21 Captivating Call to Action Examples to Steal

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Want to entice your readers to buy?

Or maybe draw more subscribers to your newsletter?

Or maybe watch your conversion rates explode?

All you need is the right call to action (CTA).

Not only do CTAs give your prospects clarity, they also make your marketing campaigns more effective.

I’ve got a bunch of CTA examples that you can steal for your own campaigns. I’ll also highlight three essential aspects of an effective call to action.

They work in every advertising channel, both traditional and digital.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Call to Action (CTA)?

A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You often see call to action examples in persuasive writing . Once a brand has made its case in a blog post or video, for instance, they’ll often include a call to action at the end.

A political action group may write a piece on the importance of voting in the next election, for example. Their piece would probably end with a call for readers to register to vote with a link to a voter registration form.

You will also see a call to action button on homepages, in the right rail or even above the nav bar.

A company will put them anywhere they know their readers are looking to invite them to subscribe, browse products, input information or a number of other desired outcomes.

How Do You Write a Call to Action?

Before you write your call to action, determine the goal you’re trying to achieve:

  • Do you want to increase subscriptions?
  • Boost sales?
  • Move readers to another content piece?

Once you know what you want to do, you can think about how best to do it .

The best call to action phrases are brief and use strong verbs.

They speak directly to the user. Instead of weaker call to action words like click here, an effective call to action phrase example will use more specific words that speak directly to the desired outcome:

Discover your best life

Join our community

Book your next adventure.

Here’s a look at a few different CTAs.


In fact, NPR has great call to action examples all over their page. At the very top, a bright red button invites you to learn more about their car donation program. Just below that, a red heart (clearly implying you have one if you click) appears over the word “donate.”

In the white space below, NPR tells you that they are supported by listeners, and includes yet another link to make a donation.

All of these CTAs serve one purpose: to get people to donate money to them.

Traditional Call to Action Examples

First, let’s take a look at some examples of direct mail promotions from magazines.

Many of these are from magazines encouraging readers to start or renew a subscription. More specifically, they’re from the inserts that often fall out from within the pages while you’re reading, and look something like this:


There are three aspects that all of them have in common. Some are more obvious than others in their execution, but all take a similar approach to driving action.

See if you notice them while you read through this line-up of old CTAs, and I’ll tell you my findings below.

Sales and Marketing Management Magazine

So if you were waiting for the perfect time to seize this opportunity, the time is now. Send for your free issue today.

Outside Magazine

Discover the exciting world of outside. Subscribe today.

Success Magazine

Get a taste of SUCCESS! Send me the form at the top of this letter, and I’ll send you the next issue of SUCCESS absolutely free.

Harpers Magazine

May I send you a free copy? There is no obligation attached to my offer… Please let me know if you’ll accept my offer by January 31.

House & Garden

So indulge—in so much excitement, for so little! Please take advantage of our “Summer White Sale” and save on a subscription to HG today.

Nothing too exciting, right?

To be honest, though, those were some of the more creative ones. The majority read like this:

  • Do mail your acceptance to me today.
  • So act right now. The postage is paid, and you’ve got nothing to lose but a great garden to gain!
  • SEND NO MONEY NOW! But please mail your card today!
  • So if you’re looking for knowledge, a rewarding adventure, and the advantage a future perspective can offer, mail the enclosed card today!

See the pattern?

A call to action is often the final instruction to a reader, so it makes sense that for similar products, that instruction is largely the same.

After all, when it comes down to it, each of these magazines needs readers to mail an “enclosed card” to earn a subscription.

So without that directive, it wouldn’t matter how well-written the rest of an ad’s copy was. Even if a recipient liked it, if they didn’t know to mail the card to subscribe, the campaign would be a waste.

Of course, this particular example is exclusive to print campaigns.

You’d never see a digital marketer requiring users to mail something to convert.

And I shudder to think of the abysmal conversion rates if they did.

Even so, there are three things that nearly all of the examples above include that are important for any call to action, regardless of format:


  • A no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk. In many cases, they’re asking for a free trial rather than a purchase. In other words, “try us, you’ll like us.” This gives people the confidence to buy.
  • All of them contain some version of “Mail your acceptance card.” This is simple usability. You have to tell people what to do next. Today, it would read, “Click the button below.”
  • Encouragement to respond right away. That’s standard direct response. Don’t give people an option to wait and think about it.

Together, these three elements make for a simple, straightforward request that requires little of the consumer.

And for most businesses, that’s pretty ideal.

Now, let’s take a look at how these elements translate into digital campaigns.

Adapting Traditional Techniques for Digital Formats

When marketers first started using digital channels to reach their customers, it was a logical choice to simply replicate their print campaigns in a new format.

After all, why would they spend time rewriting and redesigning what already worked?

That’s why some of the earliest digital marketing campaigns and their CTAs perfectly mirrored old direct mail advertisements.

These ads were an almost identical approach to copy, and simply swapped out the “mail the enclosed card” directive for a link or button.

For example, take a look at this early email campaign from Stansberry Research’s Retirement Millionaire promotion:


Today, this might come across as dated and spammy.

But based on the three call to action elements we covered above, it checks all of the boxes:

  • No obligation: “TRY” is in all caps, the email offers a full refund.
  • Usability: Readers are directed to click “Subscribe Now.”
  • Immediacy: Copy includes the phrase “right away,” and the CTA button uses the word “Now.”

Again, this approach might not work today.

But the fact that many early digital campaigns were fairly similar to their print predecessors wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Consumers were used to direct mail advertisements, and keeping the content largely the same likely made them more comfortable with the shift to digital.

They were already familiar with this style of copy, so the only change was that they could now click a button instead of taking a more complex action.

For example, check out this ad from another early digital campaign for Prevention’s Dance it Off! series:


The graphic here makes the ad essentially look like a piece of direct mail, except that it instructs users to “click” instead of mailing something to respond.

Plus, keeping with the best practices above, it encourages readers to “try it free for 21 days!” instead of asking for an immediate purchase.

From here, some advertisers decided to simplify their calls to action as they shifted from print to digital.

W magazine, for example, relied heavily on the “why not” approach in their print campaigns.

The basic idea here is that by addressing readers’ concerns and removing all barriers to action, you create the sense that there’s no reason not to try a product or service. In theory, this increases the chances that potential customers will take action.

Here’s how they used this logic in an old direct mail piece:

“This offer may not last long. So order W now—and see what you think of your free issue. After all, with so much to gain—and with absolutely nothing to lose—shouldn’t you at least take a look?”

The effect they’re hoping to achieve here is clear. By promising that readers have “so much to gain” and “absolutely nothing to lose,” they’re aiming to create a sense that not taking action would be an illogical choice.

If you’re worried that your call to action isn’t compelling enough to make readers want to take action, this can be an effective strategy. It essentially aims to shift a user’s mindset from “why” to “why not?”

As W magazine shifted to digital, they continued to use this approach. But they adjusted it to take advantage of the immediacy that comes along with digital campaigns.

Just take a look at this advertisement for their 1-2-3 Shrink diet program:


Of course, a similar ad could’ve worked in print.

But instead of asking potential customers to pay $4.00, then wait a few weeks to receive the program, they’re offering it immediately following payment.

For a reader who’s already interested in this program, that’s a pretty low barrier to entry. They could have the diet plan within minutes, and all that’s standing in their way is a few bucks.

So, why not?

There’s no significant reason they wouldn’t want to take action.

And W magazine wasn’t the only brand to make full use of this ability to earn immediate responses.

Another magazine, Audobon , attempted to entice readers with something beyond a simple subscription in their CTAs. Here’s an example from one of their old direct mail pieces:

“To begin receiving AUDUBON at once and to enjoy all the other benefits of membership in the National Audubon Society, simply return the enclosed form.”

The ad makes a brief mention of “all the benefits of membership.” For a reader who was aware of what those membership benefits were, this might’ve been a compelling offer.

But even if they returned the subscription card right after they received this advertisement, it would be at least a week — and probably more — until they started seeing any benefits at all.

With digital marketing, that all changed.

Even without direct mail, advertisers gained the ability to make offers that presented immediate benefits to their target audience.

For example, take a look at this early “Off the Grid” promotion from Banyan Hill Publishing’s Sovereign Investor :


In this case, the company encouraged users to reserve their spot “today!” and promised the first installment of an email series immediately.

This was a huge improvement over requiring potential customers to wait weeks for information. Plus, the idea of immediate gratification is much more compelling for most of us.

The ad also promises that there’s “no obligation,” includes a clear directive to “enter your email address below,” and encourages readers to take action “today” — meaning it checks all of the boxes for an effective call to action.

It’s also worth noting that in many cases, digital advertisements can convey much more information in a smaller space.

That’s because they don’t need to spend as much time spelling out complex directives.

For example, take a look at the copy from an old Earthwatch promotion:

“Got some free time? A week? A month? A summer?

Come volunteer for a conservation project in the wilds, an environmental project in the tropics, an archeological dig abroad.

Or if you’re busy now, cheer us on from the sidelines.

If our organization sounds like something that you too would take pleasure in being a part of — whether by participating actively or cheering us on from the sidelines — I urge you to send in the order form at your earliest convenience…so your adventures can begin with the very next issue of EARTHWATCH.”

The copy here is fairly compelling. After all, who doesn’t get at least a little excited about the idea of embarking on an adventure in the tropics?

Plus, it does a nice job of offering a few different options.

Spending a week, a month, or a summer on a conservation project or an archaeological dig abroad simply isn’t a viable option for many people. So it’s wise for Earthwatch to also encourage readers to take the simpler action of subscribing.

Still, it’s a lot of copy for what it’s asking. If the same offer had been presented in a digital campaign, it likely could’ve been a lot more concise.

For example, take a look at this email campaign from Early to Rise:


There’s still a fairly large chunk of copy here, but it’s all relevant to the campaign’s goal of enticing readers to click on either of the links.

It explains exactly what they can expect to gain by clicking, and why the company is qualified to be offering the promised information.

Of course, many of today’s consumers would be skeptical of a company offering the “one secret of multi-millionaires.”

And rightly so.

But remember, this is a campaign from the early 2000s — back when most people weren’t quite as skeptical of everything they read online.

In that context, this email worked and was likely very effective in driving clicks. And readers who did click either link were directed to this dedicated landing page:


There’s nothing on this page but a CTA and a field where readers can enter their email address to gain access to the company’s so-called “secret sauce.”

So once a reader makes it this far, they don’t need to spend time reading lines of complex copy. There’s one simple question — and if the reader’s answer is affirmative, they know how to take action.

A call to action this simple likely wouldn’t have worked in a traditional campaign because it doesn’t fully explain what, exactly, the product is, or how it benefits the user.

But with digital campaigns, where users are already familiar with a product and just need to be encouraged to take a final action that offers immediate results, simplicity works.

In fact, at this point, saying that simplicity works might sound like stating the obvious. But this wasn’t immediately clear to many of the first marketers making the shift from print to digital.

There was a clear learning curve as the industry shifted.

For example, another issue that many traditional marketers found challenging when they first switched to digital campaigns was striking a balance between weak and strong CTAs.

Today, most people are familiar enough with digital marketing that they know what’s expected of them when they arrive on a landing page. Most of us naturally know to look for large, brightly-colored buttons with a clear call to action, since they’re now a common landing page staple.

If your page doesn’t include an obvious call to action, you risk losing potential customers.

For example, take a look at this landing page for Rich Dad Education.


What, exactly, does this page direct visitors to do? What’s the call to action?

The only real directive on this page is “Pick your city.” But what’s the benefit of taking that action? What does it require of the user? And is there an immediate return?

It’s hard to say — because the page doesn’t include those details around this directive. In this case, I’d argue that the page doesn’t have a call to action at all.

There’s nothing compelling, risk-reducing, or benefits-oriented. So there’s little here to compel anyone to respond.

This makes it an ineffective landing page. Or, at the very least, not nearly as effective as it could be with a clear CTA.

But on the flip side, some digital marketers also make the mistake of making their CTAs too strong. I don’t mean that they present too many benefits, or make it too obvious what a reader stands to gain. That would be extremely difficult to do.

Instead, they attempt to force users to convert by making it the only action they can take on a page.

For example, check out this old popup from Joss & Main:


If a user lands on this page and is ready to join (or is already a member), this is likely extremely effective at converting them.

But what if a visitor isn’t ready to take that step? What if they just want to browse the site and see what the company has to offer before becoming a member?

Well, that’s too bad — because the pop-up blocks the rest of the content on the page until they share their email.

This means the user is stuck if they don’t want to respond. They can either “Join Now,” or leave.

This call to action example is a little too high-pressure .

It makes sense to encourage new visitors to sign up, but this ultimatum-style popup likely cost the company at least a few customers who would’ve signed up if they’d been given the opportunity to make that choice on their own.

Fortunately, many companies have learned to strike a balance where they guide visitors to take action without forcing them to do so.

Now, let’s take a look at how Joss & Main earns new members today. Instead of requiring visitors to enter their email upon arrival, they let them freely browse their products without a popup in sight. Users can learn about what the company has to offer and determine whether they’re interested in buying at their leisure.

They can also add various items to their cart as they browse. Then, when they click the cart icon, presumably to start the checkout process, they’re directed to the following page:


Here, they’re required to enter their email address to make their purchase.

But for a user who’s already prepared to spend money and complete a transaction, this isn’t a huge request. In fact, it’s a necessary step in the ecommerce sales process, since customers typically receive order confirmations and shipping updates via email.

By moving this requirement to a later point in the sales process, the company eliminated a barrier that likely cost them a significant amount of customers early on.

Of course, this is just one of many lessons marketers needed to learn in order to effectively shift their campaigns to the new digital landscape. We are sharing great call to action examples for sales on this article. So use them in your favor!

And while some of it might seem obvious in hindsight, that’s simply because many of us already know the standard “best practices” involved in creating online campaigns.

Call to action placement

What Makes a Good Call To Action? 3 Things That a CTA Must Present

From the days of magazine mail-in cards to now, marketers have been able to boil an effective CTA down to three elements:

  • A no-obligation statement
  • Some updated version of “mail your acceptance card”
  • sense of urgency around responding right away.

Let’s look at some call to action examples for each of these elements.

A No-Obligation Statement That Removes or Reduces Risk

Care.com’s CTA lets you know right away that you can search their site for free. That means website visitors don’t have to commit before they assess whether or not Care.com is the right portal for them.


