13 Ways to Write a Call-to-Action

March 19, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

The call to action (CTA) is a standard marketing tool. It’s been used consistently and successfully ever since Neanderthal man went cave to cave marketing loin cloths.

One of the reasons for its utility and popularity is that the concept is very flexible, lending itself to hundreds, if not thousands, of variations. How creative and effective can you be with a CTA? Here are some ideas:

  1. “Click for our free ebook today!” Who doesn’t like free ebooks? And you can capture some information.
  2. “Watch our demonstration video!” DON”T, whatever you do, call it a promotional video – it’s a demonstration or it’s educational.
  3. “Enter our free drawing for . . . ” The information you can capture this way is well worth a nice award to the lucky winner(s).
  4. “Sign our online petition.” Most petitions will not have anything to do directly with your product or service, but instead be a sidebar on some important issue that your company decides to weigh in on.
  5. “Call today for a free estimate.” Everyone wants to know the bottom line, so why not tell them while you have them on the line and can give them additional information that can swing the sale?
  6. Businesses spend roughly $44 billion each year on content distribution. And they have to pay somebody to produce it for them. Unless they invite someone else to provide their content for them. Your company can invite essays, blogs, poems, photographs and videos on any subject you choose that has to do with your product or service. One Arizona company gives away a college scholarship for a winning essay.
  7. “Subscribe to our free newsletter for frequent updates.” Your subscriber’s list is a customer base just waiting to happen.
  8. “Show me.” A button on your landing page that says “Show me how to increase my (fill in the blank)” is going to get clicked. You can offer to show people how, why, when, what and where. Or try a button marked “Get the secret now!” What the ‘secret’ is, is up to your marketing genius.
  9.  “Free membership when you join our exclusive club today!” America is a country of joiners. Over 52 million people belong to health clubs alone. Ask people to join your savers club or frequent shopper club. And give them a deadline.
  10. Just a reminder as to where to put your CTA. Always feature it prominently on your landing page. This is the page you want everyone to come to, so what better place to motivate your prospective customers? Whatever you do, don’t hide it off in some corner of some obscure page.
  11. And put your CTA in several places on the same landing page, so if someone doesn’t click here, they can click there, to respond.
  12. Does your eye go here first, OR DOES IT GO HERE FIRST? Right; whatever your CTA is, make sure it stands out with bold colors and large lettering. Put an expiration date on it, too, to give it a real sense of urgency.
  13. “Chat with us now!” The offer of live chat will provide a gateway into your prospects minds that you can obtain in no other way. Make note of what they want to chat about, and then have those subjects incorporated on your landing page, or easily accessible. You can also host twitter chats at a specified time with a specified hashtag.

Stephen Hawking said “We should seek the greatest value of our action.” Make sure your CTA gives your prospects that kind of feeling, and you’ll see your traffic increase.