A call to action, or a CTA, is an instruction provided to the customer that tells them what to do next. Calls to action can be found in every kind of marketing, and they can be very persuasive and effective strategies to get customers to take the action you want. Typically, CTAs are buttons, clickable images, or links that you are instructing users to click on. In this reading, you will learn all about how to write an effective call-to-action.
Writing a call to action
The first and most important thing to consider when writing your call to action is your brand goals. What are you hoping to achieve with each social media post, and how will your CTA help you get there? For example, if your goal is to generate more website traffic, maybe you hope people will click on a link that you’ve posted that sends them to your homepage.
After you’ve considered that, make sure you give them a reason to click. Ask yourself, why should they click? What will they get out of it?
It’s important to prioritize clarity in your call to action because you want users to clearly understand how clicking on it will benefit them. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be enthusiastic, witty, or animated in your language—because you should be that too—but it does mean the first priority is for users to understand what they are being asked to do.
Use action words
The goal in using a call to action is to get users to act in some way. Be clear and direct in your phrasing, so they know they are being instructed to do something. Action words (or verbs) like: sign up, visit, click, download, shop, and follow are effective ways to communicate the action you’d like people to take.
Using urgency can be effective to compel users to feel like they need to act now. Your goal is not to trick or exploit customers by forcing them to do something, but if you are offering something in return, the deal may not last forever—you should be clear about that in your CTA. Using words like “today only” communicates to them that the offer has an expiration date and could encourage them to act on it.
Use your brand voice
The tone you’ve opted to use in your captions and copy should be reflected in your CTAs. Your brand’s voice should be consistent across all marketing channels. Is your brand warm and inviting? Cool and succinct? Casual and silly? Make sure your CTA feels that way too.