The call to action (CTA) is one of the key ingredients of an effective marketing campaign.

It’s a tool used to persuade, create a sense of urgency, and raise the level of interest, all through a simple line of text. Used within websites, emails, apps, print, and beyond, these tiny encouragements to move can have big results. A well-crafted CTA can make your conversion rate and sales skyrocket.

Yet, 53% of websites don’t have a clear CTA, readable in <3 seconds!


With so many types of call to action phrases it can be easy to sink into a rut of repeating the same tired CTAs.
Or, as seen above, forget to emphasize them enough so they’re immediately actionable. The art of testing call to action phrases might seem like a daunting task, but the rewards are worth the effort. Let’s explore the four main types of call to action phrases in more detail.

 

The Four Types of Call to Action Phrases


Topics This Article Explores:

 

cta phrases

1. CTA’s that Persuade

Marketing is all about persuading the potential customer on the value of the offer, and there are key trigger words that can help make your call to action phrases more successful. These include “new”, “free”, “because”, “results”, “guarantee”, “your”, and even “my”. These might seem like regular words, but they are there to compare your offerings against the competition in a favorable, positive manner, encouraging those on the fence to make a firm decision.

For example, the word “you” can shift the tone of copywriting so that it’s more conversational and engaging. Most importantly, the potential customer feels as if you’re directing the message at them instead of thousands of people at the same time. “My” has a similar effect, as customers empathize with the person who created the message. A targeted CTA will convert 42% better than a generic one, which means adding any touches that speak directly to the audience is a no-brainer.

Or imagine trying to decide between two similar dieting programs, but one of them guarantees their results. Which would you choose? You’re more likely to go for the one that uses the words “results” and “guarantee”, which overcome one of the main fears that all customers have – will the product actually work? Including these simple yet effective words into a CTA can transform the psychology of the audience.

The word “free” is another powerful asset that should be used in call to action phrases consistently. For example, let’s compare the following CTA’s:

  • Download My Video Course!
  • Download My Free Video Course!

The second CTA is more powerful because the word free is used to imply that there is no fee for the transaction. If you value this content, there is no barrier for you to begin immediately, versus putting this off until you can purchase the full series.

One interesting offshoot of this type of CTA phase uses reverse psychology. Instead of telling the customer they must take an action, tell them “Don’t Click Here”. This is both playful and engages their rebellious streak. Curious customers will explore just to see what’s on the other side.

Here are a few more examples of CTA’s that can help persuade the audience:

  • Free Consultation
  • Start Your Free Trial
  • Enjoy Free Gift
  • Subscribe to Our Free Catalog
  • Free Shipping for Orders over $20
  • Request My Free quote today
  • Receive Free eBook
  • 9̶9̶ Only $79
  • Over $500 Value
  • Clients Include
  • Contact Sales
  • New & Improved
  • Worn By…
  • Customers Say…
  • Results Guaranteed
  • No Strings Attached
  • No Commitment
  • No Credit Card Required
  • No Experience Required
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • #1
  • 5 Stars
  • Best Reviewed
  • Cancel Anytime
  • 1st Month Free
  • 100% Satisfaction Promise
  • Don’t Click Here

call to action guide

2. CTA’s that Create A Sense of Urgency

One of the biggest roadblocks for buyers making a decision is knowing that they can think about it and come back later. This is problematic, because potential customers can easily get lost and never come back again.

You can change this mentality by creating a sense of urgency for the offer. This will help induce a sense of emotion that pushes them to take advantage of the offer sooner rather than later. Creating a sense of urgency means using words like: now, immediately, hurry, offer ends on, last chance, today only, while supplies last, closing soon, and limited supply.

The majority of successful eCommerce sites use a combination of all of these call to action phrases, so you’ve probably come across them yourself. The psychology behind this tactic is to invoke a sense of fear that if they do not pull on the trigger now, they will miss out on the opportunity altogether. Called loss aversion or fear of missing out (FOMO), people are more likely to move out of fear than equal benefits.

Here are examples of CTA’s that make use of urgency:

  • Hurry! 50% off this week
  • All Products are 25% off, Today Only
  • Holiday Sale
  • Exclusive Discount
  • Check Out in 5 Minutes for 10% Off
  • Download Now
  • Act Quickly
  • Start Today
  • Now Hiring
  • For Faster Service…
  • Take the Challenge
  • Begin Now
  • Why Wait?
  • Offer Expires in 10 Minutes
  • Join Now
  • While Supplies Last
  • Reserve Your Spot
  • Limited Availability
  • Limited Edition
  • Join the Beta
  • Limited Time Offer
  • Don’t Miss It
  • Don’t Delay!
  • We’re Waiting For Your Call
  • Limited Stock
  • Closing Soon
  • Offer Ends 1/1
  • Get Started
  • Submit Today
  • Subscribe Now
  • Shop Now
  • Save Now
  • View Limited Deals
  • Save Today
  • Apply Now
  • Buy One Get One Free
  • Buy 2 receive 3rd item Free

call to action phrases

3. CTA’s that Imply Exclusivity

Another big reason why a customer will not buy immediately is because they want to “shop around” to see what else is out there. It’s easy to create 10 different tabs on your browser to compare a range of products. To get over this hurdle, you can tailor your CTA to suggest that the offer is exclusive and will not be found elsewhere.