All of Them Contain Some Version of “Mail Your Acceptance Card”

The call to action text for Litworth gets straight to the point. Sign up with them (i.e., mail in the acceptance card) and a writer will find paying publications.

For those of you who don’t know, not all publications pay, so this is a pretty attention-grabbing CTA. They continue to entice by listing all the benefits of signing up. Then you find out it’s all free. You’re in.


Encouragement to Respond Right Away

Disney World is the master of creating a sense of urgency. Like most vacation destinations, they run deals throughout the year.

If you respond before a certain date (in this case, October 8) you get a discount on your stay. That looming date is enough encouragement to get a website visitor to view the details and browse vacation options, at the very least.


Call to Action in Writing: Copywriting Techniques For an Effective CTA

We’ve come a long way from those early days of digital marketing. Still, the general approach that many traditional marketers took in their print campaigns can serve as a starting point for writing effective online copy .

And when combined with all of the advantages that digital marketing offers, they can be even more successful in driving results.

So with that in mind, let’s jump into five ways you can use a traditional marketing mindset to improve your online campaigns.

1. Emphasize Low Risk

The first of the three common elements in the traditional CTAs above was a focus on a lack of obligation or risk on the customer’s part.

From a consumer’s perspective, this makes perfect sense. The less you stand to lose from an action, the more comfortable you’ll be with the idea of taking it.

And even as the marketing industry evolves, this concept hasn’t changed a bit. Take a look at this CTA example for Amazon’s Prime Video service:


A free trial alone is enough of an incentive for many people to test the service. But beyond that, this call to action emphasizes that users can sign up “risk free” and “cancel anytime.”

If a visitor has any hesitations after initially landing on the page, these details can ease their fears about committing to the service. The knowledge that they can cancel at any time is likely compelling for users who are worried about forgetting to take this step at the end of the 30 days.

Plus, like every other digital campaign (and the remainder of the examples we’ll cover on this page), this ad gives visitors the option to take immediate action by clicking a button .

In this case, the user can start streaming content from the platform immediately.

And with no risk at all, that’s a fairly appealing offer.

2. Strive For Clarity

You can have the most beautifully designed landing page in the world, with stunning graphics and an impeccable advertising strategy in place for attracting traffic.

But if the copy on that page doesn’t tell visitors why they should take action, it’s useless.

Copy is what connects with visitors, and convinces them that they want to take action. It does this by explaining what they stand to gain by doing so.

Of course, there’s tons of room for creativity within marketing copy. An experienced copywriter can make even the least “exciting” products sound interesting.

But as you develop your CTA copy, remember to be as clear as possible about what you’re offering.

Innovative copy is great for spicing up a page and grabbing visitors’ attention. But if it creates any confusion about what that page is offering, it’s counterproductive.

That’s why the most effective CTAs are extremely straightforward.

For example, take a look at this email from Buffer.


To kick things off, it highlights the importance of Instagram for businesses . If a user isn’t sure why they should be interested in learning about the platform, that uncertainty is addressed within those first two sentences.

From there, the offer is completely benefits-oriented. The copy offers free information, asking for nothing in return.

The reader doesn’t even need to provide an email address or fill out a form. All they have to do is click a button!

And the button itself is more than a vague, uninspiring “click here” command. Its bright blue shade immediately stands out from the rest of the email’s content.

Then, its copy reinforces exactly what a reader will gain (growth tips) by clicking it. And its use of the action verb Get is a great way to inspire a sense of action.

If you’ve ever researched ways to optimize your CTA buttons, you’ve likely heard that it’s considered a “best practice” to incorporate action verbs .

And that’s true.

But if you think back to the traditional CTA examples above, you’ll realize that’s by no means a new concept in the marketing world. Each of the direct mail examples includes some variation of the directive “send,” “mail,” or “return.”

This is simple usability! You need to tell people what you want them to do in order for them to do it.

And although the exact verbs we use today are a bit different, the basic idea remains the same.

So even when using the three principles above, based on traditional campaigns, this Buffer email measures up.

It includes the same basic techniques that work for direct mail, but improves on them, because there’s no bulky paragraph with complex instructions for responding.

Instead, they use that valuable space to clearly explain what they’re offering — so that by the time the user reaches that simple button, they know exactly why they should click it.

3. Highlight Immediate Benefits

As I’ve mentioned a few times already, one of the biggest advantages digital marketing has over its traditional predecessors is the potential to deliver immediate gratification.

You can give your customers downloadable resources, access to tools, and premium services all within seconds of their conversion.

That’s pretty incredible!

Of course, it’s not quite as straightforward for all industries. SaaS companies, for example, can offer instant access to their full product — while ecommerce retailers and service-based businesses typically have a bit of a waiting period.

Still, almost any business can offer immediate payment processing and order confirmation.

And who doesn’t love knowing that they’ve successfully ordered a product to their home, without ever leaving the couch? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

But regardless of industry and business model, any company can offer their customers some type of immediate gratification. Even if it’s not in the form of their main product or service, they can give a lead or prospect something for converting.

Today, one of the most popular ways of doing this is offering free downloadable content.

For example, take a look at this CTA for Optinmonster’s guide to converting abandoned site visitors into subscribers.


If you’re unfamiliar with Optinmonster, it’s important to note that content like this is not their main product. The company sells tools for helping site owners increase their conversion rates and generate more leads.

But most people won’t be ready to sign up for a monthly plan during their first visit to the site.

In order to keep those first-time visitors interested, the company offers this free guide that’s directly related to its product, and highly relevant to anyone who’s considering purchasing a subscription to CRO tools.

After all, if someone is prepared to spend their marketing budget on a product designed to convert site visitors, why wouldn’t they want free information on accomplishing that same goal?

Including this option on their site gives the company the ability to offer all of their visitors an immediate reward for engaging with their content.

And this is a strategy that almost any business can replicate.

Just take a look at this pop-up offer on Rascal Rides:


The site caters to parents shopping for bikes, bike accessories, and safety gear for their kids. So it makes perfect sense that their visitors would be interested in a children’s bike shopping guide.

Even if a visitor isn’t ready to select and purchase a product right away, the site still offers something they can access immediately. Parents can start learning about the factors they need to consider while shopping within seconds of providing their email address.

So as you develop your CTAs, look for ways to provide immediate value to your visitors.

The sooner they can start seeing the benefits of taking action, the more compelled they’ll be to do just that.

4. Include Secondary CTAs

In the previous section, you likely noticed that the examples showing instant gratification weren’t for those companies’ main products or services.

That wasn’t by mistake.

Although your site is likely designed with one specific, high-value action in mind, that shouldn’t be the only action you give users the option to take. You might want all of your visitors to immediately make a purchase — but unfortunately, that’s unrealistic.

And when you limit your site to one call to action, you essentially give your visitors an ultimatum: Take that action, or leave.

When you add some extra options into the mix, however, you reduce odds of a visitor leaving simply because they’re not ready to take your main offer.

The first way to do this, as we covered in the previous section, is to come up with additional “offers” visitors can take advantage of for free.

The second is simply to highlight ways that a user can stay engaged with your content.

For example, take a look at this landing page from T.C. Pharma.


The main CTA button tells visitors to contact the company to learn more.

But if someone doesn’t want to take that action, they’re presented with a clear alternative. The button immediately to the right of the main CTA lets them view the company’s products.

This way, they’re not driven away from the site just because they aren’t far enough along in the buying process. They’re encouraged to stay and learn more — which could help them get closer to a conversion.

5. Establish Credibility

Many digital advertising platforms today offer advanced targeting options that help marketers reach people that are likely to be part of their target audience.

This allows brands to focus their campaigns on website visitors that could be qualified leads and customers. It’s a significant improvement over traditional options, which were typically limited to a particular TV channel or radio station’s target demographic. However, the one advantage of that old-school marketing approach was name recognition.

After all, ads on a local radio station are likely for businesses within a 20-mile radius of you — so there’s a higher chance you’ve heard of those businesses than the ones advertising to you on Facebook today.

So as you create ads for digital platforms, it’s important to remember that even members of your target audience may be unfamiliar with your brand.

And you have a limited amount of time in which to establish your credibility. Even if you’re advertising a free trial or another low-risk offer, you need to show your audience why they should trust you enough to take that step.

For example, take a look at this call to action example on this Facebook ad for a free trial from Pipedrive:


First, it’s important to note that this ad is intended for a target audience that’s already familiar with the concept of a CRM. This alone means that they need to set the rest of their targeting options fairly broad — beyond the other local businesses in their area.

And they show people who may be completely unfamiliar with their brand that they’re trustworthy by including important credentials.

They emphasize that over “50,000 sales teams” use their product to stay organized, and highlight the fact that the platform was “built by salespeople for salespeople.”

If a reader is interested in trying out new CRM software, this is plenty of information to get them interested in the free trial, even if this is their first interaction with the brand.

They know they’re by no means the first to try the tool. And if 50,000 other companies already use and like it, there’s no reason not to at least test out the free trial.

How Do You Know if Your CTA Is Working Well?

Once you’ve created your calls to action, whether they be in email, pop-ups or sprinkled throughout your blog posts, you’ll want to make sure they’re performing for you.

You can double check using website visitor analysis tools.

Understand How Website Visitors Are Interacting With Your Calls to Action

First, use heatmaps and scroll maps to determine whether people are responding to — or even seeing — your CTAs.

A scroll map shows you how far people scroll down your page before they leave. If they’re leaving before they scroll all the way to, say, a call to action at the end of a blog post, you might want to make the CTA a callout toward the top of your post.

A heatmap will let you see how often people are interacting with your call to action. If your CTA button beckons readers to learn more by clicking, the button should be a glowing, warm red, not a cool blue.

You can also use visitor session Recordings to see why users are interacting with your call to action the way they are.

A recording will show you how someone moves about the screen in real-time. Watching one will help you answer questions like, “Are people getting stuck somewhere in particular? Does it seem like they’re confused about the next steps with my CTA?”

A/B Testing Your Call to Action Buttons Is a Must

Once you’ve figured out what you think is the problem with a call to action button, it’s essential that you A/B test a solution. An A/B test will let you publish two versions of the same CTA to see which one performs better.

If your CTA button seems to be in the wrong place, for instance, you can test various placements to see which is more effective.

Start Using Crazy Egg Tools

Look at your CTAs and ask yourself, “What goal am I trying to achieve, here? How is my CTA message encouraging my website visitors to achieve that goal?”

Once you’ve answered those two questions, usability and testing tools can help you create the best CTAs possible.

Marketing has changed a lot over the past few years, but the ultimate goal has remained the same. You need to drive consumers to take action.

CTAs are essential for making this happen. So as a marketer, it’s critical that you learn to write effective ones.

As trends shift and new platforms emerge, the principles of writing effective CTA copy have remained consistent:

  • Emphasize a low barrier to entry
  • Include a clear directive
  • Encourage immediate action

Make your website better. Instantly.

Keep reading about copywriting.

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  • 17 Call To Action Examples (+ How to Write the Perfect Social CTA)

October 21, 2022 46 Comments Mark Quadros

A call to action can make or break the success of your social media campaign. If you use the right words, your CTA will inspire your audience to take action — click on your ad, download your ebook, add an item to cart… you name it. On the other hand, if your CTA isn’t catchy and persuasive, your audience will simply scroll past without noticing it.

cover image

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about social media calls to action : what they are, what makes a CTA successful, and how to craft a persuasive CTA for your next campaign. We’ve also included 17 call to action examples (from social media and beyond) to get you inspired. That’s right: we’ve also included great examples from email campaigns and landing pages — because a good CTA is a good CTA, regardless of where it’s placed.

Let’s jump in!

What is a call to action (CTA)?

A call to action (or CTA) is a text prompt designed to inspire the target audience of a marketing campaign to take a desired action. For example, a call to action can encourage people to click on a link, leave a social media comment, visit an online store, make a purchase, etc.

A call to action can take up different forms:

  • Plain text with no link

“Buy Now” or “Download Now” are typical examples of simple calls to action.

But a CTA can run longer, too, such as “Subscribe today so you’ll never miss a post.” The possibilities are endless.

AdEspresso webinars call to action example watch now

Call to action examples from AdEspresso

A good CTA can help with decision fatigue and give meaning to your content. Even if it’s just a two-word phrase, users need some direction to know what to do next.

CTAs that create a sense of urgency will also help increase conversions .

As long as it encourages potential customers to stay engaged on your site, then your call to action has done its job.

Note that having one CTA highlighted is the most common way. At the same time, some marketers use both primary and secondary call to actions in their marketing. We’ll review some best practices of this later on.

How to write an effective CTA for social media (and beyond)

Social media is all about getting users to click on your posts and ads and engage. However, it’s no longer as easy as it sounds. 22.3% of people using ad blockers say there are “too many ads.”

It’s tough out there.

To combat this, increase your conversions and engagement with a compelling call to action on your ads and elsewhere on the web. Let’s see how you can achieve this.

Use strong action words

Writing short and strong CTAs is not only more persuasive, but it’s also necessary due to the character limits on ads. Start with a verb (“buy”) and follow with an adverb (“now”) or a subject (“ebook”) or both.

Here are two call to action examples to the above statement: “Buy Now” or “Download this ebook now.”

Below are some of the most common call to action verbs broken down by intention. Simply pair them with the offering of your business.

Tip: check your call to action against the LIFT Model (see below).

LIFT Model value proposition

If we took our example from above, it would look something like this:

Download = relevance

this ebook = clarity

now = urgency

Download this ebook = value proposition

Use the text surrounding your call to action to:

  • Reduce distractions (i.e., remove unnecessary links, images, etc.)
  • Ease anxiety (e.g., add the disclaimer “no credit card required”)

Provoke emotion or enthusiasm

If you want to evoke an emotional response in your users, opt for a longer CTA. You’ll need to incorporate more modifiers in this case to get the desired effect.

Here are some examples:

  • Add numbers: “Buy now and get 50% off!”
  • Add adjectives: “Find your dream home with us!”
  • Make a promise: “Lose weight in just 6 weeks!”
  • Influence their FOMO: “Limited time offer. Get free shipping!”
  • Play up your USP: “Order a hand-made soap now!”

Think up your own

You don’t need to stick to the good old examples, though. Get creative and make up your own call to actions.

First, verbalize to yourself what your company does for its customers (or simply look at your mission statement). For example, I run a spa where people get facial treatments.

Next, transform the verbs and modifiers into a 2-5 word call to action. Add relevant information where necessary → “ Get a free mud mask” or “ Treat yourself today!”

