It can be really difficult to get people to do things. That’s basically why the entire industry of marketing and advertising exists. With any successful marketing campaign, you have to find a way to motivate your audience to take action. That’s where your call to action (or CTA) comes into play.

What exactly is a Call to Action (CTA)?

You’ve engaged with a CTA just about everywhere. If you’ve ever clicked a button on the internet, downloaded a program, or even bought an item on sale at the grocery store, you’ve come into contact with a CTA.

Marketing CTAs help guide your audience through the process to a sign-up, sale, or other form of engagement. They help tell your audience what to do and what they’ll get out of engaging with your content.They also act as the final instruction to the reader or visitor, showing them what to do next.

Want to see some good examples? We have a whole post on great looking and sounding CTAs. Read 9 Call to Action Examples to Inspire You to Up Your Lead Gen Game >

See what we did there? We just snuck a CTA right in the middle of this post! So here’s how you can write and structure your own effective CTAs…

What goes into an effective CTA?

Because CTAs are used for a variety of marketing campaigns, from social media posts to ads and landing pages, each situation may call for something different. Some CTAs will simply be a headline and/or some copy, while others may be supported by a fully designed webpage. At the end of the day, the following tips should help you construct any CTA to be engaging and effective.

Write to insight emotion and excitement.

Sometimes just stating how good a deal is, is not enough. Play to the emotions of your reader. What are they really get out of buying that new jacket or signing up for your emails?

  • Write This: Step into a new you this spring with our BOGO 50% off sale!
  • Instead of This: All shoes currently BOGO 50% Off!

Start with an Action Verb

Use words that command action right off the bat. These words will help sum up what you want your reader to do immediately rather than burying it at the end. Examples of these words may include: Buy, Shop, Subscribe, Download etc…

  • Write This: Shop our latest 40% off sale!
  • Instead of This: All clothes are now 40% off.

Write to induce FOMO

FOMO, AKA “The Fear of Missing Out,” is your friend in the world of CTAs. Urgency is a great way to get people to act immediately. If your sale is ending soon say it, and even if your offer is ongoing, use language that implies the reader should act quickly.

  • Write This: Shop our 40% off sale. Ends on Monday!
  • Instead of This: Shop our 40% off sale!

Don’t Forget Your Buttons!

Often, a good CTA comes to a close with a generic button like “Submit” or “Download.” Instead use more actionable or exciting language that inspires a click.

  • Write This: Start Creating!
  • Instead of This: Download Now

A/B Test Your Offers & Writing

Sometimes you don’t know what kind of CTA is going to engage your particular audience, so don’t be afraid to test things out. Run A/B test on your landing pages, ads, and more, to figure out what kind of CTA gets more engagement. Then you’ll be able to form better CTAs in the future.

Now, take a look at the last CTA you wrote and see if it measures up. If not, start formulating new ones. You may be surprised by the results!

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