If you want consumers to do something after they see your online ad, email message, website, landing page, Facebook post, sales page, product page and so on, then you need to include a call to action (CTA). More importantly, that call to action needs to be powerful or no one will be motivated to do what you’re telling them to do.
In my book, Kick-Ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, I shared three key things that every call to action must do:
- A call to action should drive customers to act now, not make them think about maybe acting later.
- A call to action shouldn’t suggest action. It should demand action.
- A call to action should make it easy for people to follow your instructions to act.
Based on those three key things your calls to action must do, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Consumers are busy. Don’t make them do more work than they have to. Instead, make it extremely clear why they should act, what their next steps should be and how to take those steps. You can do this through compelling copy and a carefully crafted call to action message.
As you create your online marketing materials, it’s likely each one will include a call to action button or link. There are many elements that affect the click rate and conversion rate for each piece, and the call to action button or link is one of the most critical. Keep the following hacks in mind. They can turn ineffective calls to action into click and conversion generators.
The words you use in your call to action message should evoke thoughts of a benefit that consumers will get when they take action. Don’t use generic text such as “Learn More”, “Download” or “Submit” in a call to action button. Instead, the call to action should hype a benefit.
For example, if you’re offering a free ebook that teaches people how to increase sales for their businesses, use that benefit in your call to action (e.g., Get My Free Ebook Now). Another option is to think of the problem the ebook can solve for your audience, and mention it in the call to action (e.g., I Want to Increase Sales).
2. Point of view
Calls to action should be written in the first person, which is typically more effective than the second person. “Get My Free Ebook” should drive more clicks and conversions than “Get Your Free Ebook”.
3. Verbs and adverbs
Most marketing materials want consumers to take action now, not later. With that in mind, your calls to action should create a sense of urgency using powerful verbs and strategically placed adverbs.
For example, if you’re promoting a special offer that expires soon, it’s easy to create a sense of urgency by adding the expiration date to your call to action. If there isn’t a time constraint for your offer, simply adding the adverb “now” along with a compelling verb to create the subconscious perception that people need to act quickly. It evokes the fear of…