Blog > Marketing > How to Develop an Irresistible Call to Action: A Content Marketer's Guide

Why Your CTA Design Matters

October 11, 2022
min read

There’s a reason why sales and marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Marketing’s job is to engage and attract potential customers. Salespeople have a similar job, but they hunt and source instead of attract. 

One distinct commonality between a good salesperson and a good marketer is the effectiveness of their call to action (CTA). Oftentimes, the sales CTA is done over the phone or at the end of an email when they suggest a call. A marketer’s CTA is on every piece of content they push out (or it should be). 

For a lot of marketers, a call to action is a must. So, why is it so hard to get it right?

In this blog post, we will explore what makes a great call to action for marketers and share examples of what a compelling CTA looks like. Ready to get started?

What is a call to action in marketing?

A CTA is a phrase that literally tells the reader what to do. It’s as simple as that. 

The most common CTA that you’ll see is a call to action button like the “Learn More” buttons or “Buy Now” buttons on ads and websites. Other times, this will look like a short phrase at the end of a blog post, “Ready to get started? Sign up for your free trial of Unpoppable Bubbles today!” 

The purpose of a CTA is to direct readers to a desired action. Without a call to action, your conversion rates would likely suffer because most people have short attention spans, and don’t want to mine for your demo or shop page. 

The problem with marketing CTAs

How many times have you looked at an ad and saw the basic call to action, the same one that is present in most ads or email campaigns? 

How many times did you actually click on that CTA button?

Our bets are on hardly ever. 

Most of those call to actions that you see in your inbox, on social media, at the end of blog posts, or flashing on that ad, are cookie-cutter versions of each other. Just a blob of code that gets plugged in because it has to be there. 

It doesn’t speak to you because it isn’t a targeted CTA, so why would you click on it? 

Before plugging in that bit of required code, or that cookie cutter sentence at the end of each blog and ad, you need to tell a compelling story in every piece of content. How do you do that?

Take it back to your consumer personas.

We talk a lot about consumer personas around here, and with good reason. Marketing shouldn’t be based on the whims of stakeholders and VPs, it should be based on the audiences who are purchasing your product. 

This is why a digital marketer’s first step in writing an irresistible call to action has to be revisiting their consumer personas and analyzing old data like click-through rates, and the success of old campaigns for example. 

If something you were doing before did not deliver the intended result, it’s time to rework and revisit your personas and identify pain points you may have missed when drafting your last campaign. 

Speaking of pain points…

Write for pain points.

six yellow ducks with one purple duck in the middle.

Your audience is as unique as your brand, and so are their pain points. Your entire content marketing strategy should directly address those pain points while infusing a sense of urgency before landing on the call to action. 

This is where the sales side of marketing comes into play. Sales is simply trying to get a consumer to the next step in the sales cycle, and marketing needs to think of their efforts in the same exact way. 

For example, let’s say that you are a marketer at a brand that sells organic sleep aids. Your target audience is college students who suffer from occasional insomnia and sleep anxiety. You are launching a series of Google ads, so you must keep it short, sweet, and effective.

Example A: 

Can’t sleep? Try our organic melatonin gummies! With all-natural ingredients and 5mg of melatonin per gummy, you’re guaranteed to get the best sleep of your life.

[Shop Now] 

Example B:

It’s finals season, and you can’t remember the last time you got a full night’s sleep. 

We’re DreamzZz, the only drug-free sleep aid that tastes good and is good for you, too! Say goodbye to that fifth cup of coffee and hello to a full eight hours. 

Let’s Ace that final. 

[Yes, please] 

Of the two examples above, which one do you think would drive college students to click on the call to action? Which one do you think they will scroll past without a second thought?

Successful content marketing boils down to addressing your target audience's most impactful pain points, no matter what that particular piece of content is. 

Call to action examples in action

According to a recent CMI (Content Marketing Institute) article, “Whenever possible, match your CTA copy to the mindset and intent of your targeted consumers.” 

If you really want to drive your audience to purchase a product or sign up for your service, one thing to keep in mind is that the actual call to action button is only the tip of the iceberg. Your content marketing campaign is the rest of it, the giant part that sits underwater and has the power to sink ships. 

Think of your entire ad, blog post, website, or social media post as part of that call to action. That content that consumers see before the button, that’s the ‘why’ to drive your audience to say “I need to shop now”.

People going to prom won’t care that your fabric is made with 10% more silk than the competition. They’ll care about how that fabric will look on them and how well it will hold up to dancing and sweating. Those are your pain points. 

Your audience won’t care that your cybersecurity solution uses XYZ code on XYZ platform. They care about whether or not it can continuously stop bots from scraping their websites and save them money while retaining customers.

Runners won’t care that your shoe is made of a fancy new material that they can’t pronounce. They care that it’s going to help them cross that marathon finish-line injury free. The fancy stuff can hang out on your landing page where you go in-depth about exactly how your shoe will do just that.

<div class="c-blog_comp-cta cc-component-1"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-wrap"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" sizes="(max-width: 479px) 93vw, (max-width: 767px) 96vw, 363px" srcset=" 500w, 500w" class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-img"></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-right"><div class="c-blog_comp-content"><div class="c-text-wrapper cc-mb-32"><div class="c-title-4 cc-bold">Ready to engage your audience on a whole new level?</div></div><div class="c-text-wrapper"><div class="c-text-2">Stay ahead of the latest design trends and stand out in your market, no matter how saturated it is.</div></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-wrapper"><a href="/2022-life-changing-design-trends" class="c-button cc-primary cc-inverted w-button"><strong>Download Latest Design Trends</strong></a></div></div></div>

Consider your design

The copy in a post or ad is crucial, but so is the design. Graphic design and call to actions go hand in hand. Without great design, without understanding what to emphasize and where, your marketing will look just like everyone else’s. 

Using great design elements in your content marketing elevates the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign by making it appealing to your target audience and helping to funnel their vision to exactly where you want it to be.

Your content marketing efforts don’t end with search engine optimization and great copy. The finish line is great design.

What is your favorite CTA strategy? 

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About the author:
Kat Calejo
Senior content writer- Designity
Interested in content collaboration? Email at
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