“Contact us today! Act now! Sign up immediately! Click Here! Download! Hurry! Don’t Miss out! Get a Free Trial Here!”

Do you recognize these phrases? If you have spent any amount of time on the internet in the last 10 years, then you’ve likely seen all of them. You probably see them every day on the bottom of web pages, floating at the top, as popups, embedded in ads, and written in text. In fact, they have become so ubiquitous that you probably don’t even notice them anymore. In the marketing world, the terms are collectively referred to as a ‘call to action’ (CTA) and they play an important role in inbound marketing.

call to action inbound marketing

A CTA is an instruction to act immediately on an advertisement or offer that has just been viewed. The idea is to get the potential customer to respond to the product or service while the advertisement is still fresh in their minds. The practice has been around as long as advertising, but with the digital inbound marketing landscape changing at a rapid pace, the CTAs need to evolve. Here are some ways to think outside of the traditional box of CTAs:

Be Clear

Avoid vague or unclear language in the CTA. It is lazy and may not be as concise as you think. Just because something is short doesn’t make it simple. One persistently popular CTA is “Act Now”, but what does that actually mean? How would you like the consumer to act toward your ad? “Don’t Miss Out” is another one you probably see a lot of. But what exactly would the consumer be missing out on? And why would they care? Even the seemingly clear “Download Now” can be vague if consumers don’t know what they are downloading. Be more straightforward and clear with your directions, such as: “Subscribe to our Newsletter Here!” “Click Here to Find Out How to ____!”

Strategic Placement

A CTA is pointless if no one can see it. People often don’t go all the way to the bottom of a web page so don’t place your CTAs down there. At the top of the page, where it is front and center, is a good start. If you are embedding the CTA into text, make it match the narrative. Floating CTAs can also work, forcing the viewer to act on something. Wherever it is placed, make sure the letters are large, clear, and easily readable.


Don’t Be Annoying

If the viewer is subjected to pop-up CTAs as soon as they reach your site, you will lose them. Annoying people will not result in sales. Be firm, but subtle. Make sure that they can see the CTA, but don’t do it in an obnoxious way. Don’t have too many CTAs on one page, either.


People love to have something for nothing. It is a great way to get a reaction and a way to show your customer that they need your product. If possible, offer a free subscription, trial, or sample of your product/service in the CTA. It might be the most effective CTA of all.

Social Media

If you haven’t tapped into the social media aspect of CTAs yet, you could be missing out on free inbound marketing. How often do you see people tag their friends on social media sites about products or services they might like? Your product might not be for the person who is initially viewing it, but they may want to share it with their friend. Make it easy so customers can act as your promoters.

Good inbound marketing is a full-time job. It can be challenging when you are focused on the other aspects of your business. Go to the experts for inbound marketing in Toronto, like the team at Measure Marketing. Serving companies in Toronto and Mississauga, the Measure Marketing team will put our experience and expertise in digital marketing to work for you. We will work with all of your SEO, B2B, internet, and inbound marketing needs. Request a consultation today and find out how we can increase your revenue stream!