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How to Write a Better Call-to-Action

Are you generating a steady stream of leads or sales from your website? If not, perhaps your call-to-action (CTA) needs work. Whether you want your visitors to fill out a form, download a .pdf, or purchase a product, the CTA is one of the most important aspects of website copy. We’re want to show you a few tips and tricks on how to create the perfect CTA that can increase your conversion rate. Keep in mind that you probably won’t get lucky and create the ideal call-to-action the first time around. You’ll need to experiment to see which one works best and drives the most conversions. 

What is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action is a marketing tactic that tells your target audience what you would like them to do. For example, if you’d like your visitors to contact you for more information, you’re going to have to include a few words that ask them to do just that. “Contact us for more information” is one of the simpler CTA’s that you can write. It psychologically tells your visitors what the next step is after they’ve come to the bottom of your webpage. Here are five elements that you should include in any CTA on your website:

Start with a Command Verb

Your CTA should always start with a strong command verb such as:
  • Buy
  • Download
  • Fill out the form
  • Subscribe
The reason for this is because people aren’t going to read a CTA that’s several sentences long. You need to get right to the point of what you want them to do as quickly as possible.

Show Value

Consider the following call-to-action: Download our latest whitepaper. It has the requisite action verb in the beginning and instructs people what to do. Now take a look at the same call-to-action written slightly differently: Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about how our products can save you time and money! If you were the reader, which one of those sentences would you click? The second sentence is more powerful because it demonstrates the value of downloading the whitepaper. Who doesn’t want to save both time and money?


FOMO is an acronym that stands for “fear of missing out.” When used correctly, it’s highly effective in getting people to take action. Your call to action can also use the tactic of urgency and scarcity to trigger a FOMO response. How many times have you seen the phrase “While supplies last!” in an advertisement? It makes people think that supplies are indeed limited and that this deal will cause others to buy all of the inventory. Another great FOMO technique is to set a short time limit on an offer. For example, some eCommerce websites will run a flash sale and put a countdown timer on the site. Visitors can see that they only have 1 hour to take advantage of the sale before prices go back to what they were before.


While your call-to-action can be as short as seven characters (buy now!), an ideal one is around 150. This is because the more value you show, the more likely people are to perform the requested action. However, if you go over 150 characters, you risk looking desperate and trying too hard to get them to do something. It will also look like a massive block of text that nobody wants to read.

Where Does the CTA Go? 

A call-to-action goes anywhere you want someone to take action. You can add one on the top of a web page to promote a specific offer or right after a blog post to get people to contact you or buy one of your products. You can also add a CTA in the sidebar of your website. Many businesses will promote their case studies and white papers with an opt-in box that requires the visitor to enter in their email address and other contact info before they’re allowed to download it. CTA’s aren’t just limited to the web. Sales brochuresnewsletters, and even direct mail can all take advantage of the power of a call-to-action. Ideally, you should write it to persuade the reader to visit your website and fill out their contact information. This way, you can put them in your marketing pipeline for the best chances of a conversion. Marketing Help in Alexandria and Arlington If your marketing plan needs a jump start, or you’d like to hire a professional copywriter to craft compelling and persuasive content and CTA’s, give the experts at AlphaGraphics of Alexandria Va. and Arlington Va. a call. We’ve helped countless local businesses and organizations over the years with their marketing and copywriting needs. We’re experts in both signage and marketing and can help your business achieve its marketing goals. If you’d like to learn more about our design or event sign services, give us a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us on our website.  

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