The “Call to Action” is quite possibly the most important element of your marketing campaign. Yes, even more important than your aesthetic visuals, clever captions, and trendy reels. A “Call to Action” is exactly what it sounds like—You (the brand) are calling on your audience (the customer) to perform an action (to click, buy, enroll, subscribe, share, etc.). Out of all the graphics and text in your marketing, the Call to Action answers, What do you want your audience to do?
Seems pretty obvious, right? So then why is MALC dedicating a whole blog post to something everyone’s already doing?
Because NOT everyone is doing it. In fact, 70% of small businesses fail to include a Call to Action on their website homepage (Small Business Trends). And they’re not alone; over half of the top 30 Fortune 500 companies don’t have a Call to Action on their landing page either.
So, now that you know Call to Actions are important yet overlooked, we’ve curated for you 6 ways your brand can maximize its Call to Action:
1. Be succinct.
Simple is often better when it comes to a Call to Action. Too long of an ask or too much flowery verbiage detracts from your messaging. Additionally, too many Calls to Action in one ad or page can confuse your audience. Keep it clear and straightforward so your reader knows exactly what they’re being asked to do. Wordstream found that including one clear Call to Action in emails boosted clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617%. Yes, you read that right.
2. Use strong action words.
Language has power, and it's important to use compelling words that inspire and embolden the reader to act. The action you're asking the reader to take should align with the goal of your marketing campaign (driving sales or sign-ups, encouraging user-generated content, sharing news of discounts and promotional events, etc.). How you word that call is up to you. Here’s a list of proven verbs to use in Calls to Action:
Add to Cart
3. Be bold.
87% of small and medium sized businesses display their "Contact Us" Call to Action in the same font and size as the rest of their content. The chances a viewer will skip over it? Pretty darn high. On your homepage, in an ad, or in an email newsletter, you want to make sure your Call to Action stands out to the reader. Use large, bold fonts and brightly colored buttons to draw attention to the Call to Action.
4. Cultivate a sense of urgency.
You don’t just want the reader to act, you want them to act RIGHT NOW! In fact, without the ticking clock adding a sense of urgency, your reader might put off the action for later and then forget. Adding phrases like only a few left, exclusive, last chance, special offer, and limited spots increases the chances the reader will follow through.
5. Get excited.
When you’re truly excited about your product or offering, that’ll reflect in your marketing. Add enthusiasm in your Call to Action to evoke an emotional reaction from the reader. Tap into their FOMO (“fear of missing out”), remind them of your USP (unique selling proposition), make an honest promise, or add modifiers like adjectives and numbers to further highlight the impact of your offer.
6. Make it interactive.
When possible, make your Call to Action interactive—a button with a direct link to your online store or booking site. If you can’t add a button, remind the reader how they can engage with you: click the link in bio, check out our website, text us at XXX-XXXX, or visit our store. A Call to Action goes nowhere if the reader isn’t directed how to get there.
Need some inspo? Check out some of our favorite Call to Action examples from brands you probably already know and love:
This pop-up illustrates urgency (“Be the first”) and highlights the perk for signing up ($20 off). We appreciate how the reader is able to sign up directly on the pop up rather than having to click away to a new page. The clever and compelling headline (“Be the first to glow) captures the brand’s mission to empower people to literally put their best face forward through straightforward, individualized skincare. Hubspot revealed that personalized Calls to Action like HEYDAY’s convert 202% better than generic ones.
Ideally, your Call to Action is right smack on your website homepage (and a reader can identify it within three seconds). This example by Wix uses inspiring and direct language so the viewer knows what to do and why. The blue Get Started button attracts the eye directly to the Call to Action. Technically Wix has two Calls to Action, Create a Website You’re Proud Of triggering an emotional response from the reader, and Get Started supporting the first CTA as the secondary, lead-generating action.
Media À La Carte
We’re not ones to give out advice that we don’t implement ourselves. Here’s our own landing page with a distinct and identifiable Call to Action. In less than three seconds of seeing our website, you already know what we’re all about: Connecting brands with their audiences online. Our Call to Action—Work with us—is an interactive button that’s concise yet also tugs on the reader’s emotions to get involved.
Need help designing compelling Calls to Action for your next marketing campaign? Well, WORK WITH US! No, seriously—schedule a call and let’s get talking.