What Calls To Action Will Work Best For You?


I’m sure you have had this discussion many times with your web designer or content management company. What’s the best way to go? How many should you use? What kind of content works best? Should they be viewable or downloadable? I came across some interesting details from  blogs I subscribe to and summarised some recent thoughts for you to consider below.


How should firms craft their Calls To Action (CTAs ) for success? It all depends on context. The basic idea is to encourage audiences to take a particular action. Research into the area shows that every detail counts. Because context is very important there is no universally ideal Calls To Action. But certain general principles apply across a wide range of circumstances.


Colour and Size


Your call-to-action should stand out from the rest of the page while making it clear that it is a clickable button. You can accomplish this through design elements like colour and size. Bright and active colours are consistently more effective than greys which tend to appear inactive. The particular click rate on a given call-to-action can vary dramatically according to its colour so testing can be highly useful.


Here’s an example of one test:

Color and size test example

As a rule bigger is better for Calls To Actions. A call-to-action typically directs users toward the single action you  desire them to take. The mind interprets the significance of page elements according to their relative prominence, so large buttons lend a Call To Action an immediate sense of importance. Consider this call-to-action from Spotify:


CTA location example


This CTA employs both bright, appealing, and active colours as well a large and clear design for the buttons to make users’ next step clear. In this case that next step is to download Spotify. Note that there are actually two calls-to-action directing users to the same end, one in the page’s main stage and one in the navigation bar. While multiple calls-to-action with different goals could confuse users, this design makes it clear what they should do next.




In call-to-action copy active language is more engaging than passive description.  The text should feel both personal and specific. There are a handful of best practices you can follow to make your Calls To Actions as effective as possible:

  • Lead with a Verb. Describe exactly what it is that clicking the button will do.
  • Be Specific. The CTA above doesn’t say “Download app” or simply “Download.” It tells users exactly what they will get.
  • Try Writing the Copy in the First Person. The language shouldfeel personal. Try filling in the blank in the sentence, “I want to ………” Sometimes you may write the copy explicitly in the first person – “Start my free trial,” for example, tests better than “Start your free trial.”




Have you ever seen the three different subscription options to The Economist magazine.  It applies to online offers and calls-to-action. When an offer is positioned as the mid-point between two other offerings  it tends to convert at the highest rate. It also tends to have a higher rate than if the offer were simply presented on its own.

Middle offer example

The middle offer benefits from the presence of less appealing options which may be pricier on one end and insufficient on the other. Given this context, strategic highlighting may nudge users toward the desired path. Once audiences have demonstrated a preference for this option, you may even reinforce the pattern by labelling this choice the “most popular.”


Testing is Critical


When it comes to Calls To Actions, design and copywriting best practices will only take you so far. The best practice that matters most is testing. A/B Testing – comparing the statistical performance of two variants with only one difference – is the only way to learn what works best. For best results, marketers must take a scientific approach to CTAs and maintain that approach diligently. As marketing evolves the leaders in the field will increasingly set themselves apart by using science behind their art.


Contact Avid Partners on 0818 303087, Email Us advice@avidpartners.ie or Visit Us at www.avidpartners.ie.

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