Typically, a “call to action” or “CTA” is a clickable item on a web page, which directs visitors down a conversion path. Most CTAs are links, images, banners and/or other graphical elements that users opt to click to either learn more information, supply user information and/or proceed with a purchase.
CTAs are critical in Internet marketing as they deliver visitors from informative pages to action pages where they either supply critical user information or complete a purchase. They lead visitors to the end of the conversion funnel where these leads turn into paying customers.
The most successful Internet marketers customize and optimize their CTAs to their users and continually test their effectiveness. What appeals to a 40-year-old businessman in the U.K. may not appeal to a 60-year-old retiree in Australia, yet they may both be shopping for a vacation home. The real estate agent who will capture their business will know from their previous behaviors that one prefers to take virtual tours of homes while they other would prefer to supply his address and have brochures mailed to him.
When possible, testing should be conducted (A/B, multivariate, etc.) to ensure the most successful variations of your CTAs are displayed to your visitors.