What Is a Call to Action in Writing? Boost Conversions Now

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Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

what is a call to action in writing

Blood, sweat, and tears – that’s what you’ve poured into your content. Finally, your opus is ready for the world. You hit publish, waiting for the accolades to come pouring in, but instead, you’re met with a deafening silence. No clicks, no conversions, nothing.

What gives?

Chances are, you’re missing one crucial element: a powerful call to action. Without a clear CTA, your readers are left hanging, unsure of what to do next.

Join me as we uncover the art and science behind creating powerful CTA buttons that convert like crazy.

Table Of Contents:

What Is a Call to Action in Writing?

You’ve likely come across the marketing buzzword “call to action” before. But what does it really mean, and how can you put CTAs to work in your own writing to get results?

The whole point of a CTA button is to convert passive readers into active leads or customers. By giving clear instructions and making it easy for people to take the next step, you’re guiding your target audience further down your sales funnel and closer to achieving your marketing goals.

Call-to-Action Examples

CTA phrases are designed to encourage immediate responses or actions. Here are some popular call-to-action examples:

  • Shop Now: Common for e-commerce sites.
  • Sign Up Today: Effective for newsletters and memberships.
  • Learn More: Invites users to explore additional details or information.
  • Get Started: Encourages people to begin a process, like registering for a service.
  • Subscribe: Often used for mailing lists, podcasts, and content channels.
  • Book a Free Consultation: Used in professional services for potential clients.
  • Try It for Free: Popular for free trials of software or apps.
  • Download Now: Promotes access to digital products like eBooks or apps.
  • Reserve Your Spot: Common for events or webinars.
  • Claim Your Offer: Often linked to limited-time discounts or promotions.

These CTA examples can be tailored to match the desired action and target audience context for the most effective results.

Characteristics of an Effective CTA

So, what makes a good CTA?

First and foremost, it needs to be clear and specific. Use strong, action-oriented, persuasive language that leaves no doubt about what you want the reader to do.

Your CTA should also create a sense of urgency and highlight the benefits of taking action.

And of course, it needs to be visually prominent and easy to find – don’t bury it at the bottom of your post.

Types of Call to Action in Writing

Depending on your goals and the type of content you’re creating, you might use different kinds of calls to action in your writing.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most common types that marketers use.

Direct Action CTAs

As the name suggests, these CTAs are all about getting the reader to take immediate, specific action. Think things like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up Today,” or “Download Your Free eBook.”

Direct action CTAs work well when you’re trying to drive sales or sign-ups, and they’re often used on product pages, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns.

Lead Generation CTAs

Lead generation CTAs are designed to capture information about potential customers, like their name, email address, or phone number. You’ll often see these on blog posts or gated content offers, with CTAs like “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” or “Get Your Free Consultation.”

Social Sharing CTAs

Want to get more eyes on your content? That’s where social sharing CTAs come in. Call-to-action examples like “Share This Post” or “Tweet This Quote” prompt users to share your post on their own social media channels.

When influencers share your brand with their followers, it not only increases your exposure but also adds a layer of credibility that can’t be bought.

Feedback CTAs

Feedback CTAs are all about gathering insights and opinions from your audience. You might use these at the end of a blog post to encourage comments, or in a survey or poll to collect data.

CTA examples like “Leave a Comment Below” or “Take Our Quick Survey” allow you to gather information that can help inform your content strategy and improve your offerings.

How to Write a Compelling Call to Action

Now that you know the basics of CTAs, let’s talk about how to actually write one that gets results.

Stop settling for lackluster calls to action that fall flat. I’ve got the inside scoop on how to write CTAs that grab attention and motivate your readers to act now.

1. Use Action Words

Your CTA should start with a strong verb that encourages action, like “discover,” “start,” “find,” or “unlock.”

Avoid wishy-washy phrases like “learn more” or “click here” – be bold and direct.

2. Be Clear and Specific

Vague CTAs like “Submit” or “Enter” don’t give the reader any context or motivation. Instead, be specific about what you want them to do and what they’ll get in return.

For example, instead of “Sign Up,” try something like “Get My Free 10-Step Guide to Better Sleep.”

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Want to get your readers’ blood pumping? Use words like “now” or “today” to create a sense of urgency that’s impossible to ignore.

