Personalized call-to-actions perform 202% better than basic CTAs.Hubspot
Weak CTAs cannot motivate users to take your desired action. Although CTAs like \”Click here,\” \”Learn more,\” \”and \”Contact us\” are popular, they are vague, generic, and boring. Your page could be getting a lot of traffic, but such weak calls to action cannot compel visitors to click and make a purchase.
We extensively researched how to write highly effective calls to action to address your conversion problem once and for all. In this article, you will learn the best practices and tips for writing an effective CTA, such as using action verbs, creating urgency, and listing your products\’ unique value proposition.
We have also included more than 60 CTA examples to inspire your marketing campaigns. But first, let\’s start with the basics.
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What is a Call to Action in Marketing?
A call to action (CTA) tells your readers what to do once they have read and engaged with parts of your copy. CTA\’s are usually written using an imperative verb with the goal of instructing the audience to perform your desired action. You can create a simple or complex call to action, such as \”Buy Now,\” after outlining your product or service benefits to motivate the reader to take that action.
The CTA statement can be served to the audience as a button or a hyperlink. You will learn the various types of CTAs later in this article. They are used in various marketing resources, including landing pages, email marketing, social media posts, and content marketing. You can design your CTAs to prompt an immediate response from your readers or encourage them to make an immediate sale.
Why are CTAs Important?
Here are some benefits of compelling calls to action:
- Increased conversions: Conversions happen when your website audience takes the action you want them to. Maybe you asked them to sign up for a newsletter, download a free ebook, or make a purchase. Effective CTAs can increase landing page conversions by 80%.
- Improved lead generation: CTAs use sales and marketing automation tools and techniques to trigger the interest of potential customers. Adding a compelling call to action that speaks to your visitors\’ pain points increases shareability, attracts new audiences, and encourages future sales.
- Increased brand awareness: CTAs increase brand awareness by allowing your marketing resources to spread to a wider audience. CTA\’s inviting users to follow you on social media, subscribe to your newsletter, or attend a webinar can demonstrate your brand value, expertise, and awareness.
- Improved customer engagement: CTAs encourage your visitors to take actions that align with your marketing goals and customer needs. CTAs with a sense of urgency or scarcity can improve customer engagement by inviting users to click links to your landing page.
- Grow your email list: Your business\’s website can offer valuable incentives to visitors in exchange for their email addresses. These incentives include free ebooks, discount codes, or webinars, and can help you capture qualified leads, who you can nurture through email marketing.
- Boosted sales: The power of CTAs lies in their potential to increase revenue because they lead users closer to a purchase decision. For example, A 14-day CTA trial by Shopify increased the e-commerce platform\’s revenue by 10 times within just 3 years.
This is How to Write a Perfect Call to Action
Now let\’s learn the best practices and tips for writing highly effective calls to action.
1. Start your CTAs using action verbs
There is a stark difference between action verbs and stative verbs.
Stative verbs such as \”Know,\” \”Need,\” or \”Believe,\” can make a really weak call to action. That is why action verbs are the primary elements of CTAs. Unlike stative verbs which express something\’s state of being, action verbs express something your audience can do physically.
Starting your CTAs with action verbs like \”Download,\” \”Subscribe,\” \”Buy,\” \”Join,\” and \”Get\” makes them highly effective because they do not express a feeling or condition like stative verbs. Instead, action verbs communicate your offer clearly, with curiosity, and a sense of urgency.
2. Finish with a strong sense of enthusiasm
Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word, Enthusiasmos. It means inspiration or possession by a godCambridge Dictionary
Your content could be engaging and exciting, but if your call to action lacks a strong sense of enthusiasm, your audience will scroll without noticing it. Enthusiasm is critical to capturing your audience\’s attention and inspiring their zeal for taking your desired action.
Enthusiasm also establishes your value proposition and credibility. Otherwise, your audience might wonder what they will get if they click the call to action button. Some crucial strategies for finishing your CTA with a strong sense of enthusiasm include adding numbers, adjectives, and exclamation marks.
Numbers work best when your CTA is offering discounts and bonuses. Some adjectives that can add enthusiasm to your CTA include awesome, incredible, limited, free, secret, exclusive, or guaranteed.
Below are some examples of CTAs with a strong sense of enthusiasm following these strategies:
- Buy now and get 50% off!
- Don\’t miss this incredible opportunity!
- Start your free trial today!
3. List your product or service\’s unique selling proposition
A unique selling proposition or USP is critical for businesses because most people offer the same products and services. USP answers two simple questions: \”What makes you different from the rest?\” and \”Why should your website visitors take your desired action and not your competitor\’s?\”
In other words, USP is the tool you use to communicate the key factors distinguishing your product from the competition. Writing a highly effective call to action relies heavily on your business\’s unique selling proposition. Personalizing CTAs like this can make them 202% more effective than basic CTAs.
