Effective Call to Action Phrases: Strike While the FOMO is Hot

Call to Action Phrases

Your subscriptions to Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox and anything web or app related that you have signed up for or purchased are likely the result of you clicking on a Call to Action (CTA) button.

What is a Call to Action?

Strategic CTAs provide visitors with a smooth transition into one of the following scenarios:

  • Signing up for your service
  • Downloading or accessing information you offer
  • Purchasing a subscription or product

Whatever form it takes, and wherever it appears in your content, a call to action provides your reader with some form of actionable task and usually appears as a button or an image of some kind.

Utilizing this feature determines if people notice your content and then click on a different website, OR if they stay on the page, click around your website, and go deeper into its layers. Essentially, a great CTA phrase allows your contact to go deeper into your sales funnel. Knowing how to write a call to action phrase that hooks your reader’s interest is key to your content’s survival. In addition, when done right, a well-crafted CTA will enhance your brand experience.

Call to Action Phrases Are an Underused Feature

There’s a good chance you might not even use one on your website: Entrepreneur notes that “seventy percent of small business websites don’t contain a call to action at all… while many other small businesses don’t make their appeals strong enough to drive their conversion goals.”

Every call to action needs to quickly answer two important questions for your visitors: What do you want them to do, and why should they do it?

A Great CTA Strikes While the FOMO is Hot

Okay, so by now you are probably wondering how to put the best Call to Action phrase up on your website. The best ones are emotionally driven. You want to create a sense of urgency; a sense of limitation and a sense of potential loss. It sounds unintuitive, but you may want to trigger the feelings of panic, greed. Using words like ‘limited’ ‘act now’, and others can effectively serve this purpose.

CoSchedule offers 54 Proven Words and Phrases that you can use in your calls to action, segmented into action verbs to kick things off, words that inspire hope/change, phrases that trigger the fear of missing out, and those that convey exclusivity.

5 Keys for Killer Call to Action Phrases and Beyond

Use Active Language

“Get Your Starter Kit Now” is far more effective than “Starter Kit Here.” It’s compelling and creates a sense of urgency. You’re making the viewer already imagine themselves in the place of having it, and encourages them to see the decision as important.

Hubspot has an excellent roundup of call to actions that hit a variety of targets, including many that use strong action phrases.

Make Your CTA Phrase Playful

Find a way to make this a fun experience for your readers, if the situation seems appropriate. For example, OK Cupid offers a call to action that has readers fill in the blanks similar to a Mad Lib.

Reassure Readers

Make it clear that the sigh-up process and/or cancellation process is easy. Most people feel dread when they are about to sign up for something – dread that it will either be a complete pain, or that they will be tied up in knots trying to unsubscribe. Ease these fears to make the initial plunge less daunting.

The Slide-In CTA Phrase: Unobtrusive with Strategic Timing

Slide-in call to action phrases, which “slide” onto your screen as you scroll down a page, are an effective option because they offer a more pleasant alternative those call to actions that make you stop what you’re doing to click out. Also, when you time it just so – say, by the time your reader is at a topic especially related to your CTA – it is infinitely more appealing and welcomed.

Effective Design Matters

The background color, surrounding images, and text you choose have a major impact on your CTA’s success.  This might be good or bad news, but: there’s no universal color that’s best for conversions. People are more likely to notice (and remember) something that stands out from everything else around it. Just make sure your button is in contrast from everything else on your website or on the call out box. You can even A/B test colors to see which resonate better with your audience.

For more inspiration and information on creating effective CTAs, check out this post on Buffer that offers a lengthy list of words to get your customer’s attention.

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