When you add a “limited-time offer” to the mix, you’re basically telling them, “Hey, you snooze, you lose.”

4. Highlight Benefits

Your CTA should focus on the value and benefits the reader will get by taking action, not just the features of your product or offer.

So instead of “Buy Our Software,” try something like “Streamline Your Workflow and Get More Done with Our Intuitive Tools.”

5. Align with Your Brand Voice

Finally, make sure your CTA fits seamlessly with your overall brand voice and tone. If your brand is fun and playful, your CTA should reflect that. If you’re more serious and professional, keep your language buttoned up.

The key is to stay consistent and authentic to who you are as a brand.

Want to learn how to create a CTA button that converts? Check out these CTA design tips and best practices from Canva.

Best Places to Display CTAs in Your Content

You’ve got a few prime spots to place your CTAs if you want to grab your readers’ attention.

But hang on a sec – let’s talk about why it matters where you put them.

Let’s say you’ve written a blog post that provides your readers with unique perspectives and actionable advice. But if your call-to-action is positioned at the very end of the post or blends in with the surrounding text, your readers might inadvertently scroll right past it.

So where should you place your CTA button to spur your reader into action?

Placement in Blog Posts

In my experience, there are three prime spots for CTAs in a blog post: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

I like to think of it as the “sandwich” approach.

At the beginning of your post, consider including a CTA above the fold (the portion of the page visible without scrolling). This could be a simple text link or a button that encourages readers to take action right away, like signing up for your newsletter or downloading a free resource.

Here’s an example:

In the middle of your post, try weaving in a CTA naturally within the body copy. This could be a text link that directs readers to a related article or a product mentioned in the post. Just be sure it fits seamlessly with the flow of your content.

And of course, don’t forget the end of your post. This is where you’ll want to include a prominent CTA, like a button or a sign-up form. After all, if readers have made it to the end of your post, they’re clearly engaged with your content and primed to take action.

Placement on Landing Pages

When it comes to landing pages, the name of the game is simplicity. You want your CTA to be the star of the show, not competing with a bunch of other elements on the page.

Place your primary CTA above the fold, using a contrasting color and ample white space to make it pop.

If you have a longer landing page, consider using a sticky navigation bar that keeps your CTA visible as users scroll.

And don’t be afraid to repeat your CTA throughout the page, especially if you have a lot of content. Just be sure each CTA is relevant to the section it’s in and doesn’t feel like overkill.

Placement in Email Marketing

With email marketing, the key is to make your CTA impossible to miss. I recommend placing it near the top of your email, either as a button or a text link.

If you have a longer email, consider using a “P.S.” at the end to reiterate your CTA. This is a great spot to add a sense of urgency or highlight a specific benefit of taking action.

And don’t forget about mobile. Make sure your CTA is easy to tap on a small screen, with plenty of padding around it to avoid accidental clicks.

Placement in Social Media Posts

When it comes to social media, the key is to keep your CTAs short and sweet. You’ve got limited space to work with, so make every word count.

For platforms like Twitter and Instagram, consider using a URL shortener to keep your links tidy and trackable.

And don’t be afraid to get creative with your CTA copy – a little personality can go a long way on social.

One trick I like to use is creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) with my social CTAs. Something like “Only 3 spots left” or “Today only” can be incredibly effective at driving clicks and conversions.

Optimizing CTAs for Conversions

So, you’ve crafted the perfect CTA and placed it in all the right spots. But how do you know if it will work? That’s where optimization comes in.

Optimizing your CTAs is all about testing, tweaking, and refining until you find the winning formula. It’s not a one-and-done process, but rather an ongoing effort to improve your conversion rates over time.

Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing is hands-down one of the most effective ways to optimize your CTAs. It involves creating two versions of your CTA (version A and version B) and splitting your traffic between them to see which one performs better.

You can test all sorts of elements like the copy, color, size, and placement of your CTA. Just be sure to test one element at a time so you can pinpoint exactly what’s moving the needle.

There are plenty of tools out there to help you run A/B tests like Optimizely. Just be sure to let your tests run long enough to reach statistical significance before making any decisions.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

With more and more traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s crucial to optimize your CTAs for smaller screens. This means using larger buttons, clear and concise copy, and plenty of white space to make your CTAs easy to tap.

