What Is a Call To Action and Why Do You Need One?

Have you heard about calls to action but are still a bit vague on what they are? Or perhaps you’ve been told that they’re an important component of a campaign, but you don’t know what makes them important?

Have you heard about calls to action but are still a bit vague on what they are? Or perhaps you’ve been told that they’re an important component of a campaign, but you don’t know what makes them important? This post was created with you in mind. Continue reading to see what a call to action is and why they’re important. (We’ve even added a few bonus tips for crafting a CTA at the end!) 

What is a Call To Action?

A political CTA is the act of calling supporters to participate in a direct action with a political connotation. This includes everything from asking supporters to vote, donate their money to the cause, volunteer to help out with the campaign, to everything in-between. It’s very similar to a CTA in marketing. Like a marketing CTA, a campaign CTA is an interactive feature added to a campaign website for the purpose of inviting supporters to “buy in” to the campaign through different means, some of which are listed above. 

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A call to action can take many forms. Generally they look like a slightly-oversized, attention-grabbing button that prospective supporters click on. Any number of words and text can appear on these and you can create them in several colors as well. Most of them tend to be square or square-ish in shape, sometimes with rounded corners. These CTA buttons sometimes accompany a more detailed explanation of what the call to action is about. For example, if the objective of the CTA is to get supporters to sign a bill petition, there will usually be a headline and some brief explanation of what that petition or bill entails and why it’s important. 

Why Do You Need One?

An effective election call to action is a streamlined way to get prospective voters interested in the cause and gives them a tangible means of assisting with it. This increases conversion rates. Done properly, a call to action can pique the interest of website visitors, drawing their attention and enabling them to sign up for the campaign without much fuss. It’s essentially a signpost that guides prospective supporters to take action on behalf of your campaign. Anyone whose campaign needs more visibility (volunteers to put up signs, to help out at polling stations, etc) can benefit from adding calls to action to their campaign website. 

What Should They Include?

An effective call to action is simple and straightforward. It should contain punchy, compelling copy in a text that is easy to read. It should be easy to spot and website visitors should instantly know what they do. There are three important things to consider when creating a CTA: its placement, it's design, and it's copy/text.

CTAs should be prominently placed in multiple places on a page (not too many though, as this is confusing to the eye as well as to website visitors). Making CTAs slightly larger is a simple yet effective way of drawing attention to them, along with putting the most significant CTA (the one you want to have the highest visibility) in the top left of a page. Other good places for a CTA are in headers, side panels, and at the end of a webpage. 

The design for your CTA should be recognizable enough that visitors instantly know that the CTA is something clickable. CTA buttons should contain a clear outline or shadow in contrasting colors that stand out from one another. Adding negative space (extra, uncluttered space around the CTA) is another way to draw attention to it. It provides a nice, simple rest for the eyes while still pulling users in. The CTA should stand out from the rest of the text in the web page, and this is done most effectively by choosing an eye-popping color that contrasts with the rest of the text in the page. 

The copy you include is important as well. If a CTA is not clear about what will happen when a voter clicks on it, then the voter will lose interest. In the vast majority of cases, a voter isn’t going to search around on your website to find the CTA they were looking for. They’ll simply click away from the window. Tell the person what it’s going to do and they will know what they’re getting into. This means they’ll be more likely to see the process through to the end. The CTA should include action verbs and communicate value. If you can somehow quantify the benefit of clicking on that CTA, you will be one step closer to writing an award winning call to action. 

NationBuilder allows you to embed Calls-To-Action on every page, turning your website into a action center for your campaign. 

We hope we’ve unlocked for you some of the mystery surrounding calls to action. A good CTA will include punchy copy, an appealing design, and have optimal placement. CTAs are effective tools enabling campaigns to increase their visibility and conversion rates. This means more volunteers, signatures on those bills, and/or lawn signs about your campaign. What’s not to love?


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