5 Tips for Creating Compelling CTAs

In the world of content marketing, all aspects of a story are important. The headline draws reader in, the introduction sets the scene and the body surprises and delights. But there’s one final piece that’s often overlooked and underestimated: the call to action, or CTA.

As their name suggests, CTAs act as instigators, inciting your audience to do something. They are most commonly found at the end of a piece of content, often set apart by italics or bold colors to grab attention.

CTAs are crucial to include in every piece of content marketing because they help you achieve your conversion goals. Depending on the phase of the customer journey that your content is tied to, those goals could be to:

  • Capture a lead
  • Qualify a lead
  • Make a sale
  • Record a testimonial

Conversion goals can be broken down even further into smaller objectives. When you launch a campaign, you’re likely chipping away at one of the following objectives:

  • Growing subscribers (for your newsletter, podcast or email list)
  • Registering event/webinar attendees
  • Scheduling consultations
  • Making appointments
  • Registering for courses

CTAs make clear to your audience what you want them to do and answer the question, “Now what?” They are not just good for your business. They’re a way-finding device for consumers who want to be your customers. Understanding that you should provide your audience with CTAs at every touchpoint, consider our top five tips for creating compelling (and effective!) CTAs:

  1. Use clear and specific language.
    Ask yourself, “What do I want the audience to do?” If your CTA answers that question in an easy-to-comprehend, instructional way, you’ve done your job correctly. Try to avoid Generic CTAs such as “Click Here,” and instead opt for words that describe exactly what your audience will get when they take action.
  2. Use action verbs, and create urgency.
    Verbs should be active and supplemented with time-sensitive language. Your best opportunity to convert your audience is right now. Rather than simply telling your audience to “Purchase a ticket,” words like “Save your seat” make your audience want to act before they’re too late.
  3. Vary by channel.
    Verb choice, word count and overall length will vary by channel. Even if your CTAs call for the same thing, it’s okay to incorporate variety across platforms. Digital content thrives with short, snappy CTAs while print publications typically need a full sentence — “To learn more about [topic], visit [link].”
  4. Connect print to digital.
    Make sure your CTAs push for interaction with all your other forms of communication. In print content, the best CTAs encourage readers to discover another brand extension, from a website link to an e-newsletter sign-up. Consider using UTM codes or unique vanity links to distinguish referral traffic from your print sources.
  5. Leverage design.
    Once you’ve finalized your compelling CTA, don’t slack on its design. Simple elements such as font styling changes, icons and boxes/buttons help CTAs stand out.

For more information on CTA strategy, check out our post on getting your audience to act.