Quick – what is the most important part of your website’s content? Some marketers would argue that it’s the call-to-action or CTA. True, the headline captures your audience’s attention and the body of your content gives them the information they need. But it’s the CTA that motivates your website’s visitors to do what you want them to do. It’s what them to give you their contact details or buy your product.

But just adding a CTA button to your content doesn’t guarantee results. After all, CTAs are not created equal. You need to put a lot of thought into their design and typography, from the color of the button to the font style you use, to maximize the benefits they produce for your content and your brand.

If you find the prospect of creating a CTA button from scratch daunting, don’t worry. “Good artists copy; great artists steal,” said renowned innovator Steve Jobs. All you need to do is look for highly performing brands and check out the CTAs they use in their web content. Determine what makes them work and how you can incorporate these winning elements into your own CTA.

That said, here are 10 examples of effective CTAs from some of today’s top brands:

#1. Dropbox

The Dropbox website is a testament to less being more. The larger portion of their pages is dedicated to white space. Even the text and graphics used are in muted and low-contrast colors. The result is a clean-looking background for what Dropbox truly wants their site’s visitors to see – their CTAs. Bearing the same bright blue color as the brand’s logo located at the top of every page, Dropbox’s CTA buttons are impossible to miss. They make it clear what they want visitors to do and where users need to click to start using the product.

#2. Netflix

You need to understand your customers and your website has to show it. Just look at what Netflix has done with their CTA. They know that most people are afraid of being stuck with paying for subscriptions they no longer want. To allay this fear, Netflix makes it clear that their customers can subscribe and “CANCEL ANYTIME.” Right under that is a CTA button telling customers they can try out the service for a month, free of charge. Freebies are enough to make many customers sign up, but pairing the CTA with a promise they can actually use makes the call a lot more effective.

#3. Notepod

You don’t have the entire day with your customer, so you’d want to be as concise with your offer as possible. A good way to maximize your customers’ time, as well as the space in your website, is to provide additional information through your CTA. Take Notepod’s, for instance. Their CTA uses the usual “Buy Now” spiel, but adds how much their product costs. Because the price is there for the customers to see, they can make educated decisions without having to scour the page for information.


#4. Skype

You can use your CTA to tell your customers, which option you’d rather they take when using your product. In their website, Skype invites users to use their web app using a gray CTA button set against a gray background. A blue CTA button, set against the same gray background, lets users download and install the app on their device. Skype wants customers to pick the second option because it makes using the app a lot easier. This is why they made the second CTA more visible than the first.

#5. Growth.org (Former inbound.org)

There are two reasons to like growth.org’s CTA. First, the copy they used for the CTA button continues the message delivered by the text that led to it. This produces a cohesive thought that users are more likely to understand and act on. Second, the CTA itself makes good use of urgency by telling people to act “now.” It may not seem much, but implying that an offer or benefit may soon run out by using “now” and similar words are among the best ways to amplify your message and make your CTA more effective.

#6. Amazon

Security is one of the biggest issues people have about online transactions and Amazon knows this. For this reason, they make it a point to emphasize just how secure their platform is in their CTA. Knowing that their credit card information, as well as other sensitive details, is kept secure is a surefire way to get people to trust and use their service.

#7. Grammarly

Your CTA’s design must reflect your brand’s values. Grammarly’s website looks clean, sleek, and smart. Its copy is very straight-to-the-point and its CTA makes it clear just how easy it is to add the app to Google Chrome. All these qualities make the app look reliable, particularly, to people looking for a dependable tool with which to check for spelling and grammatical errors.

#8. IMPACT

The CTA used by IMPACT uses the first-person instead of the traditional second-person point-of-view. This strategy serves several handy purposes. Using the first person makes users feel that they are in control and allows them to imagine the benefits they gain from clicking on your CTA. It also makes them feel like they are active participants in your business. If customer relationship is a key factor in your business model, using the first person for your CTA may be a game-changer.

#9. HubSpot

HubSpot’s website is yet another example of how pairing your CTA with the information your customers want to know, but don’t know makes the former more effective. Beside the very usual “Get Started” spiel, HubSpot informs users that they offer free versions of their products and that they can always upgrade after signing up. Other information with a similar effect that you can use for your CTA include money-back guarantees, free shipping, and a promise that you won’t send out spam emails, among others.

#10. PayPal

Where your CTA button is located on the page is important. One of the best ways to ensure that your visitors see your CTA is to use background images that lead their sight to it. PayPal does a good job at this. Not only do they use images that appeal to their intended customers, but they also make sure that their CTA is placed where visitors’ vision will land. This strategy takes careful planning, but when executed well, it could offer exceptional results.

Your CTA is a vital component of your content and website, but you need to take a few extra steps to make it as effective as it can be. If one strategy doesn’t work for your brand, don’t worry as you have a lot of options. Make sure to try different ones to determine which one works best for your brand.

Which CTA did you like best? Tell us in the comments.


Aaron Chichioco

Aaron Chichioco is the content editorial manager of designdoxa.com. His expertise includes not only limited to the topics about Web/mobile design and development, but social media marketing, branding and eCommerce Strategies as well. As a former operations manager, he used to oversee the day-to-day operations of several online businesses since 2011.

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