21 Captivating Call to Action Examples to Steal
Want to entice your readers to buy?
Or maybe draw more subscribers to your newsletter?
Or maybe watch your conversion rates explode?
All you need is the right call to action (CTA).
Not only do CTAs give your prospects clarity, they also make your marketing campaigns more effective.
I’ve got a bunch of CTA examples that you can steal for your own campaigns. I’ll also highlight three essential aspects of an effective call to action.
They work in every advertising channel, both traditional and digital.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Call to Action (CTA)?
A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You often see call to action examples in persuasive writing . Once a brand has made its case in a blog post or video, for instance, they’ll often include a call to action at the end.
A political action group may write a piece on the importance of voting in the next election, for example. Their piece would probably end with a call for readers to register to vote with a link to a voter registration form.
You will also see a call to action button on homepages, in the right rail or even above the nav bar.
A company will put them anywhere they know their readers are looking to invite them to subscribe, browse products, input information or a number of other desired outcomes.
How Do You Write a Call to Action?
Before you write your call to action, determine the goal you’re trying to achieve:
- Do you want to increase subscriptions?
- Boost sales?
- Move readers to another content piece?
Once you know what you want to do, you can think about how best to do it .
The best call to action phrases are brief and use strong verbs.
They speak directly to the user. Instead of weaker call to action words like click here, an effective call to action phrase example will use more specific words that speak directly to the desired outcome:
Discover your best life
Join our community
Book your next adventure.
Here’s a look at a few different CTAs.
In fact, NPR has great call to action examples all over their page. At the very top, a bright red button invites you to learn more about their car donation program. Just below that, a red heart (clearly implying you have one if you click) appears over the word “donate.”
In the white space below, NPR tells you that they are supported by listeners, and includes yet another link to make a donation.
All of these CTAs serve one purpose: to get people to donate money to them.
Traditional Call to Action Examples
First, let’s take a look at some examples of direct mail promotions from magazines.
Many of these are from magazines encouraging readers to start or renew a subscription. More specifically, they’re from the inserts that often fall out from within the pages while you’re reading, and look something like this:
There are three aspects that all of them have in common. Some are more obvious than others in their execution, but all take a similar approach to driving action.
See if you notice them while you read through this line-up of old CTAs, and I’ll tell you my findings below.
Sales and Marketing Management Magazine
So if you were waiting for the perfect time to seize this opportunity, the time is now. Send for your free issue today.
Discover the exciting world of outside. Subscribe today.
Get a taste of SUCCESS! Send me the form at the top of this letter, and I’ll send you the next issue of SUCCESS absolutely free.
May I send you a free copy? There is no obligation attached to my offer… Please let me know if you’ll accept my offer by January 31.
House & Garden
So indulge—in so much excitement, for so little! Please take advantage of our “Summer White Sale” and save on a subscription to HG today.
Nothing too exciting, right?
To be honest, though, those were some of the more creative ones. The majority read like this:
- Do mail your acceptance to me today.
- So act right now. The postage is paid, and you’ve got nothing to lose but a great garden to gain!
- SEND NO MONEY NOW! But please mail your card today!
- So if you’re looking for knowledge, a rewarding adventure, and the advantage a future perspective can offer, mail the enclosed card today!
See the pattern?
A call to action is often the final instruction to a reader, so it makes sense that for similar products, that instruction is largely the same.
After all, when it comes down to it, each of these magazines needs readers to mail an “enclosed card” to earn a subscription.
So without that directive, it wouldn’t matter how well-written the rest of an ad’s copy was. Even if a recipient liked it, if they didn’t know to mail the card to subscribe, the campaign would be a waste.
Of course, this particular example is exclusive to print campaigns.
You’d never see a digital marketer requiring users to mail something to convert.
And I shudder to think of the abysmal conversion rates if they did.
Even so, there are three things that nearly all of the examples above include that are important for any call to action, regardless of format:
- A no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk. In many cases, they’re asking for a free trial rather than a purchase. In other words, “try us, you’ll like us.” This gives people the confidence to buy.
- All of them contain some version of “Mail your acceptance card.” This is simple usability. You have to tell people what to do next. Today, it would read, “Click the button below.”
- Encouragement to respond right away. That’s standard direct response. Don’t give people an option to wait and think about it.
Together, these three elements make for a simple, straightforward request that requires little of the consumer.
And for most businesses, that’s pretty ideal.
Now, let’s take a look at how these elements translate into digital campaigns.
Adapting Traditional Techniques for Digital Formats
When marketers first started using digital channels to reach their customers, it was a logical choice to simply replicate their print campaigns in a new format.
After all, why would they spend time rewriting and redesigning what already worked?
That’s why some of the earliest digital marketing campaigns and their CTAs perfectly mirrored old direct mail advertisements.
These ads were an almost identical approach to copy, and simply swapped out the “mail the enclosed card” directive for a link or button.
For example, take a look at this early email campaign from Stansberry Research’s Retirement Millionaire promotion:
Today, this might come across as dated and spammy.
But based on the three call to action elements we covered above, it checks all of the boxes:
- No obligation: “TRY” is in all caps, the email offers a full refund.
- Usability: Readers are directed to click “Subscribe Now.”
- Immediacy: Copy includes the phrase “right away,” and the CTA button uses the word “Now.”
Again, this approach might not work today.
But the fact that many early digital campaigns were fairly similar to their print predecessors wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Consumers were used to direct mail advertisements, and keeping the content largely the same likely made them more comfortable with the shift to digital.
They were already familiar with this style of copy, so the only change was that they could now click a button instead of taking a more complex action.
For example, check out this ad from another early digital campaign for Prevention’s Dance it Off! series:
The graphic here makes the ad essentially look like a piece of direct mail, except that it instructs users to “click” instead of mailing something to respond.
Plus, keeping with the best practices above, it encourages readers to “try it free for 21 days!” instead of asking for an immediate purchase.
From here, some advertisers decided to simplify their calls to action as they shifted from print to digital.
W magazine, for example, relied heavily on the “why not” approach in their print campaigns.
The basic idea here is that by addressing readers’ concerns and removing all barriers to action, you create the sense that there’s no reason not to try a product or service. In theory, this increases the chances that potential customers will take action.
Here’s how they used this logic in an old direct mail piece:
“This offer may not last long. So order W now—and see what you think of your free issue. After all, with so much to gain—and with absolutely nothing to lose—shouldn’t you at least take a look?”
The effect they’re hoping to achieve here is clear. By promising that readers have “so much to gain” and “absolutely nothing to lose,” they’re aiming to create a sense that not taking action would be an illogical choice.
If you’re worried that your call to action isn’t compelling enough to make readers want to take action, this can be an effective strategy. It essentially aims to shift a user’s mindset from “why” to “why not?”
As W magazine shifted to digital, they continued to use this approach. But they adjusted it to take advantage of the immediacy that comes along with digital campaigns.
Just take a look at this advertisement for their 1-2-3 Shrink diet program:
Of course, a similar ad could’ve worked in print.
But instead of asking potential customers to pay $4.00, then wait a few weeks to receive the program, they’re offering it immediately following payment.
For a reader who’s already interested in this program, that’s a pretty low barrier to entry. They could have the diet plan within minutes, and all that’s standing in their way is a few bucks.
So, why not?
There’s no significant reason they wouldn’t want to take action.
And W magazine wasn’t the only brand to make full use of this ability to earn immediate responses.
Another magazine, Audobon , attempted to entice readers with something beyond a simple subscription in their CTAs. Here’s an example from one of their old direct mail pieces:
“To begin receiving AUDUBON at once and to enjoy all the other benefits of membership in the National Audubon Society, simply return the enclosed form.”
The ad makes a brief mention of “all the benefits of membership.” For a reader who was aware of what those membership benefits were, this might’ve been a compelling offer.
But even if they returned the subscription card right after they received this advertisement, it would be at least a week — and probably more — until they started seeing any benefits at all.
With digital marketing, that all changed.
Even without direct mail, advertisers gained the ability to make offers that presented immediate benefits to their target audience.
For example, take a look at this early “Off the Grid” promotion from Banyan Hill Publishing’s Sovereign Investor :
In this case, the company encouraged users to reserve their spot “today!” and promised the first installment of an email series immediately.
This was a huge improvement over requiring potential customers to wait weeks for information. Plus, the idea of immediate gratification is much more compelling for most of us.
The ad also promises that there’s “no obligation,” includes a clear directive to “enter your email address below,” and encourages readers to take action “today” — meaning it checks all of the boxes for an effective call to action.
It’s also worth noting that in many cases, digital advertisements can convey much more information in a smaller space.
That’s because they don’t need to spend as much time spelling out complex directives.
For example, take a look at the copy from an old Earthwatch promotion:
“Got some free time? A week? A month? A summer?
Come volunteer for a conservation project in the wilds, an environmental project in the tropics, an archeological dig abroad.
Or if you’re busy now, cheer us on from the sidelines.
If our organization sounds like something that you too would take pleasure in being a part of — whether by participating actively or cheering us on from the sidelines — I urge you to send in the order form at your earliest convenience…so your adventures can begin with the very next issue of EARTHWATCH.”
The copy here is fairly compelling. After all, who doesn’t get at least a little excited about the idea of embarking on an adventure in the tropics?
Plus, it does a nice job of offering a few different options.
Spending a week, a month, or a summer on a conservation project or an archaeological dig abroad simply isn’t a viable option for many people. So it’s wise for Earthwatch to also encourage readers to take the simpler action of subscribing.
Still, it’s a lot of copy for what it’s asking. If the same offer had been presented in a digital campaign, it likely could’ve been a lot more concise.
For example, take a look at this email campaign from Early to Rise:
There’s still a fairly large chunk of copy here, but it’s all relevant to the campaign’s goal of enticing readers to click on either of the links.
It explains exactly what they can expect to gain by clicking, and why the company is qualified to be offering the promised information.
Of course, many of today’s consumers would be skeptical of a company offering the “one secret of multi-millionaires.”
And rightly so.
But remember, this is a campaign from the early 2000s — back when most people weren’t quite as skeptical of everything they read online.
In that context, this email worked and was likely very effective in driving clicks. And readers who did click either link were directed to this dedicated landing page:
There’s nothing on this page but a CTA and a field where readers can enter their email address to gain access to the company’s so-called “secret sauce.”
So once a reader makes it this far, they don’t need to spend time reading lines of complex copy. There’s one simple question — and if the reader’s answer is affirmative, they know how to take action.
A call to action this simple likely wouldn’t have worked in a traditional campaign because it doesn’t fully explain what, exactly, the product is, or how it benefits the user.
But with digital campaigns, where users are already familiar with a product and just need to be encouraged to take a final action that offers immediate results, simplicity works.
In fact, at this point, saying that simplicity works might sound like stating the obvious. But this wasn’t immediately clear to many of the first marketers making the shift from print to digital.
There was a clear learning curve as the industry shifted.
For example, another issue that many traditional marketers found challenging when they first switched to digital campaigns was striking a balance between weak and strong CTAs.
Today, most people are familiar enough with digital marketing that they know what’s expected of them when they arrive on a landing page. Most of us naturally know to look for large, brightly-colored buttons with a clear call to action, since they’re now a common landing page staple.
If your page doesn’t include an obvious call to action, you risk losing potential customers.
For example, take a look at this landing page for Rich Dad Education.
What, exactly, does this page direct visitors to do? What’s the call to action?
The only real directive on this page is “Pick your city.” But what’s the benefit of taking that action? What does it require of the user? And is there an immediate return?
