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How to Add a Call to Action to WordPress

April 3, 2019
How to Add a Call to Action to WordPress

A call to action (CTA) is nothing but fancy marketing jargon for a button that motivates the user to take a desirable action, leading them down your set conversion funnel.

Consider this: you must have at least once, in your life, signed up for some or other subscription service (Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc.) or downloaded a free resource (e-book, templates, etc.) from a website in exchange for our personal details.

Amazon Prime CTA

Amazon Prime CTA

Well, a powerful call to action facilitated your “action”. These enthralling little buttons are an indispensable part of a marketer’s utility belt. They can make all the difference between converting a prospect and losing a potential patron.

Why is a CTA so Crucial?

A well-made CTA is an asset for both sides of the coin:

  • For the website: This is your chance to explicitly prompt people who visit your site or read your email newsletter to do something profitable, like making a purchase, downloading a gated e-book, consuming more of your content, or sharing your work on their social media. The CTA encourages the user to interact with your website and can possibly lay the foundations for a fruitful long-term relationship with the new visitor. What’s more, you have the opportunity to get their personal details and gain a precious new lead.
  • For the users: The CTA unambiguously communicates what they should do next after going through your webpage. Without it, they’ll most likely just leave (and forget) your website, accomplishing no specific action useful to them or you. Besides, the button is their ticket to getting something to take away (possibly for free).

It’s a win-win. And yet, nearly 70 percent of small businesses don’t have a single CTA on their website. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a part of this majority. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered.

Some Dos and Don’ts

Before we discuss how to add a CTA to your WordPress website, it’s important to keep in mind the following eight guidelines on how to write a compelling CTA.

  1. Actionable: Command the user to take a specific action. Be assertive. Don’t be vague.
  2. Succinct: Never write full sentences inside a button. Use compact phrases not exceeding five words.
  3. Striking: Design the CTA to be the most conspicuous element on your webpage. Use a contrasting color and larger font size. Match the color of the button with your brand logo, the rest of the page being contrasted. Furthermore, subtle animations such as button hovers and design effects like 3D shadowing can make it even more appealing.
  4. Humorous: Being assertive doesn’t mean you can’t be witty. Most users admire clever wordplay, and puns have persuasive powers.
  5. Personal: Give the users an impression that they are in charge. That is, write something on the lines of “Give Me My Free PDF”, with the reverse response (in case it’s a popup) being something like “No, Thanks. I’m a Prodigy”.
  6. Frictionless: Words like “Buy” and “Sign Up” subconsciously insinuate that the user has to make an effort and give something in exchange for the offer. Who wouldn’t be hesitant when directly asked to part with their money or personal details? Best to steer clear and use low-friction alternatives such as “Try” and “Get”.
  7. Urgent: If pertinent, induce a sense of urgency, a fear of missing out (FOMO) in the user’s mind by writing phrases like “Only X Pieces Left” or a countdown timer indicating the offer will expire soon.
  8. Reassuring: Again, if pertinent, make it crystal-clear to the users that they have nothing to lose if they click the button. For instance, they can cancel their subscription anytime or get a full refund if they’re not satisfied with the product. Phrases like “No Credit Card Required” or “Cancel Anytime” can persuade users on the edge to take the plunge.

And that’s it. Adhere to these best practices to craft an absolutely irresistible CTA with an offer they can’t refuse.

Where are CTAs Placed?

CTAs are useful in various places across your website, the popular ones being:

CTA placement t the end of a blog post

At the end of a blog post (Social Media Examiner)

CTA Placement Exit Intent

In exit-intent popups (Omniconvert)

CTA Placement in Sidebar

Within a fixed sidebar (Quick Sprout)

CTA Placement in Content

In the middle of relevant content (Content Marketing Institute)

CTA welcome page

As a welcome page (Quick Sprout)

Moreover, they are especially useful in email marketing newsletters. Newsletters and promotional emails should always end with an attractive call to action, to ask the readers to:

  • Read the latest blog posts
  • Download a free resource
  • Check out a new product catalog
  • Avail the benefit of a limited-time sale or discount
  • And so on

Finally, let’s talk about how to actually add one to your WordPress website.

How to Add a CTA?

If you wish to manually code the CTA with custom CSS, then this article is for you.

However, there is no need to go through all that trouble, unless, of course, you want to. There are some truly great (free and paid) plugins available to fulfill this task.