Period better with Thinx

“Period better” – Thinx opted for the unique use of the word “period” as a verb in their CTA.

Tip: nobody gets their CTAs right the first time. Run at least one A/B test (but preferably more) on your ad to evaluate the strength of your call to action.

13 of the Best Call to Action Examples for 2022

In the following section, you’ll see what the techniques mentioned above look like in practice. Steal and customize the best CTA examples for your campaigns!

Facebook Ad CTAs

We’ll examine some Facebook ads with classic call to action examples. They may seem simple at first, but there’s more to uncover than what you see on the surface.

This ad from ClickUp is likely part of a retargeting campaign . Even if you don’t watch the video, the ad copy offers plenty of calls to action on its own.

ClickUp lifetime deal ad

Why it works

  • Same CTA in the headline and the first sentence of the ad = the offer is clear (“Get 15% off”)
  • The CTA is supported by objection-handling statements, such as “save 1 day a week”, “guaranteed,” and a list of features
  • The “Learn More” call to action button assures the audience that they’ll get more info before committing

2. Shaw Academy

Can you spot all the call to actions in this Facebook ad? Hint: there are at least seven. Every element is coordinated here to instill a sense of urgency in the audience. Take note of the exploding colors, the alarm emoji, the many exclamation marks, and the multiple CTAs.

Shaw Academy digital marketing

  • Beautiful, contrasting colors with a CTA that stands out
  • Multiple call to actions
  • Sense of urgency to take action

Babbel is a language learning app that comes at you strong with various CTAs for their Facebook offer. It works because even if you don’t know this app, it quickly establishes a trust factor (“over 500,000 5-star reviews”). The post then draws you in with an attractive offer.

Babbel language learning app Facebook call to action

  • The primary call to action is clear and direct: “Get up to 60% off!”
  • They use the “Get Offer” CTA button to instill a sense of gratification in the audience
  • Including the action word “join” + the number of reviews in the same sentence is a way to evoke the feeling of belonging to a community

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite keeps it brief and concise with a few very targeted CTAs.

Hootsuite learn more call to action

  • All the call to actions are focused at the bottom while benefits are at the top of the post
  • The “Learn More” CTA button leaves any extra info for the landing page

Instagram Ad CTAs

Sure, “swipe up” is available on Instagram ads, but you can get more clever than that. Below are some creative call to action examples for your Insta campaigns.

5. Headspace

Headspace’s Instagram ad is the perfect example of a custom-made call to action. “Snuggle up to Headspace” evokes a cozy feeling in users and personalizes the brand. Words like “snuggle” fit into the category of sensory words .

Headspace Instagram ad

  • They (smartly) opt to draw attention to the custom-made CTA and leave the “Get 30% off” as a secondary CTA
  • They use the CTA button “Subscribe” after that to make it clear how that snuggling up will happen
  • Coupled with a sweet, serene image, the whole CTA experience feels more like a gentle nudge for meditation and less like an ad

6. Elementor

As an event-type ad, Elementor gets it right. It displays all the key information regarding the event (name, speakers, date, and time).

Elementor event ad

Why it works:

  • The two most eye-catching elements on the ad are the headline and the call to action button. They both have the same contrasting colors that stand out against the dark background.
  • Both call to action buttons (‘Save Your Seat’ and ‘Book now’) are very concise and direct
  • The old-school flair of the ‘save’ icon next to the CTA button works well with the target audience (likely consisting of more technical people)

7. Nøie Skincare

You have probably seen call to action examples like this in the advertising strategy of ecommerce brands. The main goal is to sell. At the same time, the ad focuses on the experience instead of rushing to take the user to a web page. In this case, “Shop Now” is the type of CTA that is direct, yet, the ad copy does most of the selling.

Nøie Skincare ecommerce call to action

  • The emphasis is on the product experience, which makes having just one call to action sufficient
  • “Shop Now” is direct and to the point. The prospective customers know where they will be taken from the post

8. VAI Course

Esther Inman’s VAI Course ad keeps it fresh with the colors and a simple call to action button.

VAI Course Friday Feature weekly remote job pack

  • The CTA text on the ad itself boasts about its main USP: the user gets a remote job pack every Friday
  • The “See More” call to action button leaves the audience at ease knowing that they can still learn more about the product before signing up

Email conversion rates can soar as high as 15% . Take a look at the following email call to action examples from some brands who are doing it right.

9. Black Illustrations

Design agency, Black Illustrations prefers to use multiple CTAs in their email marketing. You can run your own test on this strategy, but it makes sense to include a few secondary call to action buttons if you have a relatively long email. Black Illustrations also adds a hyperlinked CTA to further help guide users to take action.

Blackmarketing real estate email marketing

  • Multiple CTA buttons (and hyperlinks) in a long email can increase your conversion rates.
  • “Free with a subscription” stands out and keeps the main message clear for the user
  • The color choice for the button works well with the brand yet still stands out

10. Audiense

The audience analysis tool, Audiense, prefers the long CTA route in their email marketing. Phrases like “show me…” or “take me to…” create a clear value proposition and helps the user feel in control.

Audiense show me the findings

  • Using multiple words and first-person phrasing in your call to action could increase your relatability and CTR
  • Users get a better sense of the type of page that awaits them after clicking
  • When using a long-form CTA, you get to test a wider variety of versions

Landing page CTAs

Landing pages are great subjects to run a CTA test or two on. Below are some great call to action examples for your next campaign.

11. Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’s email sign-up landing page is as minimalistic as it gets. No top menu, no links, or other distracting web components.

Tim Ferriss minimalistic email sign-up page

  • The distraction-free page keeps the focus on the main CTA: to sign up for the newsletter
  • The black headline and black CTA button provide a striking contrast to the white background
  • “Get access” is a great call to action to use if you want to establish the feeling of receiving exclusive content in the user

Joy is a Canadian company that offers a razor subscription service for women. Their landing page is concise and fits all information to the visible area. The CTA button stands out as it’s the darkest element on the page.

Joy razor subscription CTA button

  • The contrasting color of the button helps users easily navigate to the next step
  • The CTA copy itself follows ecommerce best practices: “add to cart” is an easy-to-recognize button in the industry
  • The small-cap lettering (which fits the brand) lends a unique look to an otherwise highly used CTA

13. Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder’s own lead-generation landing page is simple with a clear value proposition. On the left, you get a summary of the ebook. On the right, you will need to provide some basic info and then click “Get the Guide” to submit your request.

Leadfeeder's guide to account page retargeting on LinkedIn

  • The CTA button is the only green item on the page
  • “Get the Guide” engages the users with a clear offer

Website CTAs

Your landing pages may be the focus of your ad strategy. Still, it’s necessary to create a homepage with just as much converting power. Meet a few thought-out CTA examples below for your website!

14. Touchland

Touchland is here to sanitize your hands without making a mess. The “checklist” on the left (keys, wallet, phone, touchland) is cheeky. It’s a clever storytelling technique to place visitors into a familiar scenario while introducing the product.

Touchland checklist

  • “Get yours” implies that a lot of people already have one – you will only fit in if you get yours
  • The transparent call to action button gives the website an airy feel to it, which is on track for a business that sells a mist

With COVID-19 restrictions coming and going, travel sites like Airbnb have to develop ways to stay top of mind. They achieve this by featuring a wishlist of outdoor spaces and a dreamy illustration on their website.

Airbnb outdoor illustration camping on the lake

  • “Get inspired” is a soft CTA that invites the user to explore ideas for future travel (and remarketing)
  • The call to action button itself stands out against the pastel-colored background

16. Smartlook

Smartlook is a user behavior analysis tool. They closely follow website best practices by placing a “hero” section above the fold (tagline+description+CTA). The main goal of the site is to prompt visitors to sign up for a free trial.

Smartlook analyze user behavior

  • The colorful call to action button provides a stark contrast against the grey and blue background – an immediate eye-catcher
  • Using red and yellow colors on the button evokes a mixture of excitement and optimism in hesitant visitors
  • The copy on the button says “Create free account” and the supporting text underneath is “No credit card required.” Both copies aim to overcome the subconscious objections of prospective users (Will it cost me anything? Will they charge my credit card?)

17. Ecom World

Ecom World is the website for “The World’s Largest Ecommerce Event.” They placed all of the most important info above the fold: what+when+where+the CTA.

Ecom World largest ecommerce event worldwide sign-up details

  • The call to action button coordinates well with the rest of the design elements. Throughout the site, the most crucial info tends to be highlighted in black.
  • Multiple CTAs could increase conversions . Here, the “Buy Tickets” CTA appears three times above the fold alone (main navigation, in the hero, and in the sticky nanobar)

CTA buttons: Why they matter & how to use them

You can — and should — use CTAs on all types of marketing materials and on every platform you’re marketing on. This includes PPC ads of course, but it also includes landing pages, websites, blogs, newsletters, emails, and more. Sometimes, this means that you just need to stick to a plain-text CTA that’s possibly hyperlinked.

In plenty of cases, though, there’s a good chance that you would benefit significantly from clickable CTA buttons.

That’s why even Facebook has short, clickable CTA buttons that you can add to every ad campaign, and why you’ll see so many landing pages with bright “Sign Up Now!” text in a big yellow button. Clickable CTA buttons specifically have been proven many times over to increase conversion rates significantly. One study found that adding a CTA button to their article templates increased conversions by 83%, and it boosted ecommerce conversions by 22%.  Copyblogger found something similar; when their CTAs looked like buttons instead of plain text, they saw a conversion rate increase of 45% .

Let’s take a look at a few best practices for CTA buttons and how to use them in ads and on your site (including site pages, landing pages, and even your blog.

Facebook Ads

You know we had to start with Facebook Ads!

For a few years now, Facebook has had clickable CTA buttons built into the native interface. Button options include “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” “Download,” “Send Message,” and more. The idea is that you can use these CTA buttons to reinforce your ads, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

call to action starters essay

You should absolutely always include a CTA button on your ad campaigns in addition to using a CTA in the headline and/or description copy, too. Users intuitively are more likely to click when they see that button prompting them to take action without even realizing it.

Remember to tailor your CTA based on the ad that you’re running and the stage of the funnel that you’re targeting. Opting for “learn more” for users earlier in the funnel can feel lower-risk and less pressure than starting with a “Shop Now,” but this depends on the ad and the audience.

And if you’re wondering if these CTAs matter, know that they most definitely do. AdEspresso recently ran a $1000 experiment testing different types of CTA buttons on Facebook Ads to see what was most successful – and the result was astounding.

Overall, the top performer (Download) gained 49 conversions for $5.10 each, while the worst performing CTA (no button at all) achieved only 20 conversions at $12.50.

This means that you can end up paying more than twice as much for a conversion depending on the CTA you choose – something we would have never figured out without split testing.

call to action starters essay

We recommend testing out your CTA buttons using our internal split test engine to see which your audience responds to. This will allow you to test every possible combination of CTAs, and allow you to easily determine which is giving you the most conversions for the cheapest price.

 AdEspresso can even automatically pause your underperforming combinations using our Automatic Optimization feature , taking the guesswork out of campaign management altogether.

Your Website & Landing Pages

It’s always a good idea to use clickable CTA buttons to help users navigate through your site and to take certain actions. This is important both for your general website and your landing pages, too.

You can use these buttons to prioritize certain actions or to take users through typical paths that users follow when they’re most likely to convert. (On my site, for example, Google Analytics has shown that people who visit my portfolio page first are 6x more likely to get in touch with me than those who just view my contact page first.)

call to action starters essay

On landing pages and the home page of your website, you’ll want to make sure that the CTA button meets the following criteria:

  • It uses contrasting colors to jump out at the user.
  • It’s clearly a clickable button designed to improve navigation.
  • It utilizes brief copy on the button itself but is often surrounded by copy that adds context and makes it more persuasive (like the example above).
  • It should appear above the fold on the page, meaning that users can see at least one CTA button before they’d need to scroll down to see more information on the page. Make sure you take this into account on both desktop and mobile sites.

When you’re creating landing pages and site pages, remember to test them. Most people don’t realize that you can test site pages just like you would PPC campaigns when you’re using tools like Unbounce . Test different types of CTA copy, different placements, or even different colored buttons. Look for what works best, and optimize your pages accordingly. You can learn more about how to do this by checking out our $1000 case study here .

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You may also like reading:

  • Social Commerce 101: How to Make Money Selling on Social
  • 63 Instagram Caption Examples for 2023 (And How to Write Your Own)
  • 15 Fresh Facebook Ad Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign [2022]
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February 21, 2018 at 9:03 pm

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March 14, 2018 at 1:14 am

What a list! Huge! Thanks for sharing such an incredible list. Either way, keep doing good work!

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July 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

My name is Kevin and I am a Senior Project Manager at IdeaPros, a company that turns ideas into real life businesses – similar to an incubator. Our team consists of experienced professionals, which have the capacity to turn any idea into a successful business. There is one aspect that we are lacking, which is the copywriting and compelling call to actions for landing pages/websites. We need someone that has experience in creating compelling call to actions and copywriting in order to intrigue customers/visitors to purchase a product.

Our company has over 120 clients, which is growing everyday. We are a high-caliber company with constantly growing client list.

We are looking for a marketing professional to refine the copy and call to actions on the websites that we make. From describing the product to creating simple sentences, we need someone to produce this content. There will be numerous projects a week and the work will never end, hence we will negotiate a price that is fair for the long run. Please let me know.

Warm Regards, Kevin Nguyen IdeaPros | Senior Project Manager [email protected]

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July 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

Hey Kevin, I think this FREE webinar can be very helpful More Than Words: How To Write the Perfect Facebook Ads Copy It will go live on Tuesday, July 17th, at 10 am (PST). Mark it on your calendar and reserve your spot now by clicking here !

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August 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Great!! nice to read!! thanks for sharing it Dth Button Bits Exporters

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September 15, 2018 at 4:01 am

The information you’ve got shared is extremely attention-grabbing. this may extremely useful for users. Thanks for sharing such a meaty weblog

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November 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

Very informative article with good reference. Very useful and informative for front end designers. Keep up the good work.

October 10, 2021 at 2:53 am

Can we have updated version of this article. Web has changed a lot since this was published first. Thanks

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November 29, 2018 at 10:44 am

Thanks much, practical suggestions.

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December 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

Thanks for the nice article, Ana. Just wondering whether the rules are sort of persisting or a fashion thing. If everyone is doing it the same way, won’t readers get fed up with it and resist the CTA? By the way, Happy New Year!

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December 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Excellent article! Thanks for sharing exceptional value-added content.

