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The anatomy of a great CTA

The anatomy of a great CTA
Summary: How to create a perfect call to action on your website or in your customer communications

What is a Call to Action?

A Call to Action prompts your reader to take a next step in their customer journey with you. They are commonly illustrated by a “button” or a hyperlink with a short phrase that compels the customer to click. Typically they are phrases such as “Shop Now”, “Read more” or “Enquire today”.

A CTA is made up of the copy and the design :

Anatomy of a great CTA

Why are CTAs important?

When people visit your website, they intuitively ask themselves 3 questions “Am I in the right place?”, “Do I trust this site?” and “What am I supposed to do next?” – Calls to Action are all about communicating what to do next – persuading your reader to click through to the content or action that pushes them one step closer to a conversion for your site.

People receive so much written communication that they tend to scan read until they reach something that prompts their interest, so a visual call-out does the job of stopping the eye and prompting the action you want them to take.


Great CTA copy

Your CTA copy should contain 3 elements :

  • Demonstrate why they should click
  • Use action words
  • Come from a users perspective

Here are some great examples from Litmus :

Great CTA copy ideas


Enticing CTA Design

The 3 elements of CTA design are Visual hierarchy, Styling and Accessibility.

Ideally, each web page and each communication should have one clear goal. However, this isn’t always practical, so consider which is your primary goal and create the design so this message is higher up the page and in the more prominent colour combination.

You’ll have worked hard on your Brand image, so don’t go off piste when it comes to designing buttons and stick to your brand colours or tones of your brand colours. You are looking to stop the eye, so…

  • Go for bold, high contrast colours
  • Make the button a different colour to the text / design elements on the page / email
  • For secondary CTAs consider reversing colours, using a lighter tone of the main colour or using an outline only format

Primary and secondary buttons

  • Make the button big enough to be easily clickable
  • White space around the CTA is your friend, particularly on a mobile – don’t clutter your buttons!
  • For hyperlinks, make sure they are clearly visible in a contrasting colour and underlined as a visual cue that there is a link to click

How to show a hyperlink

When it comes to Accessibility, using bulletproof buttons has 2 advantages. Firstly, they still show up even when image blocking is activated. Secondly, they are legible by screen readers used the visually impaired. Aim for a high colour contrast ratio for your text to stand out as impactfully as possible.



Calls to Action are an important tool in your Inbound Marketing and Conversion Optimisation strategies. Well crafted CTAs help your customers navigate your site and communications so that both they and you can get to the right outcome.


If your website is not converting, calls to action may be one element of the problem. Want to know more? Contact us today for a chat.

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