Learn how Colgate, Nixon, Health-Ade and more are using 1st party data to fuel eCommerce growth in the Power Hour Executive Series

Learn More
Blog Post

How to Write a Call to Action That Converts

June 16, 2021
Table of Contents

Whether you’re designing a landing page, writing a blog post, or launching an email campaign, an engaging call-to-action motivates your prospective customers to participate with purpose. 

But including a hasty “Buy now!” is not always the most effective approach toward meeting your marketing objectives.

Being mindful of your target market’s needs, wants, and concerns can help to bring more nuance to an otherwise bland call-to-action. 

In this blog, we’ll go over everything you need to know about taking your calls-to-action to the next level. 

Here’s an overview of what’s to come:

  • How to Write a Call-to-Action: Define and Align
  • Calls-to-Action that Convert: What to Include 
  • How to Evaluate the Efficacy of Your CTA button

How to Write a Call-to-Action: Define and Align

The very first step in writing a high-quality call-to-action is defining your marketing campaign objectives. 

Are you trying to increase ticket sales for an event? Would you like to encourage satisfied clients to leave a positive rating on your Etsy shop? Perhaps you’re simply hoping to boost the number of profile visits to your company’s social media page. 

If you’re not sure where your campaign vehicle is headed, it’s challenging to draw a precise map that will get it there. First, set your direction. Then, build a compelling CTA in a way that supports it. 

Consider framing your campaign objectives around:

  • Awareness – Getting more eyeballs on your brand and building familiarity. A call for awareness could ask your audience to follow your brand on social media, subscribe to your mailing list, or view your new line of products.
  • Consideration – Fostering deeper engagement and creating trust. A call for consideration could invite a potential customer to comment, fill out a survey, or schedule a call.
  • Conversion – Increasing your revenue with sales. A call for a CRO service could inspire lead generation to take advantage of a promotion or finish checking out.

Once you’ve defined your goals, proceed by aligning your call-to-action with them.  

CRO convert CTA

Calls-to-Action that Convert: What to Include 

After you’ve properly outlined your campaign goals, the process of designing the perfect call-to-action begins. 

Here’s a brief look at what to include:

  • Active language
  • Subtle urgency
  • Emphasis on value
  • Risk-free rewards
  • Precise formatting
  • Eye-catching design

Ready to break these down a bit further? Keep reading!

Active Language 

It says it right in the name: call-to-action. Not call-to-passivity or call-to-inertia. A successful CTA should always inspire some sort of movement in the digital marketing space: clicking on a subscription box, transferring a product into an online shopping cart, or signing up for a monthly newsletter.

Whatever specific action you are trying to incite should be reflected in equally dynamic language.1 

Imagine how confusing the game of Simon Says would be if active language were entirely absent. Simon says: pencil! nose! stapler! Blank stares and puzzled head scratches would surely follow, right? 

Instead, stick to strong verbs like these to ensure clarity and drive engagement:

  • Explore
  • Join
  • Learn
  • Start
  • Create
  • Discover

Subtle Urgency

Now that your leads are clear on what you’d like them to do, consider adding a time-sensitive nudge to your call-to-action to let them know when the action should be completed. Whether or not the clock is actually ticking on your intended conversion, your target audience may need to feel like it is in order to act.

Using words like ‘now,’ ‘soon,’ or ‘expires’ can decrease bounce rates and incentivize users to act as soon as possible. 

Remember: There is a fine line between a nudge and a push. You don’t want to set off anyone’s manipulation radars, so be mindful of the words you choose. 

Here are a few suggestions to help you strike the right balance:

  • Time – 3-day sale, now, today only, offer expires in 24 hours
  • Scarcity – save your seat, one day only, while supplies last
  • Speed – instant, act fast, don’t hesitate

Emphasis on Value

What? Check. When? Check. 

Now it’s time for the why. 

Aside from improving the conversion rate, why should your target audience accept your invitation to act? In other words, what’s in it for them?

Including the value propositions of your product or service within the call-to-action makes it clear to the consumer how, exactly, you plan to address their pain points, answer their questions, or satisfy their wants. 

Take a look at this CTA example from prAna:  

Not sure which size is right? Find your True Fit in just 60 seconds.  

Why is this an effective CTA?

  • It addresses consumer concerns (purchasing shoes online without trying them on)
  • It proposes an immediate, effective solution
  • It includes a specific time frame within which the consumer’s problem will be solved 

Consider this next CTA example from Elementor:

Join 5,000,000+ Professionals Who Build Better Sites With Elementor

Why is it effective?