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January 8, 2019 at 1:33 am

thanks to sharing this very good article about call to action good examples ..good job

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January 8, 2019 at 1:35 am

the wonderful information call to action thank you so much great job thank you

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January 16, 2019 at 8:01 am

Thanks for sharing!

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January 17, 2019 at 7:29 am

Hi Buddy, thanks for the nice and informational post… Loved it!

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February 3, 2019 at 7:29 am

Thank you for sharing this valuable information which is easy to implement.

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March 2, 2019 at 4:17 am

Excellent information

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April 9, 2019 at 11:45 pm

great post on CTA

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April 11, 2019 at 11:53 pm

These CTA examples are very useful.

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April 15, 2019 at 10:45 am

Very informative & keep sharing, You are a student and don’t know how to earn? So don’t worry Now, you can Make Money As A Student easily.

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April 17, 2019 at 10:09 am

Loved your article!!! Very detail explanation, thanks for sharing the information! I need to try it now 🙂

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April 20, 2019 at 4:31 am

I am continually browsing online for ideas that can help me. Thank you! http://rahuldigital.org

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April 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm

Nice information. Thanks

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April 30, 2019 at 4:41 am

Amazing article – it is good to know, that other websites also name small details as the most crucial ones. We can see, that every step requires personalization, that is the reason why we created unique CTA phrases generator – http://www.ctagenerator.com

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July 4, 2019 at 1:36 am

Hey Ana, I want to thank you for shariing your knowledge with us. I really appreciate you for such a great post. You have provided lots of information in an easy and understandable way.

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September 20, 2019 at 10:33 am

Thanks for sharing such awesome call to action examples just loved it. definitely going to try these example in our next campagin.

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November 9, 2019 at 4:10 am

A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You often see call to action examples in persuasive writing. Once a brand has made its case in a blog post or video, for instance, they’ll often include a call to action at the end.

November 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

One of the best uses of FOMO in your CTA is to mention a sale or promotion that your company is holding, and which won’t last forever. You probably get emails with this sort of messaging all the time, I know I sure do. I’m talking about messaging like “Shop today! Sale ends on Monday,” perhaps during a three-day weekend. Or even “buy now while supplies last!” during the holiday season. It’s tough to ignore a prompt like that, especially during a time-sensitive, under-the-gun type of situation (e.g. the Christmas season). Similar to provoking enthusiasm as we discussed earlier, provoking fear of missing out in your CTA is sure to get you some additional clicks.

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December 21, 2019 at 2:00 am

Getting the balance of ‘you’ and ‘us’ is important everywhere else in your website (and emails!). (Re #37 above)

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January 24, 2020 at 3:14 am

Great post always testing different CTA on both Facebook and Adwords to see what can improve CTR and Conversions. The examples above are highly useful to get me thinking more creatively.

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March 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Do you have a preferred call-to-action, or perhaps one that surprised you with how well it did? What about one that you were hoping would perform well but ended up bombing? I’d love to hear about it, so feel free to sound off below!

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May 20, 2020 at 6:02 pm

I used CRO based CTR label variations with button colors and it helped me to improve leads.

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June 7, 2020 at 11:31 am

informative article, thanks for sharing this article.

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June 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm

Nice post I learned a lot here thanks.

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June 19, 2020 at 2:20 am

Thanks for sharing such awesome call to action examples. you have explained it very will. i have also written on same you can visit my website: Hestabit

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July 24, 2020 at 9:01 pm

This list is just what I was looking for. I was in need of a CTA for my ad I was doing so this was timely. Thanks!

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January 26, 2021 at 10:38 pm

Absolutely useful article, I’m crafting my first landing page and I so need it.

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February 13, 2021 at 2:42 am

You have a very good list of CTA examples here. Thank for working hard to provide these example with great explanations.

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May 16, 2021 at 12:51 am

Very much useful article, I have been using this, But in different industries it’s very much useful.

Thanks again.

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May 18, 2021 at 6:36 am

Having the right CTA can make all the difference to your business’s bottom line.

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May 18, 2021 at 8:23 am

CTAs have always been a weak spot, but this is super helpful. Thanks!

[…] Almost all of your marketing content should have a well-crafted call to actions meant to encourage action. https://adespresso.com/blog/call-to-action-examples/ […]

[…] Call to Action […]

[…] to https://adespresso.com/blog/call-to-action-examples/  you cant just have any call to action, it must be strong enough so people will be convinced enough […]

[…] put a cap on this, without a call to action on your visual content, you risk drawing zero leads to your brand. Your CTA must not be less than three words. Even more […]

[…] 31 Call To Action Examples (And How to Write the Perfect One) https://adespresso.com/blog/call-to-action-examples/ […]

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14 Tips for Writing the Best Call to Action (With Examples)

You could write the most effective, emotional, efficient copy for your printed marketing media, and it wouldn’t amount to anything if a call to action wasn’t clearly defined.

In written advertising, a call to action (by definition) is an imperative sentence that instructs the reader to perform a task. They’re absolutely crucial because once you’ve hooked your audience on your brand, they need to know what steps to take in order to obtain your product or service. Good call to action phrases act like a trail of breadcrumbs leading potential customers directly to your business.

Know your audience’s needs

Before you can begin writing your call to action, you have to understand what you can offer your audience and more importantly, why they need it in the first place. The best practices for accomplishing this are to identify a problem your audience can relate to and position your brand as a solution to that problem. This makes the call to action more enticing to the audience because it gives them a reason to follow your instructions.

Mother's Day Flyer with Call to Action

This flyer begins by offering a benefit (a happy reaction from your mother) and follows up with a call to action: “Send us her photo.” Photo Credit: LeighAnn Loftus

Use actionable verbs and phrases

Almost every call to action includes a verb–but some verbs are stronger than others. Action words and phrases compel the reader to perform a task, which is the entire point of a call to action to begin with. Actionable verbs are ones that can actually be carried out by a person in a literal sense.

For example:

Good: “Call us today for a free sample” – this is actionable because “call” is a verb that can be carried out by a person.

Bad: “Give us a call for a free sample” – although “give” would normally be actionable, in this case what you’re giving is not a tangible object. You can’t literally hand someone a phone call.

Clarity is crucial

A call to action is only effective if it’s clearly understood by the audience. For starters, the font should be bold and easy to read, so avoid small or overly fancy fonts.

More importantly, the message itself should be easily understood. A clear message spells out exactly what the audience should do and how it will benefit them. Write your call to action using simple language-avoid jargon or confusing terms.

Here’s an example:

Good: “Visit our website! “

Bad: “Point your web browser towards our home page.”

Simple and Clear Call to Action

The call to action here is quick and to the point: “ENTER NOW” and a corresponding URL. Photo Credit: Jennie Myers

Make the action as easy as possible

The reader should be able to go directly from the call to action to performing the task itself, so make sure he has everything he need to follow up. For example, if you want them to call, provide a phone number.

However, you also have to consider what kind of phone number you use and if it presents any other problems to your customer. For example, a customer is more willing to call a local number or a toll-free number than a long-distance number.

If you want your customer to visit your website, provide an address. However, if you also provide a QR code, then customers with smart phones or tablet devices can immediately visit your site without having to type an address.

Call to Action with URL

If your goal is for your audience to visit your website, make sure to include a clear and noticeable URL, such as the one on this flyer. Photo Credit: Veronica Varetsa

Writing a call to action is more effective when the audience is only being asked to complete one task. Multiple phrases asking the audience to perform different tasks can be confusing and audiences can loose interest when they think there is a lot of work involved.

However, if you have to have multiple calls to action, make sure one is clearly dominant while the others are just there to work towards the main goal.

Multiple Call to Action Examples

This flyer has multiple examples of calls to action, but one dominates the others: “Buy at Fine Retail Stores.” Photo Credit: Fran Linden

For example, the end goal may be to have customers sign up for a free consultation, but they might have multiple options for doing so. By using both “Call us to sign up for a free consultation” and “Visit our website and sign up for a free consultation” in your copy it makes it clear to the audience that signing up is the most important action.

A better way to achieve this would be to eliminate the other calls to action altogether. “Sign up for a free consultation by phone or on our website” is much clearer.

Create a sense of urgency

A time limitation makes your calls to action a bit stronger because it adds a sense of urgency. However this doesn’t have to be a strict measurement of time, just a general feeling of importance.

Good: “Call us today” – This call to action gives the audience a firm measurement of time to work with and creates a sense of importance.

Good: “Call now” – This is even more urgent and implies the offer may not last forever (even if that’s not the case.) The audience understands the importance of calling soon.

Bad: “Call anytime” – This implies that the offer is always available and that there’s no need to call immediately, which makes it more likely that the audience will forget to call completely.

Flyer with Urgent Call to Action

A sense of urgency helps to make your call to action (such as the one on this flyer) more persuasive. Photo Credit: Darren @ Mass Appeal Designs

Answer the reader’s questions

Customers want to know what will happen if they follow your call to action and how doing so will benefit them. Many people in your audience will be skeptical to follow your instructions unless they’re given more information on what happens after doing so.

Quell your reader’s fears

Call to action phrases can be used to help your audience get over any opposition they may have. Identify and demolish any misgivings your audience may feel towards your brand and add statements that provide reassurance.

For example, a reader may not want to call because they’re afraid of being sucked into a long sales pitch. Therefore, you might say something like “Call now and in less than five minutes you can get a great deal on your insurance.”

Make an offer they can’t refuse

Sometimes a special offer can go a long way towards convincing skeptical audience members to follow your call to action. This might be a free gift, guarantee , special discount or other incentives to sweeten the deal.

“Order today and get half-off the cost of shipping.” “Call now and ask about our buy-one, get one offer.” “Sign up for our mailing list to receive special member coupons.”

Be upfront in your call to action if there are any limitations to your offer, such as a time limit or per-customer limit.

Call to Action with Prominent Discount

The fact that buyers can ‘save over $700’ makes the call to action on this flyer especially persuasive. Photo Credit: Mike Greenwald

Use repetition

Just like any message you want to drive home, repetition makes your call to action more effective. Repeat your call to action several different ways and in different areas to make sure the message is clear.

Take a look at these examples:

“Visit us at the corner of Main and Maple to receive a free quote” “Come to our downtown location for your free quote” “Ask for your free quote at our Main and Maple location.” “Drive downtown today for your free quote.”

Use colors and graphics

A call to action is more effective when it stands out from the rest of your design. Try using a contrasting font color to make the call to action pop. Red is an effective call to action color because it’s bright and creates a sense of urgency, but you can use any distinctive color that matches your design.

Call to Action with Red Design

The bright red color helps this mailer’s call to action really stand out. Photo Credit: Burton Creative

Leave white space

Size matters.

A call to action should usually be sightly larger than the surrounding paragraph text so that readers recognize it as something separate. This also makes it easier to scan and read. People don’t always take action right away; a large call to action ensures that they will find it easily if they look at the ad later.

Follow through

When the customer actually does follow through on your call to action, what happens next? It’s your responsibility to make sure that when they follow your instructions, it’s easy for them to follow the next step towards a sale or conversion.

And the next step.

For example, if you ask them to call your office, make sure someone is on the other end waiting to take their call and to explain the next step of the process. If the office is closed, there should be an automated message that explains the process and gives the customer instructions on when to call back.

Practice makes perfect, and your best call to action ideas will likely come to you after you’ve become more familiar with the process. Take the time to perform writing exercises, coming up with different ways to instruct your audience and drive them towards your brand’s end goal.

What sort of calls to action do you find to be effective in your printed material? What calls to action have you yourself acted upon in the past? Here’s a call to action for you: share your responses, tips and examples in the comments!

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Our marketing, design and printing experts are passionate about sharing their knowledge. We're eager to help make your vision a reality in print. Be sure to explore the rest of the Printwand blog for more reliable, easy-to-understand information.

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4 Responses to “14 Tips for Writing the Best Call to Action (With Examples)”

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I found your examples and suggestion to be very helpful , I intend to apply this information as I work on my call to action. I truly thank you.

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Thank you for taking the time to share this information, I plan on applying it today in marketing my new sculpture, “Turn Two – Double Play

' src=

Some good tips there. I think however that a few of these flyers are even still a little too busy in design. I am forever trying to encourage my clients to create simple punchy ads so that the message is to the point. Product – Call to action – URL and finished.

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Great call to action content

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16 call to action examples (and how to write a CTA)

A hero image with an icon of a cursor clicking a CTA button and a line graph

What comes to mind when I try to think of a powerful CTA (call to action) is the one my dad expertly executed daily by bellowing at me to get a job . Fresh from a college experience that promised the world but mainly delivered a mountain of student debt, I was under the assumption that adulthood was supposed to be full of quirky adventures and unexpected meet-cutes, not unsolicited career advice from a man who still struggles to connect to Bluetooth.

Eventually, his CTA successfully motivated me to become a productive member of society. And  that's the magic of a compelling CTA—it jolts you out of your passiveness and into action. In my case, I got a job despite a lifelong belief that work is something to avoid unless absolutely necessary. (Look at me now, Dad!) 

Just as personal CTAs can lead to transformative life decisions, marketing CTAs have the potential to significantly impact user engagement and conversion. Want to craft your own magnetic calls to action? Keep reading for tips and examples of what makes great CTAs, well, great.

Table of contents:

Why calls to action work

How to write a call to action, how to design a call to action, call to action testing and iteration, 16 call to action examples (and why they work), what is a call to action.

A call to action is a prompt or message, usually formatted as a button or link, that encourages the audience to take a specific action. 

CTAs are commonly used in marketing and sales contexts to guide users toward the next step in their journey, whether that's purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or forwarding that chain email to all of their friends to avoid eight years of bad luck.

I know what you're thinking: "I'm a human adult with a brain. I'm not going to let a shiny button on the internet tell me what to do." But the reality is that the psychology behind CTAs taps into our innate desires and instincts, making us more inclined to follow through. Remember that one time you got lost down a YouTube rabbit hole, and six hours later, you're watching a documentary on bioluminescence in deep sea creatures? You have a few "Watch next" or "Smash that like button!" CTAs to thank.

Types of CTAs

You should calibrate your call to action with the relevant stage of a customer's journey. From the curious browser lured in by a "Learn more" button, to the nearly convinced shopper beckoned with a "Why choose us?" link, and finally to the ready-to-purchase consumer presented with a decisive "Buy now" directive—you want to ensure the user is always met with a suitable and enticing invitation, guiding them seamlessly down the funnel. Here's a primer on some of the most common types of CTAs.