It’s also important to consider the user experience on mobile. Make sure your CTAs are placed in spots that are easy to reach with one hand, and that they don’t interfere with other elements on the page.

And don’t forget to test your CTAs on a variety of devices and screen sizes to ensure they look and function as intended.

Personalize CTAs Based on User Data

One of the most effective ways to optimize your CTAs is to personalize them based on user data. This could mean displaying different CTAs to different segments of your audience based on their interests, behavior, or demographics.

For example, if you have a SaaS product, you might show a “Start Your Free Trial” CTA to new visitors, and a “Upgrade Your Plan” CTA to existing customers.

Or if you have an e-commerce site, you might show personalized product recommendations based on a user’s browsing history.

There are plenty of tools out there to help you personalize your CTAs. Just be sure to use data responsibly and respect your users’ privacy.

Analyze User Behavior

To really understand how your CTAs are performing, you need to dive into your analytics. Look at metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates to get a sense of how users are interacting with your CTAs.

Pay attention to things like where users are clicking (or not clicking), how far down the page they’re scrolling, and what actions they’re taking after clicking your CTA. This data can give you valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not.

You can also use tools like Hotjar to create heatmaps and user recordings, which can show you exactly how users are navigating your site and interacting with your CTAs.

Examples of Effective CTAs Across Different Platforms

Sometimes the best way to learn is by example. So let’s take a look at some real-world CTAs that are crushing it across different platforms.

Website and Landing Page CTAs

One of my favorite examples of a website CTA comes from Shopify. Their homepage features a prominent “Start free trial” button that’s impossible to miss.

The copy is clear and action-oriented, and the button stands out with its white button color against a dark background.

what is a call to action in writing

Another great example is Netflix’s landing page.

Their primary CTA is a simple “Get Started” button, which is paired with a compelling value proposition: “Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime.”

The page is clean and uncluttered, with the CTA as the clear focal point.

what is a call to action in writing

Email Marketing CTAs

When it comes to email marketing, Harry’s does a fantastic job with their CTAs. Their emails often feature a prominent “Shop Now” button that’s paired with a specific product or offer. The copy is short and sweet, and the button stands out with its contrasting color.

Another great example comes from Warby Parker. Their email CTAs often feature playful copy that aligns with their brand voice, like “Let’s do this” or “I’m in.” They also use eye-catching visuals to draw attention to their CTAs, like animated GIFs or product images.

Social Media Ad CTAs

In the crowded world of social media, Blue Apron’s Facebook ads stand out by being equal parts enticing and actionable. Appetizing photos of real meals grab your attention and make your stomach growl.

“Sign Up” CTAs are prominently displayed, nudging you to take the next step. The promise of fresh ingredients showing up at your door seals the deal, positioning Blue Apron as the simple solution to your meal-planning woes.

what is a call to action in writing

Another great example comes from Casper. Their Instagram ads often feature a “Shop Now” CTA paired with a specific product or offer, like “Save up to 15% on mattresses and more.”

The visuals are clean and simple, with the CTA button as the clear focus.

what is a call to action in writing

E-commerce Product Page CTAs

For e-commerce product pages, the CTA is often the most important element on the page.

One brand that nails it is Allbirds. Their product pages feature a prominent “Add to Cart” button that’s impossible to miss.

The copy is simple and direct, and the button stands out with its contrasting color.

what is a call to action in writing

Another great example comes from Glossier.

Their product pages often feature multiple CTAs, like “Add to Bag” and “Add to Wishlist.”

The copy is playful and on-brand, and the buttons are strategically placed to drive action.

what is a call to action in writing

When it comes to crafting the perfect CTA, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. What resonates with one audience might fall flat with another. To strike the right chord, you’ll need to put on your mad scientist hat and experiment, test, and refine until you discover the secret sauce that gets your specific crowd clicking.

Boost Your Conversion Rate With Irresistible CTAs

So there you have it, folks – the lowdown on what a call to action is in writing and how to make it work for you. Remember, a killer CTA is clear, compelling, and impossible to resist.

Experiment with different CTA strategies to see what clicks with your readers. A well-crafted call-to-action could be the pivotal point that turns a visitor into a customer.

Craft those attention-grabbing CTAs, sprinkle them throughout your content, and watch your conversions soar!

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with gratitude,

Julia

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