A call to action (CTA) is an instruction, formulated in such a way as to provoke a response from the user. The call to action should persuade the user to take a particular action, whether it be to sign up to a newsletter, sign up to a webinar, download a brochure or report, fill in a form, request further information, or buy a product.
A CTA can be placed anywhere on a website, it can be placed in an email, on a Facebook post, at the end of a video, or at the bottom of a blog article. The CTA itself may be a banner, a sign, an image, a button, or simply a bit of text allowing visitors to click through.
The aim of a CTA is to encourage visitors to take action then and there – not, necessarily, to leave the website and return later – but to take action immediately.