Whether you’re looking to get more email subscribers, increase conversions, or simply attract more people to your business, you need to have the right call to action. No matter how good your marketing campaign is, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals without a compelling CTA.
A CTA is a term very well known in the marketing world, and it’s used to tell the user what action they need to take and how exactly they can take it. Some are simple and only contain a few words, while others can be one or two sentences long.
All of the content you create for your campaigns needs to be well-crafted and finish with a call to action that will determine whether or not the person you’re trying to convert will become a customer. CTAs may seem simple but they require a lot of thought, practice, and testing.
There is no such thing as the perfect call to action, but there are certain tips you need to know that will help you to create the best call to action for your campaign. This guide covers some proven CTA tips and we’ve also prepared some CTA examples from successful campaigns to inspire you to create your own.
Why are calls to action so important?
Many businesses think that writing something like “Sign up” or “Buy now” is enough to convert people. If you create great and convincing marketing campaigns, you don’t need to focus too much on that last detail, right?
Wrong. It’s not enough to write just anything as your call to action. You need to be convincing enough to get people to act.
There are two main things every call to action tries to accomplish:
- Give people enough motivation to complete the action you want them to complete.
- Simply tell people what they should do.
However, the problem with most CTAs is that while they’re great at telling people what they should do, they don’t give enough motivation nor go into detail about why they need to take the action. Sometimes the content that precedes the CTA provides this information, but other times it doesn’t.
If you help the visitor understand why they need to do what you’re asking them to do in the CTA itself, it will have a positive impact on your conversion rates. Even if the content that came before already explained this, a quick recap is always welcome.
Keep in mind that a call to action is a concentrated decision point and it represents everything your content has been building up to. As it needs to be a focused moment, it has to be executed at exactly the right time and present the next logical step in the lead’s customer journey.
In other words, the call to action you create has to be a no-brainer that encourages your leads to convert into paying customers with little to no friction.
13 tips for creating your CTA
Now that you know why CTAs are so important for your business and conversion rates, let’s take a look at some CTA tips that will help you come up with the perfect call to action for your business.
Post hyperlinks on your blog
If you don’t already have a blog for your website, that needs to change right away. Blogs are exceptionally important for businesses because they allow you to focus on content marketing, which is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing.
When you run a blog, you can place a call to action in the form of a question or a suggestion in each post to keep your readers engaged. These CTAs can be subtle hyperlinks placed inside your post’s content or in the headline and title.
Just make sure that the text in this hyperlink is clear so your customers will know exactly what they’re agreeing to when they click the link.
Know how to use banners
Banner CTAs aren’t rare at all, but a lot of marketers don’t know the best way to utilize them. If you don’t use it correctly, your banner will look like every other ad and won’t catch anyone’s attention. When it comes to banner CTA tips, the two things you need to remember is to use the right copy and the perfect design.
The beauty of a banner call to action is that it can provide your customers with additional information, special offers such as discounts, and it’s displayed very prominently at the top of the page. This means that even those who came to your website intending to skim it won’t be able to miss it.
As the banner doesn’t obstruct any other content, you can place it anywhere you like, whether it’s in your blog posts, landing pages, or product pages.
Sidebars are good replacements for banners
If you want to create a call to action that’s impossible to miss but you don’t want to use banners, using a sidebar is another great solution. It can be visible from practically every page on your website and you’ll be able to incorporate various design techniques.
Just remember that your sidebar needs to stand out, which means you need to use a colour scheme and design that will ensure the banner doesn’t blend into the background.
Another very important element you need to think of is the placement of this sidebar. Something you probably already know is that website visitors naturally read your site in the “F formation” (first reading the title, then skimming down the first few lines, and finally reading the subheadings).
Judging by this formation, one of the most logical CTA tips is to never place your sidebar on the right side of the screen as it probably won’t be seen. Ideally, you should place it on the left side of the screen above the fold.
Incorporate social proof
One of the best ways to catch someone’s eye and gain their trust is through social proof in the form of customer testimonials and reviews. As much as 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations, so there is no reason not to place them next to a CTA.
