Create an irresistible call to action

Let readers know what you want from them with a great call to action

A key part of any business communication is the call to action (CTA). A good CTA leaves your reader knowing exactly what to do next, and this makes them more likely to take that step, whether it’s buy this product; or fill in an enquiry form or call this number. But what makes a good call to action?

Why do I need CTAs in my content?

At a basic level, CTAs can make the reader do what you want.

But there’s more to it than that. CTAs make your reader interact with your content, and this helps foster emotional connections with your brand.

CTAs increase your reader’s commitment to you and your brand by getting her to take a freebie from you.

CTAs let you collect data about the people reading your communications – not just contact details, which are certainly valuable – but responses to your copy. If readers are not obeying the CTAs in your copy, it tells you that something is not quite right.

A great call to action is clear and simple

The best CTAs are simple. They require one single action that your reader can do. There’s always a verb involved. Some of the most useful are:

  • access
  • browse
  • discover
  • download
  • get
  • join
  • learn
  • shop
  • start

The best CTAs use decisive language

Decisive language makes your copy sound authoritative and confident, which builds trust with your reader, so they are more likely to do what you say.

Decisive language also gives your CTAs a sense of urgency, and this makes readers more likely to act on them by playing on their fear of missing out. You can create time sensitivity by using words like now and today.

Some copywriters will use negatives like stop or quit. Phrases using negatives have their place – notably in addiction services. But negatives add an extra step to the reader’s cognitive process: they have to visualise the action, and then they have to visualise not doing it. So if you’ve got an alternative phrasing, use that.

CTAs play on value to the reader

Good CTAs often tell readers what they are going to get, rather than what to do. Using the word free can be helpful, or access is good because it implies exclusivity.

Download, too, lets readers know that they are going to get something out of this – but you may get better results by jumping the download step and telling them that they are going to learn about whatever is in the download. So rather than download your guide to writing CTAs try learn to write CTAs. Consider using AB testing to see which works best for your audience.

Design plays a part in optimising calls to action

Readers will not follow a CTA that they cannot see or if it requires effort on their part. So a CTA should stand out in some way. Chunky buttons in contrasting colours are a good visual cue that work well on most sizes of screen.

A good designer can implement animation into CTAs too: but it takes skill and finesse to get this right. Non-consensual sounds drawing attention to website elements – including calls to action – are almost universally disliked by website users. And pop-ups are also disliked, but can be effective, particularly if implemented in a way that responds to the reader’s actions: again, consult a good designer with training in UX (user experience) and accessibility.

How are your calls to action working?

The web design team at Tunbridge Wells-based Eonic loves talking about things like calls to action – so get in touch today and learn how to make your ideal clients do what you want them to do!