It’s hard to say — because the page doesn’t include those details around this directive. In this case, I’d argue that the page doesn’t have a call to action at all.
There’s nothing compelling, risk-reducing, or benefits-oriented. So there’s little here to compel anyone to respond.
This makes it an ineffective landing page. Or, at the very least, not nearly as effective as it could be with a clear CTA.
But on the flip side, some digital marketers also make the mistake of making their CTAs too strong. I don’t mean that they present too many benefits, or make it too obvious what a reader stands to gain. That would be extremely difficult to do.
Instead, they attempt to force users to convert by making it the only action they can take on a page.
For example, check out this old popup from Joss & Main:
If a user lands on this page and is ready to join (or is already a member), this is likely extremely effective at converting them.
But what if a visitor isn’t ready to take that step? What if they just want to browse the site and see what the company has to offer before becoming a member?
Well, that’s too bad — because the pop-up blocks the rest of the content on the page until they share their email.
This means the user is stuck if they don’t want to respond. They can either “Join Now,” or leave.
This call to action example is a little too high-pressure .
It makes sense to encourage new visitors to sign up, but this ultimatum-style popup likely cost the company at least a few customers who would’ve signed up if they’d been given the opportunity to make that choice on their own.
Fortunately, many companies have learned to strike a balance where they guide visitors to take action without forcing them to do so.
Now, let’s take a look at how Joss & Main earns new members today. Instead of requiring visitors to enter their email upon arrival, they let them freely browse their products without a popup in sight. Users can learn about what the company has to offer and determine whether they’re interested in buying at their leisure.
They can also add various items to their cart as they browse. Then, when they click the cart icon, presumably to start the checkout process, they’re directed to the following page:
Here, they’re required to enter their email address to make their purchase.
But for a user who’s already prepared to spend money and complete a transaction, this isn’t a huge request. In fact, it’s a necessary step in the ecommerce sales process, since customers typically receive order confirmations and shipping updates via email.
By moving this requirement to a later point in the sales process, the company eliminated a barrier that likely cost them a significant amount of customers early on.
Of course, this is just one of many lessons marketers needed to learn in order to effectively shift their campaigns to the new digital landscape. We are sharing great call to action examples for sales on this article. So use them in your favor!
And while some of it might seem obvious in hindsight, that’s simply because many of us already know the standard “best practices” involved in creating online campaigns.
What Makes a Good Call To Action? 3 Things That a CTA Must Present
From the days of magazine mail-in cards to now, marketers have been able to boil an effective CTA down to three elements:
- A no-obligation statement
- Some updated version of “mail your acceptance card”
- sense of urgency around responding right away.
Let’s look at some call to action examples for each of these elements.
A No-Obligation Statement That Removes or Reduces Risk
Care.com’s CTA lets you know right away that you can search their site for free. That means website visitors don’t have to commit before they assess whether or not Care.com is the right portal for them.
All of Them Contain Some Version of “Mail Your Acceptance Card”
The call to action text for Litworth gets straight to the point. Sign up with them (i.e., mail in the acceptance card) and a writer will find paying publications.
For those of you who don’t know, not all publications pay, so this is a pretty attention-grabbing CTA. They continue to entice by listing all the benefits of signing up. Then you find out it’s all free. You’re in.
Encouragement to Respond Right Away
Disney World is the master of creating a sense of urgency. Like most vacation destinations, they run deals throughout the year.
If you respond before a certain date (in this case, October 8) you get a discount on your stay. That looming date is enough encouragement to get a website visitor to view the details and browse vacation options, at the very least.
Call to Action in Writing: Copywriting Techniques For an Effective CTA
We’ve come a long way from those early days of digital marketing. Still, the general approach that many traditional marketers took in their print campaigns can serve as a starting point for writing effective online copy .
And when combined with all of the advantages that digital marketing offers, they can be even more successful in driving results.
So with that in mind, let’s jump into five ways you can use a traditional marketing mindset to improve your online campaigns.
1. Emphasize Low Risk
The first of the three common elements in the traditional CTAs above was a focus on a lack of obligation or risk on the customer’s part.
From a consumer’s perspective, this makes perfect sense. The less you stand to lose from an action, the more comfortable you’ll be with the idea of taking it.
And even as the marketing industry evolves, this concept hasn’t changed a bit. Take a look at this CTA example for Amazon’s Prime Video service:
A free trial alone is enough of an incentive for many people to test the service. But beyond that, this call to action emphasizes that users can sign up “risk free” and “cancel anytime.”
If a visitor has any hesitations after initially landing on the page, these details can ease their fears about committing to the service. The knowledge that they can cancel at any time is likely compelling for users who are worried about forgetting to take this step at the end of the 30 days.
Plus, like every other digital campaign (and the remainder of the examples we’ll cover on this page), this ad gives visitors the option to take immediate action by clicking a button .
In this case, the user can start streaming content from the platform immediately.
And with no risk at all, that’s a fairly appealing offer.
2. Strive For Clarity
You can have the most beautifully designed landing page in the world, with stunning graphics and an impeccable advertising strategy in place for attracting traffic.
But if the copy on that page doesn’t tell visitors why they should take action, it’s useless.
Copy is what connects with visitors, and convinces them that they want to take action. It does this by explaining what they stand to gain by doing so.
Of course, there’s tons of room for creativity within marketing copy. An experienced copywriter can make even the least “exciting” products sound interesting.
But as you develop your CTA copy, remember to be as clear as possible about what you’re offering.
Innovative copy is great for spicing up a page and grabbing visitors’ attention. But if it creates any confusion about what that page is offering, it’s counterproductive.
That’s why the most effective CTAs are extremely straightforward.
For example, take a look at this email from Buffer.
To kick things off, it highlights the importance of Instagram for businesses . If a user isn’t sure why they should be interested in learning about the platform, that uncertainty is addressed within those first two sentences.
From there, the offer is completely benefits-oriented. The copy offers free information, asking for nothing in return.
The reader doesn’t even need to provide an email address or fill out a form. All they have to do is click a button!
And the button itself is more than a vague, uninspiring “click here” command. Its bright blue shade immediately stands out from the rest of the email’s content.
Then, its copy reinforces exactly what a reader will gain (growth tips) by clicking it. And its use of the action verb Get is a great way to inspire a sense of action.
If you’ve ever researched ways to optimize your CTA buttons, you’ve likely heard that it’s considered a “best practice” to incorporate action verbs .
And that’s true.
But if you think back to the traditional CTA examples above, you’ll realize that’s by no means a new concept in the marketing world. Each of the direct mail examples includes some variation of the directive “send,” “mail,” or “return.”
This is simple usability! You need to tell people what you want them to do in order for them to do it.
And although the exact verbs we use today are a bit different, the basic idea remains the same.
So even when using the three principles above, based on traditional campaigns, this Buffer email measures up.
It includes the same basic techniques that work for direct mail, but improves on them, because there’s no bulky paragraph with complex instructions for responding.
Instead, they use that valuable space to clearly explain what they’re offering — so that by the time the user reaches that simple button, they know exactly why they should click it.
3. Highlight Immediate Benefits
As I’ve mentioned a few times already, one of the biggest advantages digital marketing has over its traditional predecessors is the potential to deliver immediate gratification.
You can give your customers downloadable resources, access to tools, and premium services all within seconds of their conversion.
That’s pretty incredible!
Of course, it’s not quite as straightforward for all industries. SaaS companies, for example, can offer instant access to their full product — while ecommerce retailers and service-based businesses typically have a bit of a waiting period.
Still, almost any business can offer immediate payment processing and order confirmation.
And who doesn’t love knowing that they’ve successfully ordered a product to their home, without ever leaving the couch? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
But regardless of industry and business model, any company can offer their customers some type of immediate gratification. Even if it’s not in the form of their main product or service, they can give a lead or prospect something for converting.
Today, one of the most popular ways of doing this is offering free downloadable content.
For example, take a look at this CTA for Optinmonster’s guide to converting abandoned site visitors into subscribers.
If you’re unfamiliar with Optinmonster, it’s important to note that content like this is not their main product. The company sells tools for helping site owners increase their conversion rates and generate more leads.
But most people won’t be ready to sign up for a monthly plan during their first visit to the site.
In order to keep those first-time visitors interested, the company offers this free guide that’s directly related to its product, and highly relevant to anyone who’s considering purchasing a subscription to CRO tools.
After all, if someone is prepared to spend their marketing budget on a product designed to convert site visitors, why wouldn’t they want free information on accomplishing that same goal?
Including this option on their site gives the company the ability to offer all of their visitors an immediate reward for engaging with their content.
And this is a strategy that almost any business can replicate.
Just take a look at this pop-up offer on Rascal Rides:
The site caters to parents shopping for bikes, bike accessories, and safety gear for their kids. So it makes perfect sense that their visitors would be interested in a children’s bike shopping guide.
Even if a visitor isn’t ready to select and purchase a product right away, the site still offers something they can access immediately. Parents can start learning about the factors they need to consider while shopping within seconds of providing their email address.
So as you develop your CTAs, look for ways to provide immediate value to your visitors.
The sooner they can start seeing the benefits of taking action, the more compelled they’ll be to do just that.
4. Include Secondary CTAs
In the previous section, you likely noticed that the examples showing instant gratification weren’t for those companies’ main products or services.
That wasn’t by mistake.
Although your site is likely designed with one specific, high-value action in mind, that shouldn’t be the only action you give users the option to take. You might want all of your visitors to immediately make a purchase — but unfortunately, that’s unrealistic.
And when you limit your site to one call to action, you essentially give your visitors an ultimatum: Take that action, or leave.
When you add some extra options into the mix, however, you reduce odds of a visitor leaving simply because they’re not ready to take your main offer.
The first way to do this, as we covered in the previous section, is to come up with additional “offers” visitors can take advantage of for free.
The second is simply to highlight ways that a user can stay engaged with your content.
For example, take a look at this landing page from T.C. Pharma.
The main CTA button tells visitors to contact the company to learn more.
But if someone doesn’t want to take that action, they’re presented with a clear alternative. The button immediately to the right of the main CTA lets them view the company’s products.
This way, they’re not driven away from the site just because they aren’t far enough along in the buying process. They’re encouraged to stay and learn more — which could help them get closer to a conversion.
5. Establish Credibility
Many digital advertising platforms today offer advanced targeting options that help marketers reach people that are likely to be part of their target audience.
This allows brands to focus their campaigns on website visitors that could be qualified leads and customers. It’s a significant improvement over traditional options, which were typically limited to a particular TV channel or radio station’s target demographic. However, the one advantage of that old-school marketing approach was name recognition.
After all, ads on a local radio station are likely for businesses within a 20-mile radius of you — so there’s a higher chance you’ve heard of those businesses than the ones advertising to you on Facebook today.
So as you create ads for digital platforms, it’s important to remember that even members of your target audience may be unfamiliar with your brand.
And you have a limited amount of time in which to establish your credibility. Even if you’re advertising a free trial or another low-risk offer, you need to show your audience why they should trust you enough to take that step.
For example, take a look at this call to action example on this Facebook ad for a free trial from Pipedrive:
First, it’s important to note that this ad is intended for a target audience that’s already familiar with the concept of a CRM. This alone means that they need to set the rest of their targeting options fairly broad — beyond the other local businesses in their area.
And they show people who may be completely unfamiliar with their brand that they’re trustworthy by including important credentials.
They emphasize that over “50,000 sales teams” use their product to stay organized, and highlight the fact that the platform was “built by salespeople for salespeople.”
If a reader is interested in trying out new CRM software, this is plenty of information to get them interested in the free trial, even if this is their first interaction with the brand.
