When marketers think about call-to-action (CTA) creation, the first thing many of them tend to focus on is design. And while CTA design is critical to initially drawing the attention of your visitors, it's the copy of your calls-to-action that has to be compelling enough to get them clicking.
If the copy you craft doesn’t keep your visitors' attention, it can hurt your click-through rate, lead conversions, and ultimately, sales.
“People looking for information are looking for text, not pictures,” writes copywriter Dean Rieck, analyzing the results of an Eyetrack III study. Because visitors focus on the words in ads more than on the graphics, marketers need to first make sure their wording is clear, specific, and action-oriented.
And while we're not at all suggesting that you mimic the following examples of CTA copy word for word, these 14 real-life examples of can definitely inspire you to come up with rich CTA copy that compels your visitors to click and convert.
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Akismet is all about protection from spam, and visitors can definitely get that message from this call-to-action. It not only asks them to “get started,” but it also reinforces the point that going with Akismet is the way to get rid of spam. The copy, "Let Akismet handle it. You'll be protected within minutes" gives visitors the sense that they'll quickly be comment spam worry-free if they click. And believe us, comment spam is the worst.
The most compelling CTA pictured here is asking readers to “click to look inside” the book. The combination of this intriguing, highlighted copy coupled with an arrow makes this CTA stand out from the rest of the page and invites people to flip through and preview their potential purchase.
3) Bob Phibbs
The language of this call-to-action ("See How Bob Can Optimize Your Business") is written in a way that gives visitors context even if skim over the bullet points listed above it. It’s effective because it's both specific and action-oriented.
In this example, the italicized text above the call-to-action -- “15 day free trial" -- serves to provide more specific details about the action visitors will be taking if they click. It reveals the 'how' of “try[ing] Codebase for free” -- through a trial -- and tells visitors how long this experience will last -- 15 days. This is a great example of copy that clearly sets expectations before conversion so visitors know exactly what they'll get in return.
The text outside the call-to-action button here serves to create an incentive. It’s “free” to create an event, so there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't just go ahead and create one! The use of parentheses also make it seem like the fact that mentioning it's free is somewhat of an afterthought, making it a softer sell rather than being in your face.
6) Get Satisfaction
The copy of the call-to-action button here is so descriptive that visitors don’t even need to read the rest of the text on the page to know what they'll get. This straightforward CTA tells you exactly what you are going to receive once you click on it. Remember -- sometimes being to-the-point is all you need to drive conversions.
GoToWebinar uses hyperlinked text below their CTA buttons to clarify exactly what visitors will get after their click(s): either a free trial or an online purchase. GoToWebinar also offers a third option to simply talk to someone in Sales. The lesson is simple, if you're using small CTA and your button text is somewhat vague, clarifying copy can give visitors an extra boost to click.
8) Indie Aisle
Here is another example of a very descriptive call-to-action like we saw with the Bob Phibbs example. The copy of this CTA button does a great job of summarizing the bullet points above in case someone glosses over them.
9) Mobile Web Design
The text beneath the main call-to-action here highlights additional details about the offer. Like we saw with GoToWebinar, this language serves to provide clarity and set expectations for the visitor, eliminating any guesswork.
10) OH! Media
Pictured here is another call-to-action that gives visitors enough information to take the next step without needing to give away much background information. In fact, the text above isn't even complete, serving as a teaser and tempting people to keep reading.
By now, you've probably gotten the hint that it’s effective to provide very specific information in your calls-to-action. Brightcove offers yet another example of this best practice. While the text above describes exactly what visitors will be signing up for -- free webinars and events -- it never hurts to reiterate it in the call-to-action itself.
This call-to-action example uses language that focus mainly on the offer's value. By clicking on the CTA, the visitor will get “unlimited access” to web templates. This call-to-action also effectively emphasizes an additional incentive to users, by mentioning that they're offering a discount, from the original $149 price tag, now for just $50.
13) XS International
When the context of the web page doesn’t necessarily contribute much to the meaning of the call-to-action, the CTA needs to be powerful by itself, conveying a compelling offer through both visuals and copy. The language of the calls-to-action depicted here thorough to give readers solid context around the two offers.
14) Revolutionary Art Magazine
The copy around the call-to-action example below serves to further demonstrate the value of subscribing. Just below the highlighted “Subscribe” button, you'll find more information about why subscribing is a great choice. "No fluff. No ads. Just great articles..."