How to Write a Call to Action in Marketing: Get Amazing Results with 10 Simple Tips

June 12, 2024 | Content, Website

Ever wondered how to get folks who are visiting your small business website or reading a flyer to actually do what you want? That’s where learning how to write a call to action in marketing (CTA) comes into play. Whether you want more sales, are itching for newsletter sign-ups, or just want people to dive into your content, nailing that CTA is key.  

Think of it as a friendly prod that transforms passive interest into active participation. Writing a compelling call to action is essential for prompting your audience to take a specific action, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or engaging with your content. 

A well-crafted Call-to-Action (CTA) transforms passive interest into active participation.

When it comes to converting warm leads into engaged customers, the power of a well-crafted call to action cannot be overstated. CTAs are like guideposts that lead your audience through the journey from casual interest to committed action. In this blog, we’ll delve into the two main types of CTAs, their strategic placement, and some best practices to ensure your CTAs resonate with your audience.

The Basics: What Does Call To Action Mean in Marketing?

A call to action in marketing is a specific instruction or prompt designed to encourage or persuade the audience to take a particular action. Marketing CTAs are direct and explicit requests that aim to guide the audience toward a desired outcome, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a form, or engaging with content.

CTAs in marketing are strategically placed within various types of marketing content, such as websites, emails, social media posts, advertisements, and landing pages.

Tailoring CTAs to the Customer Journey

Understanding your customer’s journey is paramount in marketing. Think about it in terms of the sales funnel: those at the top (ToFu) are just becoming aware of their problems, while those in the middle  (MoFu) are actively seeking solutions, and those at the bottom of the funnel (BoFu) are ready to buy! Transitional CTAs are fantastic for engaging leads at the top and sometimes the middle of the funnel, encouraging them to follow your brand’s progress or read more content. This builds trust between you until your prospect is ready to become a customer. Direct CTAs are ideal for those at the bottom of the funnel who are ready to make a purchase. 

Transitional Offers: Balancing Engagement and Commitment

The first type of CTA in marketing, the transitional offer, is designed for those who aren’t quite ready to dive into a full commitment. They might not be prepared to schedule a call or jump into a sales process, but they’re open to taking a small step. This is where the power of reciprocity comes in—you offer something of value in exchange for their contact information. Some examples might include downloadable guides, resource materials, or webinar sign-ups. Transitional CTAs serve as the midpoint between passive browsing and deeper engagement.

Direct CTAs: Navigating the Sales Process

The more assertive sibling of transitional CTAs, the direct CTAs, guide your audience toward a specific action that aligns with your sales process. These CTAs require a higher level of commitment, whether in terms of time, effort, or even a nominal fee. High-converting CTA examples include “Schedule a Call,” “Start an Estimate,” or “Book a Demo.” These CTAs are strategically positioned to lead potential customers down the conversion funnel. A crucial point to remember is that the verbiage of your direct marketing call to action must be crystal clear about the outcome of clicking the button.

Read More: The Simple Words That Make You More Money on Your Website

How Do You Use a Call to Action in Marketing?

Learning how to write an effective call to action for your small business can mean the difference between a customer who sets up a discovery call and a customer who moves on to a competitor’s website. Effective use of marketing CTAs involves careful planning, thoughtful implementation, and continuous improvement. Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling call to action in marketing:

1. Be Clear and Specific

Studies show that the average time spent on a website is 54 seconds. The reality is that most of your readers or website visitors are distracted and have short attention spans. You don’t have much time to tell your audience what you want them to do and how to do it. That’s why it is so important to learn how to write a marketing call to action that is clear and easy to remember. 

Your marketing CTA should leave no room for confusion.

Clearly state what action you want your audience to take. Use straightforward language that is easy to understand. 

A major pitfall to avoid is using vague or generic language in your CTAs. The goal is to eliminate confusion and set clear expectations for your audience. Imagine clicking a CTA that says “Let’s Get Started” without knowing what you’re starting. Is it a quote, a conversation, or something else entirely? Make sure your CTAs use specific, action-oriented language that leaves no room for doubt.

2. Use Action-Oriented Verbs

You want your CTA to prompt an immediate response — so start your CTA with action verbs. Strong and compelling verbs like buy, subscribe, download, register, etc., are more likely to motivate your audience to take action.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is a commonly used sales technique that can also inspire your CTAs. Encourage your audience to act quickly by incorporating urgency in your CTA. Use phrases like limited-time offer, act now, don’t miss out, or last chance.

4. Offer Value and Benefits

Make the CTA about them — not your business. 

Don’t do this:

Learn more about our services.

Instead, do this: 

Discover how your business can benefit from our services.

Explain to your audience the benefits of taking the desired action now. Clearly communicate what your audience will gain or how their problems will be solved if they follow the CTA.

5. Make it Stand Out Visually

It’s also about more than just learning how to write a call to action in marketing. Position your CTA where it makes sense within your content or website. It should be prominently visible and easily accessible to the user without being overly intrusive. Use contrasting colors, bold fonts, or CTA buttons to make your CTA visually distinct from the rest of your content. This helps draw attention and increases the chances of it being clicked. Read more here about making a CTA stand out. 

6. Keep it Short and Concise

As we mentioned before, your audience is probably reading through your content fairly quickly, so it’s important to communicate clearly and simply. CTAs should be brief and to the point. Avoid long-winded or complicated language. Aim for a clear and concise message that users can quickly comprehend and remember.

7. Test Different CTAs 

Conduct A/B tests to compare the performance of different CTAs. This will help you identify which marketing CTA is most effective in achieving your goals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different CTAs to see which ones work best for your audience. Segment A/B testing can help you determine the most effective wording and design.

8. Be Honest and Transparent

Avoid using misleading or manipulative language in your marketing call to action. Honesty and transparency build trust with your audience and lead to sustainable long-term results that will grow your small business over the long haul.

9. Align with Your Audience and Goals

Tailor your CTAs to match the interests and needs of your target audience. Additionally, ensure that your CTAs align with the specific goals of your marketing campaign or business. If you have data about your audience, such as their location or preferences, consider using that information to personalize a marketing call to action (CTA). Personalized CTAs often perform better than generic ones.

10. Follow Through on Your Promise

Once your audience follows the CTA, make sure that the subsequent experience aligns with what you promised. This consistency builds trust and encourages loyalty. For instance, a CTA button on a website should direct to a simple and clear contact form with limited fields or a phone number. Make it easy for them to get in touch or take action. 

Read More: An Effective B2B Marketing Strategy: Why Messaging and Audience Matter

A Strong Call to Action Can Grow Your Small Business

CTAs are the guiding lights that lead your audience through their journey from awareness to action. Understanding the different types of CTAs and strategically placing them within your marketing content can significantly impact your conversion rates. Keep your language clear, your offers valuable, and your design eye-catching to create CTAs that truly resonate with your audience.

By implementing these strategies on how to write a call to action in marketing, you can optimize your CTAs for maximum effectiveness and better achieve your desired marketing outcomes. Remember that CTAs can significantly impact your small business website traffic, so it’s worth investing time and effort in crafting them thoughtfully.

Now that you’ve learned how to craft effective CTAs, take time to assess whether or not your marketing message is working. If you feel like it could use some work, give us a call! We’d love to guide you through creative and effective small business marketing strategies and content that yield long-term results. Schedule a discovery call today


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