This way, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, as long as your review/testimonial is legitimate and if possible, paired with the picture and full name of the customer who provided the social proof.
Use phrases that work for other businesses
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of CTAs use similar or even the same language, and that is because certain phrases simply convert better than others. Before you come up with your own unique phrase, one of the best CTA tips we can give you is to use classic phrases such as “Learn more”, “Buy now” and “Add to cart”.
As you can notice, all of these words are imperative verbs. While they might seem like orders, your customers won’t feel like you’re commanding them to do something if you use phrases that show what the person you’re trying to convert can gain.
For instance, instead of simply saying “Buy now” you can say something like “Buy now and get free shipping” or “Buy now and save 30%”.
Don’t be afraid to use urgency and scarcity tactics
A very well-known tactic in the marketing world is using FOMO to increase conversion rates and that’s why it’s often used as one of the more common CTA tips.
Fear of missing out, better known as FOMO, is very good at motivating customers to make a purchase if they believe the product they’re interested in almost out of stock or if a sale is coming to an end.
You can place urgency-building elements next to your CTA to increase the chances of your website visitors clicking the button. This can include low stock indicators, sale end dates, and countdown timers.
Make sure the CTA is as obvious as can be
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use ghost buttons or simple coloured text as your main CTA. These aren’t noticeable at all, and if you want a button to be clicked, you need to ensure it stands out and that users know what’s going to happen when they click it. This is why you need to make sure your customers can actually see the button.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy and create a button that’s nothing more than an eyesore. All you need to do is incorporate good text and a design that matches your website while using contrasting colours that will ensure nobody misses your button.
Make mobile CTAs easy to click
The widespread use of mobile devices has led to the rise of mobile eCommerce and naturally, the necessity of knowing at least a few mobile CTA tips. Most websites are now optimized for mobile users, but some of them still have buttons that are too small, which can cause frustration and even reduce conversion rates.
This is why, when you’re designing your mobile website, you need to create a button that passes the “thumb test”. For a consumer to be able to click on this button, it needs to be as wide as the entire screen so website visitors can easily click on it.
Get rid of all clutter and distractions
If there is only one action on a certain page you want your website visitors to click on, you need to ensure there are no other things on the page that will distract them from the CTA. This is why you shouldn’t include any social media icons and need to make the footer links and navigation bars as small as possible.
Test out different colours, shapes, and sizes
CTA buttons come in many different shapes and sizes, and there’s no one definitive rule that states what works best. While there are countless examples of different buttons, all of which have been successful at converting people into customers, you need to remember that all of those buttons were tested.
Before you choose one design for your button, you need to use A/B testing tools to run split tests in which you will evaluate buttons of different colours, shapes, and sizes. The best practices all vary from site to site, and you will be able to figure out your ideal call to action button through testing.
Place security seals near your CTAs
Many people are hesitant about online shopping because they aren’t sure how secure their payment information will be. You can help them overcome that hesitancy and build trust by providing them with proof that your website is safe.
One of the easiest ways you can do that is by including sales and payment processor logos which will not only show them that your website is safe but also display all the payment methods you offer. When they see this right next to your CTA button, they will feel more secure clicking it.
Show your customers that the action is reversible
There are a lot of reasons why people don’t convert into customers, and one of them is because they’re worried about buyer’s remorse. This is especially true with online shopping. Since your website visitors can’t see the product in person, they don’t know if they’ll be satisfied.
You can nudge your website visitors to convert by showing them they can undo any action you take. One of the most common CTA tips for online stores is to include your shipping and returns policy right next to the “Purchase Now” button to help indecisive customers feel more secure and show you’re certain about your products’ quality.
Be smart about pop-ups
A lot of websites have pop-ups through which they collect leads, and some eCommerce websites won’t even allow their visitors to explore the site further without providing their email address. If this is your way of collecting leads, it would be best to forget about that tactic.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should forget about pop-ups altogether. While most CTA tips advise against pop-ups, this type of call to action can be very useful if it’s used right.
