4 Steps To a Winning Call-To-Action

By Indeed Editorial Team

March 17, 2021

A call to action is an important marketing concept. With it, you guide your customers to complete a desired action. Businesses that learn how to craft excellent calls to action will find that they can convert more leads into customers. In this guide, we will discuss what a call to action is and tips on how to create one.

What is a call to action?

A call to action is a marketing tactic where you encourage your audience to do something. Businesses will design their calls to action so that they receive an immediate response from the reader or listener. Calls to action are typically found at the end of a sales pitch and are used to let the target know what you would like them to do next. For example, at the end of a TV commercial, you may hear something like, "Call us today for a free consultation!" This lets the audience know what you want them to do and when you want them to do it.

Related: How to Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

How to create a call to action

There are four steps you can follow to create a call to action:

  1. Choose a location.

  2. Decide on the desired action.

  3. Study CTA examples.

  4. Try out different phrases.

1. Choose a location

Decide where you want your call to action to go. Most often it will appear at the end of your sales pitch, but you can also include it throughout. If the CTA will appear in text, such as on a website or in an email, then you'll also want to think about the placement on the page. For example, you may want the CTA at the bottom of your text or in a sidebar alongside it. Picking out the location first will help you craft your exact word choice and let you know how much space you have to work with.

2. Decide on the desired action

Think about what it is you want anyone hearing or reading this marketing message to do. Some possibilities include:

  • Making a phone call

  • Sending an email

  • Signing up for a newsletter

  • Purchasing a product

  • Leaving a comment

Your business will likely use many different calls to action throughout its marketing strategy based on where it is located. For example, you may have a CTA on the homepage of your website asking people to sign up for your email newsletter. Then, in the newsletter, you may have a CTA that asks readers to schedule an appointment with you by responding to the email.

3. Study CTA examples

A good way to develop your own call to action is by studying others. Take a look at some of your competitors or other businesses within your niche and see how they construct their different calls to action. You can also examine any newsletters you have signed up for, commercials you see on TV or ads you come across in the newspaper. Once you examine enough calls to action across different mediums, you should have a good sense of how to craft your own.

4. Try out different phrases

Now is when you start creating your calls to action. Try out a few different ideas for each one you want to create. See how they sound and how they fit into your desired location. It's also a good idea to get some feedback from others and see what they think. After brainstorming a few ideas, pick your favorite and place it into the sales pitch.

Related: How to Develop Creative-Thinking Skills in 5 Steps

Tips for making a good CTA

To give your CTA more of an impact, here are a few tips you can try:

  • Use action words.

  • Make it urgent.

  • Emphasize value.

  • Make your CTA noticeable.

  • Split test different CTAs.

Use action words

Your CTA should contain at least one action word so your reader knows what to do. Some great action word examples are:

  • Call

  • Buy

  • Subscribe

  • Download

  • Click here

  • Donate

  • Order

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Make it urgent

You should also impress upon your audience the need to do something now. You've just gotten done making a great sales pitch to the target, making this the best time to convert them into a customer. Use phrases like "time is running out" or "act now." If the target audience gets the sense that you are offering a limited-time deal, they are more likely to act right away.

Emphasize value

If you can, demonstrate within your call to action what value you are providing. For example, rather than saying, "Download our free marketing tool," you could say, "Download the #1 free marketing tool on the internet." Your call to action is likely the last thing a person will read, so give them one final reason to complete your desired action.

Make your CTA noticeable

A great call to action needs to get the attention of the reader or listener. For example, if you're making your sales pitch through a web page, you could have the call to action in a larger and bolder font than the text around it. This would help it to clearly stand out so that readers can't miss it as they reach the bottom of the page. Wherever you place your CTA, make sure your target audience notices it.

Split test different CTAs

A split test is when you run two nearly identical versions of something and track the results against one another based on their differences. For example, you could run a split test on your sales pitch page, with the only difference being the call to action. You would then randomly display one of the two versions to each visitor to the page. After enough views, you would be able to see if one CTA produced better results than the other.

You could then run another split test, with the better performing CTA up against a new one. It's also important to note you can split test more than just the text of the CTA. You can also try out different placements on your web page, different spots within the copy or even a different color scheme. Split testing is a great way to optimize elements of your marketing messages, particularly when it comes to CTAs, as it will let you know which CTA your audience responds to best.

Call to action examples

Here are just a few examples of great calls to action:

  • Sign up for free.

  • Join for a free month.

  • Get started today.

  • Give us a try.

  • Send me deals now!

  • Claim your free sample.

Related Articles

Creating an Employee Handbook