It’s the worst feeling: you spend time, money, and energy finding prospects. Then, you lose them at the last second.
You attract their attention. They engage with your business. Yet, they’re still not converting.
If potential customers are dropping out of your sales funnel like this, it’s a sign that something’s off — particularly in your calls to action (CTAs)
At that point, they'll click out of your website, meaning you’ll lose out on those conversions. If you want to make sure your CTAs turn your audience into paying customers, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s how to create a copywriting call to action that’ll convert readers in 5 simple steps. No more guessing if your customers will take you up on your offer. Instead, you’ll receive a steady stream of clicks on your CTA buttons.
Before optimizing your CTAs, it’s important to clarify what you want your audience to do.
After all, CTAs compel users to take action. So, what action do you want them to take?
That might sound overwhelming, but there are many different CTA options to choose from. The right one for you depends on your end goal for the reader.
For example, do you want them to:
These are just a few examples of actions you might want your audience to take.
When you know what you want them to do, you can craft the right CTA for that purpose.
That’ll make your CTAs clear and concise, which increases the likelihood of your readers taking action.
If you’re not sure what you want the reader to do, however, you risk using vague or generic phrases.
For example, words such as “submit” or “sign up” fall flat.
These phrases don’t guide the reader toward what to do next. Instead, they read as passive suggestions, as if it doesn’t matter to you if the reader takes action or not.
Uninspiring CTAs like these aren’t likely to convince your audience to convert.
Instead, words that excite or compel readers to click your CTA button are more effective.
The best way to make sure you’re using the right words is knowing exactly what you want your audience to do. Get specific and focus on the benefits of engaging with the CTA.
Instead of “Sign Up Today,” you could use a phrase like “Find Out How Much Money You Can Save.” Make the CTA enticing and show the reader what they get when they click it.
Of course, this depends on your offer and your audience. So before anything, make sure you know your CTAs’ objectives.
Now that you’ve figured out what you want your audience to do, the next step is getting them to do it.
Offering them something in return is a great starting point.
This works because personal gain motivates all consumers. There are no exceptions — this includes you, me, and your ideal customer.
That means the action you want them to take needs to seem worth even minimal effort.
Think of it like an exchange. By asking your audience to take the next step, you’re asking them to exchange their:
Just to name a few options.
Overall, you’re asking them for a chance to show why your business is right for them.
With this idea in mind, you can see why generic CTAs like “Submit Contact Info Here” are unappealing.
It sounds like the reader won’t get anything in return, which means they’ll be less likely to engage.
So what kinds of things can you offer them? What can you offer to make them feel like they’re getting something out of it?
First, think about what will benefit your readers. What can you offer that will make their lives easier?
If you’re still unclear about what these things are, think about your target audience’s desires and fears.
To know what motivates your audience, you need to understand what they want and don’t want. You might have some ideas of what these things are now, but that’s all. They’re just ideas.
Conducting proper audience research, on the other hand, will help you specify these answers.
For example, let’s say you’re a banana vendor targeting an elderly demographic.
You may think your ideal customer wants to be healthier. Period. That makes sense, but think about it a little more. What do they really want? More than anything?
Maybe your customer wants to be healthier to live longer. They might want to make sure they live long enough to see their grandchildren. If you dig deeper, you could find out they want to be healthy enough to play with their grandchildren.
Understanding these things gets to the heart of what your customers want and fear.
Once you know what these things are, you can address them to make your offer more appealing.
Powerful CTAs offer something that directly relates to your audiences’ wants and fears. They help your audience obtain or avoid something important.
These kinds of offers include:
Keep in mind, this isn’t an extensive list of resources. Instead, it should give you a general idea of how to have an exchange with your audience.
Let’s look at the banana vendor example from above. Say you’re looking to increase the number of subscribers on your email list.
In exchange, you could offer something like heart-healthy banana recipes your audience can make with their families.
That’s something your target audience would be interested in.
The CTA could read “Sign Up and Get 5 Recipes That’ll Keep Your Heart Healthy.”
Sounds a bit more enticing than “Get 5 Recipes Here.”
Even if you’re not part of the target audience, you might still be interested.
No matter what, having an attractive offer to back up your CTA will make your audience more willing to do it.
So make sure your CTAs and offers relate to what your ideal customers really want.
As much as we like to think we’re logical and rational human beings, we’re driven by our emotions.
That means buying is an emotional process. So it’s important to learn how to appeal to your customers’ emotions.
If you can tap into their emotions, you’ll be able to motivate your audience to take up your offer.
You’ve already learned how to find their deepest wants and fears — the two main drivers of behavior. Now, how can you prompt them to act?
You can start by creating a sense of urgency and scarcity.
Here’s how it works:
Humans are wired for immediate gratification and relief. We want to gain physical and mental comfort and avoid discomfort as easily as possible. The more you appeal to these instincts, the more you’ll get prospects to act right away.
An example of this kind of CTA reads: “Limited Time Discount: Get 15% Off While Supplies Last.”
The sense of urgency comes from the temporary 15% discount that ends soon. The sense of scarcity comes from the limited supplies.
Triggering these emotions will prompt action in your readers. They’ll be more inclined to take up your offer right away.
Another great way to make your CTA more attractive is creating a sense of anticipation and expectation for the reader.
In other words, make your audience excited for what happens after they take up your offer.
A CTA that builds anticipation for a personal finance blog could read: “Learn 7 Money Making Secrets That Only Millionaires Know.”