They know they’re by no means the first to try the tool. And if 50,000 other companies already use and like it, there’s no reason not to at least test out the free trial.
How Do You Know if Your CTA Is Working Well?
Once you’ve created your calls to action, whether they be in email, pop-ups or sprinkled throughout your blog posts, you’ll want to make sure they’re performing for you.
You can double check using website visitor analysis tools.
Understand How Website Visitors Are Interacting With Your Calls to Action
First, use heatmaps and scroll maps to determine whether people are responding to — or even seeing — your CTAs.
A scroll map shows you how far people scroll down your page before they leave. If they’re leaving before they scroll all the way to, say, a call to action at the end of a blog post, you might want to make the CTA a callout toward the top of your post.
A heatmap will let you see how often people are interacting with your call to action. If your CTA button beckons readers to learn more by clicking, the button should be a glowing, warm red, not a cool blue.
You can also use visitor session Recordings to see why users are interacting with your call to action the way they are.
A recording will show you how someone moves about the screen in real-time. Watching one will help you answer questions like, “Are people getting stuck somewhere in particular? Does it seem like they’re confused about the next steps with my CTA?”
A/B Testing Your Call to Action Buttons Is a Must
Once you’ve figured out what you think is the problem with a call to action button, it’s essential that you A/B test a solution. An A/B test will let you publish two versions of the same CTA to see which one performs better.
If your CTA button seems to be in the wrong place, for instance, you can test various placements to see which is more effective.
Start Using Crazy Egg Tools
Look at your CTAs and ask yourself, “What goal am I trying to achieve, here? How is my CTA message encouraging my website visitors to achieve that goal?”
Once you’ve answered those two questions, usability and testing tools can help you create the best CTAs possible.
Marketing has changed a lot over the past few years, but the ultimate goal has remained the same. You need to drive consumers to take action.
CTAs are essential for making this happen. So as a marketer, it’s critical that you learn to write effective ones.
As trends shift and new platforms emerge, the principles of writing effective CTA copy have remained consistent:
- Emphasize a low barrier to entry
- Include a clear directive
- Encourage immediate action
Make your website better. Instantly.
Keep reading about copywriting.
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This Is How to Write a Perfect Call to Action
Get to the end of this article, and you’ll get a free car!
If only it were that easy (and true). Still, a lure like that is enough to catch readers’ attention. And if it’s done right, it’s enough to get them to take the action you want them to take.
A call to action is a strategy that marketers use to make their advertisements more successful. If you master the method, you can make it work for you in a variety of genres.
Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.
What is a call to action?
A call to action is the part of your message that tells your audience what to do. If written right, it also makes them feel inspired to do it.
In marketing, it’s the part of the advertisement designed to turn observers into customers—or, in marketing slang, boosting your conversion rate. For example:
- Sign up for our newsletter here!
- Get a free trial!
In other fields, the goal could be convincing someone to read something you wrote or to take another action. For example:
- Read this book.
- Stop using plastic water bottles.
- Use correct grammar.
A call to action tells someone to do something. Designed well, it makes them want to do that something, too.
Why are CTAs important?
Telling someone what action to take after viewing your advertisement or seeing your content is easy. Making them feel motivated to follow through is the real challenge.
“Buy now” or “Sign up here” covers the action, but it doesn’t provide a call that makes them feel invested in buying or signing up. A good CTA is important because it doesn’t just help you gain customers—it can help create loyal customers, too.
Tricks for a successful CTA
So how do you gain an audience’s attention, pique their interest, and get them buying what you’re selling? Here are some tips that will help you think from the target audience’s perspective and write in a way that will speak to them.
Identify the audience’s desires. What would motivate them to follow through on your ad or look at your content in the first place?
Connect your CTA to fulfilling those desires. Craft your message in a way that speaks to them.
Use words that inspire enthusiasm. Instead of “Take a tour of our property,” it’s “Find your dream home today.” Instead of “Pitch in to prevent cruelty against animals,” it’s “Join the millions who are fighting to protect our furry friends.”
Make the next step easy. Clicking a button. Sharing a link. Typing an email address (but not necessarily full account information—even that amount of effort can scare people away). The easier the action, the more likely your audience will feel motivated enough to take it.
? We teamed up with @Grammarly to bring you all the expert info you need to write a stellar résumé . Read our free eBook here: https://t.co/bnXGU4aGDS # résumé #jobsearch pic.twitter.com/MYC86mSEe1 — Glassdoor (@Glassdoor) July 5, 2018
Here are spiced-up versions of the CTAs you saw earlier in the article. Each example could be accompanied by text saying “Buy now,” “Sign up,” or “Get a free trial.” The trick is in the section leading up to that action and making sure it provides the motivation and the rationale for the audience to take the next step.
Original: Read this book.
New and improved: See why thousands of readers are talking about the latest page-turner from this bestselling author.
Why it works: By mentioning “thousands of readers,” this copy makes the audience want to be part of the crowd. The words “page-turner” and “bestselling author” lend credibility to the claim that the book is worth reading.
Original: Stop using plastic water bottles.
New and improved: When you drink from plastic water bottles, you risk consuming microplastics and contributing to plastic pollution of the ocean. Get a glass or metal water bottle instead of a plastic one.
Why it works: The good ol’ “scare ‘em” trick. There’s nothing wrong with a little fear-mongering in advertising. By stating that plastic water bottles are bad for individual health and the environment, this sentence plays on the audience’s fears and suggests an easy solution: stop using plastic water bottles.
Original: Use correct grammar.
New and improved: Speaking and writing grammatically helps you become a better communicator and makes people more likely to listen to you, agree with you, and respect your opinions. Make sure you use correct grammar.
Why it works: This copy gives a straightforward reason for responding to the call to action, and one that is likely to resonate with many professionals. An example CTA to follow the sentence: Get the free Grammarly browser extension today.
The tactics used in these examples can be modified for a call to action in any genre. No matter what your mission is, you’ll benefit from the ability to capture your audience’s attention and persuade them to follow up.
You made it to the end! You may not have a free car, but you now have the tools to write a successful, effective CTA.
How to Write Incredible Calls to Action (with Examples)
What if I say, “Subscribe to our email newsletter at the end of the article?” Probably, you’ll skip it and forget when reaching the subscription button. Why? Because a compelling call to action is not only about using action words. CTAs should appear at the right place and contain the right words to lead to conversion.
A CTA is a suggestion to people to perform a certain action: subscribe, download an ebook, schedule a call, etc. Website owners place them in various parts of the page, depending on the goals, such as:
- above the fold;
- in the middle of an article;
- next to the lead form;
- in the right rail and many other places.
How should you arrange CTAs to encourage the audience to do what’s expected? This post will enumerate some helpful tips for successful call-to-action writing and show real-world examples from various spheres.
Image credit: Freepik
7 Proven Tips for Crafting Effective CTAs
Choose the right action verb.
CTAs usually appear precisely at the end of the message. It’s the last opportunity to reach out to consumers and point them in the right direction on their purchase journey. Where can you see them? On buttons, ads, banners, pop-ups, slide-ins, or at the end of videos. In any case, you have limited space for them. That’s why the CTA should be short, concise, and punchy.
Use a command verb at the beginning of the CTA copy. Compare the following variants and think of what will be more effective:
- Start your 14-day free trial period now.
- A 14-day trial period is available.
The first option is the clear winner because it tells the audience what to do. Remember that a strong call to action eliminates as much thought as possible. Choose the needed verb to match your situation and purpose, such as:
- sign up, subscribe, register now/get access
- download, start free trial;
- learn more, click here;
- buy/purchase, shop, order.
Use Power Words and Emotional Triggers
Another crucial component of call-to-action writing is power words . These are words that appeal to emotions and trigger the desire to click. While action verbs tell readers what to do and what will happen after clicking a link, power words subtly nudge people to the desired page. They rely on people’s emotions as a motivation to proceed, such as:
- fear : mistake, nightmare, painful, crisis, danger;
- encouragement : amazing, astonishing, life-changing, astounding, effortless;
- lust : thrilling, pleasurable, mouthwatering, compelling, engaging;
- anger : misleading, diminish, infuriating, annoying;
- greed : double, profit, explode, quadruple, extra, reduced;
- safety : proven, risk-free, moneyback, secure, refund;
- curiosity : lost, never seen before, unconventional, invitation only, confidential.
A strong CTA is the one people feel , not just comprehend. For example, “Secure your spot for the concert of a lifetime now,” will elicit a different response from viewers than, “Get your tickets for the concert now!” due to phrases like “lifetime” and “secure”. Another way to evoke enthusiasm is to leverage punctuation like an ellipsis or an exclamation mark.
Create Urgency and Scarcity
As most purchases are emotional rather than rational, another motivator can be a fear of missing out (FOMO). It’s one of the most widely-used tactics in e-commerce, where sellers show the number of remaining goods or the time left until the discount expires. So you can do it in the CTA.
The more people think, the less likely they will buy, remember? A sense of urgency/scarcity encourages people to act without much consideration. You can also find FOMO in social proof. If someone uses this product or service, others will be interested in joining the crowd. You can employ this idea in the CTA. Find a problem that your audience is experiencing. Emphasize it, show people they are not alone, and provide a solution.
Highlight the Benefits and Value Proposition
There is hardly anything more persuasive than a benefit . It works as simply as suggesting some perks for clicking the button. In other words, what are consumers going to gain from it? Will it enable people to perform their jobs more effectively, get in shape, or save money? You can add a tangible benefit like a discount or promotion. To show readers the value of clicking, start the CTA with words like “save” or “redeem” like “Save 15% by calling today!”
Or you can combine a USP and CTA in a single statement to persuade potential customers to take action. By highlighting what makes your product or service unique and motivating the user to take a specific action in line with that USP, you can increase the chances of converting them into leads or customers. Here’s an example of a USP/CTA mash-up:
“Get the best deals on luxury vacations - Book now and save 50%!”
Here you mention the action you expect users to perform (“ book now” ) and bring up a reason to do it ( “save 50%” ).
Personalize the CTA for the Target Audience
Personalization is one of the easiest ways to elicit emotions. It shows users that you value them and take a genuine interest in guiding them through the purchase journey smoothly. That’s why personalized CTAs can be so effective. According to Hubspot, tailored CTAs outperform standard CTAs by 202% .
Suppose a new website visitor, John, adds some products to the cart but leaves without buying them. You can show an exit-intent pop-up before he closes the tab with a personalized advertising call to action, such as: “John, get 10% off your first purchase! Plus, free shipping on orders over $50. Shop now and start saving!”
But if it was your existing customer, Rebecca, you could show her another pop-up, such as: “Welcome back, Rebecca! As a valued customer, we’d like to offer you 15% off your next purchase. Take advantage of this exclusive offer by making your purchase right away!”
Consider your audience when crafting your message, and address them specifically. You can segment people by age, gender, profession, level of proficiency in using your software, and other traits to offer the most relevant products and services.
Apart from writing a tailored message in your CTA, personalization can also be achieved by using new tools for sales documents creation. If you go with an interactive sales deck or proposal, you can add an impactful CTA by embedding your own calendar in the message, so that your potential customer can book their next meeting simply by reading your proposal.
Include Numbers If Relevant
Numbers catch the readers’ attention because they stand out on the page with text. So it’s another way to persuade people to click. Numbers also provide information that audiences want, like phone numbers, pricing, or advantages. For example, “Learn a new language in just 30 days with our intensive course.” It’s easy to spot the numbers, so viewers will immediately grasp the possible advantages of responding to your CTA.
