You’ve probably seen the term CTA floating around a lot in business advice and content marketing, but what is it? And why is it important in blog posts, opt-ins, emails, and social media? CTAs (calls-to-action) are used to convert your audience into paying customers. A website without clear, compelling CTAs can leave your visitors wandering through your digital space, aimless and unguided. In this post, we’ll look at how to make the most of your CTAs. Be sure to see the swipe files below with call to action examples, too!
CTAs are the small (but powerful!) touches you use to provide clear signals and directives that guide visitors toward desired actions. You’ll use CTAs to encourage readers to:
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Sign up for a lead magnet
- Make a purchase
- Book your services
As you learn to write CTAs, keep in mind that there is both art and science behind crafting buttons and messages that don’t just say “Click Me,” but instead entice, persuade, and guide your audience toward your desired outcome.
Look at how much more convincing this call to action example is: “Say goodbye to last-minute lesson planning. Add these standards-based literacy lesson plans to your cart now!” THAT is what you’ll learn to do in this post!
What Is A CTA?
A “CTA” (or Call to Action) is a prompt on a website, landing page, social media post, etc. that tells the user to take a specified action. A CTA is typically written as a command or action phrase, such as “Sign Up” or “Buy Now,” and generally takes the form of a button or hyperlink.
Call To ACtion Examples for Buttons
- Add to Cart Now
- Get Started Today
- Download Your Free eBook Now
- Subscribe for Free
- Get a Free Quote
- Enroll In This Free Course Now
You can also add a longer CTA above your button or hyperlink an entire phrase as one large CTA. For example:
Struggling to find quality lesson plans for your fourth graders? Join our community and receive free, ready-to-use literacy plans straight to your inbox.
Enroll now and say goodbye to science of reading headaches. Unlock a library of professionally created morphology plans to use all year!
Why You Need A CTA
Using CTAs has various benefits, not just for you but also for your audience as they skim your content.. CTAs offer:
- Simplicity: Simplify the user experience by making what to do next straightforward. Tell visitors exactly how to interact with your content, such as “read this next”
- Action-Oriented: Tell visitors what action to perform next, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up, or downloading resources
- Revenue Generation: Drive sales and generate revenue by asking your visitors to buy something or invest in themselves through your services
- Feedback: Use CTAs as a tool to gather data and feedback through forms, surveys, and subscriptions.
Where To Add CTAs
Now that you know the importance of CTAs, where do you add them to be the most effective The short answer is – everywhere.
The long answer is… also everywhere. ha!
Ultimately, you add CTAs anywhere you need to help with navigation or increase attention. Here are some suggestions for the best places to position CTAs:
- Above the fold: The CTA should be visible without scrolling so you can capture attention immediately.
- Throughout the page: Integrate CTAs in various sections to cater to different audience interests and engagement levels. Browse services, read the blog, contact me now, etc.
- Header: Place a clear CTA in the header to immediately present the action you want visitors to take.
- Throughout the page: Give your audience a reminder of what action to take throughout the landing page, especially if it’s a long one. This is especially important on long sales or enrollment pages; always have options to “exit” the page along the way in order to make the purchase/enroll.
- Conclusion: Add another CTA at the end of the page to give visitors the opportunity to buy, sign up, or download whatever you have to offer. This is a common place to add pricing too.
Tip: Marketing studies have shown that we have to see things around 7 times on average before we buy it. It might feel like you’re over-doing it, but you probably aren’t!
- Within the content: Embed CTAs throughout the content to keep visitors reading and also remind them of your offers and services, especially when you can help them solve a problem.
- End of the post: Placing a CTA at the end of an article sums it up again and often convinces the reader to take the final action.
- Near product descriptions: A CTA (like “Add to Cart”) should be prominently placed near product details.
- Cart: Encourage customers to proceed to checkout or add additional items.
- Beginning of the email: Place a CTA early so your audience knows your intended goal (this is especially useful for readers who are short on time and never make it to the bottom!).
- Email footer: Another CTA at the end targets engaged readers who were interested enough to read all of your content and prevents the need to scroll all the way back up to take action.
- Exit-intent pop-ups: Display a CTA when visitors are about to leave the page to reel them back in or show a last-chance offer.
- Timed pop-ups: Show a CTA after a reader has spent a specific amount of time on a page or scrolled so far, as this often means they’re really interested since they didn’t bounce.
- Posts and stories: Include CTAs in social posts and stories to direct traffic to your website, landing pages, or blog articles.
- Bio/profile: Add a permanent CTA in your bio or profile description so your audience knows where to go if they want to learn more about something specific.
- Top navigation: A CTA can be a standalone element in your top navigation bar to help your audience navigate to your most important link.
- Footer: Include CTAs in the footer to capture users who scroll to the end, which is a common place to look for quick links.
- Subscription box: Encourage users to subscribe or download resources via a sidebar CTA.
- Related products/services: Promote additional offerings in the sidebar of specific products to display related offers.
- Submit message: Add a clear CTA after users submit a contact form to include next steps while they wait.
- Explore more: Direct visitors to other relevant pages, deals, or content where they can find popular content or FAQs to cut down on inquiries.
- Get started: For those who are already convinced, direct them to book an appointment or purchase a service right away. Then you can display more information and additional CTAs below for users who need to learn more.
- At the end of the page: Your visitors have already looked throughout your pricing page, so here is the place to give them another small push through a targeted CTA at the end before they click away.
