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Mission Control / Healthcare

Healthcare CTAs, 4 Ways

When it comes to actually converting healthcare marketing content into measurable action by patients and physicians, it’s often the smallest amount of copy that ends up having the biggest impact.

Paper cut into the shape of a speech bubble that says, "Join us."

By Amy Widner

How do you maximize the limited space on a button or a call-to-action link? In medical marketing, so much hangs on just a few words. Take inspiration from these pithy but effective examples of healthcare CTAs.

1. Design with desired outcomes in mind.

As one of the nation’s leading hospitals and research facilities, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) wanted to showcase its expertise while deepening its relationship with current — and prospective — patients. With C/A’s help, VUMC launched My Vanderbilt Health, a content hub that works to augment the end-to-end patient journey by encouraging appointments and cultivating an ongoing relationship with the health system.

Rather than creating content and including CTAs as an afterthought, VUMC builds story and content ideas in conjunction with a desired action for target audiences to take. With each editorial recommendation, the team determines the purpose for the piece first, whether that’s supporting a service line effort, fueling a social media post or enhancing search efforts. Every piece of content features a relevant call to action, such as find a doctor, make an appointment, follow on social media or sign up for a newsletter.

Rather than creating content and including CTAs as an afterthought, VUMC builds story and content ideas in conjunction with a desired action for target audiences to take.

2. Align your CTAs with users’ needs.

It had been years since the Slidell Memorial Hospital website had been designed. Inevitably, that translated to a dated interface, a clunky user experience, an unwieldy navigational structure and an outdated CMS that made making simple changes cumbersome. As part of SMH’s new content marketing strategy, C/A was tasked with bringing the website into the present day and putting users’ needs first. That meant a new sitemap that prioritized the patient audience and put important actions — like finding a doctor, paying a bill and requesting an appointment — front and center. In the design phase, we built each key CTA as a navigation option on the homepage so users can quickly find what they need most.

3. Provide your audience with options.

Physicians are extremely busy. They’re also extremely important to the success of any healthcare system. So how do you build trust and establish a solid rapport with this key audience? You reach them where they want to be reached and you offer the type of content that matters to them. With that in mind, NYU Langone Health enlisted C/A to create Physician Focus, a content hub that showcases its research, clinical innovations and leadership in advanced specialty care, with the goal of connecting with other physicians through a credible and consistent stream of digital content.

The site’s editorial strategy is built around presenting NYU Langone experts as the thought leaders and boundary pushers that they are, and the site as the go-to resource for clinical news and breakthroughs. Supporting it all is a prominent call to sign up for newsletters that align with users’ self-selected interests, providing physicians an easy way to receive email marketing that actually serves them: complex case studies, research highlights, physician perspectives and other news in the specialties of their choosing.

4. Provide clear paths for varying audiences.

As a membership-based primary care practice, One Medical offers both a direct-to-consumer model as well as plans designed for companies to provide One Medical benefits to their employees. Addressing two disparate audiences across one website is no easy feat, but One Medical manages to adeptly delineate between the two through the use of clear and concise call-to-action copy. By swapping out the generic “learn more” CTA and instead placing two buttons side-by-side — one reading “membership sign-up” while the other says “for employers” — users are left with no doubt as to which one applies to them.

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Headshot Amy Widner Blue
Amy Widner Editor

Amy started her career as a newspaper reporter and editor, but embraced the digital revolution and led a 12-newspaper group through its digital-first transformation. Inspired to become a better leader and strategic thinker, she earned a master’s degree in strategic communication and now helps clients from universities to healthcare systems create strategic content that resonates with a variety of audiences.

In her spare time, she teaches chair yoga and mindfulness meditation to older adults, medical students, trainees and faculty. She enjoys mountain biking, trail running and hiking with her partner and bonus kids. She has five cats and can’t stop talking about birdwatching.

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