The effectiveness of a CTA depends on its copy, design, placement, and relevance to the user. The choice of words can significantly impact user engagement, as phrases like "Snag your copy" might resonate more than a generic "Download now," depending on your audience. Identify which action(s) will bring the most value to your business, then use your CTA to steer users in the right direction.

an illustrated cheatsheet with examples of popular CTA buttons on the lefthand side and catchy alternatives on the righthand side

As a user of the beloved internet, you've absolutely seen calls to action that were pushy or patronizing, begging the question: "do I really need someone to tell me where to click?" But just like the difference between an aggressive sales rep and a sales rep that actually listens, a CTA that's written with care can get you a conversion without the negative connotations. 

Why? Because having a strong CTA in your online sales pitch fits the psychology of your visitors. 

For starters, having a clickable link or button coincides with the Action > Reward system our brains love so much. It's the extension of the childlike joy in pressing an elevator button: humans crave interaction, and our curiosity alone is often enough for us to push and click things. 

But more than that, a call to action—like any good sales closer—acts as a climax to the pitch. It serves the same function as a joke's punchline, and without a CTA, the visitor is left in a sort of directionless limbo. 

A CTA on SurveyMonkey's home page that says "Create survey"

A good CTA not only signals that the pitch is over; it also recommends the next course of action. One core tenet of digital design is Steve Krug's rule : don't make the user think. By providing a suggestive call to action, the user doesn't have to wonder what to do next. They see the next step in front of them, and all they have to do is take it. 

All in all, the call to action is the best online equivalent we can get to a personalized, face-to-face sales closer. We may not be able to tailor our final pitch to a particular customer, but we can use the same techniques and strategies on a broader, more inclusive scale. And therein lies the art of writing a CTA. 

A CTA on Sprout Social's home page that says "Start Your Free Trial"

Your calls to action should be unique, specific to where it's featured as well as your particular audience and targets. That said, the best CTAs do share some characteristics that you can apply wherever they may be. 

If you're looking for one secret to effective CTAs, here it is: give them a reason to click, share, or hand over their email address . More important than the wording, placement, or color of your CTA is the underlying incentive a person has to follow it. How will answering your call to action help them? 

A good call to action restates its benefit bluntly and succinctly. 

If you're offering a discount, remind them what percentage. 

If they're getting a free PDF, mention the words "free" and "PDF." 

Here's where you can borrow from traditional sales techniques, such as adding urgency with a time limit or bringing up the pain point they're trying to avoid. Just remember the CTA shouldn't be too wordy, so stick to the highlights and keep it brief. 

If you're using a standard link, typically you write the incentive in your CTA's anchor text (the clickable text). In the case of social media posts and ads, you should reserve the last line in your message for your call to action, so mention any benefits there.

A CTA on Goodtimer that says "Reveal Promo Code"

If you're using a button CTA, you have to limit the number of characters you use, so it's better to add secondary text. While the button can say something basic like "buy now," nearby you should include a line or two to remind visitors about the advantages to clicking. 


One of the biggest reasons CTAs fail is because people don't trust them. Most web users have a healthy suspicion when clicking links online, especially on new or unfamiliar sites. You can mitigate this fear, and increase conversions, by being open and honest. 

For starters, say exactly what will happen when you click. Remove all mystery with specifics. For example, saying "start your download automatically" is more descriptive than "click here to download." (For button CTAs, with limited space, you can include secondary text nearby.)

You want to acknowledge any user doubts and assuage their fears. If visitors are worried about security, they're not going to click, so reassure them that you understand their concerns. One of the big fears, in the case of email signups, is spam. You might want to gently remind visitors that you won't share their information and that you'll only email them once a week, twice a month, or whatever the case is, to keep their imagination in check.  

A CTA on the Allbirds website to sign up for their newsletter, with the button text "SIGN UP"

You can build trust just by being upfront about everything from the beginning. You'll find people are more receptive to your CTA pitches when they know precisely what to expect. 

Command and wording

Don't be shy about calls to action! Some people soften their language to avoid being pushy, but CTAs should be strong and unapologetic. After all, if you followed rule #1 (incentive), then what you're offering is beneficial to the visitor. 

That's not to say you should be rude or demanding (please don't); there's a perfect balance somewhere in there between a strong suggestion and a forceful command. Above all, the reader must always feel they have a choice; your call to action is there to convince them of the choice you think they should make. 

In practical terms, calls to action should be imperative sentences , which is the grammatical term for commands. A best practice is to start CTAs with an actionable verb :

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This makes the statement sound stronger, and at the same time, clearly communicates what the user should do. 

Likewise, avoid wording that weakens your call to action, including "please" (no matter what Grammarly tells you) and modifiers like "could" and "would." There's a time and place for gentle language, but calls to action are not one of them.

A CTA on the Drift home page that says "SEE DRIFT ON YOUR SITE"

Word choice is important to CTAs, not only for making a persuasive argument, but also for fitting the space allotted.

So which words should you choose? The consensus among professional copywriters is that certain words work better than others for sales and persuasive writing. And while there's no official collection, the words below generally end up on most copywriters' lists: 

A CTA on the Pack'd home page that says "FIND YOUR FAVOURITE"

They're not foolproof, but in my experience, these words tend to improve CTA performance and the effectiveness of most sales copy. And because most of them are short, you should have no problem fitting them into your CTA space. 

An illustrated chart titled "click-driving call to action formulas" with common formulas on the lefthand side and an example of each on the righthand side

Now that we've covered the writing, let's talk about how your CTA should look. The design, layout, and typography of your call to action all play major roles in its success. 

CTA design best practices

If you're placing your call to action on a web page or other content you design yourself, you want to place it at the top of your visual hierarchy. Your CTA should be the most noticeable element on the page. To achieve this, you want to pull out all your design tricks:

Contrasting colors: CTAs should generally contrast with the rest of the page's design. Visitors shouldn't have to work to find what to do next. Use a vibrant color for your CTA, especially against a dull background. Can you spot it from six feet away? Good.

Optimal size: Make the button and text larger than the surrounding elements but not so large that it overwhelms other content. It should also be easily clickable, especially on mobile devices.

Clear typography: Use a legible font that complements your brand. Ensure the text is large enough to read but doesn't crowd the button. You can play with typography to emphasize key words. Commonly, operative words like "free" are set in a different color or sometimes even a different font to attract more attention.

Negative space: Surround your call to action with plenty of negative, or empty, space. Setting your CTA apart from the other elements makes it more noticeable and gives it more importance in the eyes of your visitors.

Emoji use: Some brands find success with emojis, but if you choose that approach, remember that a little goes a long way.

Consistent styling: While CTAs should stand out, they should still align with your brand's overall design aesthetic. Consistency in design builds trust.

Last but not least, you should evaluate how successful your final call to action is and identify room for improvement. Creating your CTA may feel like a lot of guesswork and shooting in the dark—because it is. Testing it is much more clear cut. 

To get a basic idea of your CTA's performance, take a look at your analytics. Compare the page traffic to the number of conversions, and see what percentage of your total visitors clicked. 

Don't be alarmed if your conversion rate percentage feels low. Although there's no universal figure that applies to everyone in every industry, a reliable general metric is around 4% . If your conversion rate is higher than 4% but you're still not hitting your goals, try focusing on improving traffic to the site or page rather than tweaking the call to action. 

If your conversion rate is significantly lower, it's worth doing an A/B test on your design and copy. Try two different versions of your call to action, experimenting with different phrasing, colors, or fonts, and see which one performs better with your target audience. It's the most efficient way to reveal what works and what doesn't with concrete, empirical data, ensuring your CTA resonates with the target audience and drives the desired action.

Let's dissect some real-life CTA examples to learn how to use strategic copy, design, and placement to transform an ordinary CTA into a magnetic, can't-resist-clicking force.

1. JD + Kate Industries

Screenshot of a JD + Kate Industries CTA that says "Wait you forgot to buy hundreds of candles" and a place to enter an email address

CTA placement: Exit intent popup

CTA type: Lead to purchase

What it does right: Attention-grabbing, offers a valuable incentive, humorous and lighthearted

The brazen use of "WAIT" isn't a gentle suggestion; it's a command. Like someone grabbing your elbow just as you're about to duck out without a goodbye. It's intrusive, but in a way that makes you think, "Alright, what did I miss?"

Combine that with the sheer audacity of telling someone they've forgotten to buy not just one candle but HUNDREDS of candles. It's dramatic, it's over-the-top, and frankly, it's memorable. With copy like that, it's hard to resist giving away your email address because one can only wonder what their emails would be like.

2. Giftwrap.ai

Screenshot of a giftwrap.ai display ad where the reader can select categories for Valentine's Day gift ideas

CTA placement: Display ad

CTA type: Lead generation

What it does right: Engaging, personalized, visually appealing

It's refreshing to see something that doesn't pretend to know you better than you know yourself. Instead of telling you what your significant other might want, it's asking you to fill in the blanks. A little bit of personalization without the personal touch. Clever, really.

As for the CTA button, the emoji is a nice touch. Plus, the use of "show" rather than "buy" or "see" is like a little magic trick. "Voila! Here are your gift options."

3. Who Gives A Crap

Screenshot of a Who Gives a Crap Facebook ad with a purple background comparing competitor brands to Who Gives a Crap toilet paper

CTA placement: Facebook ad

What it does right: Benefit-oriented language makes the CTA more appealing to users and encourages them to take action 

By comparing "Us" and "Them," they're not only offering a quantitative argument (385 sheets versus a paltry 299), but they're also injecting a bit of humor. And while I've never been one to count sheets, if you're telling me I get more for my money and it'll look cute next to my collection of HUNDREDS of candles, I'm sold. Also, describing the competitor as "objectively very boring" is a sentiment I've often used to describe my social life, but to see it on toilet paper? Well, that's something.

"28% cheaper than Charmin," followed by a "Shop Now" button isn't just a call to action; it's a call to revolution! A revolution of, well, saving on toilet paper and perhaps bringing a touch of flair to a decidedly unglamorous aspect of life.

Screenshot of the header on Ahrefs' homepage that says "Everything you need to rank higher and get more traffic" on a blue background

CTA placement: Homepage header

What it does right: Creates curiosity, addresses pain points, social proof

There's something oddly reassuring about a direct, no-nonsense headline promising exactly what every website on this overcrowded internet wants: visibility.

The name-dropping of heavy-hitter customers serves as a strong endorsement. It's not saying, "Look who trusts us," but rather, "Look who you'd be in company with." And that "17,961 users joined Ahrefs in the last 7 days" is a nice touch. It's not boastful, but it's certainly not modest. It's a subtle prod to the undecided that says, "While you're contemplating, thousands have already decided."

This CTA is a perfect blend of self-assuredness, social proof, and just the right amount of peer pressure.

5. Ruggable

Screenshot of a Ruggable email that says "Final hours to save until Black Friday" on a black background

CTA placement: eCommerce email

CTA type: Limited-time offer

What it does right: Straightforward, creates a sense of urgency, sparks curiosity

There's something unapologetically direct about this ad. "Final hours to save until next week Black Friday"—it's not asking you, it's telling you. Time's running out, and if you're the type who thrives on the thrill of a last-minute decision, this is your moment.

The CTA is a master class in suspense. That "% OFF" lurking behind the button is like when someone says they've got news, but they'll tell you later—except instead of being left alone with your intrusive thoughts, conjuring up worst-case scenarios, you get a sweet discount on a cute, machine-washable rug.

Screenshot of Hey's homepage header that says "Email's new heyday" on a white background

CTA type: Product demo

What it does right: Solution-oriented, benefit-driven, relatable

"Email sucked for years. Not anymore—we fixed it." You mean that thing everyone's been complaining about since the dawn of the internet? It's about time, and I'm all ears.

The rest of the copy succinctly addresses customer pain points and aspirational desires. It paints a picture of a world where checking your email might feel more like reading a postcard from a friend rather than sifting through a pile of bills.

The CTA button, "See how HEY works," is straightforward. No flowery language, no over-the-top promises. Just a simple invitation.

7. Big Blanket Co

Screenshot of a Big Blanket Co. Facebook ad showing someone lying on a red, white, and blue blanket

What it does right: Creates a sense of urgency, visually appealing, reassuring

The urgency of "limited quantities available...Reserve yours now before it's too late" is classic retail psychology. It's both an announcement and a challenge, like when a kid hears the whistle signaling the end of adult swim and races to be the first one to cannonball into the pool.

The "Limited Restock [Massive 10'x10' Blankets] 100 Night Guarantee + Free Shipping" is the clincher. It promises a combination of rarity, quality, reliability, and convenience, like a call to action Megazord.

Screenshot of Airhelp's homepage header that says "Did you have a delayed or canceled flight?" on a white background

What it does right: Addresses pain points, benefit-oriented, actionable

The genius of this homepage lies not just in its promises but in its initial question—a direct prod at the pain point of its target audience that immediately evokes a visceral response. Most, if not all, travelers will mentally answer "yes" to this, recalling their own airport nightmares. It's a calculated reminder of a situation everyone wants to avoid, making the solution they offer even more enticing.

"Get up to $700 compensation per passenger, no matter the ticket price." The clarity here is commendable. They're not promising the world, but a very tangible, specific amount. And the Trustpilot rating is a nod to credibility. It's like a friend vouching for a restaurant they swear by, but in this case, it's 157,892 friends.

The two fields for the departure and destination airports are a clever touch. It's interactive, pulling me in, like when a quiz promises to tell me which '90s sitcom character I am based on my questionable life choices. (I'm George Costanza.) The button, with its sharp contrast to the rest of the page, effectively captures attention while still aligning with the brand's colors and aesthetic. "Check compensation" offers an inviting, low-effort action, subtly guiding users toward their potential relief without overwhelming them.

In a world where we're constantly sold solutions to problems we didn't know we had, this CTA addresses a very real grievance with a straightforward promise. And in the often convoluted world of travel woes, that's a breath of fresh, cabin-pressurized air.

9. Crazy Egg

Screenshot of Crazy Egg's homepage header that says "Make your website better. Instantly" with a blue box where users can enter their email

What it does right: Actionable, benefit-oriented, simple

Crazy Egg's CTA isn't trying too hard to impress. It's just good—well thought out, concise, and to the point.

First, the headline: "Make your website better. Instantly." A rather bold proclamation but commendably straightforward. Its use of the word "instantly" suggests that Crazy Egg has the answers, and they're not going to waste your time.