You can also include a price in the ad copy and CTA. Why should you do it? On the one hand, you may scare away users from clicking the button and reading more about the product. On the other, if people deliberately respond to the ad knowing about your pricing, it shows their interest in the offer. It reduces the chances of bouncing from the landing page, increasing the return on ad spend.
Test and Optimize the CTA
Calls to action are tricky since you won’t know how effective they are until you put them to the test in real life. An idea that seems terrific on paper may not work well in practice. Thus, you need to understand why the CTA performs poorly and what doesn’t appeal to viewers. But how do you determine the need to change something? Through A/B testing.
A CTA is one of the most accessible and suitable page elements for the A/B test. A small change in word choice can have a significant impact. A/B testing lets you find the best option not only in terms of wording but also in placement, colors, size, etc.
Examples of Incredible CTAs
Now that we know the best practices for organizing CTAs, let’s examine how different companies do it. We’ll analyze call-to-action examples of online stores, SaaS companies, and nonprofit organizations.
Screenshot taken on the official Converse website
The first example under consideration is from Converse, a renowned lifestyle brand. The company uses several tips mentioned above:
- the language is simple to comprehend;
- numbers are showing the benefits of performing a particular action, such as 15% off the next order for signing up;
- the CTAs stand out from the rest of the content because they are bold or contrasting.
Screenshot taken on Ulster Weavers
In this example from Ulster Weavers, we see the emphasis on FOMO. The bag is at a lower price, but only one item is available, so the retailer leaves us less time to think but to click the “Add to Cart” or “Buy it now” button.
Screenshot taken on the official Kusmi Tea website
Kusmi Tea decided to play with words and use the CTA “Enjoy now” instead of a basic “Click here” or “Shop now”. Don’t be afraid to get creative, as Kusmi Tea does in this screenshot. You can also notice that there is a lot of space around the button. This trick and the contrasting black color on the orange background make the CTA more visible.
Service-Based Call-to-Action Examples
Screenshot taken on the official Salesforce website
Here we can see several CTAs. Salesforce directs the viewer’s attention to them in the following ways:
- “Start free trial” is in the hero section of the website and is filled with color. So we understand it’s more important than the “Watch demo” button next to it.
- “Try for free” is filled with a contrasting green color for more emphasis. It also denotes no obligation to pay at the moment of clicking.
- The “Let’s chat” button is also noticeable. The photo on it aims to create a personal connection with the visitors and increase the likelihood of them engaging in a chat.
Screenshot taken on the official Time Doctor website
When adding creativity to your CTA, be careful with misleading users. For example, the screenshot from Time Doctor illustrates two CTAs on the exit-intent pop-up:
- “Yes, help me increase my team’s productivity.”
- “No, I don’t need insight on what my team is doing.”
Unfortunately, they lack information about what will happen after choosing each. While you may guess the second button will close the pop-up, the first one may be confusing. Will I schedule a call, download the app, or get to the checkout page? No idea.
Screenshot taken on the official Exabytes website
This screenshot from Exabytes demonstrates a personalized approach. The CTA contains a personal pronoun, “My”, creating a sense of ownership and exclusivity in the customer’s mind.
Screenshot taken from the newsletter from the official Elevation Church website
It’s an email from Elevation Church. We can see that the organization displayed creativity in its “READY. SET. SHOP” advertising call to action. What may be the reason for that? It can be a powerful way to reach younger generations and differentiate an email from other generic promotions.
African Wildlife Foundation
Screenshot taken on the official African Wildlife Foundation website
Another nonprofit with impactful calls to action is African Wildlife Foundation. They are one of the first things you notice on the page. CTAs are concise and inspire supporters to learn more about the organization or donate immediately.
Over to You
Calls to action are indispensable elements of web forms , ad campaigns, emails, and social media content. What are the tips for designing them? We’ve looked at the top seven strategies, including:
- beginning with a powerful verb;
- appealing to emotions;
- leveraging numbers;
- offering benefits;
- instilling a sense of urgency;
- personalizing CTAs according to user preferences, behavior, and types;
- testing various aspects of CTAs thoroughly.
These tips will help you amplify your conversion rates and find the key to your audience.
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15 Great Call to Action Examples That Simply Work
May 18, 2021
by Nathan Ojaokomo
In this post
- Why create a call to action?
Best practices for creating CTAs that work
- 15 call-to-action examples to draw inspiration from
Your ability to write ads, landing pages, or emails that make readers take action – whether it’s to buy something, download an eBook, join your email list, or something else – is one of the keys to becoming a successful marketer.
While it’s one thing to write headlines or introductions that hook a reader, it’s an entirely different ball game to make these readers take action after reading your copy. To make your audience or readers take action, you need to pay more than the usual attention to creating a compelling call to action (CTA) .
We’re going to share real-life examples of CTAs you can use to improve your conversions and grow your business. You’ll also learn why you need a strong call to action and how to write CTAs that work.
A call to action is used to prompt an audience to take a specific action.
When you think about the last time you downloaded an eBook, enrolled for an email course, or signed up for a software’s free trial, you will discover that a CTA was the final nudge that made you take action.
Common examples of CTAs you can find on websites, landing pages, emails, and ads are “Buy now,” “Subscribe,” “Sign Up,” and “Learn More”. These CTAs serve as a bridge between your audience and conversion.
Why should you create a strong call to action?
Many marketers make the mistake of thinking that CTAs are not necessary, especially since a call to action only takes up a small part of their website, email, or landing page. They also imagine that slapping common CTA examples like “Buy Now” or “Subscribe” on their copy would convert well for them.
But the truth is that your conversions would tank if you don’t create strong CTAs. Why? The average daily time spent on social media in 2020 was 145 minutes compared to only 111 minutes in 2015 – meaning people now consume more content than ever before. As a marketer, this means you’re literally in direct competition for people’s attention against Zoom calls, TikTok, Netflix, Instagram, and other social platforms.
In a world where attention spans are lower because of the many content and information channels available today, you’d be doing a disservice to your readers if you don’t use strong CTAs. A good CTA should grab people’s attention , make them notice what they stand to gain, and prompt them to take action.
So how can you create a strong call to action? First, you need to set the right foundation.
Before you write a CTA
No builder sets out to build a house without having a plan or laying the foundation. Similarly, you need to set the foundation for your CTAs before you begin writing.
Here are two questions that can help you lay the groundwork:
- What is your goal?
- Who is your audience?
What is your goal?
When writing CTAs, start with an end goal in mind. What action do you want your audience to take? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Book a demo? Buy your products?
Whatever the goal is, it should be specific and straightforward. Don’t bombard your audience with too many options at once. Offering several choices confuses the audience and hurts your conversion rate opportunity.
Who is your audience?
Knowing your audience goes deeper than creating a random “Marketing Mary” persona. You need to understand your audience’s fears and desires well. Once you’ve identified who your audience is and what you want them to do, it’s time to start writing your CTA.
While there are no set or rigid rules when creating CTAs, a few principles can help you write strong CTAs. These principles work whether you’re writing a call to action for your websites, ads, social media captions, or emails.
Keep your CTA above the fold
A fold is the part of your website that visitors see before they start scrolling.
It’d be a waste of website real estate to hide your call to action in a place other than the first part of your website that visitors see. You can still use images, logos, and other graphics along with your CTA above the fold.
Don’t just tell people to do something
In 1978, Harvard professor Ellen Langer carried out a study that showed the power of using the word “because” . The study was conducted in front of a busy copy machine on the Harvard College campus.
Participants were asked to try to skip the queue using three different pitches:
- “Excuse me. I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine?”
- “Excuse me. I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
- “Excuse me. I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine because I have to make copies?”
The first statement without “because” got a 60% favorable response. But that response was dwarfed by the 94% and 93% favorable responses from the other two pitches that used “because”.
Instead of just telling people to do something, tell them why they should do it.
Use a call to value instead of a call to action
Like telling your audience why they should do something, a call to value helps hammer on the benefits your audience can get from taking a particular action. Don’t say “Shop now” when you could say “Shop now and get 30% off of your order.”
Create a sense of urgency
Remember how you always rushed your assignment the night before you had to submit it? Without a submission deadline, you probably wouldn’t have completed as many assignments as you did in high school. The same thing happens with your marketing messages.
Without a sense of urgency, your audience would most likely not take any form of action. To create a sense of urgency, you can use phrases like “limited offer,” “now,” “XXX seats left” in your CTAs.
Your CTA should also make your audience fear that they’ll miss out on something if they don’t act quickly.
Strike a balance between creativity and simplicity
Don’t try to be too smart or witty by using phrases or words your audience doesn’t know. Nobody is going to hand you a medal for lacing your call to action and messaging with big words. Instead, use words, phrases, and terms that your audience uses in their daily conversations.
Use power words and phrases
A compelling call to action uses powerful words and phrases. Here’s a list of powerful words and phrases you can use in your CTA:
- Try for free
- Start your free trial
Adjust CTAs to different devices
The way your call to action appears on a mobile phone differs from how it appears on a desktop. Make sure you optimize your CTA buttons to match the different devices your audience uses.
Employ social proof
Social proof, no matter how small, goes a long way into making your CTAs work. In a world where everyone claims to be the best, social proof helps your audience see that you’re not the one tooting your horn.
Social proof could be in the form of big company or client logos, star ratings from review sites, testimonials from customers, or some stats like the number of email subscribers you have.
Consider your CTA length
No rule book says that your CTA needs to be a specific length. The length of your call to action often depends on your offer and understanding of your audience. So don’t sweat it. Besides, you can always test which length works best for you.
Always keep testing
One exciting thing about CTAs is that you can test almost everything about them to see what works. You can test your call to action’s copy, button, button size, placement, and even the colors using an effective CTA conversion strategy .
15 call-to-action examples to draw inspiration from
You don’t always have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel when creating a call to action. Here are some CTA examples that can inspire you, spanning across website, email, landing page, and ad CTA examples.
1. Get a free savings assessment
Even though G2’s homepage has a couple of good CTAs, the one on the header navigation bar stands out for many reasons.
First, it catches the eye immediately because its color scheme contrasts with the background and the rest of the page. It also contains the word “Free,” a word everyone loves to hear.
The use of figures and a clear benefit in the “Reduce your software costs by 18% overnight” line also makes clicking the CTA a no-brainer.
2. Start a 7-day trial for $7
Customers want to know what they’ll be getting before they click anything on your site. Ahrefs could have conveniently made their CTA read “Start a 7-day trial” without mentioning the $7 part.
While this can cause more visitors to click on the CTA, only a small percentage of them would proceed after hitting a paywall. If your audience has to pay before using your tool, clarify it in the call to action.
3. Learn more
“Learn more” is one of the most common CTAs on websites. While it may not work for everyone, it works well for Apple...well, because they’re Apple. Since they’re already on top of their audiences’ minds, Apple doesn’t need to say much to move people to action.
You’d also notice that although the call to action isn’t a button, it’s still easily identifiable because its color differs from the rest of the text.
4. Plant now
Click A Tree’s website design looks clean and on-brand. The image choice clearly shows what the organization is all about. The use of brown (earth) and green (leaves) as their colors also points to the organization’s mission to plant more trees.
All these elements combine to make the “Plant now” CTA work. “Now” also creates a sense of urgency.
5. Get started – it’s free
Many company websites, especially SaaS companies, use the “Get started” CTA. However, Webflow takes it a step further by adding “ it’s free” at the end of their CTA.
This little addition helps resolve some objections around pricing that may come up in a visitor’s mind.
