A call to action, or CTA, is a word, phrase, or sentence that urges your audience to do something right away. The action could be anything: sign up for a newsletter, download a PDF, or click a link. For your CTA to be effective, however, there are a few things you need to remember.
One of the rules of effective copywriting is to use verbs to encourage your words to take action. But don’t just include any verb; use action-oriented ones like:
Remember that without an action-oriented verb in your CTA, your audience won’t be encouraged to do anything.
Try to look at your CTA from the perspective of your readers. Why would they want to click, download, or buy whatever you’re offering? To answer this question, include your product, service, or brand’s benefits. Your audience needs to know what sets you apart from other companies, brands, or websites that offer the same features. Just make sure you express your unique value proposition clearly.
One of the sales techniques used to encourage potential customers to immediately take action is to add a sense of urgency to what is being offered. Why? People get easily forget, especially when preoccupied. If they don’t buy, click, or download now, they probably never will.
Saying “now” or “hurry” however isn’t always enough. To compel potential customers to act right away, introduce a deadline or some sort of limitation, like one-day discounts or limited supplies.
Adverbs are words or phrases that modifies an adjective, verb, another adverb, clause, or sentence. They’re typically ending in “ly” (e.g. abruptly, firmly, quickly). According to social media specialist Dan Zarrella, social media posts that use adverbs get the fewest number of shares, which is why you should try to minimise its use. The best choice would be verbs (see first tip).
People don’t read online; they skim. Thus, you should keep your CTAs concise or risk your audience may ignore it. This doesn’t mean, however, that your CTA should be devoid of information. As mentioned earlier, CTAs must include your unique value proposition, but this must be stated succinctly for it to be effective.
Be sensible with your word choice when writing your CTA. Technical language may demonstrate your knowledge, but it can drive away your readers. Here’s proof–HubSpot revealed its list of most-viewed and least-viewed words. The main difference between them? The latter were viewed less because they were technical jargon. For best results, stick to simple.
Your CTA may have all the other ingredients listed here to make it effective, but if people don’t see it, then it’s pretty much useless. Your CTA needs to be eye-catching. Here are a few ways how:
Put it in a coloured text box
To make your CTA pop out visually, you can place it in a text box whose colour is different from what the page’s background uses. Of course, its design should still match the website’s overall style.
Use larger fonts
Add emphasis to your CTA by making its font somewhat larger; see to it, however, that the size goes well with the page’s design and layout.
Make it appear clickable
Don’t use text links for your CTAs as people might overlook them. Instead, give them visual elements like buttons, hover effects, shadows, and reflections. This allows your audience to instinctively know that they can click on your CTAs.
Don’t settle for one CTA; there’s always room to improve, and not all are effective in different segments of your audience. To find out what works, run A/B tests (or split tests) to compare which two versions of your CTAs yield better conversion rates.
Tags: call to action, cta