The "Show me my Heatmap" CTA button is, once again, admirably direct. It's not pleading for a click or asking for a moment of your time. It's telling you, in no uncertain terms, what's on the other side of that click.

Screenshot of a Zappos email that says "Daily deals at 50% off for a limited time only"

What it does right: Clear and concise, visually appealing, strong call to action verb

First off, big ups to Zappos for not making me do math. Half off? I'm already intrigued and haven't even seen the shoes yet.

"Reveal today's deals" feels like a game show moment. What's behind door number one? A pair of boots? New house slippers? It's that momentary thrill, like unwrapping a gift—even if you end up paying for it yourself.

In an endless sea of emails screaming for attention, this one from Zappos does what it needs to do: it grabs you, shakes you gently by the shoulders, and says, "Hey, want something good for half off?" And in this economy, who can say no?

Screenshot of Uber's landing page header with three different tabs: drive or deliver, eat, and ride

CTA placement: Landing page header

What it does right: Interactive and dynamic, personalized, sparks curiosity

By providing three clear choices (drive or deliver, eat, and ride), Uber shows that they understand and cater to the diverse needs of their users. This personalized approach instantly makes the user feel valued and attended to, whether they need a ride to the airport or just want to stuff their face.

The interactive nature of this dynamic content creates a sense of empowerment and involvement for the user. Even the tens of people unfamiliar with all of Uber's offerings will be intrigued by the distinct options, sparking curiosity and potentially leading them to explore other services beyond their original intention.

12. CareerBuilder

Screenshot of Career Builder's homepage header that says "Find your next job...fast!" with a place to search jobs and upload a resume

What it does right: Clear and concise, click-worthy secondary CTA

"Find your next job…fast!" Who are you, my dad? Although I suppose if someone's clicking their way onto a job-finding website, they're there for one reason: to snag a job, and preferably one that doesn't make them want to put a campfire out with their face.

CareerBuilder doesn't dilly-dally—they allow you to type in your wildly specific and/or desperate job requirements. And who's going to turn down the resume help offered in the secondary CTA? Talk about a lead magnet.

13. Airtable

Screenshot of an Airtable landing page header where readers can input their contact information in exchange for a free ebook

CTA type: Gated content

What it does right: Social proof, sneak preview, clear and concise

You may be wondering why I included a very basic "submit" button in a CTA showcase, but pairing a straightforward button with great supporting elements like the headline, social proof, and sneak preview, is like sipping top-shelf wine from an old jelly jar. Sometimes, the simple stuff just ties everything together.

The large headline is as direct as my comments on whether a hotdog is a sandwich. (It's not.) Aimed at the so-called professionals in campaign planning, it speaks to a certain crowd, much like literally anything speaks to Swifties looking for Taylor's latest Easter egg.

The mention of leading companies like Shopify, Time magazine, Spotify, and Hearst adds credibility and trustworthiness. It's basically saying, "If these giants trust us, maybe you, in your comparatively minuscule existence, should, too."

The bullet list detailing what's inside the eBook provides clarity on the content, letting users know exactly what to expect, including insider tidbits from recognized brands. So, not only do you get smarter, but you also get to casually name-drop at the next girls' night. "I've been implementing campaign planning strategies inspired by Equinox and Taylor Guitars. NBD."

Screenshot of a Max landing page header showing three categories (news, entertainment, and sports) with images of Anderson Cooper, Ketel Marte, and Margot Robbie with Ryan Reynolds

CTA type: Closing the sale

What it does right: Showcases diverse selection, clear and concise, highlights affordability

Max presents an impactful CTA through the Neapolitan ice cream of hero images, featuring Anderson Cooper, Ketel Marte, and Margot Robbie with Ryan Gosling. Collectively, these three flavors depict a panoramic view of Max's offerings, emphasizing a wide variety of choices only rivaled by the Cheesecake Factory menu. 

In a world drowning in content, they've managed, quite succinctly, to sum it all up with "It's all here. Plans start at $9.99/month." The ensuing "Sign up now" button invites visitors to subscribe, anchoring the CTA by providing a straightforward pathway to accessing all the consumable content your heart desires.

15. Adobe Stock

Screenshot of an Adobe ad on Google Search that says "Adobe stock images: Free trial - find the right image faster"

CTA placement: Google Search ad

CTA type: Free trial

What it does right: Benefit-oriented, actionable, relevant to the target audience

This paid search ad nails the CTA with a clear and easy-to-understand message. The headline "Free trial - Find the right image faster" immediately grabs attention by offering a low-risk way to experience the service. It also addresses a common pain point for users, highlighting the platform's efficiency. 

In very few words, Adobe found a way to combine attention-grabbing language, address user concerns, highlight the platform's strengths, and offer a valuable deal, making for a cleverly crafted CTA. If I were into such things, I might even click on it. But I have people for that.

Screenshot of a Zapier email that says "ZConnect is here" with buttons to register

CTA placement: Email

CTA type: Event promotion

What it does right: Multiple engagement opportunities, attention-grabbing, personalized

Much like the free sample stations at Costco, the strategic placement of three CTA buttons ensures the reader has multiple opportunities to engage, regardless of how far they wander (or scroll).

The header image immediately grabs attention with its vibrant graphic detailing key event highlights. This provides a quick snapshot of what to expect and builds anticipation.

Personalizing the body of the email to address readers by name creates a sense of intimacy. Instantly, they're all ears and feeling special.

Improve your CTAs now, free! 

While my dad's approach might have lacked the finesse of a well-designed button or the allure of clever copy, the sentiment was clear. And that's the heart of every good CTA. Whether you're nudging a visitor to make a purchase or nudging your offspring out of the nest, the principle remains the same. CTAs are about engaging your audience, prompting action, and, occasionally, a very pointed reminder to update your LinkedIn profile.

Now it's our turn to practice what we preach— try Zapier for free !

Related reading:

How to write great copy

eCommerce email marketing: A beginner's guide

How to write better

How to treat and prevent common marketing copy maladies

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Allisa Boulette

Based in New England, Allisa is a content marketer and small business owner who hopes to make the internet a more interesting place than she found it. When she’s not working, you can find her lying very still not doing anything.

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How To Write a Call to Action That Works [Tips + 6 Examples]

Ready for your marketing campaigns to actually drive results? We’ll show you how to motivate your audience with a killer call to action.

cover image

Table of Contents

You know how they say a closed mouth doesn’t get fed? If you want someone to do something, you gotta ask for it. Writing a killer call to action (CTA) is one strategy to get what you want.

Whether you’re trying to get people to buy your products, sign up for your emails, or join your cult, crafting the perfect call to action is essential for success.

But how do you write a call to action that stands out from the crowd and actually drives results? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to motivate with some powerful examples of moving calls to action and tips on writing them yourself.

Bonus: Download a free guide to social advertising and learn the 5 steps to building effective campaigns. No tricks or boring tips—just simple, easy-to-follow instructions that really work.

What is a call to action?

A call to action is a word or phrase that prompts action. It is a marketing term to describe urging your audience to act in a certain way.

A call to action can appear as a clickable button or simply as a piece of text. Call-to-action buttons and phrases can appear at any place in the user journey that you want to direct your audience.

Let’s say you’re trying to sell a pair of shoes on Instagram, and you’re crafting clear social media CTAs . You might have a call to action at the end of your social post caption that says, “Click the link in our bio.” The link in your bio could lead to a product page with information about the shoes on it. The call to action on this page would be an “Add to shopping cart” button.

CTAs aren’t just for social media. They can also appear in emails for an email marketing campaign, on paid ads, at the end of a blog post, and on landing pages.

CTAs are common in print marketing, too — think billboards or flyers that scream “Call Now!”

Examples of common CTAs

You’ll see plenty of CTAs around, but there are a few tried and tested phrases on repeat.

These common CTAs are uncomplicated phrases that tell your user exactly what to do and what they can expect once they follow through. There’s power in simplicity, which is why you’ll see these words used over and over again.

Some of the most common CTAs are:

  • Try for free
  • Add to cart
  • Get started

Why is a good CTA important?

A well-crafted call to action serves as a bridge or a well-lit path. It guides your user where you want them to go. Which, if your business plan is in the right place, will be toward your goals.

A strong CTA will grab customers’ attention and incentivize them to take the decisive step necessary to achieve their goals. Effective CTAs give customers confidence in your business. They can communicate security, trustworthiness, and convenience, all of which can increase conversions or drive traffic where you want it to go.

Calls to action can also combat decision fatigue. When someone has too many options, they can become overwhelmed by choice. CTAs can help cut through decision confusion by giving your reader a direct command. Now, go read the best practices for creating effective CTAs.

Best practices for creating effective CTAs

Much like cutting your bangs, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about creating CTAs. You’ll need to consider things like copywriting, design, visuals, and placement on a webpage.

It might seem like a lot, but we’ve got you covered with the handy best practice list below!

Make it concise and clear

The CTA should be concise and lay out a clear request for the customer, whether that be for them to join a mailing list or purchase a product or service. Don’t write your reader a paragraph with the CTA buried within it; you want them to be able to immediately know where they should go.

Squarespace curious candles get started call to action button

Source: Squarespac e

Make it visible

People don’t scour your web page. They don’t read every word, and they certainly don’t like searching for something. If your CTA isn’t immediately obvious, you will lose your viewer’s interest in seconds. Remember, a competitor is likely doing the same thing you are, and your customers are spoilt for choice.

Make your call-to-action buttons or phrases clearly visible on your page. You can tailor your imagery or site design to point to the CTA for added visibility. Take Fashion Nova, for example. Here, the banner model’s body points toward the Shop Now CTA.

Fashion Nova up to 70% off sitewide

Source: Fashion Nova

Use white space

A great way to make sure people can see your CTA is to surround it with white space.

Don’t be scared of white space on your website! It allows your viewers to breathe in between content and can highlight important information.

Surrounding your button CTA with white space makes it pop.

shop west elm Canada site with white space

Source: West Elm

Use contrasting or bold colors

Stop signs are red for a reason. They pop out among cityscapes or the countryside because that bright, arresting red isn’t at risk of blending in. Do the same for your CTA button colors.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t veer away from your brand colors. A secondary brand color can do the job well. (And if you want to know more about brand colors and a consistent style guide , we’ve got you covered.)

McDonald’s crispy savory waffle fries order now

Source: McDonald’s

Have well-considered page placement

Where you place your call-to-action buttons matters a great deal. You want to consider the natural flow of your user’s journey. You’ll have some users who immediately want to get shopping or head to the next page, and you’ll have users who want to scroll through your landing page before moving on.

A call to action should be placed under your header and at the bottom of your page. You want to capture people immediately (if they’re willing) and give those who need a bit more time another opportunity to hit that CTA at the bottom.

Squarespace all you need to power your ecommerce website get started

Source: Squarespace

Write benefit-forward supporting text

Supporting text is the content that comes before or in between your CTAs. It can be blog content, email body copy, the text on your website, or any copy that supports your CTA.

This extra information is your opportunity to show your audience the benefit that befalls them when they click your CTA.

ecommerce websites that stand out browse templates and learn more

For example, maybe you’re trying to get an audience to sign up for your email newsletter. If you want to convince people to hand over their email addresses, you’ll have to tell them what that newsletter will do for them.

A copywriting newsletter might say something like, “We sift through thousands of copywriting samples and pull only the best for you to repurpose for your own use. Plus, we tell you exactly why they work, so you don’t have to spend time puzzling through strategy. Impress your clients, save time, and look like an expert. Sign up today.”

The supporting copy highlights benefits so the call to action feels extra compelling. The reader knows exactly what to expect when they sign up for the email newsletter and how it will benefit them.

Create thoughtful copywriting

Aside from benefit-forward supporting text, the rest of your copywriting needs to be on point. Everything, from your site headers to your social posts, needs to be in your brand voice and speak directly to your audience.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the language you’re using both in and around your calls to action. Powerful words strike a chord with your audience’s emotions. White-hot CTA copy is an explosive way to skyrocket your ROI. (See what I did there?)

That being said, don’t confuse your audience. While your surrounding text can be full of powerful language, your CTAs need to be clear so your audience knows where they are headed. “Take the Quiz” or “Shop Now” gives your audience everything they need to know about where the button leads.

feeling fatigued? order today and get your energy back learn more and take the quiz

Source: Qunol

Test, test, and test again

The only way to really know if you’re using the best version of your CTA is to test it. Running A/B tests on your calls to action will show you which strategy performs the best.

It’s a simple method: You change one element (like your copy, placement, or colors) and let it run for a set amount of time. Then, see how it compares to the previous version.

6 great call-to-action examples

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to check out what others are doing! Get inspiration for your next CTA from the examples below.

Oh, how we love a good mystery! Whether it’s a cheesy crime drama or a surprise gift from a company, there’s something about not knowing what you might get that is just so enticing.

Glossier’s “It’s a mystery!” CTA makes us itchy to click that button just to see what’s on the other side.

What's that? a special offer for you first order It’s a mystery! CTA

Source: Glossier

Article uses color to its advantage with the website’s call-to-action buttons. Their secondary brand color is a bright coral, which you can see is used for the “Add to cart” CTA button.

It’s clear, eye-catching, and concise, everything a great CTA button should be.

Article beta cypress green left chaise add to cart CTA

Source: Article

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve’s email marketing campaign uses a discount code as a CTA. Who doesn’t love saving money? Incorporating your discount code into your CTA is a clever way to get people to click.

take an extra 20% off sitewide discount code

Source: Coco & Eve’s email campaign

While this strategy worked well in Coco & Eve’s email campaign, they ran into CTA limitations on other platforms, like Facebook. If you’re advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook, you’ll know that the apps force you to use a set of standard CTA copy on the buttons.

While this poses some limitations, you can still add supporting text that motivates your audience to click. Below, Coco & Eve included the discount code on the imagery instead, which is just one of many clever ways to go about Facebook advertising .

friends and family sale

Source: Coco & Eve on Facebook

Twitter’s “Tweet” CTA uses its own brand-specific language. Before the rise of social media, if you had told someone to tweet something, you’d be met with a blank stare. (We’ve come since 2006, truly.)

To do this yourself, just create a globally-used platform that makes birdsong synonymous with snippets of thought. Easy.

Twitter homepage with Tweet CTA

Source: Twitter

Tushy uses social proof as supporting text in its Instagram story ad . The “100,000+ 5 Star reviews” statement below serves to motivate others to grab a Tushy. Social proof is one of those marketing tactics that just works. People look to other people to determine what’s hot and what’s not.

