The Changing Face of CTAs: How to Be Sure Your Call to Action Doesn’t Turn Away Followers

June 28, 2020

CTAs, short for “call to action,” is one of the most critical elements of your campaign, no matter its purpose. The CTA prompts your audience to take action. Without it, you may have delivered an impressive article, speech, or social media video, but you’ll fail to meet your long-term objectives. Your call to action creates a bond between you and your followers. However, the world has changed, and so has the face of CTAs. Today’s climate requires an especially keen awareness of the triggers you want to avoid.

A CTA Primer

A call to action is a word or set of words that drive the reader to do something. The CTA is usually in the format of a clickable button embedded in your article, video, email, or website. Examples include:

  • Join my campaign
  • Make a contribution
  • Sign my petition
  • Subscribe to my email
  • Preorder my new book
  • Sign up for my series of webinars
  • Start your free trial
  • Please leave a review

CTAs are not limited to printed content, though. After a presentation or speech, you’ll end with a request to sign the guest register, pick up your latest book, or follow you on social media. These are also calls to action, designed to maintain the momentum you’ve created at that event.

How to Design a Call to Action That Works

Designing impactful CTAs requires that you understand your audience.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How do they think?
  • What issues motivate them?
  • What are their concerns?
  • What kinds of offers catch their attention?

A comprehensive understanding of your audience enables you to create CTAs that give them a reason to do what you’re asking.

How Has the Face of CTAs Changed?

The techniques discussed above represent best industry practices. What has changed? The world. We live in an unprecedented time of strife. There is continuing uncertainty for both you as a brand and the global consumer audience. You may have needed to pivot to survive, go digital for the first time, or make other significant changes to your business model. There is stress on both sides of the equation.

Communicating with your audience is still essential, and you want them to take action. But, the face of your CTAs, the words you use to prompt that action, need to change. CTAs should focus more on building a consumer community and creating digital spaces for connecting. Phrases such as,

  • partner with us today
  • help us change the world
  • join my campaign
  • get unbiased information to help you make the best decision
  • sign up to join our online community

will resonate more with a global audience yearning for positive, comforting, and softer messages. More popular CTAs such as “don’t miss out, get on board now,” “only a few hours left,” or “this is your last chance” could leave your audience feeling pressured. In the end, they may stop listening, reading, buying, or following your brand.


We live in an evolving new reality. To survive, you’ll need to maintain a delicate balance between achieving your business objectives and sensitivity to your consumers’ emotional needs. Changing the face of your CTAs is one place to start.

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Stonehenge Team

Article written by our Stonehenge Digital content team in collaboration