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What Is A Call-To-Action?

A Call to Action (or CTA) is an encouragement to perform a specific marketing action. In digital marketing, it generally refers to a button or link within or at the end of a piece of content that guides the reader into your sales funnel.

Some common CTAs involve giving the prospect more material to consider, asking them to sign up for a demo or trial, or encouraging them to get in touch with an organizational representative.

How To Write A Great Call-To-Action

Consuming a piece of content can be like reading a great nonfiction book—the information is valuable, but when you’ve finished you may not be quite sure what to do with your newfound knowledge.

CTAs exist to provide that direction, giving prospective customers next steps to take. Before you write a CTA, you need to decide what the next step you’d like the prospect to take is.

While not every CTA on your website needs to be unique, each one should make sense in the context of what the content is about. If there were a piece of content showing some of the behind-the-scenes happenings at your company, it wouldn’t make sense to append a CTA urging readers to “buy now”.

Here are a few tips for crafting an effective CTA:

1. Emphasize clarity

Explain exactly what action the potential customer needs to take and what they will gain by doing so. Avoid using generic language like “click here”, and instead use a strong verb that is more aligned with your goals, such as “join”, “find”, or “start”.

Remember that a CTA is meant to move prospects down a single path, so avoid offering too many options.

2. Create a sense of urgency

Position the next step as something only available for a limited time, or in limited quantities.

“Sign up for a membership today and get two weeks free” may seem like a decent CTA, but it implies the offer is perpetual.

“Sign up for a membership by April 30th and get two weeks free” does a better job at communicating the expectation for the potential customer to receive the value.

3. Be enthusiastic

This may seem a bit obvious, but the best marketing is done by those who believe in the value of what they’re selling, and this extends to CTAs. Never underestimate the power of an exclamation mark in creating a sense of excitement. There’s a big difference between “buy my book now” and “buy my book now!”

The Case For Testing Your CTAs

Believe it or not, writing the CTA is actually the easiest part of developing one. Thorough testing to determine optimal conversion should be conducted whenever a new CTA is placed on a website. As every website is different, there is no right answer, and in fact, there may not even be a right answer, which is why it’s up to you to find the best answer.

Every element of a CTA button should be iterated on. Experiment with colour, shape, font, and placement, and directly compare variants through A/B testing.

Conversion rate optimization is a very involved process, but ultimately, it is all in service of making that CTA as appealing to the prospect as possible.

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