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Call to Action: Writing Ones That Actually Work

Call to Action: Writing Ones That Actually Work

A call to action helps direct web traffic to where you want them to go.

Learn More. Click Here. Call Now. Those are standard calls to action. There’s no incentive behind them. A call to action needs to be more. It needs to stand out.

What is a call to action?

A call to action (CTA) is an instruction you give to your audience to compel them to do something. So, technically speaking a CTA like “click here” isn’t incorrect. It just isn’t the best version.

When it comes to your website, calls to action are used to direct web traffic to the pages you want them to visit. That could be a website landing page, a contact page, a purchase page, or just a page deeper in the navigation.

Whatever the page, you need to write a CTA that drives traffic.

Where do CTAs go on my site?

When it comes to CTAs on your website, they act as part of your inbound marketing strategy and, if done effectively, drive your web traffic down your sales funnel.

CTAs look different from site to site, but some of the most common forms of website CTAs include:

  • Buttons
  • Banners
  • Graphics
  • Text

Buttons are a great place to put your CTAs.

The type of call to action you use will be dependent on your website’s design. It needs to feel like a natural part of the site while also standing out enough to get someone to click it.

What should my CTA be?

Without seeing your site, knowing your value proposition, and understanding your overall message, it can be difficult to tell you how to write a CTA.

However, there are certain elements that every CTA should have. When you know what these are, you can write calls to action that get clicks and move traffic.

Be Specific

What’s the problem with the calls to action at the top of this post? They aren’t specific enough. Click here is certainly a command, but there’s no context or specifics surrounding the call to action.

A user might click it because it says to, but at the same time, they might not click it because they aren’t sure what’s waiting for them on the other side.

Instead of just saying “click here,” consider what the user will be getting when they do click the button and include that when you write a CTA. For example, if users will be redirected to a landing page with an e-book about logo design, then the CTA might read, “Click here for your free logo design e-book.”

Benefits Driven

Your call to action also needs to be benefits-driven. If you want a user to “click here,” then they need to understand the benefits or payoff they’ll get by clicking.

Going back to our example above, you already included that they’re clicking for a free logo design e-book. But, what’s in that e-book? How will the information they receive be beneficial to them?

You won’t always have the space to list out the benefits of your call to action, but when you can, it gives further incentive to your web traffic to take action.

Balance is Key

How many CTAs do you have on a given page?Balance is crucial to writing and place CTAs on your site.

1?
4?
17?

While we can’t say there is such a thing as too many (though 17 might be overkill), the key is to have balance. If a user gets to your website and can only see CTAs, then your site will most likely come off as spammy.

 

What’s more is that if your CTA is crammed full of spammy words then users won’t find it genuine and most likely will lose trust in you and your brand.

If your CTA is “Download our free logo design e-book with no risk, no hassle, and with 100% guaranteed results,” then users might be a little leery about what you’re offering.

Instead of using all of those “proof” words, pick out one or two that best represent what you’re calling users to do.   

Don’t Give Options

Because your CTAs are supposed to be specific, you need to avoid giving options. For some, that means if you have multiple CTAs on one page, make sure they are all directing users to take the same action, unless you are trying to segment your audience.

When you’re writing a CTA though, you don’t want to give users options, either. Options in your CTA copy can do a couple of different things:

        1. Force people to choose. Some sites don’t allow users access unless they sign up or sign in. Doing this can bring you a lot of leads, but it can also turn a lot of people off. If users aren’t sure of all the benefits or what the payoff is, then traffic may just end up leaving.
        2. Directs users the wrong way. If your copy allows for multiple responses, then you could end up directing users in the wrong direction. Whether they leave your site or end up on a different page than the one you wanted them to visit, options have the opposite effect of what you wanted.

Get Creative

Your CTA copy is the perfect time to show off your brand’s voice and personality. This isn’t one of those times where playing it safe equals guaranteed success. Instead, think about how your customers and clients view your brand and use that to your advantage.

Get creative with your calls to action to show of your brand's personality.

Instead of saying “Click here” to move traffic to your contact page, consider something a little more fun like “Let’s talk!” or “Let’s get to know each other.”

Think about your branding and consider how your call to action fits in with the brand voice.

The importance of your Call to Action

Ultimately, without a specific and effective call to action, you aren’t going to be able to move your web traffic to the pages you need them to be on.

And, without that, you can’t nurture leads into customers or clients.

Writing a call to action that works doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be specific and directional. Think about what you want users to do. What action do they need to take? Then tell them.
Calls to action are part of your overall digital marketing strategy and help move leads through your sales funnel. Are you having difficulty getting those things just right? A digital marketing strategy partner is exactly what you need.

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Scott Blanton

Content Writer at Iconic Digital Marketing
As Iconic Digital's content writer, Scott works with clients to develop brand stories and key messaging. When he isn't typing away at his computer, you'll find him exploring new coffee shops, spending time with this family, or working on a new home improvement project.

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