I’ve been working with a number of clients recently on Web-site CTAs (Calls To Action).
In an effort to reduce ambiguity and confusion and to suggest a common vocabulary for planning and talking about CTA implementations, here are my working definitions of the components that comprise a Call To Action.
CTA Goal Refers to what you hope people who are confronted with your CTA will do.
In the case of a clickable button on a Web page, the CTA Goal is the destination URL. In the case of a print ad in a magazine, the CTA Goal might be calling the telephone number or scanning the QR code displayed in the ad.
CTA Asset refers to the actual entity of a particular Footprint consisting of particular Content.
On the Web, a CTA Asset is typically a graphic file. In print, a CTA Asset is press-optimized copy.
CTA Content refers to the words and media elements that comprise a CTA Asset. It also encompasses file format, such as Flash movie, raster graphic (jpg, gif, png), text-only.
CTA Footprint refers to the size dimensions of the CTA Asset. On the Web, “Leaderboard” is the name conventionally associated with dimensions of 728×90 pixels. In print, CTA Footprints are sometimes referred to in column inches.
CTA Placement refers to where any given CTA Asset is to be displayed. It can also encompass other parameters such as alignment and margin.
On the Web, a CTA Placement spec might be top of left sidebar above local nav, flush left; just below main menu, centered; etc. In print, a CTA Placement spec might be top-half of back inside cover.
CTA Instance refers to a specific CTA Asset that has a specific Goal in a specific Placement in a specific medium (Web page, print ad).
On a Web page, a Leaderboard Asset that appears below the main menu on a Home page and has a destination of XYZ.com is one Instance. The same Asset with the same destination appearing below the main menu on an About Us page is another Instance. A different Asset with the same or different Placement and the same or different Goal is another Instance.
Can you improve upon these working definitions? Feel free to comment below.