Knowing where to place your CTAs can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out. I look at CTAs with each client as part of the discovery process. My premade themes also come with CTA buttons ready to go!
Now that you know what CTAs are and where they go, let’s look at how to write them.
How To Write CTAs That Convert
To write CTAs that convert, you need to understand your audience and use creative messaging. Here’s a guide:
- Use Action-Oriented Verbs: “Download,” “Sign Up,” or “Get Started“
- Create a Sense of Urgency: Use time-sensitive words and phrases like “Now,” “Today,” or “Limited Time” to encourage immediate action.
- Highlight the Value Proposition: Clearly communicate what the user will gain by taking the desired action. For example, “Get Your Free E-book Now” or “Get a guide sample here!“
- Keep it Concise and Clear: Make your CTA straightforward and to the point. Try to speak the same language as your audience without using much jargon (unless that’s part of your brand).
- Leverage the Power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Use phrases that suggest scarcity or exclusivity, such as “While Supplies Last” or “Exclusive Offer.”
- Use Persuasive Text: Implement power words that trigger emotional responses, like “Unlock,” “Discover,” “Free,” or “Access.“
- Place Strategically: Position your CTA where it’s easily noticeable and relevant, such as near product information, at the end of blog posts, or in email footers.
- Personalize: Tailor CTAs based on user behavior, location, or previous interactions, if possible. For example, “Start Your Free Trial Today!“
- Use Numbers When Relevant: If applicable, use numbers to quantify value or create urgency, such as “Join 10,000 Subscribers Who…” or “Save 50% Today.”
- Address Objections: Try addressing common concerns right away to get your audience to click on the button, for example: “No Credit Card Required” or “Unsubscribe Anytime.”
- Use First-Person Language: This can often increase relatability and conversions, such as “Start My Free Trial” instead of “Start Your Free Trial.“
- Guide Through the Next Steps: Ensure that your CTA clearly guides users to the next step in their journey, providing a seamless transition.
Here are a few completed call to action examples:
- Don’t let unexpected absences stress you out. Enroll today and unlock access to a variety of print-and-go lesson plans to keep your classroom running smoothly.
- Looking for hassle-free substitute plans? Register now and receive free, time-saving resources for your next absence.
- Sick days shouldn’t mean extra work. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive free substitute lesson plans to make your life easier.
Remember: the effectiveness of a CTA can largely depend on its context within the user journey, the audience, and the offering. Continuous testing and optimization are key to understanding what works best for your specific use case and audience.
Your words can invoke emotion, curiosity, or urgency to increase the likelihood of your target audience clicking the magic button. Here’s a short overview of powerful words:
- Before It’s Gone
- Become a Member
- Be a Part
- No Obligation
- No Risk
- No Strings Attached
- Cancel Anytime
- No Commitment
- Try Free
You can put those together like this: Tired of scrambling for engaging math lessons? Purchase now for 20% off stress-free sub plans delivered to your inbox.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, compares two versions of your CTAs to see which one your audience prefers (aka which one your audience clicks on). When it comes to CTAs, A/B testing is super important because you want to increase specific behavior in your audience, such as clicks, sign-ups, or purchases.
Define Your Objective
Clearly outline what you aim to achieve with the A/B test, whether it’s increasing click-through rates, sign-ups, or another conversion metric. Being clear about your goal with a CTA will give you a better analysis of whether a CTA works.
This will give you a better idea of what works – just make sure never to change more than one variable at a time!
- Version A (Control): Use your current CTA.
- Version B (Variant): Implement a changed element, such as different text, color, size, placement, or power word.
Run the Test Simultaneously
Launch both CTA versions at the same time to be able to gauge the difference better.
Call To Action Examples: Swipe File Templates
You can keep a cheat sheet of call to action examples on hand to use as inspiration when writing your own CTAs for things like:
- Joining email lists (for example, try: “I need free guides” instead of simply “Subscribe”)
- Lead magnets
- TPT product purchases
Here are some of my personal favorite templates:
- Unlock the secrets to __________! Subscribe now for expert tips.
- Looking for ways to create __________? Subscribe up now for __________ tips!
- Want to create __________? Join our Facebook community to gain access to exclusive __________ tips.
- Struggling with __________? Get the support you need. Join our group today for valuable tips and resources!
- Don’t let __________ stress you out. Join our community of educators to receive invaluable tips and tricks.
- Ready to __________? Register now for practical strategies and engaging lesson plans!
- Stop struggling with __________. Get expert advice and resources delivered straight to your inbox weekly. Subscribe today!
- Need help with __________ Enroll now and receive proven strategies and resources for __________.
- Don’t miss out on our valuable __________. Sign up today and transform your __________!
- Ready to make __________ a breeze? Subscribe now and gain access to our library of free __________!
Here are a few examples of how you could use the templates to promote classroom management resources:
- Unlock the secrets to effective classroom management! Subscribe now for expert tips.
- Looking for ways to create a positive learning environment? Subscribe up now for classroom management tips!
- Want to create a calm and productive classroom? Join our Facebook community to gain access to exclusive classroom management tips.
You’ve learned what CTAs are, where to use them, and how to craft compelling messages that will convert. Now it’s time to start using and testing your new CTAs! Remember that the perfect call to action is a blend of art and science, creativity and analytics.
Need more marketing tips? I have free marketing guides for you here!
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