Social proof works a lot like the bandwagon effect , a kind of cognitive bias. The bandwagon effect is pretty much exactly like it sounds; when a majority of people like or endorse something, it’s often picked up by others. And, with 100,000 5-star reviews called out, Tushy is using the bandwagon effect to its full advantage below.

Tushy free shopping on bidets

Source: Tushy on Instagram

NatGeo dangles a free trial in its Instagram ad, one of many effective call-to-action ideas you can shamelessly steal. Although, when so many people are doing it and finding success, is it really stealing?

redeem free trial for National Geographic online

Source: NatGeo on Instagram

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Colleen Christison is a freelance copywriter, copy editor, and brand communications specialist. She spent the first six years of her career in award-winning agencies like Major Tom, writing for social media and websites and developing branding campaigns. Following her agency career, Colleen built her own writing practice, working with brands like Mission Hill Winery, The Prevail Project, and AntiSocial Media.

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Master Call-to-Action Writing: Boost Your Essays Now!

Unlock the power of persuasive writing: what is a call to action.

If you’ve ever wondered “what is a call to action in writing?”, you’re not alone. In writing, especially in an essay, a call to action (CTA) is essentially a sentence or a phrase that encourages readers to take a specific action. This is a compelling message that requests the reader to respond in some way, helping to boost engagement and response rates.

Examples of a Call To Action in an Essay

To illustrate, let’s go through some clear examples of the call to action:

  • “Buckle your seat belts, it’s about to get intense! Continue reading below!”
  • “Convinced about the urgent need for climate action? Join the movement today!”
  • “Intrigued by our discussion so far? Click here to find out more!”

Each of these examples serves to invite the reader to engage further, whether it be reading further, joining a movement or clicking a link.

How To Use A Call To Action In Your Essays

To effectively use a call to action in your essays, it’s important to identify your essay’s intent. Are you trying to persuade your audience to believe in a certain perspective? Or perhaps you’re informing them about a particular topic and would like them to delve deeper?

Once you have identified the purpose of the essay, use your CTA to draw your readers towards that purpose. Be clear and specific about the action they should take. And remember equation – compelling reasons plus a splash of personal touch equals a highly effective CTA. Like, intrigued by the vastness of the universe? Subscribe to our astronomy newsletter for regular updates!

Boost Your Essays With Strategic Calls To Action

The difference between an ordinary essay and an engaging one often lies in effectively utilising techniques like call to action. By integrating this tool strategically, you won’t just enhance your essay writing but also make your content more interactive and compelling.

Common Questions About Call To Action In Writing

Here are answers to a few common queries about how to use a call to action in your essays:

“Can a call to action be at the beginning of an essay?”

Definitely! An early call to action can create immediate engagement and sets the tone of the essay right from the start. However, make sure that it aligns with your essay’s purpose.

“What is the need for a call to action in an essay?”

Without a clear call to action, your audience may read your essay and feel informed or entertained but not know what to do next. A call to action tells them where to go or what to look for after finishing your read.

Master the Art of Call-to-Action Writing

Knowing the answer to “what is a call to action in writing?” is only the beginning. The real test lies in applying it effectively in your essays. Keep practicing, learn from your successes and setbacks, and you’ll soon master the art of crafting compelling calls to action!

So next time you’re penning down your thoughts, remember, strategic CTAs are not just for marketers but for every writer aiming to make their work interactively compelling. Happy writing!

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107 Call to Action Examples You Can Steal Now 

Every once in a while, I notice myself hitting a writing rut. My blog posts titles have all been done before. My tagline options all sound the same. My calls to action are forgettable. My introductions get repetitive. (Too meta?)

It’s easy to fall into this rut—it’s much harder to jolt yourself out of it and bring your copy back to life.

silver pen on white paper

Your  call to action  is probably the most high-stakes copy you have, so you can’t afford to get stale. Nobody enjoys a boring CTA. That’s why we put together this huge list of all the best CTAs we’ve seen around—to give over 100 call to action examples that you can use and make your own whenever you need them. So read through or bookmark for later just in case, or even both.

Let’s get into it. 

What is a call to action?

A call to action is the copy that prompts users to take an immediate action. It’s a simple definition, but the stakes are incredibly high—you need your calls to action, or CTAs, to effectively direct and motivate website visitors to convert.

That means the language that you use needs to be clear and you should communicate the post-click value to your target audience. Often, these CTAs are limited by space, appearing on a button or pop-up, so being clear and compelling can be a challenge.

Here’s an example of a call to action on Unstack’s site:

cta from Unstack:

On the homepage above, “Try it free” is the CTA, which appears on a pink button. We’re not going to be getting into button colors in this guide, but we’re skeptical of any one-button-color-fits-all pronouncements. A best practice is to  A/B test anything , including your copy

The best call to action examples

There are common CTAs that you’ll recognize on the list below, and that’s because sometimes standard and expected is effective. There are also lots of call to action examples that surprised us with  engaging language , a sense of urgency, super-specific actions, and more. So take a look and learn from these—take these examples and make them your own.

These are the best CTAs we’ve seen around the internet, broken into the relevant categories so that you can use this as a guide whenever you need CTA inspiration. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Website call to action examples
  • Ecommerce call to action examples
  • Content and blog call to action examples
  • Video call to action examples
  • Podcast call to action examples
  • Webinar and event call to action examples
  • Sales call to action examples

Now, to the CTAs.

Website call to action examples

Across your website, you should have multiple CTAs for making a purchase, signing up for an  email  list, exploring more of your offering, keeping in touch with your company, and, if you offer one, getting started with a free trial. Here are some good cta examples to get you started.

1. Join the Revolution

cta button

This is a great CTA example from Boston Content —with the copy and button text, this reads more like an invitation.

3. Work With Us

4. Write a Review

6. Open an Account Today

8. Tell Us How We Did

9. Start Building

11. Get This Dashboard for Free


This is a great example of including value in the CTA from Databox .

12. View Plans

13. Connect Your Account

14. Connect With Us

15. Find a Location Near Me

16. Follow Us

17. Get Updates

18. Explore

19. Explore Now

20. Explore Benefits

21. Join Our Village

22. See Your Options

23. Check Out the App

24. Try the App 

25. Find Out More

26. Crunch the Numbers

27. Visit Now

28. Learn How

29. Create Yours Now

30. Create My Account

31. Schedule a Visit

32. See My Results

33. Give Me More

34. Enter Now

35. Stop Wasting Time

36. Check Out Now

37. Apply Now

38. Support

39. Become a Member

40. Donate Now

41. Try It Out


Website CTAs can be conversational, like this one from Candlebuilders . 

Ecommerce call to action examples

If your business offers ecommerce options, you’ll probably have some of the website CTAs above and more specific prompts to encourage potential customers to purchase. Use these options below to inspire better CTAs—ones that help boost conversion rates for you. 

42. Buy Now

43. Send One Instantly

44. Claim My Discount

45. Get This Limited Time Offer

46. Add to Cart

47. Checkout Now

cta "Order Now" from Jeni's

Simple, sufficient. And, since it’s Jeni’s , also delicious.

48. Treat Yourself

49. Shop New Arrivals

50. Choose Your Box


The direct address and personalization here? Well done, Mombox .

Content and blog call to action examples

Your  content  should be informative and provide value for your site visitors, but it should also include CTAs to generate leads for your business. Here are some calls to action that prompt reading more, returning, and interacting with content. There are also some that motivate users to subscribe to the  blog  or newsletter, download an ebook, and more.

51. Read More

52. Learn More

53. Use This Template


Canva  prompts users to get started with its product.

54. Get My Guide

55. Get the Guide

56. Keep Reading

57. Read Our Tips

58. Download Now

59. Subscribe Now

60. Subscribe to the Blog

61. See More

62. Be the First to Know

63. Submit 

64. Start Reading

65. Share This Article 


Simple, effective CTA from Intercom .

66. Check It Out

67. Get Early Access

68. Claim My Free Copy

69. Get the Cheat Sheet

super-specific CTA from Hootsuite

Bonus points for getting super-specific like HootSuite .

Video call to action examples

Here’s a great reason to spend some extra time on there: A CTA that appears in a video gets  380% more clicks  than sidebar  CTAs . Appealing, right?  Video   CTAs  can prompt  prospects  to sign up for a  free trial , as well as these examples below.

70. See More

71. See How It Works 

72. Join the Movement

73. Start Sharing

Podcast call to action examples

Last year, over 155 million people listened to podcasts weekly. That’s a ton of listeners. Even better, they’re committed—over 80% listen to the whole podcast episode or most of it. If your company has a podcast, make sure you’re including effective CTAs that direct users to listen.

74. Listen Now

75. Subscribe to the Podcast

76. Don’t Miss an Episode

77. Add to Playlist

78. Catch Up Now

79. New Episodes

Webinar and event call to action examples

If you’re hosting a webinar or a marketing event, then you want to make sure you’re prompting the specific action you want: registration. 

80. I Want In

82. Count Me In

83. Save My Seat

84. Reserve My Spot

85. Add Me to the List

86. Join Now

87. Get the Details

Sales call to action examples

A CTA that makes the sale is probably the most important of all. But not every sales cycle supports a simple “buy now.” Instead, you might prompt a free trial, an installation, a demo. Check out these call to action examples below to jumpstart your brainstorm .

88. Get Started

89. Start Free Trial

90. Help Me

91. Schedule a Call

92. Schedule a Demo

93. Start Your Free Trial Now

94. Install Now

95. Sign Up

96. Sign Up Now

97. See a Demo


Using “see” in this CTA makes it clear that you won’t be talking directly to a sales rep—much softer.

98. Order Now

99. Contact Us

100. Request a Demo

101. Upgrade and Save

102. Upgrade My Team

103. Speak to an Expert


This CTA in action on Klaviyo’s website .

104. Compare Plans

105. Contact Sales

106. Let’s Talk

107. Get in Touch

Don’t settle on CTAs—steal these call to action examples 

Your calls to action are too important to get boring. And why even go there when you have plenty of options to switch it up and see what works?

Take these call to action examples above and make them your own in your marketing campaigns. Promote your podcast. Add specifics to prompt your  content downloads . Include a discount in your ad CTA to motivate a sale and capture an email. It’s not exactly stealing that way—just consider this a resource to get you inspired and get you started!

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5 Keys to End Your Speech with a Great Call-to-Action

Yet many speakers miss a fantastic opportunity with a call-to-action that is wishy-washy, hypothetical, or ill-constructed. Even worse, some speakers omit the call-to-action entirely.

A poor call-to-action undermines the effectiveness of your speech; a great call-to-action stirs your audience to act enthusiastically.

In this article, we reveal the qualities of a strong speech call-to-action which will lead your audience to act.

What is a Speech Call-To-Action?

A speech call-to-action is an explicit appeal to your audience to take a specific action following your speech. A call-to-action is most often made at the conclusion of a persuasive speech.

“ If you have been persuasive and your audience is emotionally invested, the best time for action is now. ”

For example, you might call on your audience to…

  • … adopt a new business process
  • … sponsor an event
  • … attend an event
  • … fund a research initiative
  • … register to vote
  • … join a club
  • … train for a marathon
  • … read out loud to their children
  • … donate money to a charity
  • … travel to Saskatchewan
  • … buy a fire extinguisher
  • … eat more vegetables
  • … use public transit

Guidelines for a Strong Speech Call-to-Action

Your call-to-action and your approach to delivering it may vary according to your audience and your speaking style. While there is no rigid formula, there are a number of  guidelines which will improve the effectiveness of your call-to-action.

  • Make your call-to-action clear and direct.
  • Have your audience act quickly.
  • Lower barriers to action.
  • Focus on benefits for your audience.
  • Customize your call-to-action for each person.

1. Make your call-to-action clear and direct.

Don’t hint. Don’t imply. Don’t suggest.

It’s not a whisper-to-think-about- action; it’s a call-to -action.

Use direct language, and eliminate wishy-washy phrases.

  • Instead of “Maybe you could think about joining…”, say “Join…”
  • Instead of “It would be good to train for…”, say “Train for… “

Don’t assume that your audience will “figure out” what needs to be done. (I have made this mistake in the past and regretted it.) If members of your audience walk out of the room thinking “Wow, this sounds great, but I’m just not sure what to do…”, your call-to-action was not clear enough.

2. Have your audience act quickly.

If you have been persuasive and your audience is emotionally invested, the best time for action is now. The longer it takes to initiate the action, the more likely that your audience will lose motivation.

So, an ideal call-to-action is one which your audience can act on immediately, perhaps even before they leave the room. If this isn’t feasible, then aim for actions which can reasonably be completed (or at least started) within hours or a day or two.

3. Lower barriers to action.

To help your audience act quickly, eliminate as many (trivial or non-trivial) barriers as you can.

For example, ask the following questions about your audience.

  • Do they need to sign up? Bring forms and pens and pass them out.
  • Do they need to read additional information? Bring handouts, or copies of books, or website references.
  • Do they need approval before they can act? Make the first call-to-action to organize the meeting with stakeholders.
  • Do they need to pay? Accept as many forms of payment as possible.

A common psychological barrier is the perception that the suggested action is too big or too risky. This is a legitimate concern, and is often best handled by dividing the call-to-action into several small (less risky) actions.

For example, “train for a marathon” may be too large of a call-to-action for a non-runner. A better call-to-action would be to join a running club or train for a shorter race.

4. Focus on benefits for your audience.

“ A poor call-to-action undermines the effectiveness of your speech; a great call-to-action stirs your audience to act enthusiastically. ”

Always frame your call-to-action in the audience’s best interest.

For example, don’t say this:

  • What I’d really like you to do is…
  • It would make me so happy if you…
  • My foundation has set a target of X that we can reach with your help…

Making you (the speaker) happy is (probably) not highly motivating for your audience.

Instead, say this:

  • Build your financial wealth by…
  • Make your community a safer place to live for yourself and your children by…
  • When you volunteer, you build your skills and gain valuable experience…

Surround the call-to-action with a description of how their lives will be improved when they act. Paint a prosperous vision.

5. Customize your call-to-action for each person.

Audiences don’t act; individuals act. Rather than addressing the group as a whole, focus your call-to-action on each individual in your audience.

Suppose your goal is to have a new business process adopted. Each individual in the room may play a different role in accomplishing this.

  • For the person who controls the budget, the call-to-action is to allocate the necessary funds.
  • For the personnel manager, the call-to-action is to delegate staff to work on the initiative.
  • For others, the call-to-action may be to attend in-depth training about the new process.