It’s basic psychology that things that are perceived as exclusive are deemed to have more value. You can use this trick in your own CTA’s to increase the conversion rate. This includes using phrases like: exclusive access, limited spots, only available, subscribers/members only, now closed, and request an invitation.

Exclusivity makes the customer feel special and appreciated. Consequently, they will be more likely to sign up for the offer. Here are CTA ideas that imply exclusivity:

  • Subscribers Only
  • Join the Club
  • Private Access
  • 50 Spots Open
  • Limited Availability
  • Members Only
  • Join the Waiting List
  • Apply for Access
  • Custom Made
  • Only Available Here
  • World Exclusive
  • Limited Edition
  • Register
  • Sign In
  • Signature Series
  • 1 of 500
  • Speak to A Representative
  • By Appointment Only

call to action ideas

4. CTA’s that Raise Interest Level

A potential customer might be casually browsing the internet without intent to make a purchase. However, raising the interest level can lead to a purchase or — at the very least — an email subscription that can be used as an open line of communication to close the sale down the line.

Often these transition the conversation from a faceless corporate structure and onto a person who you can empathize with. Call to action phrases that can help raise interest level include: reply, share and contact me. Each of these words instructs the user to take a concrete action. So if you have an email list, you could add a message that says: “if you’re interested to find out more, reply to this email and I’ll get back to you”. Any replies that you get can help build rapport with the potential buyer, which will help improve your chances of closing a sale.

Another method of raising the interest level is translating information into a new format. Turning a blog article into a video, white paper, cheat sheet, or infographic can often extend the life of that content, while appealing to unique audiences. By playing with the content medium you can make unappetizing ideas more entertaining, even highly valuable.

Asking users to share content increases interaction with your brand, too. The phrase, “ask and you shall receive” really applies here – you’ll be surprised by how willingly people will share your content if you simply ask.

Here are some CTA’s that can help increase the interest level:

  • Take the Quiz
  • Visit Our Office
  • Read the Summary
  • Download the Checklist
  • View the White Paper
  • Watch
  • Play
  • Help
  • Questions?
  • FAQs
  • Subscribe
  • Search
  • Download the Infographic
  • Speak to an Expert
  • Share with Your Friends
  • Ask The Pros
  • Click to Call
  • Schedule a Consultation
  • Click Here for Details
  • Get The App
  • Contact Me
  • Say Hi
  • Email Me at…
  • Connect with Me on Social Media

CTA Examples

The Top Benefits of Improving Your Call to Action Phrases

1 – Increases Conversion Rate

Boosting traffic to your sales page typically requires an investment of time and money. To achieve the best profitability you have to make the most of the traffic that’s available. A well-executed CTA can increase the conversion rate and turn a marketing campaign into a huge success.

Experiment with different CTA’s to see which one is the most effective. A/B split testing is a great way to do that because it allows you to change a single variable and see which version produces better results.

 

2 – Presents A Clear Next Step

Once the audience has digested a piece of content, they need to see what its purpose is. Is there a product to buy? A membership to sign up for? Or an email newsletter to take advantage of? If there is, you must spell it out for them in the form of a CTA.

In some instances it might be easier to create the offer and then work backwards to create a suitable piece of content. This allows you to hint towards the benefits of the offer as you are producing the content.

 

CTA Phrase Examples

3 – Reduces Audience Confusion and Hesitation

The worst thing you can do is create a great piece of content with an amazing offer, but forget to put a link between them. The CTA must instruct the user on what to do, clearly. Often a cluttered page can add confusion to which action a customer should take first. A clear CTA reduces the confusion and helps the buyer understand that the time to act is now.

 

Are CTA Phrases Really This Important? Yes! Visitors that never click, never become customers.

Matching the right CTA with your offer can seem like a daunting prospect, but with practice you’ll learn which subtle changes make the biggest difference. It isn’t about finding one magic call to action, but leveraging multiple CTAs that best align to different segments of your audience. A great thing about marketing is that you can always test out a multiple options and check which ones increase the website conversion rate. Make a habit of continuously testing different CTA’s to improve your overall approach.

Click here to download the PDF edition of this article for future reference.

If you enjoyed this you may want to read up on our free marketing ideas or check out these marketing fails. Or study up on more website conversion tactics.

 

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