For instance, you should never interrupt a user’s experience with a pop-up out of the blue. Instead of annoying your customers, you can set up these pop-ups to appear when someone reaches the bottom of a blog post or clicks the next button on the product page.
20 words to use in your CTAs
Now that we’ve gone through the best CTA tips, let’s dive into some words you need to use in your calls to action.
1. Sign up for free
This is a very straightforward phrase websites use to set expectations for their visitors, letting them know they will be able to create an account for free and start using the service right away. If you offer any kind of free service, make sure to divulge that information to your potential customers.
2. Create an account
While this might not be the most appealing call to action phrase, its beauty lies in the simplicity and lets visitors know that as soon as they click the button, they will start the account creation process. Also, this allows them to prepare to fill out a few forms.
3. View/book a demo
If your business is sales-focused and converting someone involves a talk with a salesperson, it would be good to encourage your website visitors to view or book a demo. If you already have a prepared product demo, make sure to link it so potential customers can learn more about the product.
4. Contact sales
This phrase usually goes hand in hand with the previous one and is common in sales-focused businesses. Even though some people want to view a demo first, others would just like to be connected to a salesperson directly, so you should give them both options.
5. Learn more
If you’re selling a product that requires a more detailed explanation or has too many features, you need to know how to create a high-converting product page that’s accompanied by a “Learn more” button. When website visitors click this button, they will be taken to a product page or product tour so they can get all the product information they need.
6. Join free
Similar to our first example, Join free is a simple and straightforward phrase that will capture your website visitors’ attention. This phrase is most often used by subscription services and usually paired with “For one month” to let customers know exactly when their trial period will end.
7. Shop now
Most eCommerce stores have “Shop now” as their main call to action for a good reason. It’s very straightforward and it lets people know that once they click it, they will be sent to a product page or category.
Most call to action phrases used in eCommerce are very straight-to-the-point, but sometimes you can also be more subtle with a word such as “Explore”. This works well if your product pages act like your landing pages, and by clicking the “Explore” button, your visitors can find out more about your products.
9. Get X% Off
There’s nothing people love more when shopping than getting discounts and great deals. If your goal is to increase sales, you can do that with a simple call to action that reads “Get 20% off”.
10. Add to cart/bag
Once again, this is a very common and popular CTA in the eCommerce world, especially on product pages, and there is a good reason for that. It’s very straight forward and allows website visitors to skip an entire step in the buying process and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
If you run a service-based business such as a gym or clinic, for example, it’s very hard to get people to commit before they learn more about your business. This is why the “Schedule or book an appointment/visit” is a non-threatening phrase that will encourage potential customers to contact you.
12. Enter now
If you ever run a contest on your website, you should use an exciting phrase such as “Enter now” for your submission form instead of the classic “Submit”.
13. Join X number of people
FOMO can be used in call to action phrases as well by saying something like “Join 100,000 satisfied users”. People instinctively want to do what other people are already doing and want to feel like they’re becoming a part of something exclusive, and this phrase will make them feel they’re missing out on something if they don’t click the button.
If you ever have new items in stock, it would be good to place a button on your website that reads something like “Shop new collection” to direct your visitors straight to the product page.
“Discover” is another popular phrase that is very similar to “Explore”, and it’s used in businesses of all niches. It can lead to practically any page on your website, so make sure your website visitors know exactly what will happen when they click this button.
16. Get started
There are a few different phrases used for CTAs, but “Get started” is among the most common ones. It’s an extremely actionable phrase that lets website visitors know they will be able to start using your product when they click on the button.
Simply using “Now” as a call to action add-on can help you reiterate that you want your website visitors to take action without hesitation and push them into acting on the CTA. With this one simple word, you can push people into making a decision faster.
If you’re thinking about creating a discount CTA for your website, you should think about including the word “Save” just to drive the point that when visitors click this button, they will save money. If they don’t act on the call of action, they will miss out on a great opportunity.
A big issue with most CTAs is that they feel too impersonal. You can solve this problem by using pronouns and determiners such as “me” or “mine”, and with just one simple word, you can make the call to action seem much more personal.
