No matter your industry or digital marketing experience, a call to action (CTA) can make or break your next marketing campaign. While writing a compelling call to action may seem relatively simple at first glance – Learn More, Buy Now, Subscribe, Sign Up – there’s more to it than you think!
According to a study by Unbounce, while most people tend to skim content on commercial websites, 90% of all website visitors read headlines and CTAs. That’s a tremendous number! If nine out of ten people are reading your CTAs, you need to make sure that they are compelling! Otherwise, you risk watching your bounce rate rise and your conversion numbers stagnate, or worse – fall off.
Now, we know you didn’t do all that hardcore studying-up on SEO and PPC for these tricky little one-liners to trip you up and mess with your conversion rates! And that’s why we’ve compiled this little cheat sheet on CTAs that convert.
Read on to learn what CTAs are, how to craft compelling calls to action, and find examples of the best call-to-action phrases! From “what does a call-to-action mean?” to “how can improving my calls to action improve my conversion rate?” – we’ll answer all your CTA questions.
What Is a CTA in Marketing?
Before we dive into conversion rates and industry-specific examples, it’s important that we address the question, “What is a CTA in marketing?”
While the name seems pretty self-explanatory, you’d be surprised how often these little guys are misnamed or confused with other marketing terminology. Luckily, we’re here to pick up the slack and clear the confusion!
A call to action, or CTA, is a written directive used to encourage readers to (you guessed it) take an action! If you’ve been on the internet for more than a day, we can pretty much guarantee that you have seen – and likely clicked on – at least one CTA.
This can come in the form of plain text, hyperlinked text, or a button or clickable graphic on your website. The most common (and thus a little overused) CTAs are phrases like “Buy Now”, “Download Now”, and “Learn More”.
Sometimes, the term CTA also refers to the sentence leading up to, or containing, the actual CTA text. For instance, “Interested in learning more? Download our ebook here!”
How to Craft a Compelling Call to Action
What Does a Call-to-Action Mean To the Customer?
Now that we’ve sufficiently mocked the more traditional CTA text, it’s time to dive into how to craft more compelling and powerful call-to-action phrases. As with anything else worth doing well, it starts with understanding the why. When you understand why CTAs are important for your audience, you can start to custom-build calls to action that are more likely to be clicked instead of skimmed over.
Create a Sense of Urgency
When potential customers are browsing your site or reading your content, they are usually in the “research” phase of their customer journey. Directing them to the next step and using leading imperative language like “Read More,” “Download Now,” “Click Here,” etc. creates a sense of urgency and helps them take that next step towards conversion.
Eliminate Decision Fatigue
Being in the research phase of buying can be exhausting. Have you ever shopped for a certain product – maybe even gone as far as loading your cart – and then just…stopped? When there are too many steps in the process, buyers get decision fatigue and end up ghosting instead of converting. Powerful call-to-action phrases can eliminate decision fatigue by directing users to the correct next step, ultimately leading to more conversions!
Crafting Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases
Use these tips and call-to-action examples to help you craft unique and powerful call-to-action phrases.
Use strong action words
Use words that correlate to your exact ask or the action you want them to take. Be as specific as possible to provoke the response you want.
Action-oriented call-to-action examples include:
- Find Out
- Get Started
- Add to Cart
- Swipe Right
Provoke enthusiasm or emotion
To achieve the response that you want, you’ll need to appeal to your audience directly. You’ll need some text leading up to the ask that evokes an emotional response. For instance:
“Buy now and get 30% off!”
“Lose the weight in time for your big day!”
“Limited time offer!”
“Order your hand-crafted, locally sourced ___ now!”
Just make sure that you’re being conversational. After all, nobody likes being told what to do. For instance, which are you most likely to buy from?
“New watches in stock! Click to buy!”
“Our newest line of watches is available in stores now. Hope to see you before they sell out! Reserve your favorite here.” Yeah. That’s what we thought.
Use Cases of Call to Action
Now you should be able to answer the question “what does a call to action mean to your campaign?” pretty successfully. It means the difference between a bored pass and a click from an interested buyer!
Pretty freakin’ major difference.
So, let’s dive into some fresh and powerful call-to-action phrases from a variety of industries and digital marketing platforms!
Landing Page Call-to-Action Examples
1. Free Analysis
We love this CTA because it uses several call-to-action best practices.
First, the header is unique, straightforward, and memorable. “Relax, California.” It stops you and makes you laugh that little huff of surprise – which is, in fact, relaxing!
Secondly, it’s insanely specific. The CTA button says, “Get Free Rental Price Analysis”. No generic “Click Here” or “Learn More”. You know exactly what you’ll get in exchange for your property address.
2. Download Now
We love this landing page CTA because it’s to the point. Get the Report and Download Now. No decisions to make – only next steps. This makes it much more likely that a reader will convert!
3. Let’s Go
This is a simple twist on the overused “Learn More” or “Get Started”. Instead, Le Tote uses the fresh and inviting “Let’s Go”!
It invites excitement and implies partnership instead of a rote action required on the user’s part. Let’s go! We’ll do this together.
Ecommerce Call to Action Examples
1. Add to Cart
“Add to Cart.” It’s a simple, powerful CTA.
