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How To Design a Great Call To Action (CTA)

How To Design a Great Call To Action (CTA)

Even if you have no idea what a call to action is, chances are good that you’ve seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of them! Every time you see a “Buy Now,” “Sign Up Today!” or “Register” button in an email, blog, or on a website, you’re looking at a CTA. 

If you are familiar with CTAs (i.e., you write copy), then you’re probably well-acquainted with the constant struggle of figuring out what words, placements, and colors will convert the most prospects. 

We believe that if you stick to following certain guidelines, designing a CTA can be easy. Below, we’ve broken down the steps to creating a great CTA, complete with examples of effective CTAs from popular brands. 

Why We Need CTAs in Copywriting


A call to action, or CTA, is a button or a hyperlink that asks users to take a specific action. CTAs are most often used in emails, blogs, advertisements, landing pages, and websites. 

CTAs are usually written as a command, like “Sign Up Today” or “Book an Appointment.” They can appear as a “button” graphic, or as a hyperlink. By clicking on the CTA, users will be directed to a separate page where they can complete the action. 

CTAs work to remove the friction of moving customers down the sales funnel. Without a CTA, prospects are far less likely to take any action after reading your content. Users may also struggle to see the route to buying a product or signing up for a service.

A clear CTA can: 

  1. Eliminate decision fatigue: With a clear CTA, the choice to buy, sign up, or subscribe is made much easier.  
  2. Direct your audience: Instead of your customer having to research and figure out where to go next to purchase from you, a CTA provides an immediate “next step.” 
  3. Improves conversions: With clear direction and an easy decision, naturally your conversions will improve. 

How To Write an Amazing CTA  


1. Use Power Words:



You want your CTA to be persuasive, so you need to use actionable, demanding language that kicks people into gear! Here’s some examples of power words you can use in a CTA: 

  • Become 
  • Book
  • Buy
  • Create
  • Design
  • Explore
  • Get 
  • Learn 
  • Read
  • Redeem
  • Request
  • Save
  • See 
  • Shop
  • Sign
  • Secure
  • Start
  • Take
  • Transfer 
  • Try
  • Unlock

2. Show Value (Be Specific!): 



When writing your CTA, highlight the benefits of the action you’re asking people to take. 

What sounds more convincing, “Sign Up Today” or “Sign Up For VIP Access”? The second example is the more persuasive option because it shows the clear benefit of signing up: users can get “VIP Access” to whatever it is you’re offering.

That’s not to say that simple, two-word CTAs can’t have a strong impact as well! There’s a reason why everyone uses “Get Started.” It’s short, to the point, and decisive. To decide between a short CTA and a longer one, think about which type of CTA would make the most sense in the context of your content. For longer CTAs, try to stay under seven words.

3. Provoke Emotion: 


Humans are emotional creatures, and effective CTAs capitalize on that! 

CTAs like “Take Back My Freedom,” “Become Your Best Self,” and “Feel Healthier Today” are effective because they leverage emotion. Respectively, these emotions are: feeling trapped, feeling like you’re not living up to your potential, and feeling unhealthy.

These CTAs acknowledge these feelings, and promise that the user can feel better just by clicking.

4. Show Personality



Avoid using just another garden variety CTA. For example, instead of “Sign Up,” consider “Sign me up!” Instead of “Buy Now,” try to highlight the benefit of your product, for example: “Yes, I want to sleep through the night!” Feel free to get creative with your word choice—just make sure it won’t confuse the user. 


CTA Design: Color, Size, and Quantity

Once you’ve decided on the copy for your CTA, it’s time to talk design. Let’s go over best practices for choosing the right color, size, and quantity of your CTA. 



When choosing a color for your CTA button, there are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  1. Make it pop. A more prominent, eye-catching call to action results in more conversions, so choose a high-contrast color in relation to your background colors. The more you increase the visibility of your CTA, the more your conversions will increase. 
  2. Use the color wheel. To get the most contrast, pick a color that’s complimentary to your page’s dominant color. On the color wheel, a complimentary color is your main color’s direct opposite. Another high-contrast color is a triadic color: the color that’s a third of the way around the color wheel from your main color.
  3. Keep it brand-appropriate. If you’re selling motorcycles, beard oil, or hunting knives, the majority of your target audience probably won’t respond well to the color pink (even if it is the complementary color). No matter what, make sure the color of your CTA is appropriate for your brand and target audience. 
  4. Be consistent. Try to use the same color for CTAs across your website. You may choose to switch up colors in individual ads or on different platforms, but for the most part, you want to be consistent. This will help visitors immediately recognize all CTAs, and know exactly where to go when they want to convert. 


