Calls to action — they’re everywhere in our everyday lives. No really … just take a look around you.

  • We follow street signs when driving
  • We walk/don’t walk at crosswalks
  • We push/pull/slide at entrances.
  • We’re strategically guided through stores like Ikea
  • And roped off lines at the airport, in line for rides at the theme park, or at the movies
  • We search the hanging signs in supermarkets and big box stores to find the items we want to buy
  • We hear calls to action on the radio
  • And we see them on TV
  • We read them in weekly flyers and local newspapers
  • And in magazines and on billboards

Your website is no different. You can’t expect people to know where to go and what to do unless you spell it out for them with a call to action (aka CTA).

How to Craft Killer Calls to Action

When you’re trying to convince someone to do something online, you only have a few short seconds, so your calls to action need a little extra oomph and clarity.

What makes a CTA scream “Click me!”? I’ll tell you…

  1. Use mesmerizing words in your copy. Here are some that I’ve been known to use:
    • Instant — people don’t like to wait. This feeds the human need for immediate gratification.
    • Powerful — people don’t want second-best. This word gives off a feeling of strength, the best of the best, something that truly can’t be beat.
    • Because — people naturally want to know why and how. Why does this matter? How does it affect me? Because…
    • You/your — people are self-absorbed. It’s not a flaw, it just is what it is. Using you and your feeds the human ego and speaks directly to them, so rather than saying “here’s what I do, here’s what I have, look at me, it’s all about me…” you can say, “I hear your challenge and I can help you.
    • Reveal — people want to know secrets. Use unveil, unleashed, divulged, they’re all great to show your readers that you know something they don’t … and you’re willing to reveal it!
  2. Keep it short and to the point. Finding information online is (or should be) super quick. Don’t slow down your viewers with long-winded CTAs:
    • “If you want to learn more about what you’ve just read on this page, then we would like to invite you to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives by calling 1-800-TOO-LONG.” This could be tightly wrapped up with a quick “Call now!” followed by a phone number.
  3. Use language that suits your audience.
    • If your brand is geared toward a younger crowd, use their language: “I want this!” or “Gimme!”
    • If your brand has a more corporate feel, be direct, keep it simple: “Start my free trial” or “Get started.”

Go ahead, try to rewrite a few of your own CTAs and see if you can transform them from drab to fab. Buzz me if you need some help.