Skim through your inbox, and you’ll likely see dozens of brands telling you what to do next: “Open now for your free trial,” “Don’t forget to enter our raffle,” and so on. These light commands are known as CTAs.
A CTA is a call to action, and it’s a message that directs your target audience to perform a specific act. But they aren’t just found in emails; CTAs are found anywhere you market your product, like in advertisements, your blogs, or your website. A few general best practices include making sure they create a sense of urgency and making them stand out against the background.
With so many CTAs coming from so many brands, you need a strategic mindset to motivate action from customers. We’ll break down CTA best practices for various channels, so you’re set to drive people towards the next step in the customer journey.
If someone gave your brand their email address, they must have some interest in your company. Take advantage of these warm contacts by adding email CTAs that encourage recipients to explore your brand further.
Don’t wait until the end of the message. Many people don’t read an email all the way through, so make sure you place a CTA relatively early on in your message—ideally in the first half.
Tease your CTA in the subject line. Don’t feel like your CTA button is the only spot where you can drive leads and customers to take action. The subject line is another great opportunity to include your CTA message or tease it out so readers know what’s to come.
Here’s an example of an enthusiastic subject line. The CTA tells the reader both what’s expected of them and what will be in the email.
Blog posts cover a wide range of topics—from general industry news to product tutorials—so they’re the perfect place to add CTAs that move readers through the customer journey.
Respect the reading experience. A CTA button that breaks up a paragraph can be annoying. Avoid disrupting readers’ flow: place CTA buttons after paragraphs or even entire sections. For example, you can put a link for your CTA in the concluding paragraph.
Use Copy.ai to incorporate keywords. Our app has a feature called the Rewrite With Keywords tool, which you can use to incorporate your blog CTA in a way that flows.
Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur with an Etsy shop, and you want to inform your blog readers about your new line of home fragrances. You plug in your CTA and the sentence you want to put it in, and Copy.ai will generate a few ways to do that.
Remind the reader to take action at the end of BOFU posts. BOFU posts are bottom-of-the-funnel posts, and they’re entire articles specifically about your product. Once you’ve convinced your readers why your products or brand is so unique, you can strike with your CTA, which takes your reader directly to where they can try out or buy your product.
It’s easy to slip in your call to action in a webinar while the viewer is watching you talk about the product, and they’re thinking about why they might want it.
Tell your viewers what you want them to do. Webinars are a bit different from written marketing in the sense that your customer might not physically see the CTA. Describe what you want them to do, and make sure it’s detailed so they don’t get lost or confused.
Tell your YouTubers to subscribe. With YouTube-based videos, you’ll want your viewers to come back and continue watching your future videos, which means they have to subscribe. Tell your viewers that if they don’t want to miss out on future content or future promotions at your company, they’ll need to “hit that subscribe button.”
Mention your CTA near the end of your videos. Once they’re done watching your video, you’ll want to leave them with the next steps for finding your product or getting started using it.
Add clickable links with CTAs in your webinar descriptions. Direct your viewers on what to do, like go to your website to learn more about your products. These links make it so they don’t have to go back through your video and find your CTA.
Grammarly does an excellent job of this in the description for its YouTube video Closing the Distance. The company inserts a link that makes it nice and simple for the viewers to go directly to their page and download Grammarly’s writing assistant tool.
Your landing page is a hub for all of your ads, so a CTA there will receive the most attention. Here are some recommendations to make the most of this opportunity.
Make your CTA a relevant color, which stands out from the background. That way, your readers don’t have to look for it. Make your CTA color relevant to your brand; for example, if you deal with money, you may want to have a green CTA, the color most commonly associated with money.
Make your CTA a graphic. Graphics pop out, and viewers know that they need to click the button to take action. For example, there’s a big red CTA button with the words “Get Started” when you go to Netflix. It’s clear what action needs to be taken to get started: fill in your email and click the big red button!
Put the CTA at the beginning of your page. It should be on a corner (because obviously, your company name will go front and center), so the viewers don’t have to go looking for the CTA. They can get to where they’re trying to go as quickly as possible.
For a lot of customers, a Google ad is your customer’s first interaction with your company. That CTA is what’s going to catch their attention and draw them in. It’s crucial to be straightforward with that CTA and let them know what you expect from them.
Make your Google ad CTA short and to the point. Google ads are approximately 300 characters long, including the headlines, the description, and the ad path. It’s not a lot of room to work with, so use that space wisely.
Put your CTA in the Google ad title. Your title in your Google ad is typically in a bigger font than the description; it’s easier for your customers to see your CTA when it’s in big, bold letters. Also, your viewers aren’t typically going to read your entire description, so by making it one of the first things they read, you’re ensuring that they actually see it.
Make your CTA relevant to your audience’s needs. That way, your CTA is personalized and relatable to your audience. For example, suppose you’re a chiropractor. In that case, you will most likely have customers looking for something immediate because they’re in pain, so “Book an appointment today” or “Contact us today” would be the perfect CTA for that target audience.
There are quite a few social media CTAs that are utilized in marketing as well. Each social media platform has its unique way of sending out CTAs because they all have different tones and different audiences. It’s imperative to make those social media CTAs personalized for each platform and its specific target demographic. For more information on optimizing your CTAs for social media, go to our guide How to write CTAs for social media that get attention and clicks.
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