Call to action (marketing)
In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as "call now", "find out more" or "visit a store today".
A CTA can be a simple non-demanding request like "choose a colour" or "watch this video", or a much more demanding request. An obvious CTA would be requesting the audience to purchase a product or provide personal details and contact information.
Clever marketing strategies often combine a series of small CTAs. These smaller CTAs create a pattern of behaviour that makes it easy for the audience to follow-through with just one last CTA, completing a more demanding request, had it been asked without context. An example could be the purchase of a designer torch. The website might request you choose a style, then a colour, a size and even a personalised engraving. When you get to see your personalised one-of-a-kind product, you are more likely to feel inclined to buy it as it rotates in full 3D rendered colour on your computer monitor or tablet.
In web design, a CTA is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel. It is an essential part of inbound marketing as well as permission marketing in that it actively strives to convert a user into a lead and later into a customer. The main goal of a CTA is a click, or a scan in the case of a qr code, and its success can be measured via a conversion rate formula that calculates the number of clicks over the times the CTA was seen. Another way to test the effectiveness of a CTA is using A/B testing where several graphics are presented to users and the graphic with highest success rate becomes the default.