Copywriting encompasses everything from product description, website copy to ad copy.
But above all, the button copy might just be the one that makes or breaks a sale.
You need to use the right words on your button to push your customers towards purchasing your products or services.
Today, I’ll highlight some tips on how you can craft a call-to-action (CTA) that converts.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!
What Is A Call-To-Action (CTA)?
Call-to-action is where you specifically tell your audience what you want them to do.
You need to encourage them to take a specific action, such as buying a product or service, signing up for your company’s newsletter or getting in touch with you.
1. Include A Verb
As the name suggests, call-to-action is where you want your audience to take action.
Hence, you must include a verb like
- Find Out
- Sign Up
Tell your audience what you want them to do. Be as specific as possible.
2. Add A Sense Of Urgency & Scarcity
Urgency can be created by adding just a few time-related phrases.
- In 24 hrs
- In 3 Days
- By 31 Oct 2018
- Limited Time Only
Let your audience know how long the promotion will last. Persuade them to take action immediately.
The same applies to scarcity. Where you highlight the insufficiency.
- While Stocks Last
- Limited To First 10 Customers
By highlighting this lack of supply, you encourage your audience to quickly take action.
3. Craft Compelling Copy (Both Button & Surrounding Text)
Bear in mind that you not only have to craft compelling copy for the button text, you also need to craft compelling copy for the text above or below the CTA button.
Just look the examples below of how surrounding text can encourage users to click on that call-to-action button.
‘No credit card required’ helps assure visitors that they only pay if they’re satisfied with the free trial. Hence, encouraging them to click on that call-to-action button.
Likewise, ‘Sign-up Takes Less Than 60 Seconds’ tells users that sign-up is fast and that they can start their free trial in less than 1 minute, giving them another reason to proceed forward.
There are 2 ways to craft this surrounding text:
a. Remove Doubt & Anxiety
Any obstacle (whether doubt or anxiety) that stops users from clicking that CTA button should be removed. You should alleviate their fears here.
This could be a simple line of ‘No credit card required’ like the example above. Or something along the lines of
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- No Contracts
- Cancel Anytime
b. Add A Little Push
On the other hand, any persuasive triggers that push users to click that CTA button should be added. You can give them another reason to buy, subscribe to your newsletter etc. Or simply assure them that this is the best product or service to solve their problems.
Just like the example above, it could emphasize how ‘Sign-up Takes Less Than 60 Seconds’ or
- Free Shipping
- Starts at just $2.99
- Used by over 1 million companies
4. Always Test Your CTAs
This is the most important tip of all… always A/B test your CTA!
If you use Google Analytics, you can easily set up an experiment to test the performance of your original CTA versus the variant CTA.
It’s only through these numerous tests will you figure out
- the best CTA copy for your product or service
- which type of copy resonates with your customers
Here are some A/B tests you can run:
a. Positive Framing vs Negative Framing
Positive framing revolves around gains while negative framing revolves around losses. You can check out this in-depth article about the differences between them.
- Positive: Get Gorgeous Dress!
- Negative: Don’t Miss This Gorgeous Dress!
b. Uncommon Copy
Some people have argued that we shouldn’t use the default ‘Submit’ for our CTA copy. Instead, we should use uncommon copy like
- Make Me Famous/Rich/Successful
- Help Me With My Marketing Needs
- Save Me Money
Another common CTA phrase would be ‘Learn More’.
I feel that this is good for your ads because this low-commitment CTA doesn’t intimidate your target audience and might even encourage them to click on your ad.
However, I would not recommend using ‘Learn More’ on your landing page or form. The CTA here should be more specific where you tell your audience exactly what you want them to do, what benefits they’ll gain by signing up etc.
Your CTA font should be big. You can even bold and capitalize this text.
So should your CTA button. It needs to be big and looks clickable.
Without a doubt, these minor changes will help highlight your call-to-action button. And I highly recommend that you implement them.
Your CTA button can either have round or square edges.
The most common shape is square buttons with rounded corners.
Some have argued that rounded corners are better because they point inward and draw attention to the inside content. On the contrary, square corners point outward and draw attention away from the button.
Other reasons include how people tend to avoid sharp objects and how we take more effort to see sharp edges.
However, I feel that you should test your CTA button shape. You might choose a certain shape because it matches your website theme. Or that your audience simply converts better when you use a certain shape.
Your CTA button needs to pop up from the page.
This can be done by using a contrasting color.
If the CTA button blends with the background, it doesn’t stand out. And your audience will not notice what you want them to do.
On the other hand, if you use a high-contrast color, your CTA button will immediately arrest your audience’s attention. Precisely because it is different from everything else on the page, it becomes eye-catching.
Where you place your CTA button also plays an important role in conversions.
If you browse your competitor sites, you will notice that most of them place CTA buttons on the right (compared to the left).
This is supported by the Gutenberg diagram which is based on the western habit of reading left to right, top to bottom. It’s quite similar to the Z-pattern. Another reading layout would be the F-pattern.
However, if you’re placing your CTA button above the fold (at the top of the page), you can consider putting it right at the center. This large center area will probably be the focal point when users land on your website.
Thus, do bear these reading patterns in mind when deciding where to position your CTA button.
As soon as they land on your page, your site visitors should be able to tell at a glance that this is a button.
It could be a flat button with contrasting color. Or a gradient button. Or a button with drop shadow that adds depth and dimension. Or an animated button with hover effects like changing colors when you mouse over.
5. Single CTA vs Multiple CTA
I highly recommend that you keep the number of CTA buttons to the bare minimum. The ideal would be 1 or 2 CTA buttons.
Having too many CTA buttons will confuse your audience. They will be overwhelmed by the countless actions you want them to take. In the end, they might become distracted and even complete the action that is least valuable to you (such as subscribing to your newsletter compared to buying your product or service).
Just look at the study where shoppers had to choose from 6 different flavors of jam versus 24 different flavors of jam. The conversion rate was 30% for the former and merely 3% for the latter. That’s 10 times difference!
Every page has a purpose. For example, your blog could include 2 CTAs (subscribe to your newsletter and book a consultation) and your contact page only has 1 CTA (drop you a message). You will have to determine the ultimate goal of the page and then prioritize the CTAs based on how valuable each action is to you. Then, narrow them down to 1 or 2 CTAs.
If you have 2 CTAs, you can consider having
1 low-commitment CTA
- Sign Up For Free Trial
- Download Brochure
- Subscribe To Newsletter
1 high-commitment CTA
- Buy Now
- Get Quote
- Book A Consultation
This way, you give site visitors a choice.
- Low-commitment CTA: doesn’t require a huge investment in money or time hence, less intimidating
- High-commitment CTA: more intimidating but lets users (who are ready and warm) purchase your products or services
Now It’s Your Turn
Call-to-action is one of the most important elements on your site.
Therefore, do take some time and effort to craft and test your CTA such that it converts highly.
Do you have any tips for crafting CTA? What A/B tests have you done to choose the best CTA?
For more copywrtiting tips, attend classes like Copywriting For Crafters or Write Copy That Compels And Sells. Or just check out CreativeLive free online classes where you can watch streaming broadcasts! You can also join online courses at Udemy~