Finally, these two words are great for CTAs because they can work in many different contexts. They work well for people who want to start or stop their subscriptions or memberships, but can also be used to say something like “Stop wasting money and save 20% now”.
50 successful CTA examples
Everything we’ve talked about so far is important information for anyone who is looking to create an effective call to action for their business. However, the best way to come up with your own call to action is to look at some successful CTA examples and find inspiration in them.
1. Earth Hero
Earth hero does a great job of incorporating their views in this pop-up CTA. Their button reads “Treat yourself to 10% off”, and it’s preceded by the phrase “Put your money where your mindfulness is”. This CTA shows the customer the business is environmentally conscious and provides a great discount at the same time.
Lifestraw has a simple call to action on their homepage that reads “See how”, but above it, they make a very bold statement and claim they make contaminated water safe to drink. As this is a very fascinating claim, the person who saw this call to action would most likely be interested in how that’s possible and click the button to find out.
When visitors land on REI’s homepage, they’re greeted with a simple button that says “Shop REI Outlet” and offers a 30% discount. When someone clicks this button, they won’t commit to buying anything, but they will be able to see all the discounted prices.
Spotify is a music streaming service that understands other similar services are often too expensive for users, so they placed an enticing button on their homepage that simply reads “Get Spotify free”. The use of the words “get” and “free” does a great job of emphasizing how good of a deal this is.
For this Facebook advertisement, Animoto didn’t want to waste time and wrote a clear and direct call to action “Watch our Summit with these big influencers and get 25% off our plan. Learn more about this here.” In simpler words, they’re saying “Do this to get a benefit” and it works.
While most marketers place their call to action underneath the image on Facebook Ads, CanvasPop placed their CTA above the image. The copy “Get 60% off when you order today” is very attention-drawing and placed in an instantly noticeable spot.
This ride-hailing app managed to create the perfect ad that drives in both riders and drivers. The text in the ad promises up to $50 dollars in ride credit, and the simple phrase “Install now” is very persuasive and lets people know this is the action they need to take to receive their free credit.
Starbucks is no stranger to creating great CTAs, and this Instagram ad is just one of the many great examples. They created a beautiful nature-focused image ad that had a “Swipe Up to Try” call-to-action, which is a great way to encourage users to try this new drink.
Meaghan Fitzgerald is a micro-influencer and a plant-based home cook, so naturally, she used a picture of her cookies for an ad. As her main goal is to attract new followers, her call to action that has a simple phrase “Visit Instagram profile” significantly helps her with exposure.
10. Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club has become very well-known for its smart marketing, and in this ad, we can see how they used a simple “Learn more” button paired with an image that makes it clear how valuable this offer is. The call to action makes it clear what needs to be done to take advantage of this offer.
Whistle is a GPS provider that sells tracking systems to pet owners and they make this perfectly clear in their email. They provide just enough information to make it clear what they do with their CTAs – a blue one that reads “Learn more” for customers who require more information and a straight-forward orange one that reads “Buy now”.
12. De Beers
De Beers is a diamond empire which realized that the best way to sell their products is to present them as love in the form of a precious gemstone ring. With this email ad, they appeal to the female side of their clientele with a finely worded-CTA, “Discover your bridal style”
Most CTA tips will tell you to place your call to action above the fold, yet this box subscription service placed their “Subscribe now” call to action at the very end of their email. However, this was a very clever move, as the email recipient got a chance to learn all about the service’s benefits before reaching the CTA.
As there are many different food subscription boxes, Plated needed to do something to stand out from the crowd. Instead of talking about the convenience and affordability of their service like most of their competitors, they emphasized that their service is for people who like food, and finished the ad with a simple and eye-catching “Sign up now”.
Monster gives us one of the best CTA examples that shows how a short statement can still be powerful. The phrase “Find better” instantly appeals to job searchers who haven’t had too much luck finding employment in the past and employers who are looking for new talent.
Most people dread doing their taxes every year and put off that task, and the marketers at TurboTax are aware of this fact. This is why their call to action reminds users to get a head start on taxes and it gives the motivation to buy the software by promising they will save $10.
