There are thousands of philosophies about creating a good CTA. However, they all effectively boil down to a small handful of critical elements. Here is one ultra-simplified way to think about constructing a CTA, reduced to just three words:
Clarity. A customer needs to understand what acting on the CTA will accomplish. This requires clear, concise language, as well as a specific idea of what to expect. “Download our free catalog,” for example, is more enticing than “Click here.”
Action. It’s the “A” in CTA. A customer needs to be persuaded to act, with no room for hesitation or consideration. This is accomplished with action words like “call” or “download.” A CTA’s action is also implied in its presentation: a button icon is more tempting than link text, for example.
Visibility. It goes without saying that customers won’t act on it if they can’t see it. For this reason, the CTA needs to draw attention to itself with color, font, graphics, and other visual elements. It also needs to be placed where customers will see it and can reach it with minimal effort.
Each of these CTA elements, of course, individually requires a great deal of forethought and design. But together they serve as a useful map of the big picture.