Call To Action (CTA) Button Best Practices

At Primary Design, we design and implement a lot of interactive display campaigns for our clients – Google Network, programmatic packages, individual websites, smartphone/tablet campaigns, to name a few.

Call to Action buttons are an important aspect of interactive display design, just as they’re an important aspect of any form of advertising design. They’re meant to catch the user’s eye and direct them to take the next step, which in this case is visiting the client’s website.

Below is a very general, extremely simple list of do’s and don’ts for designing/implementing call to action buttons on your interactive display ads.


1. Include Call to Action Buttons on Your Interactive Display Ads

Possibly overly obvious do, especially considering the title of this blog post, but it is worth repeating. Call to Actions are an important part of any marketing campaign. Adding them to your interactive display ads is just as important as adding them to any other part of your campaign.


2. Avoid Excessive Punctuation

There are a lot of reasons to do this, but mainly, excessive punctuation (example: multiple exclamation points in a row) makes an ad look silly and spam-like. Trust your design and message to do the job. Trust the user to appreciate the quality of your ad.

3. Design the Call to Action with Your Brand in Mind

Consider the colors and fonts of your brand guidelines when designing the Call to Action button. You want the Call to Action to be eye-catching, but it’s important that it’s on brand and stylistically consistent with the webpage the user is about to be taken to.



1. Use Generic Calls to Action like “Click Here”

Again, as with our first do, this might seem overly obvious, but can’t be emphasized enough. It’s the internet. No one needs to be told to click on anything. You want your potential clients to click with a purpose.

As this guest article explains (although in reference to Google AdWords, the concept applies) “A proper call to action sets the user’s expectation of what their next step will be…”. A better call-to-action would be “Apply Today” or “Learn More”, as you’re giving a hint as to what the user will do once they click (example below).


2. Neglect to State the Point You’d Like to Measure

As with don’t #1, where you want to give the user an expectation of what will happen next, the most effective Call to Actions will state the measurable action you’d like the user to take.

For example if you’re using a conversion pixel in your display campaign and the conversion you want to measure is how many people fill out a form requesting more info, a call to action button stating “Contact Us” makes sense. The ad should then direct right to the page/form where the user can fill out a request for more info.

3. Make the Call to Action the Biggest Part of the Ad.

It doesn’t need to look bad to be eye-catching. This is an ad you’re designing and should follow your brand and communicate the message of your product. Display ads should be eye-catching in a good way and inspire trust in your user, especially when a decent portion of online ads can lead to viruses or spam websites.

We love designing and implementing interactive display campaigns at Primary. You should Contact Us! to do yours.

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