Freshbooks knows exactly what their ideal clients, small business owners, desperately need, and that’s more time. So, they created a very specific CTA that uses that pain point and tells potential customers how much time they’ll save while also including the enticing “Try it free” button.
Backlinko is an SEO and link-building training brand that has one of the bolder CTA examples on this list, their call to action dominating the entire webpage. It’s oversized and contrasts the background perfectly, and it makes a very appealing promise.
Netflix, the world-famous streaming platform has a call to action that appeals to users for multiple reasons. The “Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime.” copy shows users there is absolutely no risk in making your own account, and the promise of a free month is just what indecisive subscribers need to commit.
The graphic design software Snappa combines visual design and copy to create a perfect call to action that deserves its place in this list of CTA examples for multiple reasons. Not only did they use contrasting colours for their copy, but the wording of it also makes it clear what the user can expect from the software. Additionally, the website visitor has the option to watch a demo.
Most insurance sites only have a “Get Quote” call to action right next to the box where the user is supposed to enter their zip code. Allstate makes their services seem much more personal and convenient with the copy “Get a quick, personalized insurance quote today.”
VoiceNation is an answering service that puts all of its focus on customers and they made it onto this list of CTA examples because they make their call to action about the customer. The wording “Your business demands more. You deserve the best.” helps them establish themselves as a high-quality service provider while also emphasizing you will reap a lot of benefits.
23. Daily Look
Daily Look is a business that realizes how important it is to focus on your customers’ pain points. That’s why this personal styling company created a CTA that emphasizes their customers will save a lot of free time they would usually spend on shopping and still get fashionable items.
MOO is a company that creates business cards and is obviously assured that their product is very high-quality. To prove their cards are well worth the money and give customers ease of mind, they allow you to order a free sample pack with simple yet ingenious copy, “Get a feel for MOO”
25. Simple Pin Media
Simple Pin Media is one of the many great CTA examples that are incorporated into a blog post. The post itself does a great job of explaining how their planner is full of great tips and trending topics, and near the very end, we get a clickable link with the copy “Download the Simple Pin Planner.”
Fairwinds is a credit union that has a great call to action on their website’s landing page that uses clever wording and wordplay to get their point across. They use “cents” as a pun on “sense” and they even wrote it in bold to make sure every website visitor is aware of their main message.
27. World Wildlife Fund
Next on our list of CTA examples is the World Wildlife Fund that takes their animal activism efforts seriously and they prove it with their CTAs. One of them is “Donate” and the other “Adopt”, and their orange colours are perfect enough to make them stand out but not be an eye-sore.
Care.com is a website that helps people find caregivers but also provides care jobs to those who are seeking them. The two buttons they have on their website “Find care” and “Find jobs” both appeal to those they are aimed at, and their prominent placement and contrasting colours help them stand out.
Dropbox uses a simple design and clever colouring to draw attention to exactly where they want it even though they have two buttons. “Get Dropbox basic” is the same light blue colour as the background and can barely be seen while they cleverly coloured the “Try Dropbox Business free” button a much darker blue colour, making it stand out.
Trello is another great entry for this list of CTA examples because they do multiple things right. First off, they have a very bright blue background and white copy that explains the benefits of the software. To top it all off, the green call to action button stands out perfectly against the blue background and emphasizes that it’s free to sign up.
Chipotle creates the perfect headline and uses an appealing image for their landing page, both of which make the website visitor want to convert. After they read the short but well-written copy, it’s hard for the visitor to resist the “Order now” button.
32. Yoga International
This page makes it perfectly clear in two different places that they’re giving away 30 days of free yoga, which is a great push for customers who aren’t sure if they want to commit to a new exercise regime but still want to give it a try.
33. Checkbox Survey
Checkbox Survey does a great job with their landing page CTA, as they list their service’s benefits, offer a free trial, and use the phrase “Get your free trial” for the call to action button to imply ownership.
