8 Best Calls-to-Action You Can Use (and when to use them) + a Bonus
You know what makes the marketing world go round? Calls-to-Action, or CTAs, in short. A Call-to-Action is when you urge your audience to call you, contact you, download something, click on a banner, buy a product, sign up for your newsletter, etc. Basically, it’s what drives the target to seal the deal, so to speak and take a step towards your desired result, be it the purchase of a product, clicking on a link, signing up for a service, or anything else. There are certain Calls-to-Action that are used by everyone, by-and-large, and that is for one reason and one reason only: because they work. Therefore, let’s take a look at the 8 best Calls-to-Action you can use for your own benefit and under what circumstances. Plus, if you stay tuned until the end, you’ll even get a bonus!
“Sign up for free!”
This one is going to draw a lot of attention, and the reason is obvious: it comes at a very fair price! When you include the word “free” in virtually anything, you’re going to get a lot more action, because people love free stuff. In addition, since it says so clearly in the Call-to-Action, there is no chance for later costs or surprise fees, which, let’s be real, no one enjoys. In fact, sneaking up on your user with a hidden cost that wasn’t advertised in any way is one of the sure ways to lose them as a customer.
Why it works: By signing up for free, the user gets all the advantages or benefits and the opportunity to get to know the service, without needing to give anything back. This builds trust, and they are more likely to actually be willing to pay for a service, later on.
“Find out more”
This one has become really popular in recent years, and for good reason. It can be used in plenty of different situations, for any service or company and in any niche. It’s simple, neutral, to the point and it gets the message across clearly; when your customer clicks that button, it’s because they are interested in finding out more. They know what they are going to find, to a certain extent, which is more information, but they have no idea what information will appear and how it will benefit them. But they want to know.
Why it works: This Call-to-Action relies on the inherent curiosity of human beings. “Curiosity killed the cat”, a wise saying goes, but that’s rarely true for people. You know, unless you do something dangerous.
Following the same recipe of simplicity, “get started” is as simple as you get. Coming as a natural conclusion after the presentation of a service, it urges the reader to stop wasting time and get started with the process sooner, rather than later. There is a certain urgency attached to the message, as well as a sense of direction. You know exactly where you’re going and what you’re doing – you’re getting started, with no frills or other time-suckers.
Why it works: As I mentioned, the time of the reader is not wasted. There are no sneaky passages, no need to click through hundreds of links and go through several pages, in order to get to the point. Everything is simple and direct, which most users, if not all, enjoy. Everyone’s time is valuable and being direct is always appreciated.
This one is similar to “sign up for free”, in that it has the very telling – and very helpful –specification of “free”. That alone will get a lot of people’s attention, because of our permanent interest in “cheating” the system and getting stuff for free, but there is another component to this message that contributes to its success.
Why it works: It’s not just the fact that you don’t have to pay for anything, it’s that you don’t have to pay to download something. This bit is very important because downloading implies actually getting something you can use, not only access to information. You’re getting a program, an e-book, a video, etc. Whatever it is, it’s a product you don’t have to pay for.
“Get it now”
That sense of urgency I was talking about earlier makes its way into this Call-to-Action, as well, because it appeals to our FOMO (Fear Of Losing Out). Fear Of Losing Out is the anxiety you get when everyone else has something you don’t, or they’re at a party you weren’t invited to, etc. Whatever it is, you were excluded, and you are missing out. It’s the same feeling that pushes us to buy limited edition products – if you don’t buy it NOW, you’ll miss out!
Why it works: FOMO is strong, especially within the Millenial generation. No one wants to be the loser who doesn’t have the latest gadget, the newest app, etc. You have to stay relevant in order to stay cool and for that, you have to be prepared to get everything now, now, now.
This one is especially good for when you want people to sign up for your newsletter or other regular e-mails from your company, website or service. You need to get people interested in joining your mailing list, and you have to make it easy for them to do so. Signing up is a click of a button away, so that’s going to be effective, but while “sign up for the newsletter” is good, “stay connected” is even better, and I’m going to tell you why.
Why it works: “Stay connected” taps into the human and social side of people. It is no longer an impersonal, robotic service that gets sent automatically; instead, it becomes an exchange of information between two people, it establishes a connection. In a world where we are all connected through various forms of social media, this message is essential and successful.
When you have a service that requires a profile, you’re going to want to make it as quick and as easy as possible to create one. If the user doesn’t have a profile, the user doesn’t use our service, spend time on your website, purchase your products, etc. So your direct interest is for as many people as possible to be incentivized to create a profile.
Why it works: It’s easy, and it grabs your attention. If the website requires a profile and the link is not obviously placed, users will be more likely to give up and move on. That’s why you want to make it as clear as possible.
This one may seem simple and not very exciting, but it does its job so, so well. What you want is for people to have an easy and direct way of contacting you, for whatever they need, right? Well, offering them a go-to button is by far the most simple way to do it. “Contact us” doesn’t need more than this, because its message goes straight to the point. Whether it leads to a social page or a contact form, this is the way to do it.
Why it works: The user doesn’t have to poke around your website, looking for a way to contact you. A button is big, attention-grabbing and easy. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Now, as promised, I have a BONUS! Two more extra Calls-to-Action, so that you attract as many users as possible, the easy way.
“Start your free trial now”
Offering free trials of a service or product is an excellent way to give your customers the opportunity to try them out. Rather than being counterproductive, as you would think, it actually gives people an incentive to purchase the full product. Why?
- they had time to use it
- they like it
- they got used to having it
Suddenly, the option of giving it up is not something they want.
Why it works: In addition to the “free” aspect we talked about, people love the concept of a trial. We all like to try before we commit to buying because it gives us the chance to see if the product is really worth it. If your product or service is, indeed, worth it, your sales will skyrocket, instead of dwindling.
10. “Get results instantly”
This works for a variety of different services, mainly offered online. You can see this in apps that calculate how much you have left to live (morbid, right?), how high your IQ is, etc. It’s usually good to use paired with any kind of quiz, like a personality quiz or something similar. The “find out x now” or “get results instantly” button is typically preceded by the copy that’s supposed to intrigue the reader and make them curious.
Why it works: We are impatient creatures, that’s for sure, and instant gratification is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s the reason why next-day delivery is so successful. Especially in this day and age when everything moves at lightning speed, life waits for no man and man waits for no online quiz. The recipe for success in marketing is simple: offer people instant gratification and you will conquer the world.