So, how can you include your Unique Selling Point in your call to action? Let\’s borrow examples from Evernote, Spotify, and Hubspot.
|Company||CTA with company\’s USP|
|Evernote||Remember Everything. Organize your work and declutter your life with Evernote. Try it for free today!|
|Spotify||Music for everyone. Millions of songs. No credit card needed. Get Spotify Free.|
|Hubspot||Grow better with HubSpot. HubSpot offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core. Start free now|
To figure out your unique selling point, you must identify your target audience and understand the problems giving them sleepless nights. Secondly, analyze your competitors\’ offerings and how they position themselves in the market. How are you different?
Finally, craft a clear and concise statement summarizing your USP and use it to communicate your CTAs.
4. Infuse a sense of urgency and scarcity
How many times have you postponed a purchase and even forgot about the purchasing decision entirely? While it is true that sometimes you don\’t have the money to make the purchase, many times it is the lack of urgency in the seller\’s call to action. The seller is missing one critical detail: Why should the buyer care?
The lesson here is that your CTA must infuse a strong sense of urgency and scarcity so your users fear the consequences of missing out. Otherwise, you are losing potential leads, conversions, and sales. To avoid that costly mistake, urgent CTAs must include action words such as \”Buy,\” \”Download,\” \”Join,\” \”Subscribe,\” or \”Start.\”.
Urgent CTAs should also be time-sensitive and quantity-based.
Time-sensitive means establishing deadlines using phrases like \”limited-time offer,\” \”last chance,\” \”hurry,\” \”ending,\” and \”soon.\” Quantity-based CTAs inject scarcity and competition into your offer. Some quantity-based words for an effective CTA include \”limited,\” exclusive,\” \” few,\” \”only,\” and \”sold out.\”
Here are some examples of CTAs with a sense of urgency and scarcity:
- Start your free trial today!
- Last chance to join before the price goes up.
- Only 10 spots left!
5. Make it clear and concise
A clear and concise CTA not only tells the audience what to do. It also tells them how to do it in simple and direct terms. Clear and concise CTAs use short and direct phrases while avoiding vague and generic ones like \”Learn more,\” \”Click here,\” or \”Submit.\” Such CTA\’s do not convey the value of your offer.
I have come across some jaw-dropping CTAs. I mean long, jargon-filled, and confusing CTAs that require a diploma or a degree to understand. While that may work for your business, complexity harms CTA performance. You will learn how to run A/B tests in step 10, so you can measure your CTA\’s performance.
Clear and concise CTAs do not mean scraping off other essential information from your offering but condensing it to its key elements. A call to action like \”Contact us for a quote,\” \”Schedule/Make an appointment,\” and \”Claim your free trial now,\” are more clear and concise.
6. Make the CTA visible and readable
Design is also at the heart of highly effective calls to action. Remember those jaw-dropping CTAs I mentioned earlier, those confusing CTAs? They have too much clutter and distraction around them. Their visibility and readability issues are usually associated with design elements like shape, color, and font.
The consequences of unreadable and invisible CTAs are far-reaching. It can lower your click-through rates, increase your bounce rates, and reduce user experience. It could also have a negative impact on your brand reputation. Your visitors may perceive you as low-quality and unprofessional.
Effective CTAs should have contrasting colors and bold fonts to increase visibility and readability. You should use a color that stands out from the rest of the page. This color should match your brand identity. Digital marketing experts recommend enough whitespace or padding around the CTA to make it conspicuous.
Turning your CTAs into clickable buttons with contrasting brand colors is also an effective way to make them visible and readable. However, test different CTA button sizes to see which ones perform better than the rest.
7. Accompany your CTA with a benefit-oriented text
Adding social proof to CTAs can increase conversions by 12.5%VWO
A benefit-oriented text highlights the outcome or value that the user gets for taking your desired action. It is meant to make your CTA more appealing and persuasive. Instead of telling your visitors to \”Subscribe,\” you could accompany it with a benefit-oriented text such as \”Subscribe and get 20% off your first order.\”
This technique convinces your users and keeps their attention and interest. Without it, the reader can easily overlook the relevance of your offer. However, you should blend it naturally with the rest of your copy to make it more subtle and less noticeable.
Accompanying your CTA with a benefit-oriented text will motivate your readers and make them take action to satisfy their curiosity. A benefit-oriented CTA has action verbs, numbers, and percentages such as \”Get 50% off\” and \”Save $100,\” and social proof or testimonials like “Join 10,000+ happy customers.\”
8. Run A/B tests on your calls to action
Running A/B tests on your calls to action means trying different types of CTAs and measuring their performances to find the best one in terms of clicks, conversions, or bounce rates. In other words, A/B tests help marketers optimize their CTAs. It can help you find the right type of CTA and placement that matches your audience and goals.