Below is a compilation of six of the best free (and freemium) plugins, handpicked for your easy reference.


Elementor Page Builder Plugin

Primarily meant to be a full-fledged page builder for WordPress, Elementor is a super easy, drag-and-drop plugin that can also be used to add beautiful CTAs to your website.

True, you don’t need an entire page builder to just add a few buttons to your website. But Elementor completely eliminates back-end work by enabling real-time front-end design, which makes it extremely convenient to use. With the pro plan, you have access to CTA widgets that gives you total control over the design of your CTAs.

The end result would be CTAs that are fully responsive and mobile-friendly. Besides, it works well as a way to create a landing page with WordPress too.

Shortcodes Ultimate

Shortcodes Ultimate Plugin

According to, “A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut.”

As the name suggests then, Shortcodes Ultimate is a free plugin loaded with shortcodes that let you easily create tabs, buttons, boxes, sliders and carousels, responsive videos and a lot more.

Shortcodes Ultimate CTA Editor

Once installed, the shortcodes generator is available in the WordPress post editor. Use a blend of boxes and buttons to create your custom, responsive CTA.


WPForms WordPress Plugin

Your website visitors may want to get in touch with you for a number of reasons, such as to:

  • Request a quote
  • Ask for an opportunity to collaborate
  • Clarify some doubts
  • Just give you a pat on the back

A simple contact form with a few input fields and a “Submit” button will facilitate two-way communication and help improve the overall user experience. It’ll also come in handy when you want your visitors to sign up for your email list.

In comes WPForms.

This is another easy-to-use yet powerful plugin with a simple drag-and-drop interface. It’ll take but a few minutes to put together a good-looking and functioning contact form.

Additionally, it comes pre-loaded with templates for you to choose and customize. And yes, the forms generated are responsive, mobile-friendly, and optimized for search engine crawlers.

It also boasts built-in automatic anti-spam, and you can block bots by adding a CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA, or Google’s new Invisible reCAPTCHA.

Popup Maker

Popup Maker Plugin

Popups are a necessary evil. They might irritate users, but when timed correctly, they are a blessing for both, webmasters and users.

For example, exit-intent popups can turn one-time visitors into regular ones by prompting them to sign up for your email list in exchange for something valuable, such as a complimentary e-book.

And with a beginner-friendly and highly customizable popup maker like, well, Popup Maker, you can create any number and types of popups ― email opt-ins, notification popups, video lightboxes, and what have you ― in a jiffy.

Furthermore, you can set click triggers, track popup open count, and set a time delay, among other features.


Boxzilla Plugin

The daddy of CTA plugins, Boxzilla is another popup call-to-action plugin which enables you to build boxes that pop up or slide in and out in accordance with your pre-planned triggers: time on site (or page), exit intent, scroll percentage, number of page views, or a manual click.

These boxes can contain any content format you like.

You can customize the box position on the screen and use it for any CTA, such as a MailChimp sign-up form, social sharing buttons, and so on. The appearance of the box is also fully customizable using an intuitive editor. It is mobile optimized, too.

Simple Side Tab

Simple Side Tab Plugin

Add a global CTA to your website that links to your favorite piece of content by using Simple Side Tab.

It adds a vertical tab to the left or right side of the browser window that you can link to any page. The tab stays put as the user scrolls up or down the page so it’s always visible and ready for action. And it is mobile-friendly too.

It is simple to setup and use. From just one simple “Settings” page, you can set the text for the tab, set your fonts and colors, and link to the destination URL.


OptinMonster WordPress Optin Forms

We can’t finish a collection of CTA plugins without mentioning OptinMonster. This popular lead generation software offers a variety of features including popups, floating bars, a content locker, coupon wheel, countdown time and more. You can even use it to create a Welcome Mat call-to-action that visitors simply won’t miss.

Plus it’s easy to build and customize your optins/CTAs with the intuitive drag and drop campaign builder, unlimited color options, image backgrounds, MonsterEffects and more. OptinMonster also supports list segmentation, realtime behavior automation, split testing and conversion analytics. So you can know at a glance if you CTA is working.

This completes the list of top WordPress plugins you can use to add a high-converting CTA to your website. And now you know the importance of doing so along with the best practices that go with it. So what are you waiting for? Onward!

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