The CTA makes these 7 secrets seem exclusive. The target reader will feel empowered for accessing insider information. They think they’ll learn knowledge other people don’t have. This can entice them to read your content right away.
A CTA that builds on the reader’s expectations could read: “Join Our Community to Start Living a Zen Life.”
By joining the newsletter, the reader can expect tips to help them become more balanced. They’ll imagine learning how to reduce stress and live a more peaceful life.
These expectations will compel anxious readers to click the CTA button.
Creating an emotional response will help you give your readers the push they need to engage with your CTA.
Again, people are more likely to do something if they get something out of it. So make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Now that you know how to create enticing offers for your audience, how can you make them stand out even more?
In other words, how can you make them more unique?
Well, it might feel difficult to distinguish what you offer from the competition.
After all, everyone’s giving out checklists, newsletters, and consultation calls to their audiences.
These worries are valid. Especially if you work in a crowded industry.
Here’s the thing, though: everyone’s offering these resources because they work.
Customers buy things to make their lives easier. These things do that.
The most important thing to do is make sure your customers find you helpful.
That means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You only need to make your wheel seem like the better option.
No two businesses are alike, even if they’re in the same industry. Your business and brand has its own unique appeal to your audience.
That means you can offer your own services and insights from your experiences.
For example, let’s say your business sustainably produces stainless steel water bottles for outdoor activities. As the CEO, you noticed that all the current options on the market fall short.
They don’t seal tightly, they spill when you take a sip, and they dent easily. You end up having to buy new ones frequently, which doesn’t help solve the sustainability issue.
So you created your own stainless steel water bottles that address these problems.
In your CTA for a 15% discount off their first purchase, you could write: “Join the Thrill With Less Spill.”
As you learned from the previous points above, this CTA addresses your customers’ desires and pain points. They want functional water bottles they can take anywhere without worrying about its mess or lifespan.
That’s what makes this CTA so effective — coupled with the sense of urgency you gave readers.
You see, your business’s experiences can be just the thing your customers need. They can be the thing that convinces them your brand is right for their needs.
So, don’t sell yourself short.
Here's how you can build your personal powerful brand through copywriting.
CTAs incite your reader to take action. To increase the chance that your prospects opt-in, make sure you’re using strong action verbs.
“Strong action verbs” may sound redundant, but let's look at some CTA examples that fall flat, like “Sign up here,” “Submit,” or “Start Today.”
Sure, these examples use verbs. The reason they’re not impactful, though, is because they don’t inspire the reader to take action. The verbs are generic and could apply to any offer in any industry.
They also read as passive suggestions, as though it doesn’t matter whether the reader takes action. There are no stakes. Plus, since the reader feels like they have nothing to gain, they won’t do it.
Your CTAs need to excite the reader to take the action you want them to take. That’s why you need to be more creative with the words you use.
So how do you come up with strong action words? Think back to your audience’s fears and desires.
What do they really want? What action verbs can you use to motivate them to get what they want?
Let’s examine some examples:
What are some patterns you see? First, these CTAs touch on the target audience’s desires. Second, these CTAs inspire the reader to take your desired action.
When you use strong verbs, readers feel compelled to take the next step you suggested.
These verbs make the reader feel empowered. Or they make the reader feel excited about what comes next. They can even tap into the reader’s fears and dislikes.
That’s the power of strong verbs. Try to include them for more attractive CTAs.
After going through the previous steps, you’re ready to optimize your CTA design.
This may sound trivial or obvious, but aesthetics matter to readers.
For example, if you bury your CTA within your web pages, customers will be less likely to convert. That’s because the way your CTAs appear on the page can make you win or lose customers.
So it’s important to design your CTA buttons for maximum conversions.
The best way to do this is to make sure your CTAs stand out and are easy for customers to interact with.
Some factors to think about are:
These factors help make your CTAs attractive and legible to the audience.
If any of these design elements are off, you’ll lose out on conversions. So make sure your CTAs appeal to your customers’ eyes.
Until now, you’ve done a lot of work constructing perfect CTAs. Now it’s time to test them.
A/B (or split) testing is a great way to determine how effective your CTAs are. It’s a method of testing in which you use different versions of the same CTA at once. So, half of your audience will see one version and the other half will see another.
This is helpful because it’s difficult to come up with the best copy or button design right away. Often, you’ll need to create multiple iterations.
A/B testing helps you speed up this process by testing out multiple versions of your CTAs at the same time.
It can measure your CTAs’ performances by showing how many people view them, click them, and submit their information over time.
That way, you can find which phrasing and formatting are the most impactful on your audience.
For example, you can isolate different variables, such as the color of your CTA buttons. Considering that the copy is the same in both, you may find that blue buttons with high contrast outperform brown buttons with low contrast.
This information is useful because it shows you what you need to change to appeal to your audience.
In other words, it helps you course correct.
Make sure not to overlook this useful method, it can bring many issues to light.
After building so much interest and excitement in your product or service, you don’t want your efforts to fall flat with anti-climactic CTAs.
Thankfully, now you know how to create winning CTAs that convert. Which means you won’t lose out on customers because of generic or boring prompts ever again.
The ability to craft alluring CTAs will compel prospects to continue interacting with your brand. They’ll help you keep your audience’s attention by continually offering something they want.
Whether it’s something that fulfills their desires or alleviates their worries, as long as you make your audience’s lives easier, your CTAs will be more impactful.
Plus, the more you keep them engaged with your business, the more likely they’ll become loyal, paying customers.
Powerful CTAs will make customers want to click that button right away. For your business, that means more conversions every day.
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