It’s important to feature a call to action in all your marketing messages, whether you’re putting together a 280 character tweet or a big budget marketing video.
And while many marketers are wary of throwing too much promotional content in their audience’s direction, keep in mind that consumers have come to expect a clear, concise call to action. They can choose not to engage, but if they want to and there is no opportunity for them to do so, it’ll make for a bad user experience.
Often, they want guidance and you want to move them through the sales funnel toward conversion. It’s a win-win.
According to a report from AdRoll, simply adding a CTA button to your Facebook page can nearly triple your CTR. So it’s worth giving some thought to how you can optimize your CTAs. We spoke with 16 marketing professionals to bring you some top class call to action examples that will help inspire your own. But first, let’s cover the basics.
So what is a CTA?
A CTA – or call to action – is a piece of text that instructs the viewer to carry out a specific action. ‘Click here’, ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up’ are all common call to action examples and can be found across websites, landing pages, emails, social media and even within specially designed CTA buttons.
What makes for an effective CTA?
You can be as creative as you like with your CTAs, but there a couple of key ingredients that make for a great one:
- Clear language – Make your copy direct, compelling, and actionable. Make it obvious what action you want users to take and what will happen if they click through. If you want to add a sense of urgency, you can even tell them when to do it – maybe ‘now’ or ‘today’.
- Design – A good CTA is about much more than just the text, it should stand out and draw attention wherever it is. A CTA button should contrast with the page it is on, while the text should also stand out.
- Placement – Get your timing right and make sure users see a relevant call to action when they’ve warmed to your brand and are likely to convert. This is why most blog posts will feature a strong CTA at the end – rather than at the start. The same goes for social media posts, landing pages and emails.
- Review – Monitor your CTAs, then try, test and tweak them until you find one that is converting for your brand. There are lots of examples showing how a simple change in color or placement can significantly boost conversions.
Call to action examples
We spoke to marketers from various industries and the marketing-nerds on our own team to find out what they think makes for an effective CTA. They shared their favorite call to action examples and explained exactly why they work so well. From cunning copy and great design, check out the call to action examples they put forward.
Clever copy 🤓
The copy in your CTAs can be cleverly composed to show off your brand’s personality, make people smile, drive a sense of urgency and, obviously, make people want to click through. Here are some of the best call to action examples with a clever message from our marketing pros.
1. Use social proof to encourage an action:
This particular CTA has continued to be our top performing email opt-in form and there are two reasons for this: social proof and clarity of action. The 9,264 people who paid for this book are proof of its value and therefore getting it for free is intriguing. The clarity stems from the three simple sentences: scarcity hooks you, getting something free grabs your attention, and a clearly stated next step of entering your email and clicking ‘get the book’ is an obvious action for the visitor.
-Jon Nastor, creator and host of Hack the Entrepreneur
2. In-jokes can be compelling:
Beyond being funny and memorable, InVision‘s niche in-jokes can really help readers build a connection with the brand. Though ‘Everything’s coming up Milhouse’ is unusual as a CTA, because it doesn’t actually tell readers what action to carry out, it still sends a clear message and gives readers plenty of reason to click-through.
As a fan of the Simpsons, it tells me that the content I’d click through to would be good since the humor within the CTA is already on-point.
While it may be a bit off-putting for people who don’t get the reference, who is actually going to click-through and read about the show if they aren’t familiar enough with it to get a classic reference like this.
-Sean Connolly, Digital Marketing Executive at Rebrandly
3. Make your CTA personal with retargeting:
This retargeting ad from Marcus Lemonis-backed Red Beard Coffee Traders is great for a few reasons. First, it directly targets recent coffee purchasers while they eagerly wait for their Brazil Decaf or Buckshot Blend to arrive. And it sets up its call-to-action by making that fact well-known.
Staying top-of-mind is a primary objective with paid social advertising. How better to remain relevant than to get back in front of those who just bought into your brand? Secondly, it offers a substantial discount – 50% off another order.
If you want an uber-effective CTA that boosts click-through rates, throw your audience a financially relevant discount – people like saving money.
Finally, the ad’s intent, personality, discount, and CTA mirror the personality of its product and industry—highly-addictive, delicious coffee.
-Dan Gardeen, Founder at Adnomadic
4. The more specific the better:
Little else needs to be said with this CTA – 🤤
Though it’s not particularly pretty, Grokker gets the point across and offers value to readers in just four words. I like the first person perspective because it’s like you’re saying it in your head.
But the thing I like most about this call to action example is that with a brief second-long glance at the email, prospects know what’s on offer and are given good reason to click-through. You don’t need to read the rest of the email or put the CTA in context, it speaks for itself.
This would be lost with vague text like ‘get the offer’ or ‘claim your gift’. Specific call to actions are more effective, especially in email marketing.
-Louisa McGrath, Content Manager at Rebrandly
5. If it suits your brand, use humor:
Shinesty’s CTAs use trendy language or capitalize on the cultural beliefs of our customers. That said, they’re short and punchy, funny, and leave the customer wondering what we could possibly say next when we communicate with them in the future.
This email sign up CTA gets 6%+ email capture conversion rates – A/B tests have driven more than 60% improvements on the conversion rate and we are working on improving that all the time.
This CTA works well because it challenges what people have come to expect from emails. It sparks curiosity and instantly differentiates what we do vs. what everyone else does.
-Jens Nicolaysen, CMO and Co-founder at Shinesty
6. Offer something for nothing:
Snack Nation is a great example of using a successful CTA to get more subscribers by offering a free Mega-Sampler Box in big bold letters on their homepage. Itgrabs the viewer’s attention and below that offer is a bar to input your email address. Once you enter your email, you are led to a second page where you can call a number or input further information.