6. See how addictive email can be
Over the years, Tarzan Kay has built a successful business through email marketing. And with her website headline, she shows visitors what they would get when they click the CTA button.
Yes, that giant CTA button. Although the button is hard to miss, it’s not pushy or salesy. Instead, it gives visitors the feeling that they would be gaining front seat rows to see how email marketing can work for them.
7. Get 30 days free
Want to know what’s better than getting a week-long free trial? Getting 30 days free.
Peloton uses the “Get 30 days free” CTA to attract and convert visitors who want to get fit. This CTA is excellent because 30 days is more than enough time for a person to tell whether Peleton’s program is working for them or not.
8. Start winning more
It’s not only in your homepage headline that you can highlight your products or services’ most significant benefits. You can and should use these benefits in your call-to-action copy too. Winning is something anyone who plays games wants to achieve. And Metafy here brilliantly highlights this with their “Start winning more” CTA.
9. Schedule your free strategy session
Like we mentioned earlier, knowing your audience is vital to writing strong CTAs. Here, Pedro clearly defines that he serves SaaS companies that have trouble converting visitors into customers.
SaaS business owners know that a small percentage change (say 5% uptick) in their conversions can blow their revenue out of the water. Pedro knows this too, and that’s why his CTA offering a free strategy session (emphasis on free) looks like a steal.
10. Subscribe to our newsletter
Let’s start with the classic “Subscribe to our newsletter”.
Although many companies have email sign-up boxes that use this CTA, these companies often offer zero motivation to make their audience actually subscribe. Really Good Emails gives their visitors compelling reasons why they should subscribe to their email list.
11. Start saving
Black Friday deals come and go every year, and almost everyone with an email gets bombarded by deals from different companies.
To help their customers make the most of these deals, Bluehost uses a simple “Start saving” CTA. This call to action works because it offers a clear benefit. Thanks to the button’s deep blue color on a lighter background, it’s also hard to miss.
12. Go pro yearly and save 45%
Many customers would rather pay $10 monthly instead of $100 per year, even though the yearly subscription cost less in the long run.
In this email CTA example, Bannersnack not only highlights that customers would be saving 45% if they move to a yearly subscription. But they also mention other benefits like “No more missed payment” and “no more worries”.
13. Start streaming
HBOmax is a video streaming platform . And it’s only right that they use a “Start streaming” CTA in their emails.
While the CTA is not super creative, they did make it stand out by using different colors for the CTA button and the background.
14. Get more time
ClickUp is a time and project management tool for big and small businesses.
Their email pop-up box decided to ditch the traditional “join our newsletter” and use “Get more time” instead.
Why does this work? Anyone interested in gaining back more time would be interested in the “Get more time” CTA. Besides bringing their value upfront, ClickUp also uses social proof (by displaying company logos) and a cheeky “No, I want to waste one day per week” line beside their call to action.
15. Start creating
In this email, Vimeo announces its new features that allow users to create and showcase videos online.
Instead of focusing on themselves, Vimeo used a CTA that focuses on the reason why people use Vimeo in the first place: to create.
It’s time to get to work, now that you’ve seen CTA examples that can inspire you to create a call to action that converts more of your audience into leads and customers.
Before you write, keep in mind to know your audience well and the specific action you want them to take. Your CTAs should be above the fold, start with powerful words, create a sense of urgency, have some form of social proof, and tell people why they need to take action.
Extend your reach
Use marketing software to help elevate your call to action game, acquire more leads, and close more sales.
Nathan is a B2B SaaS content writer . When he’s not helping software brands build more authority, generate better traffic, or convert more leads, you’ll find him binging on Marvel’s latest movies.
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14 Tips for Writing the Best Call to Action (With Examples)
You could write the most effective, emotional, efficient copy for your printed marketing media, and it wouldn’t amount to anything if a call to action wasn’t clearly defined.
In written advertising, a call to action (by definition) is an imperative sentence that instructs the reader to perform a task. They’re absolutely crucial because once you’ve hooked your audience on your brand, they need to know what steps to take in order to obtain your product or service. Good call to action phrases act like a trail of breadcrumbs leading potential customers directly to your business.
Know your audience’s needs
Before you can begin writing your call to action, you have to understand what you can offer your audience and more importantly, why they need it in the first place. The best practices for accomplishing this are to identify a problem your audience can relate to and position your brand as a solution to that problem. This makes the call to action more enticing to the audience because it gives them a reason to follow your instructions.
This flyer begins by offering a benefit (a happy reaction from your mother) and follows up with a call to action: “Send us her photo.” Photo Credit: LeighAnn Loftus
Use actionable verbs and phrases
Almost every call to action includes a verb–but some verbs are stronger than others. Action words and phrases compel the reader to perform a task, which is the entire point of a call to action to begin with. Actionable verbs are ones that can actually be carried out by a person in a literal sense.
Good: “Call us today for a free sample” – this is actionable because “call” is a verb that can be carried out by a person.
Bad: “Give us a call for a free sample” – although “give” would normally be actionable, in this case what you’re giving is not a tangible object. You can’t literally hand someone a phone call.
Clarity is crucial
A call to action is only effective if it’s clearly understood by the audience. For starters, the font should be bold and easy to read, so avoid small or overly fancy fonts.
More importantly, the message itself should be easily understood. A clear message spells out exactly what the audience should do and how it will benefit them. Write your call to action using simple language-avoid jargon or confusing terms.
Here’s an example:
Good: “Visit our website! “
Bad: “Point your web browser towards our home page.”
The call to action here is quick and to the point: “ENTER NOW” and a corresponding URL. Photo Credit: Jennie Myers
Make the action as easy as possible
The reader should be able to go directly from the call to action to performing the task itself, so make sure he has everything he need to follow up. For example, if you want them to call, provide a phone number.
However, you also have to consider what kind of phone number you use and if it presents any other problems to your customer. For example, a customer is more willing to call a local number or a toll-free number than a long-distance number.
If you want your customer to visit your website, provide an address. However, if you also provide a QR code, then customers with smart phones or tablet devices can immediately visit your site without having to type an address.
If your goal is for your audience to visit your website, make sure to include a clear and noticeable URL, such as the one on this flyer. Photo Credit: Veronica Varetsa
Writing a call to action is more effective when the audience is only being asked to complete one task. Multiple phrases asking the audience to perform different tasks can be confusing and audiences can loose interest when they think there is a lot of work involved.
However, if you have to have multiple calls to action, make sure one is clearly dominant while the others are just there to work towards the main goal.
This flyer has multiple examples of calls to action, but one dominates the others: “Buy at Fine Retail Stores.” Photo Credit: Fran Linden
For example, the end goal may be to have customers sign up for a free consultation, but they might have multiple options for doing so. By using both “Call us to sign up for a free consultation” and “Visit our website and sign up for a free consultation” in your copy it makes it clear to the audience that signing up is the most important action.
A better way to achieve this would be to eliminate the other calls to action altogether. “Sign up for a free consultation by phone or on our website” is much clearer.
Create a sense of urgency
A time limitation makes your calls to action a bit stronger because it adds a sense of urgency. However this doesn’t have to be a strict measurement of time, just a general feeling of importance.
Good: “Call us today” – This call to action gives the audience a firm measurement of time to work with and creates a sense of importance.
Good: “Call now” – This is even more urgent and implies the offer may not last forever (even if that’s not the case.) The audience understands the importance of calling soon.
Bad: “Call anytime” – This implies that the offer is always available and that there’s no need to call immediately, which makes it more likely that the audience will forget to call completely.
A sense of urgency helps to make your call to action (such as the one on this flyer) more persuasive. Photo Credit: Darren @ Mass Appeal Designs
Answer the reader’s questions
Customers want to know what will happen if they follow your call to action and how doing so will benefit them. Many people in your audience will be skeptical to follow your instructions unless they’re given more information on what happens after doing so.
Quell your reader’s fears
Call to action phrases can be used to help your audience get over any opposition they may have. Identify and demolish any misgivings your audience may feel towards your brand and add statements that provide reassurance.
For example, a reader may not want to call because they’re afraid of being sucked into a long sales pitch. Therefore, you might say something like “Call now and in less than five minutes you can get a great deal on your insurance.”
Make an offer they can’t refuse
Sometimes a special offer can go a long way towards convincing skeptical audience members to follow your call to action. This might be a free gift, guarantee , special discount or other incentives to sweeten the deal.
“Order today and get half-off the cost of shipping.” “Call now and ask about our buy-one, get one offer.” “Sign up for our mailing list to receive special member coupons.”
Be upfront in your call to action if there are any limitations to your offer, such as a time limit or per-customer limit.
The fact that buyers can ‘save over $700’ makes the call to action on this flyer especially persuasive. Photo Credit: Mike Greenwald
Just like any message you want to drive home, repetition makes your call to action more effective. Repeat your call to action several different ways and in different areas to make sure the message is clear.
Take a look at these examples:
“Visit us at the corner of Main and Maple to receive a free quote” “Come to our downtown location for your free quote” “Ask for your free quote at our Main and Maple location.” “Drive downtown today for your free quote.”
Use colors and graphics
A call to action is more effective when it stands out from the rest of your design. Try using a contrasting font color to make the call to action pop. Red is an effective call to action color because it’s bright and creates a sense of urgency, but you can use any distinctive color that matches your design.
The bright red color helps this mailer’s call to action really stand out. Photo Credit: Burton Creative
Leave white space
A call to action should usually be sightly larger than the surrounding paragraph text so that readers recognize it as something separate. This also makes it easier to scan and read. People don’t always take action right away; a large call to action ensures that they will find it easily if they look at the ad later.
When the customer actually does follow through on your call to action, what happens next? It’s your responsibility to make sure that when they follow your instructions, it’s easy for them to follow the next step towards a sale or conversion.
And the next step.
For example, if you ask them to call your office, make sure someone is on the other end waiting to take their call and to explain the next step of the process. If the office is closed, there should be an automated message that explains the process and gives the customer instructions on when to call back.
Practice makes perfect, and your best call to action ideas will likely come to you after you’ve become more familiar with the process. Take the time to perform writing exercises, coming up with different ways to instruct your audience and drive them towards your brand’s end goal.
What sort of calls to action do you find to be effective in your printed material? What calls to action have you yourself acted upon in the past? Here’s a call to action for you: share your responses, tips and examples in the comments!
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4 Responses to “14 Tips for Writing the Best Call to Action (With Examples)”
I found your examples and suggestion to be very helpful , I intend to apply this information as I work on my call to action. I truly thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to share this information, I plan on applying it today in marketing my new sculpture, “Turn Two – Double Play
Some good tips there. I think however that a few of these flyers are even still a little too busy in design. I am forever trying to encourage my clients to create simple punchy ads so that the message is to the point. Product – Call to action – URL and finished.
Great call to action content
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- 17 Call To Action Examples (+ How to Write the Perfect Social CTA)
October 21, 2022 46 Comments Mark Quadros
A call to action can make or break the success of your social media campaign. If you use the right words, your CTA will inspire your audience to take action — click on your ad, download your ebook, add an item to cart… you name it. On the other hand, if your CTA isn’t catchy and persuasive, your audience will simply scroll past without noticing it.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about social media calls to action : what they are, what makes a CTA successful, and how to craft a persuasive CTA for your next campaign. We’ve also included 17 call to action examples (from social media and beyond) to get you inspired. That’s right: we’ve also included great examples from email campaigns and landing pages — because a good CTA is a good CTA, regardless of where it’s placed.
Let’s jump in!
What is a call to action (CTA)?
