How To Draft CTAs

Drafting the Perfect Call To Action

Balance Creativity and Practicality

Creativity can take you a long way toward encouraging clicks and conversions, but it can also detract from your success if you go too far with it. Puns, play-on-words, and double entendres are great, but they must be clear and incite action.

Let’s say you build a fundraising campaign that centers around a baseball theme. You have a social media ad that says “Be a Grand Slam Member”. The goal is to get them to click through to your page and make a donation. While it’s fun to write a CTA that reads this it is not clear what you’re asking of the reader. Instead, you can bring together your fundraising campaign, the baseball theme, and your creativity by writing something that makes a more intentional ask: “Become a Fundraising MVP.”

Keep It Simple

If you want people to take a specific action, sometimes it’s as easy as just saying it. Amazon’s buy box says “Buy Now”.. You also see

  • “Donate Now”
  • “Share Now”
  • “Click Here”
  • “Book Now”
  • “Tour Today”
  • “Request a Consultation”

Sometimes being straightforward like this can be the most effective. If you can write it in five words, write it in five words (or fewer if it gets the meaning across).

Keep It Clear

Your CTA is only going to be effective if your audience can understand what you’re saying. You want to avoid run-on sentences, poor grammar, jargon, and fluffy language. Spell out precisely what you want your audience to do in your CTA. If you can’t do it in one short sentence, go back to the drawing board.

4. Use Strong Verbs to Start Your CTA

A direct, simple, and effective CTA starts with a powerful verb. Power verbs can help take your CTA from a place of inaction to action. Look at these two examples…

“Please Consider Talking With Us Today”

Or…

“Schedule a Call With a Specialist Now”

They express the same sentiment, but the second one is much stronger because it starts with an impactful power verb as opposed to a softer “please consider.” As you work through your CTAs, here’s a shortlist of powerful verbs you can use:

  • View
  • Donate
  • Support
  • Fundraise
  • Create
  • Discover
  • Explore
  • Learn
  • Read
  • See

Evoke Emotions

Aside from using powerful verbs to start your CTA, you can include emotional elements that take this experience beyond just one click. For example, take an emotional sentiment related to your campaign and morph it into an engaging CTA:

  • Join a group of dedicated individuals: “Join Our Powerful (Industry) Community”
  • You’re not donating, you’re changing the world: “See How You’re Changing the World”

When you inject emotion into your CTA, you inject emotion into the experience for your audience members that excites them to click.

6. Create Urgency

Amazon puts a countdown clock on their daily deals because they want you to feel a sense of urgency. If you don’t buy this item right now you may never get this awesome deal again. Anything you can do to include a similar sense of urgency in your CTA will go a long way towards getting people to click and take action.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily need to be a specific measurement of time. It could be a general feeling that you convey. What’s important is you extract urgent tidbits around opportunities that might not come around again and include them in your CTA:

  • “Earn Your Exclusive (Deal) Before They Run Out”
  • “It’s Not Too Late to Make an Impact”
  • “Be Among the First to Commit to (New Product)” 

The CTA can be tricky, but with practice, it gets easier and more fun. One of the best ways you can improve is by reading as many CTAs as you can. Almost any website with an online presence will have countless options for you to study.

If you’re looking for a great place to get started, request a no-cost digital strategy evaluation


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