Digital marketing is all about driving conversions – and these call-to-action phrases will help you get the results you want. Here’s a breakdown of how and why they work.
Your call-to-action (CTA) buttons are some of the most important elements on your site. They provide readers with some form of actionable task, such as “Download Now” or “Click Here”, and appear in the form of a button, a hyperlink, or a clickable image.
The goal of a CTA? To spur the viewer into action and click (hence, ‘call-to-action’).
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is a Call-to-Action (CTA)?
Simply put, a ‘call-to-action’, also known as a CTA, prompts website visitors to engage with the content on your site and do a specific activity, such as buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, download a guide, fill out a form, or drive more traffic to a landing page. A good call-to-action can increase conversions and sales, and is the key ingredient to any effective marketing strategy.
Typically written as an imperative or request, such as “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart”, CTAs come in the form of buttons, clickable images, or hyperlinks and can usually be found towards the bottom or to the right of content.
Why Do You Need a Strong Call-to-Action?
If done right, a CTA can drive traffic, generate leads, and increase revenue. It’s a crucial step in turning casual fans into followers and readers into customers.
It’s what can make or break your business growth.
Without an effective CTA, the user may not know the next steps to take, meaning that you’ll not only lose conversions, but potential clients, too.
10 Tips for Writing Effective Call-To-Actions for Lead Generation
The language of CTAs is absolutely critical. It can be the difference between someone clicking and moving forward in your funnel, and someone ignoring it entirely.
When creating your CTA, be sure to start by defining the action you want your reader to take before you begin to write. That way, you’ll increase the likelihood of your visitors taking the desired step, edging you one step closer to achieving your content marketing goals.
Remember to keep these tips in mind when writing your CTAs:
1. Make them actionable
2. Use the first-person
3. Include strong visuals (pick a contrasting colour for your button)
4. Create a sense of urgency
5. Keep them short and simple (stick to five words or less)
6. Don’t confuse your visitors with too many CTAs at once (one or two is recommended)
7. Make them stand out and easy to find
8. Personalise them using words like “I,” “me,” or “my”
9. Use concise and persuasive language
10. Incorporate emotions such as fear, inclusion, or curiosity
10 Friction Words to Avoid
It’s also recommended that you avoid ‘friction’ words in your call-to-action. These are words that suggest to your readers that they may have to give up something – time, money, energy, etc. – in order to get something in return.
Essentially, you’re making the CTA sound like work.
2. Sign Up
If any of these friction words are used in your current CTA copy, swap them out for an action-oriented option instead.
Before we dive into our comprehensive list of actionable phrases that you can incorporate into your CTA, you should know that there are different types.
9 Proven Call-To-Action Phrases That Work – And The Reasons Why
Short, simple, and to the point, you can’t go wrong with this – the OG of CTAs. Be sure to use this phrase only after you’ve successfully proved to your audience exactly why they should subscribe. It doesn’t matter how compelling your CTA is if your value proposition is not clear.
“Yes, I Want X!”
This CTA taps into the power of using the voice of the customer, provoking readers to read the CTA in their own voice, as if it were their own original thought. Without the reader even knowing it, a positive connection has been created between the offer and the reader, improving the chance of conversion dramatically.
“Reply today and get…”
The perfect example of a cause-and-effect CTA, this example operates like a transaction. The value proposition here is clearly laid out in the CTA itself: complete the desired and receive something in return (perhaps a free sample, an e-book, or a small discount). In order for this to work, however, make sure that what you’re offering is actually what your customers want.
“Get X Right Now!”
The goal here is clear. The secret sauce? “Right Now!” Words like “today”, “now”, or “in the next 24 hours” add a sense of urgency, propelling users to act now rather than later. In this case, try replacing your action verb, “get”, with something more interesting. Pull out the thesaurus and get creative!
“Don’t Miss Out!”
Not only does this CTA foster a sense of urgency, but it also engenders a sense of limitation and a sense of potential loss AKA FOMO. Fear of missing out is one of the most effective motivators – and one used by marketers around the world. Examples include, “Shop today! Sale ends Wednesday”, “Get your discount before it’s gone!”, and “Limited quantities available!”. Time-sensitive phrases have a long history of getting marketers those all-important clicks as they force users to act when otherwise they might have sat on the decision for a couple of days, eventually talking themselves out of it.
“Join X Other [Category] as Subscribers to My Email List”
A type of social proof, this CTA helps convince potential customers that there are many others like him/her that have already signed up and who love the product, adding credibility to what you’re selling (in this case, your email list). On top of that, it provokes curiosity within the reader, leaving them wondering why it is that so many have signed up before him/her, creating an additional – and persuasive – element of FOMO.
“Do You Want to X? Yes or No”
The trick here to ask questions that readers will feel compelled to answer “yes” to. For example, on a clothing site, you might have a headline posing the question “Do you want 50% off your next purchase?” or, better yet, “Do you want $2000 free credit for your next shop?” Given your site’s purpose, it’s highly unlikely that visitors would say “no”. And even if they do (for some reason) click “no”, it will likely feel wrong to them as it misaligns with their values and the very reason they were on your site to begin with – which means next time, they might click “yes”.
“Reserve your spot now – space is limited!”
By directly communicating the need to reserve your seat in advance or else risk missing out entirely, you’re creating that all-important sense of urgency, while simultaneously fostering a feeling of exclusivity. By making tickets seem scarce, you’re increasing the value of your event exponentially, once again provoking a distinct fear of missing out.
“Learn more about us at…”
This is a great tool for building brand awareness. Often, customers are just perusing, with little intention of buying right at that minute. By offering them an opportunity to better familiarise themselves with your product and business, you’re increasing the likelihood that, on the occasion that they are ready to buy, they’ll be more likely to remember the name of your brand.
There are as many call-to-action options as there are types of businesses. It’s up to you to find the one that suits your goals best. Start incorporating your own spin of some of these call-to-action phrases into your marketing today. The results will soon follow.