The first step to running A/B tests on CTAs is to decide on a goal. The goal could be to download an e-book, increase sign-ups, or make sales. Secondly, what variable will you test? Is it the CTA button\’s color, size, shape, wording, or position? Choose one variable and create two or more CTA versions on it.
You can split your audience into equal random groups and show them the different versions of CTA. Run the CTAs for enough time to collect sufficient data for analysis. Implement the CTA with the highest impact on your goal (CTA#3) as shown in the table above.
You can repeat the process with another variable if you want to. However, this is just a simple illustration. The best tools for A/B testing include Google Optimize, Optimizely, and HubSpot. These tools offer advanced features and options for creating and testing the performance of your CTAs, web pages, and other elements.
That brings us to the next section.
The Different Types of CTAs
Here are some popular types of CTAs:
Using a button instead of a text link increased conversions by 62%Unbounce
Buttons are icons with CTAs written on them. They have a wide use case and will usually be embedded in the other types of CTAs. Buttons are the most common type of CTA you will find when subscribing to most newsletters or adding a product to a cart. They are easy to recognize and interact with.
Here is an example of our CTA button:
The second type of CTA is a form. These are empty fields that require the user\’s contact information in exchange for a valuable product or service. Forms play a critical role in email marketing, where it is used primarily for converting website traffic into leads and collecting marketing data.
It looks something like this:
Please fill out the form below and sign up for our free weekly newsletter filled with expert marketing advice to improve your brand visibility.
Banners are large graphics or images you can use to call the user\’s attention to the top or bottom of your website. Banners are essential for announcing new products, events, special deals, and limited-time offers. The goal is for the visitors to click the banner.
Therefore, banner CTAs must be relevant, timely, and valuable to your audience.
Contextual link CTAs use hyperlinks to direct users from one page to another relevant page to give them more context. They are CTAs used to provide more information, examples, or references about a particular subject and are not so different from anchor texts in that regard.
For example, learn how to use the top 4 free AI writing tools in 2023 in our comprehensive review.
MonsterInsights Pop-Up CTA
Adding an exit-intent popup can increase conversions by up to 600%OptinMonster
Unlike banners, pop-ups interrupt the visitor\’s browsing experience with the action you need them to take. Therefore, users are more likely to notice pop-ups. You can use this CTA to prevent your users from leaving the website without making a subscription or completing a sale.
Slide-in CTAs emerge from a website corner in response to the content or the visitor\’s behavior on the page. Unlike pop-ups, slide-ins do not interfere with the user experience.
Not that these are just a fraction of the different types of CTAs. Other types of CTAs to explore and test include lead flows, social proof, end-of-content CTAs, and persistent header/footer CTAs.
Now let me give you some CTA\’s to supercharge your marketing efforts.
60+ Examples of Highly Effective CTAs
1. Apply Here: ALXs Call to Action for a Software Engineering Program
2. Upgrade Now: MonsterInsights Upgrade CTA
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use Canva, a free online design tool to create your desired CTA buttons. WordPress website builder also offers countless plugins and widgets for adding CTAs to your content. HubSpot also offers a CTA tool but you might need to pay for it.
2. What does a weak call to action look like?
A weak CTA can be vague, generic, passive, or boring. A weak CTA does not portray a sense of urgency or excitement and may not be aligned with your landing page goals. Your CTA could also be weak if it is not tested and optimized for performance and impact.
3. How long should a call to action be?
The length of a CTA is subjective. It will depend on your goal, context, audience, and the platform you are using. However, expert digital marketers recommend concise, clear, and compelling CTAs with an optimal length of between 2 and five words.
The best-performing CTA button color depends on your webpage design and layout, and the contrast and harmony of your brand\’s color schemes. However, warm colors like red, orange, or yellow create more urgency and can convert better than blue, green, or purple buttons.
5. How can I measure the effectiveness of my CTAs?
Decide what metrics you want to measure. Is it CTR, CPA, ROI, or conversion rate? Track the metrics using tools and platforms like Google Optimizer. Analyze the data and compare different versions of your CTA. Most importantly, use A/B testing to optimize the wording, design, and placement of your CTAs.
You asked how to write a call to action and here it is. It is a good idea to start your CTA with action verbs and finish with a strong sense of enthusiasm. However, injecting scarcity, urgency, and your unique selling proposition into the CTA can increase your leads, conversions, and sales dramatically.
Do you need help strengthening your calls to action or creating your copies from scratch? We can help. Contact us right away through the form below.