-Gacia Atachian, Content Manager at Kobe Digital
7. Highlight a problem and make your CTA the solution:
This CTA works because it makes the negative assumption that you’re making a huge mistake – in this case, bad photos – and gives you the solution with a simple click.
Most importantly, it doesn’t just say “click here to sign up” (Yawn!), but as soon as you click “use better photos”, you instantly feel you’re making an awesome choice, and the problem you didn’t even realize you had is now fixed!
-Melissa MacDonald, Social Media Manager at Sweet Spot Marketing
8. Be positive and offer exactly what users want:
One of our favorite CTAs features on Neil Patel’s site as part of a multi-step form. The form asks his visitors if they “want more traffic” – this is pretty genius, as he knows that anyone coming to his site is in search of just that. Plus there’s no way any online marketer or ecommerce entrepreneur can say no to more traffic.
Once the visitor inputs his or her site’s URL and clicks ‘continue’, another masterful CTA becomes visible… “Yes, I want Neil to Grow My Business!”. This CTA is effective for a number of reasons:
1. It is positive and represents a direct response from the reader. “Yes” implies that the customer is making a choice of his or her own, instead of simply clicking to go through the system. Affording your visitors a sense of autonomy is important – people want to feel like they are their own agents of change.
2. This CTA is easy to act on and understand… Neil simplifies what he can do for potential clients.
3. Neil leverages the name recognition that he is afforded… Instead of placing the work on whoever is signing up with a CTA like “Yes, I Want To Grow My Business!”, Neil takes the load off their shoulders and offers to do it himself.
-Mike Kamo, CEO & Co-Founder at HelloBar, a Neil Patel Company
Effective Links 🔗
Almost all online messages contain links, making them the call to action that connect customers to the content businesses want them to engage with. They are the action in any online call to action.
9. Get back to basics:
Including a CTA in your links is a good way to get back to basics. It’s necessary to keep your links short so you have to strip back your CTA and only communicate the core of your message.
-Maurizio Tiberi, COO at Rebrandly
10. Use links to make CTAs stand out on social:
You can’t add colorful buttons or flashy fonts in your Instagram bio, but links stand out because they are automatically emboldened and appear in blue. So it makes sense that this is where you would feature your CTA.
Shoe brand, Crime London, takes advantage of this. The composition of the link also lets you quickly see what they do and where your click will bring you. The CTA ‘get your kicks’ also manages to communicate the brand’s casual tone.
-Jarlath Moloney, CEO at Giant Elk Creative
11. Boost your CTR:
Including a CTA in your links is a great way to drive actions on social media platforms where space is often limited. Branded links can also improve your CTR by up to 39% as they’re more trustworthy than generic short links.
We use the link ‘Rebrandly.Rocks/TakeOne’ when sharing coupons on Twitter, because it keeps our message short and simple. It also makes sense to include your link and CTA at the end of the tweet.
-Davide De Guz, Founder at Rebrandly
Good design 🎨
12. Be clever with color:
This CTA button ticks all the boxes for me. The copy is catchy and quirky. It stands out and contrasts with the background using the brand’s colors. I like the use of green throughout the email – it acts as a visual queue, so if you read the CTA and then want more information, you can see at a glance where the deal is.
Overall, the different elements of this email from Uber Eats work really well together, with the CTA being the star of the show.
-Katie Espinoza, Growth and Partnership Manager at Rebrandly
13. Sometimes simplicity stands out:
After 28 A/B tests, we reached the conclusion that to develop a Call To Action that stands out from our competitors, we MUST go back to basics.
We were using all the latest design tools and creating spectacular images, but to differentiate our brand, our new call to action is: “Let us help you find your next car, it will be as easy as making this drawing,” which is written in our own handwriting.
Thanks to this tactic of going back to the basics, we were able to increase our conversions by 33.5% compared to the best results we obtained with the other 28 A/B tests we tried!
-Cristian Rennella, VP of Marketing & CoFounder at MejorTrato.com.mx
14. Communicate your brand values through your design:
This CTA calls readers to ‘join the pride’ – a clever call to action which is relevant to the brand and users who want to join Panthera’s community.
But what I really like about this call to action example is the unusual design of the subscribe button. It stands out but in a very subtle way. Panthera is all about conserving wild cats and their habitats and they almost capture this in their CTA button, which acts in harmony with the images behind it.
The design is also in keeping with Panthera’s line-based logo.
-Hannah Harrington, Content Manager at Rebrandly
15. Sometimes text is better as a graphic:
The founder of Bulletproof Coffee has a podcast about biohacking and performance optimization. He frequently takes to Instagram to promote his content and in a recent Instagram story he promotes his latest podcast episode using well-designed graphic elements to highlight the CTA “Swipe Up”.
He makes this post compelling by animating the body copy, while the ‘Swipe Up’ graphic is a GIF which flashes to prompt you to take action.
The takeaway? Be creative and create unique CTA’s for the channel you’re marketing within.
-Justin Shaw, Founder and managing director at One & Zero
16. Don’t be afraid to use different fonts:
The box around this CTA doesn’t stand out on the page, but the text definitely does. It uses two colors and two fonts to divide out the question that hooks readers in and the actual clickable CTA.
I feel like this CTA from Point Blank SEO says a lot about the brand. Lots of marketers are reluctant to experiment with fonts, but this tells me the blog isn’t afraid to be different and will keep readers interested.
-Conor Smyth, Sales Associate at Rebrandly
Have you seen any call to action examples recently that you loved? Feel free to share them below.
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