This streaming service doesn’t use the tried and true “Subscribe” call to action but instead invites subscribers to “Plan their movie night”, which makes for a much more interesting and personalized call to action.
35. Le Tote
Le Tote has a simple yet inviting landing page that once again uses personal pronouns and inclusive language to make the customer feel like part of the team. The “Let’s go” button is a great and inviting phrase to use for this kind of personal call to action.
Etsy is a business that knows how to write the perfect copy for their call to action, and here they wrote a short but sweet text about a starry evening sky. They finished it off with an original CTA button that reads “Shop the stars”.
37. Banana Republic
Banana Republic has two CTA buttons when a customer adds something to their cart. The orange one that says “Checkout” leads the customer directly to the checkout, and the white button that says “Keep shopping” is more inconspicuous, giving people the option to continue browsing if that’s their choice.
38. Hello Fresh
The next business in our list of CTA examples is Hello Fresh with their limited time offer. This offer does a great job of creating a sense of urgency by adding a timer to their discounted offer and makes it clear that this offer is exclusive, which urges people to convert.
Fashionphile collects email subscribers with the promise of exclusive discounts. While their copy is simple, the pink “Subscribe” button placed against a white background makes the call to action pop.
Airbnb uses this colourful email to do two things – to let the subscriber know they can get 5% off their nest stay but also to create a sense of urgency by adding the date when the promotion ends. The “Redeem now” button in white matches well with the copy but is a great contrast to the pink background.
Coleman is a great example of how to create an ad that gives just enough information to get potential customers interested and then use the “Learn more” button to get them to engage with the brand.
As Billshark is looking to drive leads for their service, they were smart about their ad. They made an exciting promise to lower your bills and used the classic “Sign up” button.
NoiseAware does a good job of addressing their target customers’ pain points, which in this case are noise issues at their property, and assures them they can help with the issue. The classic “Get quote” button is perfect for this kind of service.
44. University of Phoenix
“Apply now” is the standard phrase used by marketers who are attempting to drive job applicants and apparent rentals. However, it’s also used by higher education institutions, and the University of Phoenix uses that phrase here along with copy that promises a brighter future.
45. Wolf & Brown Law Offices
This law company created a great ad by using just a few sentences. They managed to prove their professionalism, make the promise of not charging their clients until they win the settlement, and finally offered a free consultation. All of this just draws people to click the “Contact us” button.
This company has a simple landing page that shows off their products and tells you in big bold letters all the benefits you can expect. The button used here is subtle, but still prominent enough so website visitors know which action they need to take.
This landing page from Manscaped was designed to clearly show there is a sale going on at the moment. The banner emphasizes what the customer will get if they convert, and an arrow is conveniently pointing at the “Get limited time offer” button.
48. Forever 21
“Get 20% Off” encourages users to sign up for the mailing list and receive the 20% off coupon. It is a smart call-to-action that puts emphasis on the discount. With the word “Get” the company implies that they are giving the customer a gift or something of value.
Neutrogena is another example of how to utilize pop-ups when trying to convert website visitors. Their message is clear and very direct with the request “Enter your email”, but they also put an emphasis on the discount the customer will get if they provide their email.
The last of our CTA examples is also a pop-up. When it appears on the screen, customers are instantly met with an amazing offer they can use to their advantage. All they need to do is enter their email address and click the “Join” button.
No matter how hard you try at your marketing campaigns, you will rarely see great results if you don’t have powerful CTAs. Many businesses sadly underuse CTAs or use the right tactics in the wrong places, which ultimately brings more issues than conversions.
One important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t limit the use of CTAs just for email blasts or PPC campaigns. A call to action needs to be used in almost all types of marketing content because that call to action button will probably be the final push many of your indecisive customers need.
We’ve been through all of the most important CTA tips you need to know and listed out some of the best CTA examples from multiple different companies in various niches. As long as you found at least one take away from every example, you probably already have an idea for the perfect call to action.
However, while CTAs are a big part of increasing conversions, they are certainly not the only one. If you’re serious about increasing your conversion rates, our conversion rate optimisation services can help you reach your goals much faster and with less effort.