  • It clearly states its value: building better websites
  • It highlights trust by offering a specific number of current users 

Start by determining what the top value propositions are for your product or service and build an irresistible call-to-action from there. 

Risk-Free Rewards 

Another element of crafting the perfect call-to-action is using language that puts your audience at ease. This is particularly important for new leads who may be unfamiliar with your brand. 

What if they aren’t satisfied with their purchase? How will they know if your service is right for them? 

Using a clear CTA that builds trust and lowers the buyer’s risk is more likely to result in a conversion. Be sure to include language that addresses consumer concerns and eliminates uncertainty. 

Here are a few call to action examples from brands that have mastered this technique: 

  • Millions of songs and podcasts. No credit card needed. Get Spotify free. (Spotify)
  • $14.99/month. Cancel anytime. Sign up now. (HBOMAX)
  • $5/month. Try us risk-free for thirty days. (Thrive Market

Precise Formatting

So far, we’ve talked in depth about what should be included in a conversion-boosting call-to-action: 

  • Action-packed words
  • Language that encourages a timely response
  • Top product takeaways that will garner your audience’s interest 

That’s a pretty tall order for something that also needs to be kept short and sweet. More often than not, your window for capturing the user’s attention is quite small. Packing a strong CTA with all the necessary information while also keeping it brief is often what makes writing it so challenging. 

If possible, keep your call-to-action under ten words in length. Eliminate the extraneous to hold your audience’s attention, and to ensure that your primary objective is not lost underneath a mountain of clutter. 

Be mindful of specific character limits for CTAs in the following formats:

  • Email subject lines – 90 characters maximum 
  • Instagram captions – 125 characters before the “read more” link
  • Twitter ads – 280 characters maximum

You’ll need even shorter captions to optimize for mobile devices. If you tend to see more conversions on mobile, keep email subjects under 30 characters long.

Eye-Catching Design

After spending valuable time stringing together the perfect combination of words for your CTA text, how tragic would it be if it went completely unnoticed? 

Precise wordsmithing is not the only way to craft compelling calls-to-action. Marrying the language with the design can also go a long way in making sure your CTA is ultra click-worthy. 

If your call-to-action will take the form of an action button, consider the Von Restorff effect which suggests that oddball items within a group are likely to be the most memorable.2

So, if you’re stuck on how to customize your CTA button, choose a color that contrasts with its surroundings.3 

Don’t forget about the font! Save the curly, hard-to-read serif fonts for your signature—not the CTA. 

How to Evaluate the Efficacy of Your CTA 

You’ve sculpted a near-perfect call-to-action and paired it with a design that can’t be missed…or so you think. 

Is your CTA being seen, clicked, or completely passed over? 

To know, you’ll need to set up a system of key performance indicators (KPIs) and keep track of the ones that are most relevant to your marketing campaign.

Whether you’re monitoring website traffic, profile visits, or number of sales, make sure your CTA is doing its job. 

Here are a few conversion rate optimization tools you can use to measure a successful CTA rate:

  • Google Analytics
  • Instagram Analytics
  • Facebook Analytics
  • HubSpot 

If you’re finding that your CTA is not delivering the results you had hoped for your marketing strategy, it might be time to take it back to the drawing board. 

A Call-to-Ambition with Power Digital Marketing 

A well-designed call-to-action can often be the deciding factor between a successful campaign and one that misses the mark. Investing time into finding the right language, defining the value propositions of your product or service, and enhancing your CTA with a complementary design, are sure to provide your brand with a high return. 

Calls-to-action aren’t the only essential pieces in the content marketing puzzle. Supporting them with the proper marketing strategy, refining your target market, and re-evaluating your brand objectives are just a few more steps that will help propel you forward. 

We at Power Digital Marketing present you with a call-to-ambition: Get a proposal and step into your full marketing potential today. 

 

Sources: 

  1. Forbes. Why Your Call to Action Needs To Be Clear And Compelling. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/26/why-your-call-to-action-needs-to-be-clear-and-compelling/
  2. Coglode. Von Restorff Effect. https://www.coglode.com/research/von-restorff-effect
  3. Protocol 80. 2021 Inbound Marketing Stats on the Power of Call-to-Action Buttons. https://www.protocol80.com/blog/2019-cta-statistics

 

Empowering you to break the mold.

Kind of like a full-service agency, kind of like an in-house CMO. Elevate your brand's presence with custom strategy, channel expertise, and flawless execution.

Learn More