Writing a strong call to action (CTA) is an art that can have a huge impact on how well your marketing efforts go and should always be part of your SEO strategies. The call to action (CTA) is like a handshake with potential buyers, telling them to take the next step. It can be used to boost sales, get more people to sign up for your newsletter, or send people to a landing page. Your call to action (CTA) needs to stand out and connect with your audience in a digital world that is full of information and choices.
Today, we’re going to talk about eight important tips and ideas for making a great CTA that gets people to click. We’ll talk about everything that makes a CTA work, from the psychology of persuasion to the smart design and placement of your CTA buttons. By the end of this guide, you’ll have useful information that you can use to improve your user experience, make your calls to action better, and turn more leads into loyal customers. So let’s get started and turn your calls to action into offers that no one can say no to.
Tips to Write a Killer Call to Action
1. Start with a Strong Command Verb
Begin your CTA with a verb that prompts immediate action, such as “Buy,” “Download,” “Subscribe,” “Register,” or “Start.” This creates a sense of urgency and clarity about the action you want the user to take.
When you’re ready to convert interest into action, the right words can make all the difference. Beginning your call to action (CTA) with a strong command verb is one of the most effective ways to grab attention and encourage a response. Here’s why starting with a verb is vital, along with some tips on choosing the best one for your CTA:
Clarity is Key: A strong verb immediately tells your audience what action you want them to take. Words like “Shop,” “Order,” “Discover,” or “Learn” set a clear expectation and make the next steps obvious.
Encourage Enthusiasm: Choose verbs that generate excitement about what’s to come. “Unleash,” “Unlock,” or “Experience” can give a sense of adventure or benefit that awaits beyond the click.
Keep It Simple: The verb should be straightforward and familiar to your audience, avoiding any confusion or the need to interpret the action required.
Focus on Value: Use verbs that emphasize the benefit or value the user will receive. “Save,” “Earn,” or “Get” can be very effective in highlighting what’s in it for them.
Personalize the Action: Make the CTA feel personal by using verbs that connect directly with the user, such as “Start your journey” or “Build your plan.” This can create a more engaging and meaningful call to action.
Use Active Voice: Write in the active voice to make your CTA more direct and powerful. Instead of saying “Your guide can be downloaded,” say “Download your guide.”
2. Give a Reason Why
To get people to take the action you want them to, you need to explain the “why” behind your call to action (CTA). People are much more likely to agree with you if you tell them what they’ll get out of it.
Clearly explain what the benefit is. Users are more likely to take action if they understand what they will gain from it. For example, “Sign up now to improve your skills in just two weeks!”
Here are some tips for getting across the reason behind your call to action:
Highlight the Benefits: Clearly articulate the benefits of taking action. Instead of just saying “Join our newsletter,” add a reason why, such as “Join our newsletter to get exclusive weekly tips on digital marketing.”
Use Value-Driven Language: Incorporate words that convey value, such as “free,” “exclusive,” “customized,” or “comprehensive,” to reinforce the benefit of the offer.
Address Pain Points: Speak to a problem or need your audience has and show how clicking the CTA provides a solution. For example, “Start your free trial and say goodbye to disorganized project management.”
Create Relatability: Use language that resonates with your audience’s experiences or desires. Make it clear that you understand their needs and have designed a solution just for them.
Use Social Proof: If applicable, use testimonials or statistics to back up your reason. Knowing that others have benefited can be a strong motivator.
Keep It Concise: While it’s important to give a reason, keep your message succinct. The reason should be easily digestible at a glance.
Focus on the Outcome: Emphasize the positive outcome of taking action. For example, “Get started now to transform your fitness in 30 days!”
Align with Your Audience’s Goals: Your CTA should tap into the aspirations or end goals of your audience. If your product helps them achieve these goals, make that connection clear.
Use Contrast to Your Advantage: Sometimes illustrating the ‘without’ scenario can be powerful. “Stop wasting time on inefficient workflows. Use our tool and reclaim your day!”
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
Use time-sensitive language to encourage users to act quickly. Phrases like “Offer ends soon” or “Limited availability” can make users feel they need to act immediately to not miss out.
To help you make your CTAs seem more urgent, here are some tips:
Use Time-Sensitive Language: Incorporate words that suggest immediate action is necessary, such as “now,” “today,” “hurry,” or “immediately.” For example, “Order now to take advantage of this limited-time offer!”
Highlight Limited Availability: If your product or service is available only for a limited time or in limited quantities, make that clear. Phrases like “While supplies last” or “Limited spots available” can create a fear of missing out (FOMO).
Offer Time-Bound Incentives: Give customers a reason to act quickly by providing special offers that expire soon, such as “Sign up in the next 24 hours to receive a 20% discount.”
Emphasize the Immediate Benefit: Show how taking action now will provide instant gratification or solve a problem immediately. “Get instant access to our exclusive report” can be very compelling.
Use Countdown Timers: On digital platforms, incorporate countdown timers next to your CTAs to visually reinforce the urgency. This can be particularly effective for event registrations or limited-time sales.
Seasonal or Event-Related Urgency: Align your Call to Action with events or seasons, such as “Get your holiday gifts before it’s too late!” to make the urgency relevant and timely.
