How To Write An Effective Call-to-Action For Your Organization

September 19, 2018 - 9 minutes read

When potential donors land on your website you want to inspire them, motivate them, and you want them to take a specific action. For this, you need a call-to-action (CTA).

Donate Now  Take Action  Join The Fight  Start Today

A call-to-action is that little phrase which acts as a prompt for your donors to support your cause. It creates an opportunity for you to elicit interaction from a potential supporter and get them to engage with your content.

There’s a lot that goes into writing an effective call-to-action. Wording, design, and placement plays a big role in determining its success. And without proper planning, your CTA will fail to elicit action.

So, how to write an effective CTA? What works? What words to use? Here are a few tips to help you craft an effective CTA.

Use Strong Actionable Verbs

The main element of a great CTA is the action you want people to take. Even if the color and placement are in line with your landing page and if the action verb fails to engage people, you’ll end up with no results. So, to improve your CTA click-through rates, clear, compelling, actionable words go a long way.

It’s not that hard. Just tell your visitors what action you want them to take. It can simply be to follow your accounts on social media or subscribe to your newsletter.

For Example:
To subscribe to your newsletter, you could say: Send Me Specials Now
Here, your aim is to collect contact details of potential donors or supporters by assigning more value to things they think are scarce.

Use strong verbs such as support, change, act, fight, find, donate. For example, the Living Water International uses “Find Out More” to answer the question every visitor has, i.e., ‘How can I make a difference?’. By using this they are driving visitors to look into different ways by which you can help them with their mission.

Create A Sense Of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency for your cause plays a huge part in your CTA. By using strong language you make your website visitors feel like waiting isn’t an option and they need to act right now.

Using words like “Today” or “Now” will help in creating urgency, but it should be backed up creativity to inspire visitors to act. So, make them understand the importance of supporting your cause by using compelling visual imagery or with statistics.

Example, organizations like Pencils of Promise and Water for People have made use of strong language along with visuals or statics to compel people to take action.

Use Clear Succinct Language

Language plays an important role while creating a CTA. You don’t have a lot of space so your CTA has to be sweet, short, and get your point across quickly. You need to make your requests for support seem inspiring and motivating. For example, instead of just saying volunteer for us, you could say Volunteer. Fight globally, act locally.

What type of language should you use?

  • Be clear and concise – tell your visitors what exactly you want them to do.
  • Use action words like “Join, try, learn, and start”
  • Incorporate high reward framing like “Donate Now” “Learn More” or “Take Action”.
  • Use positive framing instead of negative. Positive framing will build goodwill, galvanize the person to take action, and keep them engaged.
  • Use the first person (me) or second person (you) verbs to address people.

Use Design To Capture Attention

The best icing for your CTA cake is simple design and a good combination of colors. Call attention to it by enlarging it, incorporating buttons, using unconventional shapes, arrows or colors that stand out.

Tips to design your call-to-action:

  • Choose a contrasting color for your CTA button which grabs user attention immediately.
  • The button mustn’t be too big or too small. It should be big enough to grab the person’s attention and click comfortably.
  • Make it 20% larger than the logo.
  • Make them curvy or use conventional shapes (go creative with the button!).
  • Stick to 2 CTA buttons per page as too many buttons will confuse people.
  • Use the first-person language and avoid big words.

Where to place your Call-To-Action?

You should base CTA placement on the complexity of your landing page. If your page is short with little information, it makes sense to place the CTA above the fold. For a longer page with a lot more information, the CTA performs better below the fold.

If you’re placing your CTA below the fold, provide useful information that visitors are looking for in a clean manner.

Your CTA copy should tell viewers why they should click, i.e., answering the “why” before the “how” will benefit you. And make sure your CTA stands out and isn’t surrounded by clutter.

Wherever you place your CTA use A/B testing and heat maps to tell you what works and what doesn’t.


  • Before inserting a CTA to your page, consider the attention, interest, desire, and action of the user.
  • If you place it above the fold, create a mini experience for the visitor by giving them all the information they need to decide.
  • If you place it below the fold create a story to keep your visitors invested. Or you could use directional cues to guide visitors to your CTA.
  • Based on the Gutenberg theorem, the two spots on the right, i.e., at the first point of the “Z” and the end of it is where visitors are expected to take action. So, place your CTA towards the right side of the screen.

Test Your Call-To-Action

To make sure your CTA is performing well, it pays to test everything. Test the copy, design, placement, and visuals. You can do it with A/B testing tools which compare two versions of a CTA to identify which performs better based on real-time data and statistics.

While creating your A/B test versions, change only one detail so you can accurately determine what influenced the results. For example, change only the color scheme or the text, but not both.

There’s a lot that goes into creating an effective call-to-action for your website or posts. But it all starts with the correct size, powerful words, color, and placement. Use it to speak to your audience by making it compelling and actionable. Hopefully, these tips help you craft impactful CTA’s that will inspire your supporters to take action.