When was the last time you were moved to click “yes” on a website? It was probably the last time you saw a call to action that really spoke to you. A CTA is a word or group of words that compel you to join, download or buy something. It’s one of the most important ways to convert someone into a subscriber or customer.

We’ve all become conditioned to seeing CTAs everywhere from print ads to television commercials to websites. At this point, it takes creativity to come up with one that people won’t ignore. A CTA that makes a visitor’s eyes glaze over isn’t very effective, is it? So, consider this question: does your page still need a CTA?

Is a CTA Still Relevant?

The short answer is “absolutely.” A CTA is critical for inbound marketing because it grows and captures a willing audience. It shows a visitor what do do next and what they can get, and it hopefully makes them feel they can’t pass it up. Once visitors click, they become valid leads, subscribers or verified purchasers.

You should be using a CTA regardless of whether you’re selling nothing or something. Even if you’re not selling anything, a CTA grabs emails so you can start communicating with visitors-turned-leads to promote new products, books, posts or events.

To make sure you and your visitors are getting the most out of CTAs, consider the following three essential points:

  • Attach a clear new CTA to each new post or piece of information. Rely on multiple CTAs, not just the one on your landing page.
  • Make certain that every CTA is crystal clear, offering a concrete next step that eliminates any confusion on the user’s part.
  • Your CTA should be action-oriented with wording that offers a clear benefit for taking that next step.

Most Effective CTAs

What makes a powerful CTA? A brilliant CTA is short, simple, catchy and well-designed. We’ll discuss “design” below. Here are three highly effective CTAs to study:

  • Netflix:Join free for a month.” It’s large, red like the logo and perfectly worded for the brand. It gently puts the squeeze on commitment-phobes wanting to dip a toe in the streaming waters.
  • MBG: Consider this creative, longer-than-usual CTA from Mindbodygreen.com. It perfectly encapsulates the website’s content: “Breathe in. Sign up. Chill out. Get a free meditation video when you join our newsletter.”
  • Uncommon Goods: Visitors to this site go here to discover things no one else knows about. The CTA captures its audience’s personality perfectly. “Can you keep a secret? Secret sales are only announced to our email subscribers.” The CTA button says a simple “Sign me up.”

Let’s look at 20 other examples of simple, compelling CTA wording from a variety of websites and ecommerce sites, large and small:

  • Get started.
  • Give us a try.
  • Check out our work.
  • Join the fun.
  • Are you doing your marketing wrong? Enter your URL to find out.
  • Discover a drink tailored to your palate.
  • Claim your free gift.
  • Continue to watch now.
  • Sign up for more insights.
  • Play free.
  • Send me coupons.
  • Let’s start together.
  • Find out when the next event happens.
  • Find out more.
  • What’s next?
  • Download our app.
  • Subscribe to stay connected.
  • Grab your gift.
  • Keep reading for our story.
  • Take me there.

Examples of poor wording would be a simple “enter,” “click here,” “download,” “submit,” “request” and “continue.” Why? Though these words are clearly action-oriented verbs, there’s no compelling benefit given to the visitor for complying.

More Than Words

There’s more to an effective CTA than just the wording. A great CTA has elements that, when combined with the wording, works easily to convert the visitor. Elements you might accidentally overlook include:

  • Size of CTA button: Don’t go too small or too large — both will get lost on a page. Also make sure it’s the right size for mobile devices. Mobile performance of a site is crucial.
  • Color of CTA button: Best practices point to making your CTA button or box the same color as your logo. Or, make it bright so it doesn’t get lost on a page. Make the colors of your button contrast on the page, too.
  • Location of CTA button: Place the button at the end or near the end of your message. That’s when the visitor is ready to click into the funnel.

Always do A/B testing with CTA button designs and varied wording. This helps you see which works best for higher click-through rates and conversion rates.

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