A call to action (or CTA) is a text prompt designed to inspire the target audience of a marketing campaign to take a desired action. For example, a call to action can encourage people to click on a link, leave a social media comment, visit an online store, make a purchase, etc.
A call to action can take up different forms:
- Plain text with no link
“Buy Now” or “Download Now” are typical examples of simple calls to action.
But a CTA can run longer, too, such as “Subscribe today so you’ll never miss a post.” The possibilities are endless.
Call to action examples from AdEspresso
A good CTA can help with decision fatigue and give meaning to your content. Even if it’s just a two-word phrase, users need some direction to know what to do next.
CTAs that create a sense of urgency will also help increase conversions .
As long as it encourages potential customers to stay engaged on your site, then your call to action has done its job.
Note that having one CTA highlighted is the most common way. At the same time, some marketers use both primary and secondary call to actions in their marketing. We’ll review some best practices of this later on.
How to write an effective CTA for social media (and beyond)
Social media is all about getting users to click on your posts and ads and engage. However, it’s no longer as easy as it sounds. 22.3% of people using ad blockers say there are “too many ads.”
It’s tough out there.
To combat this, increase your conversions and engagement with a compelling call to action on your ads and elsewhere on the web. Let’s see how you can achieve this.
Use strong action words
Writing short and strong CTAs is not only more persuasive, but it’s also necessary due to the character limits on ads. Start with a verb (“buy”) and follow with an adverb (“now”) or a subject (“ebook”) or both.
Here are two call to action examples to the above statement: “Buy Now” or “Download this ebook now.”
Below are some of the most common call to action verbs broken down by intention. Simply pair them with the offering of your business.
Tip: check your call to action against the LIFT Model (see below).
If we took our example from above, it would look something like this:
Download = relevance
this ebook = clarity
now = urgency
Download this ebook = value proposition
Use the text surrounding your call to action to:
- Reduce distractions (i.e., remove unnecessary links, images, etc.)
- Ease anxiety (e.g., add the disclaimer “no credit card required”)
Provoke emotion or enthusiasm
If you want to evoke an emotional response in your users, opt for a longer CTA. You’ll need to incorporate more modifiers in this case to get the desired effect.
Here are some examples:
- Add numbers: “Buy now and get 50% off!”
- Add adjectives: “Find your dream home with us!”
- Make a promise: “Lose weight in just 6 weeks!”
- Influence their FOMO: “Limited time offer. Get free shipping!”
- Play up your USP: “Order a hand-made soap now!”
Think up your own
You don’t need to stick to the good old examples, though. Get creative and make up your own call to actions.
First, verbalize to yourself what your company does for its customers (or simply look at your mission statement). For example, I run a spa where people get facial treatments.
Next, transform the verbs and modifiers into a 2-5 word call to action. Add relevant information where necessary → “ Get a free mud mask” or “ Treat yourself today!”
“Period better” – Thinx opted for the unique use of the word “period” as a verb in their CTA.
Tip: nobody gets their CTAs right the first time. Run at least one A/B test (but preferably more) on your ad to evaluate the strength of your call to action.
13 of the Best Call to Action Examples for 2022
In the following section, you’ll see what the techniques mentioned above look like in practice. Steal and customize the best CTA examples for your campaigns!
Facebook Ad CTAs
We’ll examine some Facebook ads with classic call to action examples. They may seem simple at first, but there’s more to uncover than what you see on the surface.
This ad from ClickUp is likely part of a retargeting campaign . Even if you don’t watch the video, the ad copy offers plenty of calls to action on its own.
Why it works
- Same CTA in the headline and the first sentence of the ad = the offer is clear (“Get 15% off”)
- The CTA is supported by objection-handling statements, such as “save 1 day a week”, “guaranteed,” and a list of features
- The “Learn More” call to action button assures the audience that they’ll get more info before committing
2. Shaw Academy
Can you spot all the call to actions in this Facebook ad? Hint: there are at least seven. Every element is coordinated here to instill a sense of urgency in the audience. Take note of the exploding colors, the alarm emoji, the many exclamation marks, and the multiple CTAs.
- Beautiful, contrasting colors with a CTA that stands out
- Multiple call to actions
- Sense of urgency to take action
Babbel is a language learning app that comes at you strong with various CTAs for their Facebook offer. It works because even if you don’t know this app, it quickly establishes a trust factor (“over 500,000 5-star reviews”). The post then draws you in with an attractive offer.
- The primary call to action is clear and direct: “Get up to 60% off!”
- They use the “Get Offer” CTA button to instill a sense of gratification in the audience
- Including the action word “join” + the number of reviews in the same sentence is a way to evoke the feeling of belonging to a community
Hootsuite keeps it brief and concise with a few very targeted CTAs.
- All the call to actions are focused at the bottom while benefits are at the top of the post
- The “Learn More” CTA button leaves any extra info for the landing page
Instagram Ad CTAs
Sure, “swipe up” is available on Instagram ads, but you can get more clever than that. Below are some creative call to action examples for your Insta campaigns.
Headspace’s Instagram ad is the perfect example of a custom-made call to action. “Snuggle up to Headspace” evokes a cozy feeling in users and personalizes the brand. Words like “snuggle” fit into the category of sensory words .
- They (smartly) opt to draw attention to the custom-made CTA and leave the “Get 30% off” as a secondary CTA
- They use the CTA button “Subscribe” after that to make it clear how that snuggling up will happen
- Coupled with a sweet, serene image, the whole CTA experience feels more like a gentle nudge for meditation and less like an ad
As an event-type ad, Elementor gets it right. It displays all the key information regarding the event (name, speakers, date, and time).
Why it works:
- The two most eye-catching elements on the ad are the headline and the call to action button. They both have the same contrasting colors that stand out against the dark background.
- Both call to action buttons (‘Save Your Seat’ and ‘Book now’) are very concise and direct
- The old-school flair of the ‘save’ icon next to the CTA button works well with the target audience (likely consisting of more technical people)
7. Nøie Skincare
You have probably seen call to action examples like this in the advertising strategy of ecommerce brands. The main goal is to sell. At the same time, the ad focuses on the experience instead of rushing to take the user to a web page. In this case, “Shop Now” is the type of CTA that is direct, yet, the ad copy does most of the selling.
- The emphasis is on the product experience, which makes having just one call to action sufficient
- “Shop Now” is direct and to the point. The prospective customers know where they will be taken from the post
8. VAI Course
Esther Inman’s VAI Course ad keeps it fresh with the colors and a simple call to action button.
- The CTA text on the ad itself boasts about its main USP: the user gets a remote job pack every Friday
- The “See More” call to action button leaves the audience at ease knowing that they can still learn more about the product before signing up
Email conversion rates can soar as high as 15% . Take a look at the following email call to action examples from some brands who are doing it right.
9. Black Illustrations
Design agency, Black Illustrations prefers to use multiple CTAs in their email marketing. You can run your own test on this strategy, but it makes sense to include a few secondary call to action buttons if you have a relatively long email. Black Illustrations also adds a hyperlinked CTA to further help guide users to take action.
- Multiple CTA buttons (and hyperlinks) in a long email can increase your conversion rates.
- “Free with a subscription” stands out and keeps the main message clear for the user
- The color choice for the button works well with the brand yet still stands out
The audience analysis tool, Audiense, prefers the long CTA route in their email marketing. Phrases like “show me…” or “take me to…” create a clear value proposition and helps the user feel in control.
- Using multiple words and first-person phrasing in your call to action could increase your relatability and CTR
- Users get a better sense of the type of page that awaits them after clicking
- When using a long-form CTA, you get to test a wider variety of versions
Landing page CTAs
Landing pages are great subjects to run a CTA test or two on. Below are some great call to action examples for your next campaign.
11. Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss’s email sign-up landing page is as minimalistic as it gets. No top menu, no links, or other distracting web components.
- The distraction-free page keeps the focus on the main CTA: to sign up for the newsletter
- The black headline and black CTA button provide a striking contrast to the white background
- “Get access” is a great call to action to use if you want to establish the feeling of receiving exclusive content in the user
Joy is a Canadian company that offers a razor subscription service for women. Their landing page is concise and fits all information to the visible area. The CTA button stands out as it’s the darkest element on the page.
- The contrasting color of the button helps users easily navigate to the next step
- The CTA copy itself follows ecommerce best practices: “add to cart” is an easy-to-recognize button in the industry
- The small-cap lettering (which fits the brand) lends a unique look to an otherwise highly used CTA
Leadfeeder’s own lead-generation landing page is simple with a clear value proposition. On the left, you get a summary of the ebook. On the right, you will need to provide some basic info and then click “Get the Guide” to submit your request.
- The CTA button is the only green item on the page
- “Get the Guide” engages the users with a clear offer
Your landing pages may be the focus of your ad strategy. Still, it’s necessary to create a homepage with just as much converting power. Meet a few thought-out CTA examples below for your website!
Touchland is here to sanitize your hands without making a mess. The “checklist” on the left (keys, wallet, phone, touchland) is cheeky. It’s a clever storytelling technique to place visitors into a familiar scenario while introducing the product.
- “Get yours” implies that a lot of people already have one – you will only fit in if you get yours
- The transparent call to action button gives the website an airy feel to it, which is on track for a business that sells a mist
With COVID-19 restrictions coming and going, travel sites like Airbnb have to develop ways to stay top of mind. They achieve this by featuring a wishlist of outdoor spaces and a dreamy illustration on their website.
- “Get inspired” is a soft CTA that invites the user to explore ideas for future travel (and remarketing)
- The call to action button itself stands out against the pastel-colored background
Smartlook is a user behavior analysis tool. They closely follow website best practices by placing a “hero” section above the fold (tagline+description+CTA). The main goal of the site is to prompt visitors to sign up for a free trial.
- The colorful call to action button provides a stark contrast against the grey and blue background – an immediate eye-catcher
- Using red and yellow colors on the button evokes a mixture of excitement and optimism in hesitant visitors
- The copy on the button says “Create free account” and the supporting text underneath is “No credit card required.” Both copies aim to overcome the subconscious objections of prospective users (Will it cost me anything? Will they charge my credit card?)
17. Ecom World
Ecom World is the website for “The World’s Largest Ecommerce Event.” They placed all of the most important info above the fold: what+when+where+the CTA.
- The call to action button coordinates well with the rest of the design elements. Throughout the site, the most crucial info tends to be highlighted in black.
- Multiple CTAs could increase conversions . Here, the “Buy Tickets” CTA appears three times above the fold alone (main navigation, in the hero, and in the sticky nanobar)
CTA buttons: Why they matter & how to use them
You can — and should — use CTAs on all types of marketing materials and on every platform you’re marketing on. This includes PPC ads of course, but it also includes landing pages, websites, blogs, newsletters, emails, and more. Sometimes, this means that you just need to stick to a plain-text CTA that’s possibly hyperlinked.
In plenty of cases, though, there’s a good chance that you would benefit significantly from clickable CTA buttons.
That’s why even Facebook has short, clickable CTA buttons that you can add to every ad campaign, and why you’ll see so many landing pages with bright “Sign Up Now!” text in a big yellow button. Clickable CTA buttons specifically have been proven many times over to increase conversion rates significantly. One study found that adding a CTA button to their article templates increased conversions by 83%, and it boosted ecommerce conversions by 22%. Copyblogger found something similar; when their CTAs looked like buttons instead of plain text, they saw a conversion rate increase of 45% .
Let’s take a look at a few best practices for CTA buttons and how to use them in ads and on your site (including site pages, landing pages, and even your blog.
You know we had to start with Facebook Ads!
