Clever call to action examples that guarantee clicks in 2020
Looking for a way to improve your marketing and get more engagement through your website? Explore ways to create a call to action and give you examples to help you get started.
December 16 · 7 min read
In this article, we’ll explore the best practices of creating a call to action and give you some call to action examples to help you get started.
What is a call to action?
A call to action, or CTA, is a short phrase or paragraph that is meant to attract more customers and increase online sales. You likely see these all over the place, even if you’ve never realized it. Any kind of marketing that screams, “Act now!” is probably a call to action.
On the internet, CTAs most often take one of two forms. The first is as a button. This includes buttons with text like, “Watch now,” “Sign up today,” and “Join our mailing list.” They ask the audience to click on them to receive a benefit.
The second form is as a hyperlink. This is that blue, underlined text you see everywhere. Hyperlinks tend to be more common in emails and SMS messages, though you can use buttons and hyperlinks interchangeably.
Although the call to action messages are most often links and buttons, they can be neither. In fact, you can have a fully nondigital CTAs, like the ones you see in most commercials or around your grocery store. Getting someone to click is one possible goal of a call to action, but not always the primary goal.
Why a call to action matters
It’s easy to look at a call to action as a simple, small gimmick in your marketing campaign. Just a little “Click here” message to try and get more traffic. With this thought process, not only do you end up jeopardizing the potential of your call to action, but also your entire marketing campaign.
CTAs are the gateway to the rest of your marketing campaign, often to the rest of your service. The “Buy now,” “Watch today,” and “Sign up” buttons are the first steps people make into your business. If they aren’t convincing, then people won’t take those first steps.
Writing a call to action
To inspire people to make those first few steps, you’ll need to come up with smart, carefully crafted CTAs. The better your call to action is designed, the more successful it will be. To help you out, here are some of the best practices to use when writing a call to action.
Keep it short
First and foremost, keep your CTAs short! The longer a call to action is, the less precise your message will be. If it’s long enough, audiences might not even realize it is a call to action - it may just seem like another paragraph on your website.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to keep your CTAs down to one sentence or just a few words. They can be a few sentences long, especially if they’re closing off an email or blog post.
The main thing you want to avoid in a call to action is becoming longwinded. Remember the goal of your CTA, what message you want to get across, and convey it in as concise as terms as possible.
Next, you’re going to want to make sure that your call to action inspires excitement. If your audience is enthusiastic about what you’re offering, then they’re not going to be interested in clicking that shiny red button.
One of the best ways to create excitement is to use action words. Some common examples of action words include buy, shop, start, now, watch, subscribe, download, sign up, fill out, and order. These types of words (also known as “verbs”) not only build excitement but tell your audience how you want them to act.
This gives your CTA focus, bringing the entire message together in just one or two words. You may find it helpful to write out your action word(s) first, then build the rest of your call to action around that.
For more tips on creating the perfect call to action, keep reading (see what we did there?).
Motivate your audience
Similar to creating excitement is motivating your audience to go along with your call to action. This is the “why” behind your CTA. If your audience doesn’t have a reason to click your call to action, then they’re probably not going to.
The easiest way to motivate your audience is to offer them something in return. This includes things like providing free trials, exclusive offers, and so on. Oftentimes, this type of motivation is a unique selling point. What can your audience get by clicking your button that they can’t get anywhere else?
For a more psychological approach, you can implement FOMO or the Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO is the idea that what you offering is something that the audience doesn’t want to miss out on. Limited time offers are a great way to implement FOMO and motivate your audience.
Where to use a call to action
When it comes to where you should implement a call to action, there isn’t a definitive answer. Generally, wherever it feels most natural is likely best. You could even apply a CTA several times in the same piece of content, like at the beginning and end of a blog article.
If you are going to add a call to action multiple times in the same piece, make sure that it’s implemented in a way that doesn’t come across as forceful. You don’t want to bombard your audience with CTAs and popups at every turn. This will more than likely have the opposite effect you’re looking for.
