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6 Things You Need to Write an Effective Call to Action

Our Ohio social marketing team gives you the inside scoop on CTAs

The call to action, or CTA, is without a doubt the most important piece of copy you’ll write for your webpage, email or advertisement. It’s the pitch that creates the revenue that fuels your business.

That’s why you can’t risk winging it when it comes to phrasing your CTAs. You need to know what to say, how to say it and who you’re saying it to, or you risk putting a serious dent in your sales or signup numbers.

So, we’ve put together this list of six tips to help guide you down the path to killer CTA creation. Follow these steps and you’ll have a much greater chance of getting your audience to click where and when you want them to.

1. Narrow your audience.

Before writing the CTA itself, you need to know who you’re talking to in order to support it with relevant copy.

Marketing to everyone on the Internet in order to hit your target demo is like trying to catch a one fish by throwing a net in the the biggest body of water you can find. Sure, you might get a few of the fish you’re looking for by accident, but it’s not a consistent or efficient way of meeting your goals.

Instead, you want a precise, targeted approach. Look at competitors, do some research on your repeat customers and figure out the audience that wants (or better yet, needs) your product or service.

When you have a focused target audience in mind, you can speak to them directly, and your voice will be louder than all the other blast marketers out there who are using vague language to try and hit everyone.

2. Figure out what’s causing your audience pain

Once you’ve got your sights set on your target audience, you need to figure out what’s bugging them. What’s wasting their time? What’s costing them money? What’s giving them headaches?

When you have this figured out, determine how you can market your product as a way to diminish or eliminate these hassles. When you do this, it gives your product tangible value, rather than being hypothetically ‘new’, ‘cool’ or ‘quality.’ This is called ‘solving a problem.’

3. Use actionable phrasing

Don’t make your audience do guesswork when they get to your website or Facebook page. Tell them exactly what you want them to do, and why you want them to do it.

Facebook CTA example

Very few people read entire websites word for word. In fact, on average, people typically only read about 28 percent of any given Web page. Most people just skim the headlines and the first few words of each paragraph. That’s why it’s important to spell out your CTA so your readers know exactly what you want.

For instance, “Join our family today” is too vague. How do I join? Why should I? This phrase tells me nothing. However, something like, “Sign up with your email today and get 45% off your next purchase” tells users exactly what to do, when to do it and why it benefits them.

4. Less is more

People don’t want to read through a block of text to understand what you’re trying to get at. Be direct. Weed out unnecessary words and explanations. People will appreciate a simple, concise message. Here’s an example:

“If you sign up right now, we’ll send you the latest news about our product, special sales that will only be available via email and helpful tips.”

This can be greatly simplified into:

“Sign up now for helpful tips and special deals.”

5. Urgency is key

Notice the use of ‘sign up now’ in the above examples. This creates a sense of urgency. Remember, the Internet is rife with distractions. Take advantage of having your reader’s short attention span.

If your call to action doesn’t make people act within a given time frame, it’s not good enough. Make sure every CTA has some sort of time limit or urgency-creating facet to it, such as:

  • Now
  • Right now
  • Today
  • Before the end of the month
  • Before summer ends (or whatever season applies)
  • Before we run out of stock

The goal is to make your audience understand that if they don’t act before a certain point, they’re going to miss out on an opportunity.

Just make sure your deadline is real. Nothing ruins a sense of urgency like saying “this sale ends in 1 hour,” only to still have it available two weeks later.

6. Repeat, repeat, repeat

Using only one CTA is a bit of a gamble. Even if you have a big call to action splashed across your front page, unbelievable as it may seem, some people are going to miss it. Or, if Google links a customer directly to one of your products, they might not even see the front page in the first place.

Put your call to action in a couple key areas, such as:

  • Headers
  • Footers
  • Landing pages
  • ‘Thank you’ pages
  • At the end of blog posts or articles

Just be sure not to go too over the top. You don’t want your entire website to look like one big advertisement. Two calls of action per-page is a good rule of thumb.

Additionally, make sure not use the same language every single time or people will begin to glaze over it. Switch things up to keep your call to action fresh. Here’s an example:

  • Sign up now and get 45% off your next purchase
  • Get 45% off you next purchase by signing up right now
  • Save 45% by signing up today

Team up with a Columbus social marketing company

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the ensuing holiday shopping season are just around the corner. The good news is, this means a spike in sales numbers—and the perfect time to take advantage of all of the shoppers reading your undeniable CTA.

Whether through a social marketing campaign or an SEO blitz, our team works to get as many interested eyeballs on your product during the holiday buying frenzy as possible.

Call us today at (614) 564-9216 or email Alaina at to maximize your digital effectiveness before the holiday season ends. (How’s that for a CTA?)