Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Call-to-Action

As an advertiser, you can inspire, motivate, and promote your brand in a million different ways. While those are all good things to strive for, it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t get the customer to act!

Developing a perfect call-to-action (CTA) means thinking like the consumer, and knowing how to use certain words tactfully. It’s an art as much as it is a science, but anyone can develop this skill with some knowledge and practice.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can put together a call-to-action that gets your audience moving.


1.      Don’t be afraid to come on strong

Anyone who has written advertising copy knows that sounding too “sales-y” can feel like a turn-off. With that being said, if you aren’t pushing your product or service, who is?

Using words like “buy,” “shop,” or “download” gives your audience a direct path to converting. The goal of an effective CTA is to limit the number of steps that need to be taken in order to reach the final step. When you use direct language, you take the guesswork out of the process and help facilitate the sale.


2.      Tailor your message

If you’re simply advertising for a specific product, saying “shop now” might be sufficient, but if you’re selling a specific service or experience, try incorporating that into your CTA. For example, if you want to get people to subscribe to your newsletter, add some extra description like, “subscribe here to get the latest offers.”

You want your audience to clearly and obviously see the value in what you’re providing. If they’re able to recognize that you have something to give them in exchange for their money or brand loyalty, it’s much more likely that they’ll complete the action you’re hoping to achieve.

Put some thought into choosing words that can concisely express the exact benefit you can provide customers and you’ll be rewarded. If you make your audience feel like they’re missing out if they don’t complete the action, you have a real chance of improving your conversion rate.


3.      Create urgency

One of the most effective psychological tactics advertisers can use is creating a sense of urgency to act. People hate the idea of missing out on something (it even has its own term – FOMO), and are much more willing to take action if something available for a certain period of time.

Naturally, what comes to mind when thinking about inspiring urgency is the classic “limited time offer.” Whether it’s at a fast-food restaurant, car dealership, or any other business, these types of deals really do work. But does that mean you have to set up your own “act now” campaign?

It’s certainly effective to run ads for promotional offers or limited-time discounts, but there are several other creative ways to create urgency. For example, you could utilize messaging that makes your audience realize they’re falling behind if they don’t act today.

Certain phrases like, “Don’t miss out any longer,” or something similar, can make someone feel like it’s in their best interest to engage with your business. Depending on what you’re advertising for, you can create more specific phrasing, but the sentiment remains the same.


4.      Make it obvious

Online purchases or sign-ups are largely driven by split-second, somewhat impulsive decision-making. If you make your audience search for a CTA button, you’re significantly reducing the odds that they’ll follow through.

While you don’t need to go overboard with garish flashing buttons, you should be able to easily spot the CTA when viewing an ad for a matter of seconds. One trick that has been effective in social media marketing is putting an arrow or two pointing toward your CTA. It sounds a little bit cheesy, but people’s eyes truly do follow lines and shapes, and at the very least, you can rest-assured your call-to-action won’t be missed.

Whether it’s using contrasting colors between background and button, or shapes that draw in the eye, there are several ways to get potential customers’ attention where it needs to be. This is a time when the work of an experienced graphic design professional can be hugely beneficial. If you’re able to manipulate readers’ eyes to go where you want, that’s half the battle!


5.      Experiment!

Even the most experienced marketers know that it’s impossible to predict exactly how an audience will react to a certain ad. If you’re deciding between a handful of different CTA wordings and styles, try running a split test (also called an A/B test)!

You don’t need to put your full campaign budget behind testing out different ideas, but if you’re able to determine a clear winner in the early going, it can be hugely effective in maximizing your digital marketing budget.

Start out with two ads featuring the same message, but slightly different CTA buttons. For example, try using a different color for each button and see if there’s a difference in the results. Next, take the winning color and try out two different ways of wording your CTA. After these two simple tests, you can have confidence moving forward that you’re using the combination that will get the best results.


6.      Make it personal

To quote the legendary Don Draper of the hit TV show Mad Men, “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness.”

Happiness is deeply personal, which means using terms like “you” or “my” is important in order to convey that your product or service has personal benefit. For example, if you’re looking at a vacation booking website, most people are way more likely to click on the call-to-action that says “Book MY Vacation Today!” than a CTA which says “Book a Vacation today!”

It seems simple, but minor tweaks like this are what separates very successful ads from average-performing ads.


The Wrap Up

There’s no magic phrase that can be used to capture your audience, but there is plenty of evidence that choosing the right CTA can have a huge impact on your conversion rate. From design to button placement, verbiage, and everything in between, a well-developed CTA drives sales.

If you need assistance in getting more of your online traffic to convert, get in touch today to see how we can help!