Call to action button
Call to action button

Conversion rate optimization isn’t just about design or copy. It is impacted by a variety of internal factors like pricing and your brand position, as well as plenty of external, psychological factors related to the customer, themself. 

The starting point of a conversion is a call to action, or CTA. This means that understanding how to write a call to action is paramount to any marketing campaign. Read on for five important truths to consider when learning how to write a call to action that works for your audience and your website.

What is a Call to Action?

First let’s define call to action. 

What is a CTA? In marketing terms, a call to action is a prompt that tells the user to take a specific action. CTAs are often written as a command and when used digitally, typically take the form of a button or link. 

In order to be effective, CTAs have to be well thought out. The size, shape and color of a call-to-action button, text choice, and placement on the page are just as important as the message itself. For instance, many find that placing an opt-in box below their best call to action phrases is ideal, while other marketers see an improvement in CRO when the call to action words are placed to the right of the opt-in field. 

This simply goes to show that the best CTA is the one that works. There are a variety of ways to approach creating a CTA and marketing it well. As you focus on how to write a call to action that works well for you and your company, it’s important to keep the following 5 truths in mind.

  1. Trials Sell 

84% of users will leave your website if you ask them to make a purchase after their first encounter with your brand; Furthermore, among customers’ top concerns while making an online purchase is a lack of understanding surrounding the ways in which a product or service will benefit them, specifically. Offering a free trial removes both of these barriers by providing the same benefits to the user, without requiring that they take on additional risk.

Creating a call to action icon or button highlighting a free trial will serve dual purposes. You’ll capture users who wouldn’t have otherwise pulled the trigger, and you’ll have an email database rife with qualified potential customers – a marketers dream come true. In this sense, good call to action buttons don’t necessarily yield immediate results. Rather, they get the ball rolling towards those results.

Tip: If a free trial isn’t yielding the results you’d hoped, it doesn’t immediately mean that it’s not an effective tool. You may need to tweak your offer (Increase or decrease trial period, perhaps?) or reevaluate the results you are hoping for (Maybe you should be looking for an increase in email marketing effectiveness instead of direct sales following the trial?).

  1. Consumers Want to Understand the Benefits

Why, exactly should a user click your CTA button? What’s in it for them? Good call to action buttons are accompanied by copy that explains what’s in it for the user.

Crafting an effective, benefit-oriented CTA begins by truly understanding what customers need. What problems do your potential customers face and how will your product or service help solve them? 

Good CTA copy highlights the benefits of a product or service before placement of the actual CTA button, icon, or link. But it doesn’t end there. If you choose to highlight the benefits you have to offer, ensure the CTA allows users to reap those benefits quickly. Perhaps the way you deliver them is through the free trial mentioned above, but it could just as easily be an e-book, phone consultation, or anything else users will value.

Tip: Use different landing pages with different value propositions depending on where users find you first. Someone who clicks through from a Facebook ad has different needs than someone who finds you on TikTok.  

  1. Instant Gratification Is Huge!

The attention span of today’s consumers has dropped by a third over the past two decades. Amazon deliveries arrive within hours. The answer to just about any question is accessible within seconds via Google. We want what we want, and we want it yesterday. So don’t test your customers’ patience with your CTA. Calls to action must provide an immediate reward or you risk losing the potential customer forever. 

The best call to action button text conveys the promise of instant gratification. Subtle differences in the interpretation of your words can have a huge impact. “Download the Guide Now” implies immediate access to the information where “Download the Guide” does not. 

Tip: If you’re able to deliver immediately, make that clear – and then follow through. 

  1. Humans are Naturally Curious 

Here is where you’ll really begin to pair your CTA with content marketing. Calls to action that create curiosity about what will happen when a user converts (i.e. clicks that button) can be incredibly effective. Describe your product or service and the benefits it provides. But create a bit of mystery surrounding the how. The more curious a user becomes, the more likely they will be to actually hit that CTA button or icon. 

In fact, it’s been suggested that piquing one’s curiosity creates chemical changes in the brain which allow it to more easily retain both the information sought as well as ancillary information learned along the way. This means that if you can create curiosity about what you have to offer, users are more likely to remember you even if they don’t make a buying decision immediately. 

Tip: When attempting to evoke curiosity, honesty is always best. Don’t lure customers in with power words and action buttons, only to give them something other than what you promised.

  1. People Love to Feel Special

Which is why some of the best website CTAs offer special bonuses. And the best part, when you create a CTA that utilizes a bonus offer you can leverage many of the other truths, above. 

  • Bonuses might stoke curiosity. What is actually included in that special bonus package??  
  • Bonuses can make the benefits clear. I didn’t realize I needed this product/service, but now I totally do. 
  • Bonuses may provide instant gratification. Order the product today and receive a free bonus ebook in your inbox right now
  • A bonus could simply be the free trial. Order X today and we’ll let you try Y for free! 

In short, we all love to feel like we’re getting something a little extra. Which is why many CTA examples that really work will include some sort of bonus offer for converting.

Excellent Call to Action Examples

Converting users is like leading them on a journey through your sales funnel and calls to action are the directional signs along the way. That said, it is necessary to present users with different calls to action at various points throughout the journey. 

For example, while researching a purchase, you may wish to encourage users to signup for your email list so they don’t forget about you when it comes time to place an order. After a user has placed an order, you’ll want to make sure they know how to look up their order status. After they’ve received their order, you may want them to leave a review or refer a friend. 

Call to action marketing is just as much trial and error as it is a true science. That said, we recommend taking a look at a few examples of calls to action which have proven to be successful before putting your own call to action in writing. 

Hungry Media Knows How To Write a Call to Action That Works

Your landing page, contact us page, promotional banners, sales copy, and ad campaigns will generate quality leads when your call-to-action buttons, icons, and links are effective. Hungry Media’s team of designers and developers know just how to craft a call to action that helps you reach your conversion goals. Want to learn more? Contact us today and let us know how we can help. We can’t wait to meet you!

contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer