MUST READ: Call To Action Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you’re getting traffic, but just not converting it can be maddening. You might be looking at your copy, your stock photos, your offers, who you’re targeting—and these are all great things to look at. But you might be glossing over one tiny (yet MONUMENTALLY IMPORTANT) detail… your call to action!

Here are some common call to action mistakes… and how to avoid them.


You’re Being Too Vague… and Kind of Bossy

No one likes being told what to do—especially without a good reason to do it.

Click here.

Download now.


Your customers aren’t dogs learning commands. They’re looking for value and incentives.


“Submit” and “Click here” are vague and boring and quite frankly, sound a little controlling. Your customers have no idea why they should click there or submit their information. It’s important that your CTA quickly conveys what you want the customer to do… and why they should want to.


Instead of using really vague terms, try something more specific. If you want people to sign up for your newsletter your button might say “Sign Up For Updates.” Still a little dull, but much more descriptive. Of course you can add value by offering a discount for new subscribers and change the button to say “Sign Up and Take 20% Off.”


Similarly, “Download Now” becomes much more enticing and interesting as “Get Your Free Guide.”

Bottom line, if you’re going to tell someone to do something, give them a good reason.


There’s No Sense of Urgency

Incentives are great, but they might not feel like a big deal if they’re always an option. If every time you visit a site you know you could get 10% off, you might not bother to sign up for the newsletter immediately.

But if there was a limited offer that said “20% TODAY ONLY” then might make you think twice, right?


By the way, you could easily create this sense of urgency with Digioh. In the above example, you could display a lightbox with the “10% off” discount the first few times a customer visits. Then, after their second or third visit you could display the “20% OFF TODAY ONLY.”

Book a Demo Now


Your CTA is Hard to Find

When everything is bolded… nothing is.


You’ve seen this before… a landing page full of bolded text, bright colors, multiple CTAs and just waaaaaaaaaay too much going on. It takes forever to actually find the call to action. You probably couldn’t hit that back button fast enough.

Or… you’ve designed this page and it looks great to you and you can spot that CTA right away! That’s because… you know where it is. Show some friends and time them. See how long it takes.

Your CTA Blends In Too Much

It can feel a little awkward to design a site around an very specific look, with carefully selected colors and fonts only to throw it all out the window.


But that’s exactly what you have to do if you want your CTA to stand out. If it looks exactly like every other design element it becomes camouflaged. Placing your CTA over a button that’s a different color or font weight will make it pop.

Your CTAs Compete with Each Other

Don’t make your users choose between two CTAs, even if there are two logical choices. Obviously a “Sign Up” call to action is important to a new user, but might be irrelevant to an existing user. So while it makes logical sense to include a “Log In” button right next to the sign up button, it’s likely hurting your conversion rates.


Instead, keep the login button nearby, but downplay it a bit.

You Only Use a CTA on Landing Pages

Okay, so let’s assume your landing pages are actually perfect. That’s great! But do you only interact with your customers via landing page?

Every social media post, email newsletter sent, and post on your blog is an opportunity to get a new lead. Make sure you’re using those opportunities to your advantage.


Your CTA Doesn’t Align with Your Goals

Your CTA should always point to your top priority. You might have a lot of smaller goals as well, like growing your social media following and getting more engagement on your blog. But keep your eyes on the prize.

That means, don’t end your blog posts with a CTA that encourages comments when you could encourage a lead!

“Did you enjoy this blog post? Leave a comment!”

“Need advice? Get a free consultation.”

You’re All Talk and No Show

If you’re using words like “best” or “biggest” your customers might raise an eyebrow. According to who exactly?

So many of us become jaded and skeptical of advertising claims. The worst thing you could do is sound like a phoney salesman.

Anyone could say “Sign up to get updates from the biggest NYC food blog” but that’s meaningless without numbers. Instead say “Join our list of over 100k subscribers.”

Similarly, if you’ve won awards or have been featured by a reputable publisher, include that information in your pitch.

You’re Putting Your CTA in the Wrong Place

Best practices have always dictated that your CTA should be above the fold (before users scroll) because… no one ever scrolls down on a page.

Or at least that was the theory.


It turns out that the overwhelming majority of users begin scrolling as soon as a page loads. And with so many different devices and screen sizes there’s not perfect “above the fold” height. So you can pretty much safely dismiss the idea of a “fold” altogether.

You might think there’s no harm in including the CTA above the fold “just in case” but the more a user scrolls to read your landing page, the further they get from that CTA. At that point, it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.

A creative solution might be to use Digioh to show a lightbox with your CTA to anyone who scrolls too far in either direction.

You’re Not Testing Your CTAs

Even if you learn and follow all of the rules… there’s no guarantees. Best practices are generalizations. Reading tips like these can help you start off with a stronger CTA, but ultimately you’re going to want to keep refining.

Your gut might tell you that an orange “Add to Cart” button will lead the most sales and be totally shocked when a green “Buy Now” button performs 20% better. (True story.)


Sometimes seemingly tiny changes can lead to a huge jump in conversions. For example ADT changed the text on their call to action from “Book a Free Survey” to “Get a Free Quote” and saw a 62% increase in conversions. Arguably those two phrases mean roughly the same thing, but they have a very different impact on users.


You’re Not Optimized for Mobile

Your CTA might look amazing on desktop browsing, but have you checked it out in mobile?

Is your call the action easily clickable on mobile?
Do you have to pinch and zoom in to click?
Is your text still legible?
Is the formatting messed up?

Mobile usage is always on the rise so a clunky call to action could really kill your conversions. Even if you’ve perfected your desktop CTAs, you need a whole new version for mobile.

Luckily, Digioh makes it extremely easy to detect whether or not your users are on mobile and display an optimized message for them. Find out more about Digioh’s painless mobile optimization.

By now you have a ton of knowledge on how to fix some of these issues and create more effective CTAs. If you need more CTA, we can help! Digioh makes designing forms and buttons super easy that you can embed or display in a lightbox. We also make mobile optimization and targeting extremely simple. And if that’s not enough, we work extremely closely with all of our customers to develop an effective CTA strategy.

Create better CTAs and start increasing your leads now with Digioh!

  • Adam Mathews

    Thanks for posting
    great article i being a digital marketing manager design CTAs more often but after reading your article i have gained some fruitful insights which are definitely going to help me.
    Once again thanks for sharing.

  • College Disha

    CTAs is the best way which can use for survey and quote . Applying the rules is only benefit possible . Without applying rule no any guarantees possible .