Is Your Call to Action Actually Useful to Your Audience?


Adding a call to action, or CTA, is a vital part of turning your site visitors into customers. However, the way you phrase your CTA and the features you use will make a difference in how useful the CTA is to your audience. If you want your site visitors to return, the entire process needs to be intuitive and straightforward.

There is no denying CTAs are essential. Ninety percent of visitors who read your headline also read your CTAs. If you really want to grab your target audience, you need to make sure the CTA is useful, as well as attention-getting. You likely put a lot of thought into those headlines, but you should put equal thought into your CTAs. Below are eight ways you can ensure your CTA is valuable to your site visitors.

1. Add Arrows

Adding arrows gives site visitors some direction. Imagine landing on a website for the first time. You’re looking for the shopping area or an action to take, but aren’t quite sure what to choose. An arrow draws the eye and indicates clicking on a button will take you to another area of the site. It is a CTA in and of itself.

helzberg diamonds

Helzberg Diamonds added arrows to their CTA buttons. This simple change increased their conversions by 26 percent by drawing interest to buttons, such as “Shop Now,” and clearly showing visitors where to take action.

2. Use the First Person

First-person phrasing is useful to your audience, because they can easily see how the CTA relates to them and the action they should take. “Start my free trial” makes it clear that it is a free trial meant for the site visitor. The first-person viewpoint also makes the CTA much more personal and intimate for the site visitor.

3. Provide Information

Your CTA should provide valuable information to site visitors by indicating an item is available, telling them about special deals or giving them the extra bit of knowledge that allows them to make a knowledgeable decision. While you want to keep wording short and to the point, you can still add details to provide value to your audience.

sincerely nuts

Look at the expanded CTA over at Sincerely Nuts. In addition to a simple “Shop Now” CTA button, they’ve added a wider button in the same color with an arrow and additional information for site visitors. They indicate customers get free shipping, and what popular items are currently in stock. This combination adds value for shoppers by saving them time.

4. Tie to Push Notifications

Another idea is to tie your CTA button to a push notification. For visitors who are already registered and use your app regularly, you can set up a push notification to remind them about a special when they hover over your CTA button or take some other action. Push notifications help you retain customers and remind them what you have to offer.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Customers sometimes hesitate and later can’t locate your website again to take action. Have you ever shopped for something, thought you’d go back for it later and can’t find that exact item again? This scenario creates frustration for online shoppers, which you can avoid by providing a sense of urgency that encourages them to go ahead and buy.


Vanguard creates a sense of urgency in their CTA by placing text just above the CTA button that reads, “Get started today.” The use of the word “today” urges the site visitor to act now. The placement of the CTA button directly under this makes it convenient for the site visitor who does want to sign up for an account with the investment firm.

6. Minimize Choices

Another way to grab visitors’ attention and avoid confusion is to minimize the number of choices on your landing page. Too many options are overwhelming, and your audience may not understand what you expect them to do. Limiting the choices available makes it clear what the CTA actually is and the next steps site visitors need to take.

7. Design for Easiness on the Eyes

Spending time on your wording or choosing the perfect color CTA button is worthless if your site visitors can’t find the button. Make the button large enough to draw the eye. There should also be strong contrast between the background and your CTA button to minimize visitors’ eye strain.


Slack does a good job of drawing the eye to their CTA button. Note how the button is a deep blue against a white background, which allows it to pop. It is also large enough for the text to be legible, even for those with slight visual challenges.

8. Simplify Steps

Want your audience to sign up for your newsletter or a service? Anything you can do to simplify the signup or ordering process is helpful.

For example, if you offer a newsletter, add a form next to the CTA so they can enter their email and sign up for your mailing list with a single click. People are busy these days and appreciate anything that can save them time.

Making CTAs More Useful

Take time to look at your CTAs through the eyes of your typical audience member. What can you do to make the CTA more visible and intuitive? Is it easy to find and easy to use? While there is no formula for the perfect CTA, you can make yours effective for your audience by thinking through which actions you’d like your audience to take and how to make that process as easy as possible