What is a call to action?

A call to action (CTA) is a strategic element in marketing and sales designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage a direct sale. Its primary function is to guide potential clients or customers towards taking a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a whitepaper or making a purchase. 

Whether launching a new SaaS product, aiming to increase your digital presence and brand perception, or enhancing your current marketing strategies, CTAs influence decision-making.

Why is a call to action important?

In B2B marketing, where the sales cycle is often longer and more complex, CTAs help to nurture prospects through the sales funnel. They help segment the audience, qualify leads and provide valuable insights into customer behavior. 

Salesforce research indicates that 90% of buyers weigh the customer experience equally with products or services. Given the significance of user experience to SEO performance and conversions, CTAs become more important than ever. After all, a  well-crafted CTA is a beacon guiding potential customers through the digital noise. 

Here are five benefits of CTAs to your digital marketing strategy:

1. Direction and clarity

CTAs serve as signposts, directing your audience on what to do next. Without a clear CTA, even the most captivated potential customer is left at a crossroads, unsure of the next steps. CTAs eliminate confusion, providing a straightforward path toward a specific action, whether subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a guide or booking a demo.

2. Boosts conversion rates

The ultimate goal of a CTA is to convert visitors into leads or customers. A compelling call to action, strategically placed, enhances SEO lead generation and the conversion rate of your website or marketing campaign. It acts as a gateway, transforming passive browsing into active engagement and transactions.

☎️ Learn how to boost conversions with an effective Contact Us page.

3. Measurable success

By analyzing the click-through rate and conversion rates of your CTAs, you gain insights into what resonates with your target audience. This data is crucial for refining your marketing strategies and optimizing future calls to action for better results.

4. Facilitates decision making

A well-placed CTA shortens the sales cycle in the B2B sector, where decision making is often complex and lengthy. It does this by creating a sense of urgency or offering value that encourages businesses to act sooner rather than later.

5. Enhances user experience

A CTA tailored to the user’s needs and interests enhances their experience with your brand. The Hubspot State of Marketing report reveals that 83% of customers are open to sharing their data for a personalized experience. While crafting hyper-personalized CTAs can be challenging, the investment pays off significantly. Providing users with a clear next step that aligns with their buyer journey makes their interaction with your website more intuitive and satisfying.

What makes a great CTA

A humorous illustration representing the gatekeeping of content behind lead generation forms in marketing CTAs.

CTAs take various forms, including buttons on a website and links in an email or text in an advertisement, each tailored to fit the context and intended audience. Their effectiveness is measured by their ability to capture attention and how well they convert prospects into leads or customers. 

Creating an effective call to action involves clear, persuasive language that communicates the value of the offer and the urgency of the desired action. Let’s break down its critical components:

1. Compelling language

The choice of action words in CTA copy makes a tremendous difference. The language should be clear, concise and action-oriented. Use verbs that incite action, such as:

  • Discover
  • Learn
  • Start
  • Join

Your CTA wording should be straightforward yet engaging, drawing in the audience and making the action you want them to take effective.

2. Sense of urgency

Creating a sense of urgency encourages quicker decision-making, which can help improve your conversion rates. It plays on the natural human inclination to respond to time-sensitive opportunities and the fear of missing out on something valuable. This tactic is especially effective when you want to drive quick responses, such as signing up for a limited-time free trial, registering for a webinar with limited seats or taking advantage of a sale ending soon. 

See how AI email management platform Sedna introduces a sense of urgency with the CTA “Join the waitlist today,” encouraging immediate action to take advantage of Sedna’s offerings and not miss out.

A screenshot from Sedna's website displaying a call-to-action.

3. High visibility

A great CTA should stand out from the rest of the page or content, ensuring it grabs the audience’s attention. To achieve this goal, use bold colors and large fonts or place the call to action button in a prominent position on the page. The goal is to make the audience notice the CTA. 

Here’s an example I like from Pathlight. The leading conversation intelligence platform prominently features the “See a demo” call to action twice above the fold, ensuring it captures the visitor’s attention.

A "See a Demo" call to action button on the Pathlight website.

4. Engaging design elements

The design of a CTA button or link plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. These elements include factors such as color, shape, size and animation. The design and branding should be aesthetically pleasing and consistent with the brand’s image yet distinct enough to stand out. For instance, a bright-colored CTA placed strategically on the website pages attracts attention.

Leading enterprise post-purchase software provider parcelLab, for instance, offers a great example of using bright colors in your CTA to stand out:

Screenshot of parcelLab website

B2B call to action examples 

Below is a table of ten CTA types, each with a B2B website example:

CTA typeUse caseExample
Direct CTAEncourage immediate sign-up or purchaseSign up for our upcoming marketing strategy webinar
Lead magnet CTAGather user information in exchange for valuable content like ebooks or guidesDownload our free ebook on content strategies
Lead nurturing CTAEngage user communication through channels like email campaigns to nurture leads into paying customersLearn more about our competitive intelligence services
Lead generation CTACollect leads through valuable content offerings like ebooks, guides and case studiesDownload our latest ebook on “B2B SEO content strategies
Informational CTAKeeps visitors engaged on the site by directing them to related blog posts or service/product pagesLearn how we help increase sales
Product or service discovery CTAIntroduce new products or services to prospectsRequest a demo
Newsletter subscription CTABuild a subscription base for regular updates or servicesStay current with the latest insights in B2B SEO
Event promotion CTAPromote online events to build awareness and gather contact informationRegister for our upcoming webinar
Contact salesDirect customers to a sales-focused page at the end of lead-generation effortsBecome a client
Social sharing CTAEnable easy sharing of content on social media from blog posts or landing pagesShare our latest market insights with your professional network

Need inspiration? Let’s review a few examples:

SaaS Alerts, a cybersecurity company specializing in real-time security monitoring for SaaS applications, showcases a well-crafted header with three distinct call to action types: “Request a demo,” “Learn more” and “Sign in,” each serving a specific purpose and collectively enhancing user engagement.

SaaS Alerts webpage header with CTAs for a product demo, feature information and user sign-in

On our website, we feature two strategically crafted CTAs, “Become a client” and “Get an SEO audit,” which engage visitors at different decision stages. 

The first CTA, “Become a client,” targets users ready to commit to our services, while “Get an SEO audit” offers a low-commitment, high-value action, effectively catering to diverse user needs.

Productive Shop service page offering B2B content writing with a CTA for an SEO audit and a CTA to sign up as a client

Next example comes from Styra, a leader in cloud-native authorization solutions. It effectively makes use of three CTAs — “Start free,” “Schedule a demo” and “Sign up” — catering to different user intents, from trying the service to engaging in-depth, enhancing the user journey through clear strategic choices.

Styra’s webpage showcases calls to action for a free trial, demo and newsletter sign-up

Lead the charge in digital conversion with Productive Shop

Need help to amplify your brand’s voice and resonate with your target market? With our content writing services, you get CTAs that attract attention and convert prospects into loyal customers.

Let’s elevate your content strategy and drive meaningful engagement. Reach out now.

 

Productive shop team

Productive Shop Team

With diverse backgrounds and a shared enthusiasm for innovation and growth strategies, our passionate team of consultants brings together a wealth of experience and skills to meet the marketing and lead generation needs of B2B SaaS startups. Our seasoned writers, SEO specialists, project managers, designers and developers are always eager to share their knowledge and drive thought-provoking conversations.

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