Play on Emotional Triggers: Use language that taps into emotions associated with urgency, such as excitement or anxiety. “Don’t miss out on this life-changing opportunity” can trigger an emotional response.
Keep It Honest: Ensure that any urgency you create is genuine. Misleading customers with false urgency can damage trust and credibility.
Incorporate Action-Oriented Colors: Use bold, bright colors for your CTA buttons that are traditionally associated with action and urgency, like red or orange.
4. Make It Stand Out
Making your call to action (CTA) stand out is essential for grabbing attention and guiding users toward the desired action. Here are some tips to ensure your CTA is as prominent and effective as possible:
Use Contrasting Colors: Choose a button color that stands out against the background of your webpage or email. The contrast draws the eye directly to the CTA, making it more noticeable.
Size Matters: Make the CTA button large enough to be easily seen, but not so large that it overwhelms the rest of your content. It should be the most prominent element on the page without being disruptive.
Whitespace Is Your Friend: Surround your CTA with ample whitespace to help it stand out. A cluttered design can distract from the CTA and reduce its effectiveness.
Position It Strategically: Place your CTA where users naturally look, such as in the center of the screen or aligned with the content flow. Above-the-fold placement (visible without scrolling) is often recommended for primary CTAs.
Use Compelling Shapes and Graphics: Experiment with different shapes or graphic elements to draw attention. Arrows pointing to the CTA or an icon within the button can increase visibility.
Make It Mobile-Friendly: Ensure your CTA is easily clickable on mobile devices. Buttons should be large enough to tap without zooming in, and responsive design should keep the CTA prominent on any screen size.
Animate Your CTA: Subtle animations can draw attention to your CTA without being distracting. A simple effect like a color change on hover can make the CTA more engaging.
Ensure Visual Consistency: While your CTA should stand out, it also needs to feel like a cohesive part of your brand and website design. Consistent use of color, typography, and style will support this.
Use of Directional Cues: Use images or lines that subtly point towards the CTA, guiding the user’s eye to the action you want them to take.
Optimize Copy Placement: Place persuasive and concise copy directly above or around the CTA to provide context and reinforce the action you want users to take.
5. Keep It Short and Sweet
A concise and clear call to action (CTA) is essential for effective communication with your audience. Here are some tips on how to keep your CTA short and sweet, ensuring it is direct and compelling:
Be Direct: Use straightforward language that directly communicates what you want the user to do. Avoid fluff or overly complex phrases that could dilute the message.
Limit Word Count: Aim for no more than five to seven words in your CTA. This brevity makes it easy for users to quickly grasp the action they should take.
Focus on the Benefit: Quickly highlight the benefits of the CTA. For instance, “Get Free Ebook” is more enticing than just “Download.”
Use Strong Verbs: Start with a verb that encourages action, such as “Buy,” “Order,” “Subscribe,” or “Discover.” This sets a clear expectation for the user.
Create Urgency: If appropriate, include a word that conveys urgency, such as “Now” or “Today,” to prompt immediate action.
Employ Imperatives: Use imperative verbs to create commands that are short and impactful, such as “Join,” “Start,” “Visit,” or “Learn.”
Avoid Jargon: Steer clear of industry-specific language that might not be understood by everyone. Keep your CTA accessible to all potential users.
Test for Clarity: Ensure that your CTA is not only short but also clear. Test it with people who are not familiar with your product or service to make sure it’s understandable at a glance.
Use Numerals When Appropriate: If your CTA includes numbers, use numerals as they stand out and are quicker to read, e.g., “Save 50%” instead of “Save fifty percent.”
6. Test and Optimize
Testing and optimizing your call to action (CTA) is a critical part of ensuring that your message resonates with your audience and drives conversions. Here are some tips on how to effectively test and refine your CTAs:
A/B Testing: Also known as split testing, A/B testing involves creating two versions of your CTA and measuring the performance of each. You can test different phrasings, colors, positions, and sizes to see which one yields better results.
Multivariate Testing: If you want to test multiple variables at once, such as the CTA text, color, and placement, multivariate testing allows you to see which combination performs the best.
Use Analytics: Employ analytics tools to track the performance of your CTAs. Look at metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and bounce rates to gauge effectiveness.
User Feedback: Get direct feedback from users through surveys or user testing sessions. Ask them about their perceptions of the CTA and what might improve their likelihood of taking action.
Heat Maps: Use heat map tools to see where users are clicking on your page. This can help you determine if your CTA is in the right place or if it’s being overlooked.
Monitor Conversion Paths: Analyze the paths users take that lead to conversions. This can help you understand the journey and optimize the placement and wording of your CTAs accordingly.
Segment Your Audience: Different segments of your audience may respond better to different CTAs. Test variations tailored to different demographics, locations, or user behaviors.
Consider Timing: The timing of your CTA can also affect its performance. Test showing your CTA at different stages of the user’s engagement with your content.
Iterate and Improve: Testing is not a one-time task. Continuously iterate on your CTAs based on the data you collect. Small, incremental improvements can lead to significant increases in performance over time.
Test One Change at a Time: When A/B testing, change only one element at a time to clearly understand which change made the difference in performance.
Benchmark and Set Goals: Establish benchmarks for your Call To Action performance and set goals for improvement.