For a few years now, Facebook has had clickable CTA buttons built into the native interface. Button options include “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” “Download,” “Send Message,” and more. The idea is that you can use these CTA buttons to reinforce your ads, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
You should absolutely always include a CTA button on your ad campaigns in addition to using a CTA in the headline and/or description copy, too. Users intuitively are more likely to click when they see that button prompting them to take action without even realizing it.
Remember to tailor your CTA based on the ad that you’re running and the stage of the funnel that you’re targeting. Opting for “learn more” for users earlier in the funnel can feel lower-risk and less pressure than starting with a “Shop Now,” but this depends on the ad and the audience.
And if you’re wondering if these CTAs matter, know that they most definitely do. AdEspresso recently ran a $1000 experiment testing different types of CTA buttons on Facebook Ads to see what was most successful – and the result was astounding.
Overall, the top performer (Download) gained 49 conversions for $5.10 each, while the worst performing CTA (no button at all) achieved only 20 conversions at $12.50.
This means that you can end up paying more than twice as much for a conversion depending on the CTA you choose – something we would have never figured out without split testing.
We recommend testing out your CTA buttons using our internal split test engine to see which your audience responds to. This will allow you to test every possible combination of CTAs, and allow you to easily determine which is giving you the most conversions for the cheapest price.
AdEspresso can even automatically pause your underperforming combinations using our Automatic Optimization feature , taking the guesswork out of campaign management altogether.
Your Website & Landing Pages
It’s always a good idea to use clickable CTA buttons to help users navigate through your site and to take certain actions. This is important both for your general website and your landing pages, too.
You can use these buttons to prioritize certain actions or to take users through typical paths that users follow when they’re most likely to convert. (On my site, for example, Google Analytics has shown that people who visit my portfolio page first are 6x more likely to get in touch with me than those who just view my contact page first.)
On landing pages and the home page of your website, you’ll want to make sure that the CTA button meets the following criteria:
- It uses contrasting colors to jump out at the user.
- It’s clearly a clickable button designed to improve navigation.
- It utilizes brief copy on the button itself but is often surrounded by copy that adds context and makes it more persuasive (like the example above).
- It should appear above the fold on the page, meaning that users can see at least one CTA button before they’d need to scroll down to see more information on the page. Make sure you take this into account on both desktop and mobile sites.
When you’re creating landing pages and site pages, remember to test them. Most people don’t realize that you can test site pages just like you would PPC campaigns when you’re using tools like Unbounce . Test different types of CTA copy, different placements, or even different colored buttons. Look for what works best, and optimize your pages accordingly. You can learn more about how to do this by checking out our $1000 case study here .
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February 21, 2018 at 9:03 pm
March 14, 2018 at 1:14 am
What a list! Huge! Thanks for sharing such an incredible list. Either way, keep doing good work!
July 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm
My name is Kevin and I am a Senior Project Manager at IdeaPros, a company that turns ideas into real life businesses – similar to an incubator. Our team consists of experienced professionals, which have the capacity to turn any idea into a successful business. There is one aspect that we are lacking, which is the copywriting and compelling call to actions for landing pages/websites. We need someone that has experience in creating compelling call to actions and copywriting in order to intrigue customers/visitors to purchase a product.
Our company has over 120 clients, which is growing everyday. We are a high-caliber company with constantly growing client list.
We are looking for a marketing professional to refine the copy and call to actions on the websites that we make. From describing the product to creating simple sentences, we need someone to produce this content. There will be numerous projects a week and the work will never end, hence we will negotiate a price that is fair for the long run. Please let me know.
Warm Regards, Kevin Nguyen IdeaPros | Senior Project Manager [email protected]
July 11, 2018 at 11:18 am
Hey Kevin, I think this FREE webinar can be very helpful More Than Words: How To Write the Perfect Facebook Ads Copy It will go live on Tuesday, July 17th, at 10 am (PST). Mark it on your calendar and reserve your spot now by clicking here !
August 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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September 15, 2018 at 4:01 am
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November 15, 2018 at 9:33 am
Very informative article with good reference. Very useful and informative for front end designers. Keep up the good work.
October 10, 2021 at 2:53 am
Can we have updated version of this article. Web has changed a lot since this was published first. Thanks
November 29, 2018 at 10:44 am
Thanks much, practical suggestions.
December 15, 2018 at 10:28 am
Thanks for the nice article, Ana. Just wondering whether the rules are sort of persisting or a fashion thing. If everyone is doing it the same way, won’t readers get fed up with it and resist the CTA? By the way, Happy New Year!
December 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm
Excellent article! Thanks for sharing exceptional value-added content.
January 8, 2019 at 1:33 am
thanks to sharing this very good article about call to action good examples ..good job
January 8, 2019 at 1:35 am
the wonderful information call to action thank you so much great job thank you
January 16, 2019 at 8:01 am
Thanks for sharing!
January 17, 2019 at 7:29 am
Hi Buddy, thanks for the nice and informational post… Loved it!
February 3, 2019 at 7:29 am
Thank you for sharing this valuable information which is easy to implement.
March 2, 2019 at 4:17 am
April 9, 2019 at 11:45 pm
great post on CTA
April 11, 2019 at 11:53 pm
These CTA examples are very useful.
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April 17, 2019 at 10:09 am
Loved your article!!! Very detail explanation, thanks for sharing the information! I need to try it now 🙂
April 20, 2019 at 4:31 am
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April 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm
Nice information. Thanks
April 30, 2019 at 4:41 am
Amazing article – it is good to know, that other websites also name small details as the most crucial ones. We can see, that every step requires personalization, that is the reason why we created unique CTA phrases generator – http://www.ctagenerator.com
July 4, 2019 at 1:36 am
Hey Ana, I want to thank you for shariing your knowledge with us. I really appreciate you for such a great post. You have provided lots of information in an easy and understandable way.
September 20, 2019 at 10:33 am
Thanks for sharing such awesome call to action examples just loved it. definitely going to try these example in our next campagin.
November 9, 2019 at 4:10 am
A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You often see call to action examples in persuasive writing. Once a brand has made its case in a blog post or video, for instance, they’ll often include a call to action at the end.
November 30, 2019 at 6:53 am
One of the best uses of FOMO in your CTA is to mention a sale or promotion that your company is holding, and which won’t last forever. You probably get emails with this sort of messaging all the time, I know I sure do. I’m talking about messaging like “Shop today! Sale ends on Monday,” perhaps during a three-day weekend. Or even “buy now while supplies last!” during the holiday season. It’s tough to ignore a prompt like that, especially during a time-sensitive, under-the-gun type of situation (e.g. the Christmas season). Similar to provoking enthusiasm as we discussed earlier, provoking fear of missing out in your CTA is sure to get you some additional clicks.
December 21, 2019 at 2:00 am
Getting the balance of ‘you’ and ‘us’ is important everywhere else in your website (and emails!). (Re #37 above)
January 24, 2020 at 3:14 am
Great post always testing different CTA on both Facebook and Adwords to see what can improve CTR and Conversions. The examples above are highly useful to get me thinking more creatively.
March 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm
Do you have a preferred call-to-action, or perhaps one that surprised you with how well it did? What about one that you were hoping would perform well but ended up bombing? I’d love to hear about it, so feel free to sound off below!
May 20, 2020 at 6:02 pm
I used CRO based CTR label variations with button colors and it helped me to improve leads.
June 7, 2020 at 11:31 am
informative article, thanks for sharing this article.
June 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm
Nice post I learned a lot here thanks.
June 19, 2020 at 2:20 am
Thanks for sharing such awesome call to action examples. you have explained it very will. i have also written on same you can visit my website: Hestabit
July 24, 2020 at 9:01 pm
This list is just what I was looking for. I was in need of a CTA for my ad I was doing so this was timely. Thanks!
January 26, 2021 at 10:38 pm
Absolutely useful article, I’m crafting my first landing page and I so need it.
February 13, 2021 at 2:42 am
You have a very good list of CTA examples here. Thank for working hard to provide these example with great explanations.
May 16, 2021 at 12:51 am
Very much useful article, I have been using this, But in different industries it’s very much useful.
May 18, 2021 at 6:36 am
Having the right CTA can make all the difference to your business’s bottom line.
May 18, 2021 at 8:23 am
CTAs have always been a weak spot, but this is super helpful. Thanks!
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20 Call to Action Examples + How To Write a CTA That Converts
Are you looking for the best call to action examples that will inspire your customers to take action?
Ecommerce businesses often struggle to get their site visitors to take action without being too pushy. The good news is, it’s easier than it may seem.
In many cases, all it takes is a minor tweak to your call to action (CTA) to see conversions increase.
In today’s post, we will show you 20 perfect call to action examples. Our examples include both call to action buttons and worded call to action phrases.
What Is a Call to Action?
The importance of a good call to action, how to write a call to action that converts, 10 perfect button call to action examples, 10 well-worded call to action examples.
Let’s start with the call to action meaning, its importance, and how you can write one.
Call to action definition : A Call to Action (CTA) is a prompt or instruction to encourage the target audience to take a specific action and typically involves getting your audience to click on a link.
The purpose of a CTA is to persuade the audience to take the desired action, which could be anything from purchasing a product or signing up for a service to downloading an eBook or filling out a survey. CTAs are typically designed to be attention-grabbing and prominently displayed to maximize effectiveness.
CTAs can be delivered through various mediums, including websites, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, and advertisements.
Common call to action example includes “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” “Subscribe Today,” “Download Your Free Trial,” “Register for Our Webinar,” “Join Our Mailing List,” and “Contact Us Today.”
These are all common types of CTAs that you’ve likely run into before and generally come in two types, both related to links.
You can have CTA as a button or a link with anchor text; the latter is more common in social media posts, blog posts, or other text-based content.
So what is a CTA? Again, it’s simply any direct command that encourages your audience to take action.
And the surprising truth about CTAs? They’re crucial for increasing your conversions and sales.
You may not believe it, but your call to action is essential for your bottom line. A well-worded call to action may be the difference between your business thriving and tanking.
And no, that’s not an exaggeration. Protocol 80 sourced the following statistics to show the value of CTAs:
This small aspect of your marketing strategy can lead to some significant changes. That’s why you must be extra particular about presenting your call to action to your customer.
Otherwise, you risk leaving unnecessary conversions and profits on the table. So let’s check out some best practices and call to action examples for creating highly clickable CTAs.
Creating the perfect call to action can be tricky. The goal is to ask your audience to do something without coming off too pushy, which can be a tricky line to walk.
Plus, your language to craft your call to action changes depending on your audience. That means there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to creating a solid call to action. However, some general guidelines are always true.
OptinMonster has written an extensive article on creating the perfect call to action . If you haven’t read that yet, you definitely should.
Here are a few of the most important tips in that article, along with a few new ideas to make your CTA extra clickable.
Let’s take a look at each point in more detail.
Tailor Your Call to Action to the Platform
Your call to action button changes depending on where you deliver it to your audience. On your website, you’re bound to have a call to action button encouraging people to use your product or service.
The button’s CTA is probably short, and something like “ Get Started Today! ”
However, you may write posts on social media with a longer, more in-depth call to action that asks users to click a subsequent link.
These may read something like, “Take advantage of our 15% off discount by clicking the link and start shopping today! ”
The length and copy of your call to action must be appropriate for your platform. For example, CTA buttons are typically shorter (3-7 words), and text-based CTAs can be longer. But a good rule is to make them as concise as possible.
That said, we’ll see some call to action phrases later that you can use as templates for your blog or social media posts.