The hotter, less-pushy younger sibling of the “Buy Now” CTA, “Add to Cart” has worked on all of us at some point or another. You don’t have to buy it! You’re saving it for later!
But once it’s in that cart, shoppers are so much more likely to buy. So, use this version to your advantage!
2. Keep Shopping
“Keep Shopping” is another very sexy and sneaky ecommerce CTA. It subtly prompts shoppers to keep browsing and add more to their cart. This is also just good user experience (UX) design. The fewer clicks and the easier it is to navigate your shop, the better.
3. Shop Now
And then there’s the classic “Shop Now”. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a great visual reminder for users on your site that they can own these products in one easy click.
4. Get Started
A softer ask than “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart.” It’s also a very useful CTA for quizzes or questionnaires designed to align users with the right products!
5. Try Now
Rent the runway perfectly uses the “Try Now” CTA. Try Now is perfect for subscription services, because it implies that you don’t have to make a long-term commitment if the service doesn’t work for you. It has a softer tone than “Buy Now,” and is also more specific to the actual service being offered.
6. Limited Time Offer
SwissWatchExpo does an impeccable job with this version of the “Limited Time Offer” CTA! It creates a sense of urgency while conveying all the value that the shopper will get for ordering now. We especially love the “No thanks, I’d rather pay full price” that takes you out of the CTA window. Marketing psychology at its best!
SaaS and B2B Call-to-Action Examples
1. Download Now
To the point and descriptive. You know what you’ll be receiving with this CTA.
2. Learn More
Learn More is one of the more commonly used CTAs, but it can be incredibly impactful when used correctly. When you have information about special programs, you’re leading to an about us page, or if there’s long-form content/research on the other end of the click, “Learn More” is the perfect interest-piquer.
3. Get Demo
This is the CTA we like to see in SaaS and B2B! You can talk (or type) all you like about how your program works, but buyers respond to visual representation. Skip over the “Contact Us” and “Learn More” and go straight for the throat with “Get Demo”!
4. Subscribe Now
This is a fresh take on the “Subscribe Now” CTA! No matter what they’re subscribing to–blog, newsletter, subscription services–be as specific as possible to set your message apart.
5. Get Free Quote
“Get a Free Quote” is a classic for a reason! Some companies try to pad the bill by charging for estimates and “time rendered”. Free quote CTAs let people know that this is a commitment-free, transparent interaction.
6. Get Started for Free
“Get started for free” is a great way to draw in hesitant customers. Offering a free trial allows them to experience your product without the financial commitment. And once they have a taste, we all know they won’t be going back!
7. Start Your Free Trial
Straightforward, simple, accurate. What more can we say that hasn’t been said above? Just make sure that your headlines, images, and branding are cohesive and eye-catching.
Email Call-to-Action (CTA) Examples
1. Get Coupon
Including a CTA for coupon codes is the perfect way to entice and push buyers through the sales funnel.
2. Book Now
If you have a business model that accepts bookings, “Book Now” is the perfect CTA. We love how playful this example is. Both links lead to the same page, but it’s a fun example of UX design that converts!
3. Redeem Now
“Redeem Now” works best for coupon and discount offers. It invites people to use the coupon while implying that there is a time limit on the offer! You’ve gotta love a CTA that creates a sense of urgency.
Instagram Call-to-Action Examples
Instagram also has its own CTAs. The ones you choose will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with your campaign. Check the Instagram call to action examples below for inspiration.
1. Shop now
2. Tap To Pin
3. Tap To Shop
4. My Details
5. Swipe up to Read
6. View Instagram
Facebook Call-to-Action Examples
CTAs in Facebook ads are designed to encourage potential customers to click through to the main site and make a purchase. Because the platform is social media, the setup is slightly different. Facebook CTAs are predetermined by the buttons that FB allows you to choose from. These are all examples of those specific CTAs:
1. Shop Now
You can also use a carousel format to show off multiple products:
2. Get Quote
3. Sign Up Now
4. Apply Now
5. Learn More
6. Get Offer
7. Get Menu
Google Ads Call-to-Action Examples
Last, but not least, we have Google Ad CTAs. Google Ads for PPC Ads are designed to drive people to your website, so they need to be particularly engaging. And you have a limited character count, so you also have to be succinct! You’ll notice that all of these are hyper-specific to the industry and product. Make sure you’re customizing your Google Ads as well! Remember, your copy here needs to match the SEO on your landing page to up your quality score and visibility. So really coordinate your messages and CTAs!
Here are a few of our favorite examples:
1. Get an Auto Quote Today
2. Get Your Free Guide Today
3. Download Now
4. 14 Meals Free Plus Free Shipping
5. Order Online
Attract Customers. Grow Your Business.
And now we will lead by example. Our goal is to get you to contact us for a free consultation so we can do what we’re passionate about–help businesses grow through killer marketing. Let us know how we do! Still wondering, “What is a CTA in marketing?” or “What are the best call to action phrases for your particular campaign?” SevenAtoms is here to help. We’ll conduct a free consultation where we assess your digital marketing strategy and help you find ways to improve. Our mission is to help you grow your business and define your brand! Attract customers and grow your business by partnering with SevenAtoms Marketing.