5 website call-to-actions: what makes people click | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are everywhere online. Every time you’re on social media or a website and you click a button to “sign-up”, “download”, “earn money” or “start a free trial”, you have clicked on a call-to-action.

Research shows that not all call to actions are made equal. In fact, certain types of CTA have been shown to be more than 200 per cent more effective than others.

In this article, we’ll look at five examples of how top brands create and use call-to-actions on their websites, and why they’re so effective.


Airbnb is arguably one of the true masters of branding. They use simple, clear and inclusive language to communicate with their audience. Every element of their marketing, from content and design to CTAs, has been developed to make their audience feel that they are part of a movement and belong to a community.

The main homepage has a form CTA that is simple, but extremely effective. It’s at the top of the page, so the user can decide if they want to consume the rest of the content or get down to the business of finding a place to stay.

What makes this CTA most interesting is that you can submit the form even if you haven’t completed all the fields. This creates an slicker user experience because it recognises that the user might not have all the information yet and doesn’t want that to be a barrier to them continuing through the process.

CTA LESSON: If your call-to-action is a form, ensure you only ask for information that is absolutely vital to the process, so it doesn’t become an obstacle to potential buyers accessing further information.


Let’s face it, Netflix isn’t a hard sell. It’s an extremely popular service, but it takes a lot for people to commit to paying for something monthly. A potential customer may wonder, is it complicated to sign-up, what do I get for my money, are there hidden charges and how long am I locked in for?

So, what does Netflix do? They identify all the common concerns that stand in the way of people signing up to Netflix and address them in the few sentences that surround the “TRY IT NOW” CTA. They make signing up to Netflix feel risk free and definitely worth a ‘try’.

Not only that, but they talk about Netflix as a ‘membership’. Suggesting that joining will make you part of an exclusive club.

CTA LESSON: Identify the common concerns that potential customers may have and address them at the beginning of the process. This makes the user feel that trying a product/service is risk free.


Spotify is to music lovers what Netflix is to TV binge watchers. It’s a go-to service. But, like Netflix, potential customers have concerns when signing-up to a monthly commitment.

So how does Spotify deal with this? They make it clear that to sign-up is absolutely “FREE”.

“Millions of songs. No credit card needed”. In two sentences Spotify tells the user what they will provide and more importantly, what they don’t need the user to provide.

When people see the word “FREE” they can sometimes think there is a catch, but by reinforcing it with “No credit card needed”, Spotify lays that concern to rest.

CTA LESSON: FREE is a very appealing word. It eliminates risk in the eyes of the user and will make them more inclined to click.


When it comes to CTAs, Adobe keeps it pretty simple. Granted, it isn’t the most eye-catching design you’ll ever see, but what they lack in visuals, they make up for in hierarchy.

There are nine different call-to-actions on this web page alone, and yet Adobe manages to make every one of them relevant and not compete with each other.

How have they achieved that? Well, they have done this by not over-designing the page. If this page was full of design flourishes and distracting imagery it would be confusing and interfere with the information they are trying to provide the user.

Instead, Adobe has opted for function over design. When a user hits that page, they know Adobe. They know what they need. But, what they don’t know yet, is what package will work best for them. Adobe understands this and helps the user by keeping the design clean and using only a very simple “Buy now” CTA. They also prioritise the order of the information so that it is clear and logical, creating a streamlined user experience.

CTA LESSON: When you have multiple buying options ensure that the CTAs don’t compete with each other and make the design clean and simple so it doesn’t distract the user.


Grammarly’s homepage CTA follows the same key principles as the other brands we have showcased; they keep it simple, make it clear that signing up is “free” and, write simple, concise sentences explaining their product.

However, they also have elevated their CTA in the following ways:

  • They have a video demonstration of the product in action, making it clear to the user how it can work for them.
  • They have made the CTA dynamic. The CTA changes depending which browser the user is on at the time. If you are using Chrome the call-to-action becomes “Add to Chrome it’s free”. This immediately lays to rest any confusion about browser compatibility and also means that with a single click of a button the user can very easily access this service.

This makes the Grammarly CTA one of the most intuitive and effective CTAs around.

Ready, steady… action

Let’s be real. If someone doesn’t want a product or service, there is no call-to-action in the world that will persuade them to buy or sign-up to it. However, what we do know is that if someone has an interest in what’s being offered then a well-crafted CTA will give them a push in the right direction and remove any obstacles that stand in the way of that all important click.


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