Lead Generation

Commitment can be a very intimidating thing. And sometimes, nothing can make a person more anxious than knowing that only a click of a button stands between them and their hard-earned cash. With so much riding on one little click, much thought and consideration must go into developing an effective call-to-action.

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a key driver of lead generation. As a business owner, you know you need them on your website if you want to attract more visitors, generate more leads, and convert more customers. If they are done right, your optimized call-to-action buttons can have a huge impact on click-throughs and conversion rates.

Simply put, they are a crucial component to inbound marketing. Before diving into the “must have” characteristics of effective call to action phrases, we’ll first chalk out what the term actually means.

What's a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action (CTA) is a line of text or image that is used to prompt your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. This action could mean a variety of things, whether it’s:

  • Download an ebook
  • Sign up for a webinar
  • Receive a coupon
  • Attend an event

Whatever you choose as valuable information for the visitor can be utilized as the call-to-action incentive.


A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing - on your website, at the end of a blog post, in an ebook or in an email. It is a proven mechanism that is effective for your business if represented as attractive and compelling to the visitor.

But, unfortunately, not all calls-to-action are effective at converting visitors. As a team, you know that it is important to fully understand the goals of the business, right? Well, having great information but a lackluster and underperforming CTA is counterproductive. Here are a few “Don’ts” when creating a CTA:

  • DON’T hide your CTA’s where no one can find them
  • DON’T use the same color in your CTA as the page’s background
  • DON’T be too wordy
  • DON’T oversell and under-deliver
  • DON’T link your CTA’s to your homepage

Now, here’s the catch. You can’t just slap “Start now!” on a bright colored button and hope for the best.

There are several pivotal characteristics you need to include in a call-to-action phrase if you want to entice people to take action from your content:

1. Action-oriented

The language in your calls-to-action will most likely reflect industry-specific knowledge. However, there are some best practices that hold true for all CTA copy, regardless of industry. The terminology that works well for attracting views to blog posts implies expertise and thought leadership. According to The Science of Blogging, some of the words that are most viewed in blog posts include “insights,” “analysis,” “answers,” “questions,” “advice,” “review,” “why,” “product”, “top,” and “best.” These words suggest that the piece of content can improve the reader in some way. The same logic can be applied to crafting call-to-action copy. Emphasize the benefits of the offer and how it can make your prospects smarter.

We have all been witnesses to bad CTA’s.

Submit: What if the visitor wants to subscribe to your newsletter, but the CTA just says Submit?
Read More: About what? Make it specific!
Next: What comes next? This causes click fear if you do not say what comes next.

When calling the user to action, instead of the vague words mentioned above, use a meaningful action-oriented phrase that explains what the link or button offers. Ensuring the audience understands what it is you want from them will generate greater results from all your campaigns.

2. Make it brief

Your call-to-action should be simple and to the point. Five or fewer words that tend to perform best would be ideal. If a situation presents itself that you must go over that limit, be sure that every word you add is essential.

Your CTA should convey a benefits statement that uses brief, to-the-point language, while your landing page will be the one to provide the visitor short sentences or bullets of what they can expect to find inside the offer (as well as a form to collect their information). Remember, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. You want to make them count!


3. Play up its time-sensitivity

While visitors are browsing your website, blog or social media account, they are most likely also checking their emails, fielding phone calls and drafting their own tweet. With so many distractions in everyday life and on the internet, you want to keep your readers focused on clicking your call-to-action phrase.

People respond to immediacy. Tie your message to a specific time frame or deadline by adding words like “now” or “today” to your CTA button. Reminding the visitor to do something can increase the chance of them actually following through with it.

This method is particularly effective for marketing message that advertise short-term promotions. If you didn’t plan on having a deadline, refer back to your message and determine if adding one could increase the urgency of the offer.

Let us help you get started on crafting the perfect call-to-action phrase today!

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Topics:   Lead Generation