How to create a powerful call to action

How to create a powerful call to action

Author: Lucy Barfoot

Marketing Automation whizz and creative entrepreneur. I love analysing what visually works (and what doesn't) in the marketing industry and helping people to devise marketing campaigns from a creative angle.

This blog is about the calls to action you use within your content... Whether that’s your email content, your social content or your website content. 

We’re talking about CTAs to use in the places you sit online, where your audience is consuming your content. We want to specifically assist you in creating awesome CTAs for the people who already like you a bit, the people you can be personable with, the people who you want to convert into raving fans. 

Just to be crystal clear - we specialise in engagement marketing and there’s loads of blogs out there you could read for creating direct sales messages - selling cold, just getting an instant purchase (eg. devising Facebook ads to a custom audience who haven’t ever seen you before), but that ain’t our bag. We believe that the ideal customer journey is one where customers don’t feel sold to until a relationship has formed. (More on that here in our blog: 'Sales cycle stages : the perfect sales pipeline'.

Anyone who is consuming your content is a lead. Someone who follows you on facebook, is on your email list, has read a blog post of yours… they’re leads. They’re warm. 

Let’s get those people hot! 

In our experience… 

Most of the time, businesses fall into one of these camps: 

1. Push push push, push the things, all the time: “I want my list to buy or sign up, and I want it now. it’s the whole point of all the content I’m creating”.

2. Gently does it - or rather, sit there and don’t do anything: “I don’t want to push them. I don’t want them to think I’m salesy”. 

But neither of those are ideal! We recommend  you’re somewhere in between. 

Be proud of your content, ready to suggest they consume more of it. If you’re attracting the right people to your website they are going to be happy to continue reading or perhaps to sign up to a free resource. 

BUT this is easier said than done! 

How do you encourage your readers without sounding pushy? 

How do you deliver powerful calls to action without feeling sheepish?

How do you encourage your audience to hit that call to action button?

We will show you how - some real examples are coming your way, but first - I want to briefly cover some basics.  

What Is a Call To Action?

Your CTAs are there to encourage your people to continue engaging with you - engaging may be in:

  • Signing up to your list
  • Downloading a freebie
  • Reading another blog post of yours (or maybe a video on a related topic) 
  • Following you on socials
  • Dropping you an email 
  • Selling you something 

And the trick is to do all and any of the above without sounding like you’re trying to flog a second hand car… Enter Terry Tibbs… 

Why Do You Need Calls To Action?

Encouraging your reader to take action may mean that people spend more time on your site (and Google will love you for it). 

It may mean actual coins in the bank if the action you’re encouraging is to purchase.

Perhaps it’s keeping that lead on the route to becoming a customer - getting them to trust you, to understand you and your product, to see you as an expert and to want to saddle up next to you. 

Sign up for 200 FREE Call to Actions!

If your website lacks direction and your prospects hit your page, browse for a second and then leave - you need an overhaul.

Download the 200 free Calls to Action and change your customer's journey through your website today!

Before I share with you some call to action examples, I have a little task for you… 

Are you asking your customers to take action powerfully?

I would like you to just take a moment to have a mini-audit of any calls to action you’re currently using in your content. 

Take 2 minutes to scan your website and bring up a couple of the most recent emails you’ve sent to your list. 

I want you to take note of 5 CTAs you’ve used (in video, in blogs, on a call to action button, wherever) and just hold them front of mind for a mo.

A Quick CTA evaluation: 

Use the following prompts to run a very quick and very small audit on those 5 current CTAs...

  • How do they make you feel?
  • How salesy are they? 
  • How friendly/personable do you sound?
  • Are they to the point? Are they a bit too long and ‘waffley’?
  • Do they entice you to click to download/find out more/do the thing the CTA invites you to do?

The best CTAs drive the reader to take action. They are specific and clear. 

Be direct. Don’t be shy. Have pride in what you’re offering - whether that’s a lead magnet, asking someone to sign up to your list, or asking your reader to share something. 

If you put the work into your content, be proud of it -  I bet you’re offering something great, so don’t be afraid to sell its value.

Don't be shy now

This blog talks about the three golden rules you need to be really clear on so you are hitting all the CTA sweet spots and making it easy as pie for your prospects to be confident in acting. Read the blog now. It’s full of real-life examples from streaming services and I love it! 

Show Me Some Examples

We put together this resource to give you a helping hand with your calls to action - these 20 examples of powerful CTAs can be plucked right out, or re-worked to really suit your business, your ideal customer and your tone. 

I’ve broken them down into 10 categories, and have chosen 2 calls to action for each category. 

I’ve got 200 examples waiting for you here - download our bank of 200 CTA examples now.  

Category 1: Encouraging comments

  • What do you do to >xtopic your blog post is talking about<? 
  • Comments aren't everything but we like them. Leave one below.

Category 2: Subscribe to your list

  • We write blogs weekly and you'll be the first to read them if you subscribe now 
  • Join the club - you'll get extra X and loads more tips!

Category 3: sign up to something specific

  • If you want to learn more about X hit this button
  •  Did this press your buttons? We love *this topic* so much,  we made a x for you

Category 4: Ask for Feedback

  • Record a video testimonial for us and get X free
  •  Help us help you better in the future

Category 5: Engage with us

  • Do you use Instagram? We love to share our xtype of content on that platform. 
  • Here's a ready made tweet - share it with your friends

Category 6:  Enquire

  • Hit this button to schedule a call 
  • We're waiting for your call

Category 7: Buy

  • £ price for x emotion associated with the purchase 
  •  Start your journey towards X

Category 8: Upsell/cross sell

  • Register your interest today and get £X off
  • Because you loved x, we'd love to show you y.

Category 9: Gather information

  • What is your goal for this year?
  • Hit a button - 'I want to learn more about X' or 'I want to learn more about Y'

Category 10: Uncategorisable wild ideas

  • Take the challenge
  • 100% satisfaction promise

Speak powerfully and drive people to consume your content or convert! 

You might find  some of the examples may spark off ideas for CTAs you could invent yourself. 

To grab the whole bank of CTAs, here is a very persuasive call to action to ask you to exchange your email address in return for the download…. Because if you don’t ask, you don’t get - am I right.

Sign up for 200 FREE Call to Actions!

If your website lacks direction and your prospects hit your page, browse for a second and then leave - you need an overhaul.

Download the 200 free Calls to Action and change your customer's journey through your website today!

Sneaky mischief from the Ninajs!

I love the special category of ‘Uncategorisable wild ideas’ - because you can’t categorise everything, right!?

I really hope you found my tangible examples useful, and  you’re in my gang of ‘no more lacklustre CTAs!