Blogs make a great place to incorporate CTAs naturally. You can include them at the end for a soft sell, or add them to the beginning of a blog post to get readers interested in what you have to say. CTAs also go great on the front page of your website, on your sidebar, on your social media, and in your emails.
5 call to action examples for 2020
1. “Save 50%!”
This is one of the most popular calls to action examples and for a good reason. It incorporates several factors that make a successful call to action. Let’s start with that first word: Save. As we touched on before, this is an action word, and one of the most engaging ones at that. Immediately, it tells people what they can receive by participating in your CTA.
Next up is 50%. Similar to the word “Save,” this tells your audience what they can get from your call to action, which is precisely the kind of information they want before signing up for anything.
More than that, though, 50% plays to people’s inherent love of numbers in marketing. Unlike vague marketing phrases and slogans, numbers have concrete meaning behind them that people can instantly understand. That makes these types of CTAs particularly potent.
2. “Try 30 days free.”
Again, you’ll see that this call to action example starts with an action word. All of the call to action examples in this article begin with a verb. That should tell you something about the importance of action words.
This CTA is a little more subtle in a few ways. First, “try” is a less forceful action word than “save.” It presents the call to action as an option rather than a command. And second, there’s no pressure on your audience to spend anything. All you’re asking is for your audience to give your service a shot.
If you want to make this call to action a little more engaging, you can combine it with some kind of exclusivity, like labeling it as a limited time offer. Offering a free trial to members of your mailing list or new site visitors is a great way to get your audience engaged with your service quickly.
3. “See why hundreds have already made the switch!”
In this example, we see yet another way that incorporating numbers into a call to action can improve its effectiveness. Advertising that hundreds/thousands/billions of people are using your service helps to give it legitimacy. If so many people choose to use it, then it must be good!
On top of establishing trust and credibility, this call to action example also uses FOMO. When you say that hundreds of people are using your service, you imply that the audience is missing out by not being one of those hundreds. Everyone else is benefiting from your service while they’re only reading about it.
A great complement to this call to action is a list of unique benefits that your service provides. Rather than leading into this CTA with a paragraph, simply list out the pros of using your service that the competition doesn’t have, and then compel your audience to give it a try.
4. “Tired of using a widget workflow that sucks?”
Using a call to action like this one is a great way to catch the eyes of your reader. Slang words like “suck” aren’t used by businesses often, which make them a great way to add humor to your website and bring attention to your CTA.
If you are going to use this technique in your call to action, just be sure that it’s done in the right context. It needs to match the personality of your business and play to your audience. If you’re not sure who your audience is or what kind of personality your business is trying to portray, then this could easily backfire and make you seem unprofessional.
The other tool that this call to action example is using is pain points. Rather than telling someone to do something, it’s asking them if they’ve experienced something annoying or frustrating. The inherent promise of this kind of statement is that your service can alleviate their stresses, which can inspire them to act.
5. “Grade my performance for free.”
The last of our call to action examples involves an interesting twist on the idea of a CTA. Rather than asking your audience to act, you’re allowing them to ask you to act. Strangely, this makes engaging with your CTA less confrontational, removing the pressure and commitment. For example, check out our website performance grade checker.
Additionally, this gives your audience a taste of what your service has to offer. You’re giving them a free sample, which establishes that your business has something of value to provide them with.
Just make sure that whatever you’re offering through this kind of call to action is relevant to your service as a whole. For example, if you’re a financial institution, you might offer a free budget calculator. This doesn’t replace or give away what you’re offering, only acting as a sample of the rest of the services you have to offer.
Take your marketing to the next level with these call to action examples
At this point, you should see CTAs everywhere, and that’s because they are everywhere! They’re a simple and proven way to get your audience engaged with your service. For more ways to improve your website’s performance, check out the rest of our B12 blog.