The Copy Clinic: Creating click-worthy call-to-actions
Struggling with writing for your business? Whether it’s website worries, posting panic, or email errors, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and let our resident wordsmith clear up your copy conundrums!
“Now that my business is almost completely online there are lots more things for people to buy and do on my website – i.e. lots more buttons I want them to click on! But at the moment I’m feeling very unimaginative about those little (but so vital) call-to-action phrases. Can you give me some ideas for how to make my buttons awesomely click-worthy?!”
This is a great question! I often heave a big sigh when I look at a company’s website and can see they’ve put a good deal of thought into crafting their product and sales pages, then thrown it all away at the last minute with a boring call to action.
Obviously nailing a sale takes more than just a brilliant button – and I’ve had a few questions about how to write a great sales page, so I’m sure we’ll tackle that in another blog soon. But for now let’s focus on how you can give your customers as much reason as possible to say yes to what you’re offering, right in that moment when their hand is hovering over the call-to-action button.
So here are my top 5 tips for making sure your CTA’s are as compelling as possible…
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Anything you can do to help people feel engaged in the action you want them to take and feel ownership over the decision is good. So saying ‘Get the free ebook’ is fine, saying ‘Get your free ebook’ is better, but saying ‘Get my free ebook’ is best!
MAKE IT IMMEDIATE
If people are on the fence, using language that adds a sense of urgency can help draw them in. So including words like ‘today’ or ‘now’, or trying something like ‘Get it while it’s hot!’ will make them feel like the offer might not always be on the table – so they need to go for it now if they don’t want to miss out.
FOCUS ON THE END RESULT
Are they being invited to purchase a dress or a statement necklace? Instead of ‘Buy now’ why not have the button say ‘Yes please, make me the envy of all my friends!’ Are you offering them access to a free PDF with tips on how to grow their followers on Instagram? Instead of ‘Download the PDF’ you could try ‘I’m ready to be gramtacular’. It’s about shifting the focus away from the action itself and onto the exciting results of the action – so the spotlight isn’t on the fact that they’re spending money or giving away their email address, but instead on how much better their life will be as a result. (It’s a spin-off from the classic marketing principle of highlighting benefits over features.)
DON’T OVERCOMPLICATE THINGS
Despite the fun that can be had with Tip 3, the point of all this isn’t to have cool CTA buttons just for the sake of it – it’s about figuring out what it takes to make people click. So what you write and how you write it depends on the context and on what the action is you’re keen for them to take. Sometimes a simple ‘Find out more’ is all that’s needed, because that’s exactly what the click is helping them do. Just make sure you’ve chosen that wording purposefully, rather than simply defaulting to it because it was the standard button that came with your WordPress theme!
CREATE ALTERNATIVE TEXT INSTEAD OF THE STANDARD EXIT CROSS
This works well if your button is in a pop-up, or some other format where people definitely have to click either yes or no in order to move on through your content. Instead of having the main call to action and then a cross in the corner to exit the pop-up, you’re essentially creating two buttons – one with the action you want them to take, and the other demonstrating what they’ll miss out on if they don’t go for it. For example, ‘Nope, I don’t want to triple my sales’ or ‘No thanks, I’m fine going it alone’ or ‘Nah, I hate discovering gripping new books’. Be careful not to insult them or imply that they’re stupid not to say yes – it’s more about light-heartedly tapping into their FOMO.
If you want a bit more inspiration, here are some fun CTAs I’ve spotted out in the wild over the last few weeks 👇
Happy brilliant button making!
Bethany Joy works with small businesses to help them find a writing style and voice that reflects their passion and personality, as well as creating gettable and irresistible copy for their marketing materials. You can find out more about her at bethanyjoy.org
We also partner with Beth to run regular workshops that empower independent businesses to write more clearly and confidently about what they have to offer – our next one is on 15 October 2020. If you’d like to meet Beth before the workshop and learn more about sharpening up your brand voice, sign up to our Zoom meetup on May 21st where she’ll be presenting a short talk on just that subject!