You’ve clicked on those bright buttons and links that ask you subscribe to an email list, learn more about a product or service, register for an event, or buy something.
The way calls-to-action are worded is more important than you might assume. A carefully worded call-to-action (CTA) can dramatically improve the conversion rate (aka, close the deal) of your offer.
Eight tips to beef up your CTAs
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume that you are inserting your CTA inside a clickable button. That will force you to write tight — to use as few words as possible to get the reader to take action.
1. Start with a strong action verb.
Don’t be shy; let your reader know exactly what you want them to do. Test CTAs written in the first-person “I’ point-of-view, and in the second-person “you” POV.
- Sign me up
- Give it to me (or “Gimme!”)
- Watch now
- Get started
- I’m in
- Install today
- Join my community
- Learn how it works
- Snag this offer now
- Reserve your spot
2. Do It NOW!
Urgency motivates. You have the choice between using “Download it Now” or the more blasé “Download.” Add the word “now.” The word “today” also creates a sense of urgency.
3. Click here.
It seems like a no-brainer, but people like direct instructions. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. If you want them to “click here,” tell them, “Click here.”
4. Personalize it.
Consider these three examples. Which help you feel a stronger sense of ownership?
- Sign up for your guide now.
- Send my guide now.
- I want my guide now.
“Me” and “I” outperform “your.”
5. Get excited!
This one rankles, because I’m constantly advising people to axe exclamation points from their writing. That’s because exclamation points artificially inflate the importance of words. They should be used sparingly (unless you like sounding like a teenager). If you like sounding like a 13-year-old, by all means, feel free to use three (!!!) exclamation points at the end of every sentence.
(Stepping off my soapbox now.)
There’s one exception to my ! rule. In CTA buttons, exclamation points add a thrill factor. They ramp up the possibility of just how exciting and fulfilling life will be when you click that enticing little button! So do it!! Now!!!
Keep in mind — one exclamation point will suffice.
6. Include prices.
If you’re offering a free or low-priced limited-time trial, say so:
- Try it free for 30 days!
7. State benefits.
Here, you’re combining #5 (where you offer a fantastic incentive price) with a benefit statement. Here’s a template to follow: [Take this action] and get [this benefit].
- Join today and get your first month for only $1
- New members get a $50 gift card
8. Don’t Use “Submit.”
Certain “friction” words, such as “submit,” “buy,” and “order” make people hesitate. Remove any obstacles that slow them from taking action.
Review the call-to-action buttons on your website, blog, and landing pages. Did you find any buttons you can reword? Fix them. Now.