Running an effective marketing campaign doesn’t have to be a complete guessing game. As marketers, we know a few tried and true strategies that help boost our performance. And one of those strategies is having the perfect call-to-action. While it may seem simple in practice, crafting the most effective CTA for your messaging takes planning, creativity, and just a little bit of expertise. New to CTAs or just want to update your current campaigns? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Let’s dive into what a call-to-action entails and how to write the perfect one for your specific needs. Plus, we’ll take a look at some of the best call-to-action examples the internet as to offer.

What Is a Call-To-Action (CTA)?

Before we get into the how, we first have to tackle the what. What exactly is a call-to-action? Put simply, it’s a piece of copy that encourages users (whether that be Facebook users or website browsers) to take your desired action. And CTAs aren’t one-size-fits-all — they can come in many forms:

  • CTA button on an ad, landing page, or email.
  • Directly in the copy of an ad.
  • Included in your imagery.
  • In body copy with a hyperlink.

While there are many ways you can incorporate CTAs in your marketing assets, we recommend using CTA buttons wherever you can, as they look great design-wise and are easy for users to understand.

What Are the Rules for Writing a Great Call-To-Action?

Your CTA is the guiding light for your audience. Without a strong call-to-action, users can very easily pass your ads by or get lost on a landing page with no direction, so because of this, you want to clearly state what it is you wish them to do. But before putting any old CTA on your ads or landing pages, it’s important to keep a few best practices in mind.

Know your goal and your audience

It’s hard to think of an effective CTA without first nailing down what you’re promoting — and to whom. When trying to think of which CTA would work best with your messaging, first think about what your current customers resonate with, as well as who you want your potential customers to be. Once you have your audience in mind, now you must ask “What is it that I want my audience to do?” Are you trying to turn a Facebook scroller into a dress purchaser? Looking to get more sign ups for a newsletter? These are the types of questions that need answers before crafting the perfect CTA.

Use strong action verbs

While this may seem like common sense, using effective verbiage can be much easier said than done. But first, let’s talk about why we need to use strong verbs. It all comes down to the fact that if we want our audience to be active, then the messaging we use must reflect that as well.

And just what are strong action verbs? Use this list as a jumping off point:

  • Explore
  • Experience
  • Claim
  • Compare
  • Discover
  • Follow
  • Help
  • Imagine
  • Play
  • Tackle
  • Weigh in

Inspire emotion

Just like the messaging we use can spark action, the same goes for stirring up emotion. At the end of the day, we want our audience to feel something when they see our ads or pop-ups, and good copywriting will never leave a user feeling nothing. So how do we go about sending that little spark to the brain? Opting for a longer CTA creates more opportunity for you, the marketer, to include more context for your user. This is also where our action verbs come into play. Combining an action verb with emotional adjectives is the perfect recipe for a strong, evocative CTA.

Create A Sense of Urgency

Sometimes having a strong action verb isn’t always enough. Sometimes, it takes a little extra push to get a user to click. Incorporating words and phrases like “Now,” “Don’t Miss Out,” “Limited Time Offer…” helps create that sense of urgency for the user and even plays on a person’s FOMO.

Always Add Value

Usually, you have to do more than simply tell your audience to do something. Yes, it works better than sending out a passive message, but in order to inspire the user to act, you have to go a little further. Assume that your audience is going to ask themselves “What’s in it for me?” And so, it’s better to answer that question before the user even has the chance to ask it. Make it clear in your CTA what you’re offering, and how it will add value to the user’s life.

When In Doubt, Keep It Simple

Sure, it’s fun to be overly clever sometimes, but when you just have a few precious seconds to catch someone’s attention, it might be better to air on the side of simplicity. How exactly do we go about this? Let your first word (preferably your action verb) pack the biggest punch. This will set yourself up nicely to have simpler words to finish up your CTA.

Best Call-To-Action Examples

We’ve covered all of the different techniques we can use to craft the perfect call-to-action, so it’s time to see how these tactics look in practice. To start, let’s take a look at some standard CTAs that may be more common, but are by no means less effective:

  • Sign Up
  • Shop Now
  • Learn More
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Start Now
  • Continue

Now, let’s get to the specifics. We’ve compiled a list of some brands who have nailed the art of the effective CTA — and some who got a little creative as well.

Disney+ “Get The Bundle”
Disney call-to-action

For their streaming service, Disney used a very common and useful action verb for CTAs, “Get,” and personalized it with their enticing streaming bundle. While keeping the overall messaging simple, Disney makes it very clear what they are offering their user and takes a “get more for your money” approach.

Apple Music “Try It Free”
Apple Music call-to-action

When in doubt, users love the word “free” — no matter the context. Who doesn’t, right? Apple’s combination of the unassuming action verb “Try” and the offer of three free months is a game-winning pair. Plus, offering a certain amount of time free for a subscription is a great way to get users to continue on to paid tiers. 

Barnes and Noble “Start Gifting”
Barnes & Noble call-to-action

T’is the season for gift guides! And a strong CTA can be the difference between a user stopping, clicking, and purchasing and a user scrolling on by. Barnes and Noble took a two-CTA approach by having the copy “Find the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List” paired with their button “Start Gifting.” The bookstore is providing their shoppers with an easy-to-use guide where they can buy everything they need for the bookworms in their lives — clearly stated by the two call-to-actions.

Everlane “Unlock 10% Off”

Most clothing brands offer a discount for first time shoppers, and there are a couple of different ways to market this. Everlane’s usage of “Unlock 10% Off” gives the slight sense of exclusivity to the user. Brands and marketers should also think about what else they can advertise in pop-ups like this — in this case, Everlane also offers free shipping to get gifts in time for the holidays.

Or Free-Style It!

A lot of companies or brands will take a part of their messaging and turn it into a unique CTA. For example, part of fitness clothing company Outdoor Voices’ branding is the phrase “Doing Things.” The company weaves this idea throughout the CTAs on their site, including their Give $20, Get $20 offer.

Crafting the Perfect CTA with Anyword

Not sure which CTA tactic to take? Navigating all of the different options is enough to make any marketer want to throw in the towel. But with Anyword, that won’t be necessary.

Whether you’re promoting a sleek pair of sneakers or a dog grooming service, Anyword’s new landing page copy feature allows you to create all the assets needed for your page — including a strong call-to-action. With this feature, you can generate copy in three different modes (Default, Playful, or Hard Sell), or if you already have something in mind that you just want to make better, use “Rewrite” to get even more options along with their Predictive Performance Score.

And Anyword’s AI copywriting capabilities for CTAs don’t stop there. If you’re looking to promote your product or service on social, use the “Hard Sell” tone in our Ad projects to generate copy that has that extra CTA oomph.
See how Anyword can transform your call-to-action approach with our 7-day free trial. Take the guesswork out of CTAs and give Anyword’s AI a try today.