Calls-to-action, or CTAs, play an important role in helping take your visitors to the next step in the buyer’s journey. Whether you are asking visitors to make a purchase on your website, getting them to take action on a social media post or email, or inviting them to click on a Google or social media ad, the CTA is designed to help inspire action.
However, studies (like this one from HubSpot) show that the average calls-to-action like “Submit” or “Download” just aren’t effective anymore. Brands need to carefully consider their CTAs if they want visitors to act. Below are 5 easy steps that will help you craft an effective call-to-action.
1. Communicate value.
If you want visitors to click on your CTA, you cannot be subtle about why they should take action. Before you even start writing your CTA, consider what benefit or value the visitor will get from clicking on your offer. Think about what problem acting on the CTA will solve for the visitor and include this in your copy.
For instance, let’s say you are creating a call for action that takes the reader to download an e-book. In that CTA, you need to communicate the value of this e-book. What challenges or problems will the e-book help the visitor better understand or solve? “Click here to download our e-book” is not as effective as, “Get our e-book now and start putting more money back into your wallet with our money-saving tips.” In fact, one brand found that explaining the key benefits of the offer in the call to action phrases increased signups by 34%
2. Choose action-oriented words.
The purpose of your CTA is to get visitors to take a specific action. You will want to choose action-oriented call to action words that will encourage them to do just that. To get started, consider which verbs make the most sense based on the action you’d like the reader to take. For example, you want them to join your email list, you might use the word “Subscribe” or “Enroll.”
Once you have identified which action words you’d like to use, you need to consider placement. It’s best to place verbs near the beginning of the CTA to draw the reader’s attention to the action you’d like them to take. For example, instead of – “If you’re ready to learn more, call us today” – you might use – “Call us now to learn more.”
3. Appeal to the reader’s emotions.
You can also engage visitors through language that appeals to their emotions. Fear, trust, competition, gratification, guilt, curiosity, freedom, leadership, and a sense of belonging are all emotions that your brand can successfully appeal to in your CTA. By appealing to these strong emotions, you can encourage visitors to act sooner rather than later.
Perhaps one of the most common emotions that CTAs appeal to is the fear of missing out. By creating a sense of urgency in your CTA, you can entice readers to act quickly so as not to miss out on the opportunity. For example, you might use the words “now” or “today” in your CTA or put a deadline on the offer such as “ends soon” or “for a limited time.”
4. Make sure your CTA is clear.
Whether you want visitors to sign up for a consultation, download a content asset, or make a purchase, it needs to be clear in your CTA exactly what you want them to do. Remove any language that may cause uncertainty, doubt or any words that can have multiple meanings or interpretations like “send,” which can imply both email and direct mail.
In other words, don’t leave anything to the imagination. For example, if you are advertising a free marketing consultation, you need to be clear about what this entails and what the visitor will get out of it. How long is the consultation? What will it consist of? Though you want your CTA to be succinct, you should still make it as clear as possible
5. Test and revise.
Once you have developed a CTA, it’s time to put it to the test. Run a simple test using the same offer and content, but change the CTA. See which gets more responses and adjust your CTA strategy to maximize conversions. Different CTAs will work for different offers and audiences, so take some time to test each to find what works best for you.
As you start to craft your own CTAs, keep the following in mind:
- Each call for action should communicate the offer’s value to the reader.
- Choose action-oriented call to action words to encourage the visitor to take the next step.
- Use language that appeals to the reader’s emotions to encourage them to take the next step.
- It should be clear in your call to action phrases what you want the visitor to do next.
- The best way to maximize conversions is to test your CTA and adjust based on what you find.
Still need help with your CTAs? Call us today to find out how the Ballantine team can help you maximize your conversions.