top of page

Do Calls to Action Really Work?

I was having coffee with a colleague a few weeks ago when she asked me, “This is probably a stupid question but, do Calls To Action really work?”

First of all, that is the opposite of a dumb question. Without understanding why or how CTAs work, it’s hard to know what to do with them in your marketing.

Yes, they work VERY well.

Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%. However, 70% of small business websites lack even one call to action. Ooh, that’s bad.

There are the 5 principals at play in a good CTA.

Let’s get into the details so you can use them more effectively.


For one thing, there is an expectation for a call to action. No matter if it’s postcard, Facebook video, or landing page, we are trained to expect a call to action. It’s based on our past encounters with marketing of any kind. So don’t leave your customers hanging.


A call to action appeals to our innate sense of curiosity. We are mighty curious about what will happen if we click the button, hit ‘subscribe’ or sign up. For a graphic illustration of this concept, see this 90 second clip.


Built into the CTA formula is anticipation. Will the free e-book I’m downloading have the answers I’m looking for? This feeling of expectation puts people in a positive state of mind even before actually experiencing something enjoyable.


OK, so here’s the obvious example of a reward: Take this survey and you’ll receive a $50 gift card. Or, “Enter for a chance to win a FREE iPad.” Would offering a free white paper or reference guide still count? Absolutely, the reward doesn’t have to be huge to invoke a winning feeling for your customers.


Tell your audience what you want them to do next. Otherwise, they are left guessing—which results in a more difficult decision-making process. Not only are they left on their own to figure out what to do, they also have to decide whether or not to do it. Tell them to ‘call now’ or ‘download the PDF’ and make their lives just a little bit easier.

Hopefully, this break down of the Call To Action will help you use them more effectively in your own marketing. Need help developing your CTAs? You know where to find me.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page