How to Write Effective Calls to Action

Did you know that more than 90% of those who read your article headline also read your call to action (CTA) copy?

Your blog post is a very important means to an end. The purpose of an article may vary from one writer to another, but what you really want is to turn your readers into customers—ideally, loyal ones. 

This entails compelling them to take a certain course of action by responding to your CTA. If you can make your readers respond the way you want them to, this can be very advantageous for your brand or your business. 

Studies reveal that adding CTAs can increase revenue by 83% in one month. If CTAs are as helpful as these stats project them to be, it’s vital that you understand as a blogger how to write effective CTAs.

First, let’s understand better what CTAs are.

What Is a Call to Action?

A CTA, or a call to action, is basically a phrase that invites a reader to take action, what specific action to take, and how to take it. A simple phrase like “Buy Now” is a CTA—it urges you as a reader to buy (take action), and do it now (what specific action to take), and depending on how this appears, whether linked or as a button, it tells you how exactly you must take action.

Effective CTAs are often effective because of the following elements:

  • Powerful verbs are used
  • The CTA appeals to the emotions of the reader
  • There are benefits waiting for those who will take action
  • There is a sense of urgency behind the message
  • Strategic positioning of the CTA on the blog

Essentially, CTA copywriting must highlight the relevance, urgency, and of course, the utility of an offer made via a call to action. How can you do this? Take a look at the different tips for writing effective calls to action.

1. Know Your Goals

What are your ultimate goals for writing the blog post? Answering this question beforehand will allow you to visualize the end result of a reader’s journey. 

The following are some of the general goals of a blog post:

  • Attract a target market
  • Inform a specific audience
  • Create a community
  • Widen influence
  • Sell digital or physical products

In identifying your goals, it is highly important that you know your target audience and what exactly is your buyer persona.

Are you writing for the executives of certain companies? Are you targetting the professionals? How would you describe your ideal customer?

Once you’ve established your goals, it will be easier to outline a blog post and plan for your CTA copywriting in terms of how to say what you want to say and where exactly on the blog should a CTA appear, among many other considerations.

2. Use Action Words

A call to action must always have an action word—a verb, a powerful one.

The choice of action words can be very tricky. You want to keep it simple, but at the same time accurate to avoid any confusion.

The following list showcases the most commonly used action verbs in CTAs:

  • Sign up
  • Try for free
  • Get started
  • Learn more
  • Visit this link
  • Read more
  • Click now

Note that the list above shows examples of short and basic CTAs that you’ve probably encountered so many times already. Although short and basic, they can be very effective if placed strategically on a blog post.

You can opt for longer CTAs. Just make sure that you personalize these CTAs.

3. Appeal to Emotion

Personalizing CTAs can be a little more complex but the concept only revolves around how well you’ve understood the needs of your reader. If you understand their needs well enough, you know exactly what ticks off their emotions and how to use that to your advantage.

Appealing to emotions through your CTAs is all about eliciting a strong emotional response from your readers. These emotions are not at all negative.

For example, you can excite your readers by writing CTAs such as these:

  • “Get this book now for 75% less”
  • “Buy now for a 50% discount”
  • “Limited seats only. Sign up today!”

These CTAs do not only have a sense of urgency but also, these CTAs depict your understanding of how your reader wants an offer that provides the best value.

4. Be Brief and Clear

The last thing you want is to confuse your readers with your choice of words, and the length of your CTA. 

According to the CTA user guide of HubSpot, you should use no more than five words for your CTAs. Writing a call to action beyond that can be an eyesore, and at the same, very confusing for the readers. Often, less is better.

Also, you are giving directions through your CTAs. How would you like it if your app voice assistant confuses you by saying too much about where to go?

Analyze your CTA and check how you can shorten it without compromising the entire thought or meaning.  

Remember, the goal is for the reader to click on the link so you can lead them further to your offer. Their mind can change in an instant and to your disadvantage. Make your CTA brief and clear.

5. Test Your CTA

There is no use in continually using a CTA that is not driving action among your readers. Make sure that you constantly monitor the performance of your CTA. 

Prepare a spreadsheet of all the CTAs you have added to your blog posts. Focus on the copy. Compare those CTAs that work well with those that do not and identify their distinguishing elements.

Conduct A/B testing. See if certain changes work or adjust your copy in terms of wording and placement. In your A/B testing, play with your criteria and document significant findings to check the consistency of the results. Note that although the design (if buttons) comes in as a last priority, you also have to make sure you check it.

The results of your tests should determine how you can create a better copy for your existing blog posts, and the posts to come.

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