Test placement, color, style, text – if you can think of it, you should test it!

Pragyan Sharma

A quiet person, likes to keep things to myself - well mostly. Have a passion for writing. Loves singing and playing Guitar. Reader. Dreamer. Wanderlust.

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  1. Good one! As mentioned in the article, right SEO activities will produce better quality traffic which in turn helps the website to be listed top in the search results.

  2. After reading this article I must say I know all that I need to know about the FDI in the e-commerce industry.

  3. I think in a world where mobiles outnumber people, it makes sense for a brand to have a mobile optimised site.

  4. I have tried a few of these and they really are cost effective, yet to try my hands at the twitter campaign. Great tips!

  5. Exploring all the features, this is one of the most interesting, I must add. Thanks for it being so clear.

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