The Three C’s of Call to Action Buttons

Call to action buttons

Buttons Compel People to Action

What is it about a button that makes the kid in all of us come out? I remember, not that long ago, my children would fight over who got to press the up elevator button. It took a lot of motherly restraint not to jump right in and press it for them! Buttons compel action…and that’s why websites and landing pages make generous use of the “button” to access offers and capture leads.

Buttons are functional. Submit, Buy, Enter, Download and Take Survey are common examples. These are very descriptive, but really does anyone want to SUBMIT?  There is an increasing trend towards friendly, more engaging language.


Just this past week I saw several more friendly alternatives:

  • Contact Sales = Request a Quote
  • Take Survey = Share Opinions Now
  • See New Features = Upgrade for Free
  • Download Whitepaper = Read Report
  • View = Watch Video

What makes a good call to action button?

BE COMPELLING – In today’s constant interruption world we need to do more than be descriptive with our action buttons. Use words that have positive connotations and drive visitors to want more. How do the examples below make you feel? Do they call to you more than submit, download, read?

  • Get Inspired
  • Calculate Your Savings
  • Win Dream Getaway
  • Enjoy a Tour
  • Hear Jake’s Story

BE CONCISE – Buttons are meant to entice but they also sit within a broader context. Limit your buttons to no more than three words. They need to quickly capture the eye and draw in your audience.

BE CLEAR – It’s one thing to entice, it’s another to set expectations. You must do both with your button text. It should both excite action and be an accurate reflection of what the visitor will get. You want visitors to not only click on the button but feel rewarded with what they receive as a result.

Don’t forget to test Which button we prefer doesn’t matter very much. It’s what our visitors do that counts. Be compelling, be concise, be clear! But most of all test your assumptions in live environments. Wouldn’t even an extra 2-4% conversation be worth the effort?