16 Call-to-Action Formulas That Make People Want to Click
Good things happen when you create killer calls-to-action. I would even argue that your website can’t be successful unless you produce great calls-to-action.
The ideal CTA, however, isn’t always easy to think of. Sometimes, you need a little nudge in the right direction.
If you’re sick of “click now” CTAs that aren’t working, improve your game with these surefire call-to-action formulas.
1) Try it free for [TIME].
The word “try” is a soft term. It implies little risk. For this reason, it can be extremely effective, especially for downloadable products or apps.
Many SaaS products use this CTA. Here’s an example from Freshbooks:
Microsoft has the same CTA on one of their ads:
2) Get started now.
This phrase is a simple and short CTA. If you have limited space in your CTA button but want something that makes an impact, this is a great choice.
A user can get started on a signup process, a download, or something similar. Be sure to set the context in the remainder of your CTA so a user knows what they’re starting.
Here’s CreditKarma’s CTA as an example:
3) Order your [PRODUCT] today.
The word “today” is similar to the word “now.” Remember, instant gratification is a universal appeal for just about any CTA. If you are promising something today, it’s much more likely to produce action.
4) Learn more.
This classic CTA is short and direct. It appeals to one of the most fundamental of users’ needs: the desire for information.
A “learn more” CTA works best if you have an information product, or a multi-step funnel that informs users before asking for the sale.
5) Sign up for a free [TRIAL, MEMBERSHIP, ETC.].
This isn’t quite as strong as the immediate benefits promised by the other CTAs, but it is a great technique nonetheless.
The power of the CTA is in that single word free.
Here’s Insightly’s use of this method:
6) Start your free trial now.
This variation on the CTA above adds the word now to put sizzle in the action.
It’s a great option for SaaS organizations that provide free trials.
I prefer the “start…now” approach, because it appeals to the desire for instant gratification. Although a concept like “sign up for a free trial” works, it’s not nearly as direct. The phrase “sign up” sounds like there might be a period of delay.
7) Send me the [PRODUCT/SERVICE] right now.
Notice the word “me.” First-person CTAs use words like “me,” “my,” and “I.” They are powerful, because the user feels a sense of connection to the concept.
This CTA is heavily first-person oriented, and comes with a dose of the instant. “Right now” reinforces this concept.
8) Get [BENEFIT of SERVICE] today only.
This CTA is really strong because of the “today only” phrase. When you use that phrase, it causes the user to feel that the product might be scarce.
Don’t gloss over the benefit of service. When you explain the direct and positive result that your product can have, people are more likely to respond favorably.
9) Get your free [SOMETHING].
The “free” adjective is on full display in this short-and-sweet CTA. Obviously, you’ll need to offer something free, but it shouldn’t be hard to come up with an ebook, webinar, trial, or some other benefit that encourages users to convert.
HubSpot offers complimentary assessments to marketing professionals. Here’s the CTA:
10) Subscribe now.
It’s common, but still effective.
Some of the best CTAs are just like that — short, sweet, and to the point. You don’t need to say a lot in order to get the user to do a lot.
Ideally, most of your persuasion has happened on in your accompanying copy, rather than in your CTA button. With the stage set, you’re free to set the user loose with a two-word CTA.
11) See how it works.
A discovery-oriented approach can be very effective. The term helps promote curiosity and reduces much of the risk associated with CTAs like “buy” or “subscribe.”
“See how it works” is like taking a car for a test drive. It’s easy, fun, and risk-free.
This CTA works best for SaaS. Check out the example below to see what I mean:
12) Talk to us.
This is slightly more compelling than “contact us.” You can see an example of this on Contently’s homepage:
13) Experience the [BENEFIT OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE]
“Experience” is a sensory word. When you use this term in conjunction with an emotional benefit, then you’ve got a powerful CTA on your hands. This is an example from IMRCorp.com:
Make sure that you provide a highly-desirable the benefit of the product or service. This CTA is only as effective as the benefit that you attach to it.
14) Get [DISCOUNT] while supplies last!
Increasing urgency is a proven tactic for increasing the likelihood of a user’s action. If you can boost the user’s sense of time or supply — limited, running out, etc. — then you will increase their desire and need to click the CTA.
Print ads use this phrase in mailers and newspapers.
It works equally well as a standalone CTA button.
15) Get [PRODUCT OR SERVICE] today, and get [ADDED BENEFIT OR FREE PRODUCT].
Throw in a free something, and your conversion rates are sure to rise. Adding an additional benefit on top of the CTA allows you to increase the motivation.
16) Only [NUMBER OF AVAILABLE PRODUCTS OR SPOTS] available. Lock in your order now!
Limiting anything is the best way to increase its potential power.
I place limits on my webinars in order to maximize the value and impact that it makes.
There’s a psychological impact to this technique. When you limit availability you raise the perceived value of the product or service.
There are endless options for creating an ultra-compelling CTA. How do you pick the right one?
The solution to finding the perfect CTA is not to randomly try everything on this list. The solution is to sequentially test the CTAs that are most likely to produce an impact on your conversions.
CTAs are the powerhouse of your website’s conversions. Weak, ineffective, and cliché CTAs will give you low conversion rates. Pick one or two from this list, test them out, and watch your conversions rise.