Begin Your CTA With a Strong Command Verb
Believe it or not, people like to be told what to do. However, it would be best to strive for conciseness and clarity when telling customers what to do. After all, humans have so much going on in their everyday lives that it’s better to have a straightforward, specific task to follow.
So your call to action isn’t the time to dance around what you want. Instead, be straightforward and begin your CTA with a command verb.
For example, which of these calls to action is more likely to get clicks:
- Signup now for your free eBook
- Why not join today?
While neither should be the golden standard for a CTA, the first is the clear winner. It shows you a benefit for taking action (which we’ll discuss later) and does all the thinking for you by starting with a command verb.
However, the second one poses a question and gets you thinking about why you can’t join today.
Remember, a good call to action takes as much thinking out of the equation as possible.
Use Power Words
Related to using a command verb to start, you should be using power words to enhance the copy of your CTA. Power words trigger a psychological or emotional response from the reader.
While readers understand a regular CTA, readers feel a great one. Power words get your audience feeling something that encourages them to take action.
So rather than “ Take advantage of our offer to increase your sales today ,” you may write, “ Take advantage of our once-in-a-lifetime offer to skyrocket your sales now! ”
Small additions of power words like “once-in-a-lifetime,” “skyrocket,” and “now” make the second option a much more clickable call to action. And if you need some help with power words, you’re in luck.
Need more wildly successful power words to revolutionize how you write your CTAs? Check out OptinMonster’s comprehensive list .
(☝️See what we did with the power words there?)
Foster Curiosity and Anticipation
One strategy for creating a killer call to action is to foster curiosity and anticipation.
Building curiosity would be like, “ Learn how this former pizza delivery guy started a 7-figure online business at home .”
To effectively build curiosity, you reveal the result of whatever story you’re telling in your content without showing how you’ll get there. The goal is to connect your audience with something they want (the result) and get them curious about how to achieve it.
Anticipation is another strategy that works better for selling products. Again, you’re selling someone the result that your product brings and getting them excited for their new life change.
For example, an online fitness coach may make a call to action such as “ Transform into your sexiest self today! ”
This paints an image of the customer’s desired result and excites them about that dream becoming a reality. This anticipation drives them to take action.
Show Benefits and Use Social Proof
Another excellent method for spicing up your call to action is showing a tangible benefit or relying on social proof . Showing your audience a real benefit for your call to action usually (but not always) involves offering a discount or promotion.
These calls to action usually start with the command verb “save” or “redeem” and read something like “ Save 25% by joining today!” or “ Redeem your 2-for-1 coupon right now! ”
Writing your CTA with a benefit adds an extra incentive (a value proposition ) to the equation that boosts your conversion rate. But you also have another trick up your sleeve: Social proof.
The most common type of social proof for CTAs is leveraging fear of missing out (FOMO). Fear of missing out is a phenomenon that occurs in most consumers and is super powerful.
Many infomercials saw huge sales increases when their call to action changed from “ Call now, operators are standing by “to “ If lines are busy, please call again! ”
When listeners heard the first CTA, they thought, “If operators are standing by, it must not be a popular product.” But when they heard the second CTA, the opposite occurred. They thought, “If lines are busy, this product must be top-rated . I should call.”
FOMO is an incredibly powerful tool that you can start using to craft stronger CTAs that lead to much higher click-through rates (CTRs).
If you want to start using social proof, we recommend trying TrustPulse .
TrustPulse specializes in positive action notification popups. You’ve likely seen these before, probably even while reading this article:
These small popups leverage social proof to increase conversions by up to 15% . Adding this type of social proof is an absolute no-brainer for such a small change to your site to have such a massive impact on your sales.
It helps you drive business and improves the user experience by adding credibility to your product.
And while we’d love for you to go with TrustPulse, we know other options exist.
That’s why we remind users never to use software that encourages or allows fake social proof .
If users learn that your positive action notifications are fabricated or fraudulent, you’ll have an uphill battle earning back their trust.
This a small disclaimer, but very important to keep in mind as you build your site or brand’s authenticity . This is crucial as you strive to maintain your company’s online reputation .
Boost your sales by up to 15% by joining TrustPulse today !
Get Creative to Catch Your Audience’s Attention
One of the hardest things to do in the digital world is to separate yourself from the noise. The only way to truly stand out is to get creative. The Harmon Brothers are incredible at this.
They’ve made such viral ads as the Squatty Potty, Poo Pourri, and Goldilocks & the Purple Mattress:
These ads did exceptionally well and got many viewers to take action.
Why? Because they stand out in a world of boring advertising. And you can do the same.
You don’t need to create mythical creatures or spend millions on video production. You need to get creative in connecting with your audience. Use language that stands out from the standard messaging and grabs the eye.
Plus, you can use various visual creation tools to make stunning images and videos without breaking the bank.
For example, the company Manpacks used a call to action that hit home with its audience:
Build a manpack.
It’s strong, simple, and built curiosity in men who wondered, “What is a manpack, and why do I suddenly feel like I need one?”
If you’re confident in your marketing skills , try to break free from the mold and experiment with a creative copy .
Okay, now that we have some tips on writing a clickable call to action, let’s see how some of the best companies in the world do it. We’ll be splitting our call to action examples into two sections:
- Call to action buttons
- Text-based calls to actions
Let’s get started.
On most websites, you’ll see calls to action in the form of a button. Again, the text is usually concise (3-7 words) and clearly expresses what the company wants the user to do.
Let’s see some call to action examples from the biggest businesses in the world and how they craft their own CTAs.
Netflix has a straightforward, clear call to action. Their easy-to-spot “Try it now” button stands apart from the rest of the page with its bold color scheme.
Plus, the copy implies that you can try the software before committing.
You don’t need to get too creative when your brand is as famous as Netflix. This simple call to action example is all it takes for hundreds of new subscribers each month.
This is just one of HelloFresh’s call to action examples. The fun little “Get Cooking” button is authentic to their brand. Plus, it makes people imagine themselves already in the kitchen preparing tasty meals for the family.
A lot is going in this call to action example: imagery, the testimonial by HuffPost, and the call to action. They don’t give too many details on the software, so the phrase “See how it works” is terrific at building curiosity and anticipation.
Nike has never been one to use two words when one will do. Their world-famous slogan, “Just do it,” is as straightforward as it gets. We shouldn’t expect anything else from their call to action.
The one word “Shop” is all they need to tell customers what to do. And if Nike is doing it, there must be something to the short-and-sweet approach.
The creators over at Basecamp are known for keeping things casual and never overthinking a decision. Their call to action fits their laidback style and welcomes people to test the software.
Sendinblue’s CTA is a refreshing change from the usual “Try Now.” The phrase “Take a free test drive” reminds users to try the software risk-free. This phrase also adds playful color to the animated image of the car on the righthand side.
Bluehost’s call to action example is a friendly reminder that people don’t want the ½ inch drill; they want the ½ inch hole. When most people think of site builders, they think of platforms like WordPress.
The last thing they want to think about? Finding the right host.
Bluehost plays on this emotion by avoiding phrases about site hosting and dives straight into site creation. After all, that’s what their visitors hope to accomplish from Bluehost.
8. LiveChat Inc
LiveChat Inc ‘s CTA is short, to the point, and adds the value proposition. It stands out because of its bold red coloring (like we saw with Netflix) and reminds users to give the software a test spin free.
AWeber flirts with the CTA word-length limit, but they manage to pull it off. Their bold orange button color directly draws the reader’s eye to the message. They add the ” free ” value proposition to entice users to click through.
Here’s one last call to action example by one of the world’s most famous brands, Spotify. They use a green button on an orange background showing a well-placed contrast to draw your attention.
Like many other call to action examples, Spotify highlights that you can sign up and use their service at no cost or risk.
Let’s shift gears and look at longer, text-based forms call to action examples.
The following call to action examples come from blogs or social media. They are longer phrases that encourage users to click a link and redirect their attention to another page.
We couldn’t write this blog post on calls to action without referring to our parent company, OptinMonster . If you follow their blog (which you really should if you want to master lead generation tactics), you’ll notice they end their posts with a consistent call to action.
And this is standard practice for most blogs.
This small phrase asks people to share the post (if they enjoyed it) on various social media platforms. Examples like this are an important reminder that not all CTAs need to be sales-driven.
12. Neil Patel
Neil Patel is one of the world’s most famous marketing “gurus.” At the end of one of his posts, you’ll see he adds a call to action for people to sign up for his small course. Though the second CTA (“Start by clicking here”) is where users take action, it’s his first step that draws you in.
The bold “ Do This Now “ message is impossible to ignore and gets readers to follow to the next step.
13. The Art of Manliness
Though most people wouldn’t think the copy “Join the Strenuous Life” is catchy, it’s perfectly suited to their target audience. They are constantly writing about self-discipline, getting more “tough,” and putting yourself in difficult situations to grow as a person.
As such, this is the perfect call to action to tempt their user base.
14. Fitness Machine
A subtle call to action from personal trainer Jarryd Smith, this Facebook post asks users to engage. For example, they want to participate in a 5-day body transformation challenge. In that case, they need to leave a comment as indicated.
This is one great way of getting free traffic from Facebook.
WordStream has some good calls to action across their site, but this one comes from a Facebook post. They do a great job of building your anticipation and curiosity by offering a free Google Ad cost report.
This is a super enticing offer for any marketers who run paid ads.
Besides the fantastic imagery below this post, notice how LinkedIn uses some power words to spice up its CTA. In this case, the two most effective words are “secret” and “successful.”
Everything about this call to action indicates something you don’t know hinders your success with LinkedIn ads. And if you click through, they’ll be happy to show you.
Talk about leveraging FOMO.
This post on Twitter is more fun than the standard call to action. They take an old saying, “Everyone wants to eat, but few are willing to hunt,” to set up their CTA:
“Bring out the big guns.”
This goes a long way in building anticipation.
Grammarly does an excellent job with its calls to action. First, they have a killer service, so they never need to try too hard to attract customers. But they do well at getting writers excited to write.
Here, Grammarly encourages its users to “Tap into their creativity,” which is speaking their audience’s language.
Returning to blogs, we have another call to action example from the famous digital marketer Brian Dean. On his site, Backlinko, he uses a subtle call to action to encourage users to engage with his post.
Here, he isn’t redirecting his readers anywhere else and wants them to focus on leaving a comment.
20. Amy Porterfield
Our last call to action example is from Amy Porterfield, a marketing coach with loads of courses, podcasts, blogs, and just about any other kind of content you can imagine.
As she finishes one blog post, she adds a well-written call to action, “Click here to change your life with B-School!” If powerful language like that doesn’t build curiosity and anticipation, we don’t know what will.
Putting it All Together
We’ve covered a whole lot of ground today. Before wrapping up, we wanted to remind you that a perfect call to action is only part of the equation. In other words, no call to action will ever work if it’s the only thing people see.
So, to have the whole package, you need to work on a few different aspects of your site:
- Your web design
- Your site’s overall copy
- Create alluring content
- and any other strategy to get users to sign up for your services
So as we finish this post, it’s time to put our money where our mouth is and give you a few calls to action of our own.
If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook or Twitter . You can also let us know if you’ve seen or made an awesome example of a call to action.
Finally, are you 100% positive that you’re optimizing your site for the most sales possible? If you don’t have positive action notification software on your site, the answer is a firm “no.”
Ready to get started with the world’s best social proof software? Sign up for your risk-free TrustPulse account today !
Thanks for finally talking about > How to Write a Killer Call to Action (With 20 Perfect Examples) Christie]
You’re very welcome! We hope you enjoyed the post.
Thank you for this post, Deana. Picked up a few things from the 10-worded-CTAs section.
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