How to Write a Strong Call-to-Action: 6 Simple Tips

How to Write a Strong Call-to-Action: 6 Simple Tips

By Brianne Carlon RushMay 9 /2012

Call-to-Action.jpgGrab attention. Encourage an action. Make a sale. The purpose of calls-to-action (CTAs) is simple enough. However, the amount of CTAs that actually accomplish these goals is nowhere near 100%. To increase your conversion rate—and ultimately your sales—consider investing a little time and energy into crafting your CTAs. Follow the tips below for writing CTA text, then let us know how they worked for you. 

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  • Be Direct: Your website is not the place to beat around the bush. It is imperative that you let your visitors know exactly what you do and exactly what you would like them to do. Visitors shouldn’t have to think about what to do next; be clear with your directives: “sign up,” “download,” “submit,” “get started.”
  • Be Different: In marketing 101 we learn that you must differentiate yourself and your product. Figure out what makes this proposition special and incorporate it into your CTA. Do you have the best selection of the product or the most years of experience providing the service? Then say so!
  • Be Demanding: Your CTA should always have an action (duh). But make sure your action is short, simple and strong, to the point of being demanding. Say exactly what you want the potential customer to do: “download,” “watch,” “buy.” Avoid weak words that every other website out there is using, such as “click,” “get,” “see” or “try.”
  • Be Clever: If you can’t pique your audience’s attention, your CTA is doomed. Evoke some sort of emotion, whether it is humor, necessity or desire, and your visitors will more likely become leads. Use a play on words, solve an important problem, or create a must-have value. When people feel an emotional connection, they are more likely to take action.
  • Be Urgent: Convey to your website visitors that not converting will definitely result in a missed opportunity. For example, use an introductory price for your product, and make it clear that it is only going to last a short while. So if your visitor does not convert now, he risks the price going up. Including simple words such as “now,” “immediately” or “today,” adds a sense of urgency that prompts the visitor to click now rather than later.
  • Be Easy: A CTA that seems complicated will unquestionably fail. Squash concerns upfront by letting your audience know that converting will not be timely or costly. If your value is free, don’t forget to include this in your CTA text. It can make the difference between visitors clicking rather than not clicking. Also, if there is a process, such as joining an email alert, make it clear that it will not take long to do so: “sign up in less than 60 seconds.”

Being all of these things in just one short phrase is a tall order. Creating effective CTAs isn’t always easy, and it takes a great deal of wit, marketing knowledge and trial and error. But don’t give up; calls to actions are essential for converting visitors to leads and leads to customers. And remember, buyers want consistency; whatever language you decide to use for your CTA, carry it through to the landing page for ultimate results.

What CTAs have you had success with? Let us know in the comments below. 

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The Author

Brianne Carlon Rush

Brianne works with Fortune 500 clients to strategize digital marketing efforts that help sales teams close deals faster. Additionally, she focuses on Kuno’s sales and marketing alignment and employee empowerment. Prior to Kuno, Brianne helped market OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, and was the youngest person to be promoted to managing editor position at MacFadden Performing Arts Media in NYC.