There’s no perfect size for a CTA. But according to data from a study, the average size of a CTA is between 47 and 50 pixels tall. 

A small CTA will be easily missed by your readers, so make sure it’s large enough to both indicate importance and catch the reader’s eye. But, don’t go too large—users will get annoyed if your CTA is overcrowding other elements on the page. A huge CTA will read as spam to most people. 

A few key things to remember about choosing CTA sizes: 

  1. Use your best judgment. What would you think if you saw your own CTA? It’s also a good idea to source some unbiased opinions from coworkers or friends. 
  2. Make sure the size correlates with your brand’s aesthetic. If your brand errs on the side of minimalism, a large CTA probably won’t match the aesthetic. 
  3. When in doubt, run an A/B test using different CTA sizes. This way, you can figure out which one works best for your audience. 


While single CTAs work just fine for some mediums, other marketing content can support multiple CTAs without it being “too much.” How many CTAs you include in your content is often determined by the content itself. 

  • Blogs: Most blogs include one CTA at the bottom, right before the blog finishes. This may be included as a hyperlink, or it may be a large button that indicates the reader’s next step. However, as blogs become longer and more comprehensive, it’s not unusual to see multiple Calls To Action interspersed throughout the blog. 
  • Newsletters/Promotional Emails: Newsletter CTAs are usually included at the very bottom of the email, but they can also work in the top third portion, if it’s appropriate. For large promotional emails, it’s not uncommon to have 3, 4, or 5 CTAs placed throughout. (Just don’t overdo it!)
  • Website/Landing Pages: Website service pages usually have one CTA, to ensure that the user doesn't get confused about where they need to go. Landing pages, on the other hand, can be full of CTAs. With a landing page, you’re allowed to be a little more in-your-face than in other kinds of content. Conversely, there are many effective minimalist landing pages that use only one CTA. 

Examples of Effective CTAs

Here are some calls-to-action that follow the rules—and some that bend them!  

NerdFitness - I’m In!


This CTA by NerdFitness hits on all the targets. The text of the CTA “I’m in!” is unique, yet clear. The color is in contrast with the rest of the background. The size is not too small and not too big, but just right!

Ancestry- Save Now 

CTA example 2

Less is more with this CTA. It works because the benefit is made clear, and the word “now” suggests immediacy and urgency. The only critique here is the color—blue is just too close to green for it to stand out, but maybe “subtle” is what their brand is going for. - Start Your Free 60-day Trial 


This CTA uses specific language that clearly states the benefit to the user. What we especially like about this CTA is that it makes use of the triadic colors yellow and purple!

Spotify - Get Premium 

CTA example 3

Notice that this short CTA works in context of the landing page copy. Otherwise “Get Premium” wouldn’t make any sense. Another notable feature of this CTA is the color: even though purple is right next to pink on the color wheel, the effect is lovely to look at! 

Evernote - Sign Up 


Notice that Evernote’s CTA matches their brand color, bright green. However, they’ve made sure that the background photograph stands in stark contrast to the color of the CTA. Additionally, they’ve included an extra CTA in the upper righthand corner. 

Humboldt County - Follow The Magic


Not only do we love the creative wording and design of Humboldt County’s CTA, but we love the contrast between the deep, earthy toned photograph in the background and the white, simply-illustrated CTA in the foreground. 

Want Us To Write Your CTAs?  

If, after all the advice and helpful suggestions, you feel like you could live your whole life without seeing another CTA ever again, call on the experts at Wild Fig Marketing! 

Not only can we write the perfect CTA, but our marketing team can also write your blogs, emails, and other content!! Schedule an exploratory call with us today to find out how we can help you convert more prospects (did you spot the CTA?). We look forward to working with you! 

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