Call-to-Action Best Practices

Last updated: November 19, 2015

In this guide, you will learn about Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and how you can use them to optimize your website, blog, and email.

What is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads by filling out a form on a landing page. A CTA is the link between the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, and a page with a more high-value offer on it (the landing page) that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form.

CTAs can use all kinds of different wording to attract attention from qualified leads, including:

  • Download my free ebook now
  • Start a free trial
  • Make an appointment
  • Get a free consultation

Product Feature Breakdown based on Customer Account

The CTA tool offers varying features depending on whether you have a Basic, Pro, or Enterprise HubSpot account. The following list shows which type of customer has access to which features.

Basic: Standard CTAs

Pro: Standard and Smart CTAs

Enterprise: Standard and Smart CTAs, and A/B Testing of CTAs

HubSpot uses CTAs frequently on our website. Here's a good example:

Best Practices

Follow these guidelines to create CTAs that adhere to established best practices.

CTAs should be:

  • Visually striking with copy that compels you to click the offer
  • Brief: A couple of words is best, no more than five is ideal
  • Action-oriented: Begin with a verb like "Download" or "Register"
  • Located in an easy-to-find spot that follows organically from the flow of the webpage
  • In a contrasting color from the color scheme of the webpage, while still fitting in with the overall design
  • Large enough to see from a distance, but not so large as to detract attention from the main content on the page
  • Easy to understand and clear: Be sure to state exactly what the visitor will get if they click on the CTA and go to the landing page

CTA tool in HubSpot

From your HubSpot dashboard, navigate to Content > Calls-to-Action.

This is the Calls-to-Action dashboard.

Some uses for CTAs

CTAs come in all forms, sizes, and colors. Options abound for every situation, whether you are attracting leads or customers or want to draw guests to an event. Take a look at the following CTA tips to give you some ideas of how you can use CTAs. For more information and to get your creative juices flowing even more, read this blog post.

1. CTAs to generate leads

The purpose of this CTA is to attract visitors and turn them into leads; therefore, you'll want to place a CTA in a location on your website that sees a large amount of new visitors, like on your blog. The best places you could put a CTA are at the end of a post, in the sidebar, and as a floating banner in the corner.

Here is an example of a CTA to generate leads.

2. Social Sharing CTA

It may seem obvious, but social sharing buttons, like for Twitter and Facebook, are an effective, easy way for visitors to become involved with your company. Place these CTAs on blog posts and landing pages, but be careful to not include them in spots where people are submitting their personal information.

Check out the example to see what this can look like and to get inspired.

3. Lead Nurturing CTA

You want to further encourage leads to buy your product, so you must first tempt them with another offer that relates directly to your product, such as a product demo or free trial. Place these CTAs in strategic spots where leads tend to consistently visit. You could even use a smart CTA in a blog post or on another offer's thank you page.

Check out what this could look like.

4. Close the Sale

Using a CTA is a good method to turn leads into customers. The purpose of this CTA is to encourage a potential customer to buy your product or service right at that moment when they are debating whether to click on the CTA. Make possible customers feel comfortable with getting involved with your company through creating a friendly and clear CTA. You can place this type of CTA on a product page and you can also use smart CTAs at the end of blog posts.

Here is an example of a sales-focused CTA.

5. Promote an event

Use an event promotion CTA to create awareness of and attract visitors to your event. How much easier can it get to learn about and register for an event? The location options on your website are infinite for this CTA since the message can relate to all different audience types.

Here is a sample of how to promote an event with a CTA.

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