Audience analysis is critical . If you know who is in your audience, and understand their motivations and capabilities, you will be able to personalize the call-to-action for them.

Put it into Practice

By working on the planning and execution of the call-to-action in your speeches, you’ll become a more persuasive and effective speaker.

Look back to your last persuasive speech.

  • Did you make a clear and direct call-to-action?
  • Was your audience able to act quickly on it?
  • Did you make an extra effort to lower barriers to action?
  • Did you highlight the benefits for your audience?
  • Did you address individuals rather than the group with a personal call-to-action?

If the answer to any of the above questions was “no”, then how could your call-to-action have been improved?

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This is a great article. I found in it very useful tactics. thanks a lot.

Brilliant!… can’t wait to put into action. thank you

I really like your tips #3 & 4 about focusing on audience benefits and lowering barriers to action.

Not sure how the tip about personalising the call-to-action should work though. Might you have (say) 3 calls to action if there are 3 decision-makers in the audience?

Very useful to my line of work. Thanks. Keep it up

What would be a good call to action for drug abuse?

Thank you, I found this very helpful in some situations. I definitely recommend this.

My teacher sent me here It really helped. Thank you for taking your precious time to make something to help others even though you didn’t have to. It is very much appreciated

Thank you soooo much it really helped me on my essay for school thank you so much .😊😊😊

I am working on reframing a call to action for a speech THANK YOU for the help ahead of time

How do you write a call-to-action about global warming?

I appreciate your six minute articles Thank you

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48 Call-to-Action Examples You Can't Help But Click

Brittany Leaning

Published: September 07, 2023

Think about all the times you‘ve signed up for things in your life. Did you once download Evernote? Dropbox? Spotify? Maybe you’ve even taken a class on General Assembly.

People clicking a call-to-action button

Each one of these signups is likely a result of an effective call-to-action (CTA).

hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, '400cd460-b98f-401b-a565-0dc8cd51719c', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

Think about it: If you hadn't been drawn in by the copy or design of the CTA or been guided so eloquently through your sign-up process, you would probably use a lot fewer apps and websites than you do now.

In this post, we'll explain how using strategic CTAs can guide your visitors through the buying journey and highlight our favorite examples.

What is a call-to-action (CTA)?

CTA stands for call-to-action, and it's the part of a webpage, advertisement, or piece of content that encourages the audience to do something. In marketing, CTAs help a business convert a visitor or reader into a lead for the sales team. CTAs can drive a variety of different actions depending on the content's goal.

call to action starters essay

28 Free Call-to-Action Templates

Increase website conversions with these free templates.

  • Bottom-of-Post CTAs
  • Form Button CTAs
  • Sidebar CTAs

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What is a CTA in Marketing?

As a marketer, CTAs are relevant because they encourage your audience to take action on a marketing campaign.

Ultimately, the goal of any marketing campaign is to guide your audience in the buyer's journey so they eventually make a purchase.

Types of CTAs

Not all marketing campaigns use the same types of CTAs since there are several tactics you can use to guide your audience in their journey. For instance, a marketing campaign with the goal of gaining more newsletter subscribers might utilize a form submission while a campaign enticing users to “learn more” may include a button.

Below are common types of CTAs that are used in marketing. Keep in mind that every brand and audience is different so it may be beneficial to A/B test CTA types and designs in order to figure out which ones work best for you.

By far the most common type of CTA, buttons are icons with an actionable phrase written in them that entices users to click and take further action. Button designs can vary based on the brand style and goal of the campaign, but generally, your button should have a high-contrast color so it can stand out on the page.

Form submission CTAs convert site visitors into leads by offering visitors something in exchange for their contact information. Offers can include downloadable content, product quotes, service sign ups, subscriptions, and more.

A CTA banner can be located along the top, bottom, or side of a webpage. Banners typically include some type of captivating copy and design that encourages visitors to click on them to take action.

Contextual Links

Usually located within the body copy of a blog post, contextual links contain clickable text that directs users to a related landing page.

A pop-up is a CTA in a small window that suddenly appears on the page. Since users often tune out static CTA buttons and forms, pop-ups can be a great way to communicate an offer or entice users to sign up for your service. Many websites also use exit intent pop-ups, which are triggered when users are about to leave the site.

Similar to pop-ups, slide-in CTAs are meant to capture the user's attention by “sliding in” from the bottom or the sidebar. Slide-ins are a good alternative to pop-ups since they are less disruptive to the user experience.

How to Write a CTA

  • Keep it simple
  • Use action verbs.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Be creative.

how to write a CTA

Use clever phrasing and imagery that makes your brand more relatable and entices people to take action. Glossier‘s CTA, for example, includes an image of a model wearing the brand’s makeup which makes it even more appealing.

4. 310 Creative

Cta: book free assessment.

call to action starters essay

Use urgency to get visitors to check items in your online store and clearly communicate where the visitor is heading when they click the CTA button.

11. Evernote

Cta: sign up.

CTA example: Evernote

Negative space can work in your favor if used correctly. Use it to your advantage by allowing your CTA to stand out using your bold, brand colors

13. OfficeVibe

CTA example: OfficeVibe

Not only can you get a visitor's attention with a stark contrast in color, but you can use language in your CTA that entices them to click. Consider using “Try for Free,” or something similar in your CTA that removes the risk for potential customers.

CTA: Get Started

CTA Example: Square

20. Aquaspresso

Cta: send me specials now.

call to action starters essay

Adding that the specials are for today only is a great example of a psychological tactic called scarcity , which causes us to assign more value to things we think are scarce. The fear that today‘s specials are better than tomorrow’s might make people want to fill it out and claim their offer while they can.

The call-to-action above was created using HubSpot's templates . Consider introducing a sense of urgency for website visitors by using scarcity in your CTA. You can use phrases like “limited time offer” or “get today's deals” to motivate visitors to take the desired action.

21. QuickSprout

Cta: are you doing your seo wrong enter your url to find out.

CTA Example: QuickSprout

When you click on the blue CTA button depicted below, Brooks directs you to a page with a simple code you can text the company. This code prompts Brooks to automatically alert the visitor when the shoe they want is available again.

For ecommerce businesses, sending customers to a page that states the item is out of stock can be a turn off for customers and cause them to bounce. Consider adding a CTA that says “notify me when restocked,” or “find out when we have more” to keep them engaged and gain their email information.

29. Humboldt County

Cta: follow the magic.

CTA example: Humboldt County

Targeting two types of customers? You can create CTAs for each of their personas similarly to Uber.

31. Spotify

Cta: go premium | play free.

CTA example: Spotify

Exit intent CTAs are extremely useful for ecommerce. You can offer a discount on services or something else of value to entice visitors to convert.

33. Pinterest

Cta: continue with facebook | sign up.

CTA example: Pinterest signup call to action button

This gamification is a great way to make your site more interesting for users who come across it without having a specific idea of where they want to look.

Use gamification in your CTA to persuade visitors to explore your site further. They may not know specifically what they are looking for or how your company can help. Creating fun prompts can help visitors find what they are looking for.

35. Instagram

Cta: download on the app store | get it on google play.

CTA example: Instagram

If you have an app, consider adding a CTA for each platform visitors can download it from. This removes friction and makes it easier for visitors to download your app without having to search.

36. Barkbox

Cta: get started | give a gift.

CTA example: Barkbox

I also like how the “no” option uses polite language. I find brands that don‘t guilt-trip users who don’t want to take action to be much, much more lovable.

Being friendly shouldn‘t just be for getting visitors to take the desired action. Using friendly language is just as important in CTAs for those who would like to opt out. Consider using a phrase like "no thanks" or something similar to what MakeMyPersona used to keep it cordial even if customers aren’t ready to make a purchase yet.

42. TeuxDeux

Cta: get started for free | try for free.

CTA example: TeuxDeux

This is a great example of serving two audiences with your CTAs on your homepage.

Serve two audiences with separate CTAs on the same landing page. You can make them distinct using color to contrast the two buttons or draw more attention to the desired choice.

48. Nintendo

Cta: compare features.

CTA Example: Nintendo

Don't forget to share this post!

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Home » Designing Websites » How to Write a Call to Action: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Write a Call to Action: A Step-By-Step Guide

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

call to action starters essay

Written and researched by:

Do you ever wish you had the power to get people to do what you wanted? Well, that’s exactly the superpower amazing calls to action provide for your website. With them, you can utilize conversion rate optimization to boost conversions and get some big wins.

Calls to action entice and motivate readers to, well, take action – whether that’s to buy a product, sign up to a newsletter, or download an ebook.

But simply adding a button that says “Click Here” onto your website isn’t enough – you need to put some time and thought into crafting the perfect call to action if you want to see results.

We’ll walk you through the steps to writing a powerful call to action, from the language to use, to how to format them using color and placement.

After that, we reveal the common mistakes that you should avoid at all costs – so read on to find out how to beat the competition with winning calls to action.

What Is a Call to Action?

A call to action is the name given to anything that prompts the user to take action! You most commonly see them in the form of buttons such as “Click Here” or “Add to Basket” – they’re inviting the user to  do something .

How to Write a Call to Action: Step-By-Step Guide

A call to action is your best way to get visitors to complete the action you want them to, whether that’s make a purchase, sign up to a newsletter, or book an appointment. We’ll show you how to write persuasive, effective calls to action to inspire immediate action from your users.

1. Use Active Language

The first tip for writing motivating calls to action is to start with a commanding, active verb. Think about the most common calls to action you see online:

Find out more

  • Download for free
  • Unlock your discount

All of these start with an active verb, and use imperative language – they’re telling the user exactly what to do. In fact, they sound almost bossy!

This makes it clear exactly what you want the user to do, removing any doubt that they might have about what they should do next. It also inspires action – imagine if you saw a call to action that read:

“A discount is available if you want.”

Does this language fire you up and make you want to click? Probably not – it’s not even clear how you should go about getting your hands on the discount! This also highlights the importance of being specific. You need to be crystal clear about what you want your visitors to do, and exactly what they’re going to get out of it.

By using active and specific language instead of doubtful, vague, or passive language, you’re setting the user up to take action themselves – and increasing your chances of getting clicks!

Website for Manpacks brand

Learn more tips and tricks about Writing for the Web in our 19-step guide for creating better online content!

2. Be Direct and Personal

Which call to action are you more likely to click on?

  • Get a discount

Hopefully, you’d rather choose the second one, because it’s key to our second step for writing winning calls to action. You should always directly address your users using words such as “you” and “your” – this helps people to feel a personal connection and sense of ownership over whatever you’re offering.

You should avoid general language or referring to your users in the third person – such as “People can get their discount here” – because this prevents your users from connecting with your call to action.

If you want to go a step further in connecting with your users, you can write them in first person – for example: “Claim My Discount!” This creates a much greater sense of ownership and makes users feel as though they have more control over the decision to click.

how to write a call to action unbounce first person example

Unbounce found that changing button text from “you” to “me” resulted in a 90% uplift in conversions!

3. Focus On Benefits

When you’re writing calls to action it can be easy to get caught up in what you want out of it. You want people to click, and convert, so that you can reap the benefits – whether that’s more people reading your ebook, or buying your products, or joining your newsletter.

The trouble is, most users don’t care what you get out of it – they want to know what they can get out of it!

This is why it’s important to write benefit-focused calls to action . The first step here is to identify and understand the problem that your users are facing, and how you can solve this problem. You then use this angle to lead your call to action copy.

For example, will your ebook help entrepreneurs double their sales? Or will your product last five times longer than your competitors’? These are the kinds of things to be thinking about when writing your calls to action.

Instant Gratification

Another tactic here is to make the most of people’s desire for instant gratification. This is simple enough to do, by using words such as:

And then make sure that you live up to your promise, so that your email or download is sent straight away. If you’re selling physical products, don’t promise that you can deliver instantly, but do send a confirmation email quickly along with delivery information.

Social Proof

Social proof is a phenomenon where people are more likely to do something if they see other people doing it first. It’s a classic case of kids wanting the same toys as they’re friends – as it turns out, none of us really grow out of that phase!

You can use social proof to highlight the benefits of whatever it is you’re promoting, while at the same time encouraging people to engage with your call to action. If you have data about how many people have downloaded your ebook, for example, shout about it in your call to action.

By telling people how many others have already signed up, used, or bought your product, it makes them more likely to trust and be interested in your business.

You can even get a real-life testimonial from a customer and incorporate it into your call to action – or place it nearby so that users see them both at the same time. Testimonials have been found to increase conversion rates on sales pages by 34% – so it’s worth a try!

Crazy Egg is a master of creating effective calls to action – this example combines many of the tactics we talk about in this guide, but its use of social proof and instant gratification particularly stand out:

crazyegg benefit focused call to action

Highlighting the word “instantly” in green plays on our need for instant gratification, and putting the number of websites using Crazy Egg is a prime example of leveraging social proof. This call to action also uses a first person button and clearly shows what the benefit to the user is – to make their website better!

Discover how you can create better social proof by checking out our infographic: How to Use Online Reviews to Market to Different Generations

4. Create Urgency and Curiosity

Humans are pretty predictable when it comes to both urgency and curiosity.

When told not to look in a box, we can’t help but take a peek at the first chance. And whether it’s panic buying toilet rolls or rushing to the sales, we also have a strong fear of things selling out before we can get our hands on them.

While both Pandora’s Box and panic buying both have less than ideal effects on society, you can leverage both urgency and curiosity for good with your calls to action.

Creating Urgency

Now, when we say urgency we don’t mean strike fear and panic into the hearts of your audience. Instead, show that there’s a limited time or amount for customers to get their hands on, whatever it is you’re offering.

You can do this by having a countdown timer showing how long is left on the offer, or by actually showing the number of products left available. You should also use urgent language, such as:

  • Limited time only
  • Selling fast
  • Don’t miss out
  • Sale ends soon

Be careful of being too pushy – you want to trigger people’s FOMO (fear of missing out) so that they want to get in on your offer. You don’t want to panic or overwhelm them so that they exit your website in a hurry!

Fostering Curiosity

Curiosity is a powerful way to capture attention, spice up your call to action, and boost conversions!

The key here is to use questions. Why are all your plants dying? How can you double your internet traffic? What is the secret to fitness success? Make your users want to know the answer, and make it clear what they need to do to find out, whether that’s downloading your free ebook or signing up to your newsletter.

how to write a call to action quicksprout curiosity example

5. Use Persuasive Language

It’s time to get persuasive!

If you follow the steps we’ve already gone through, you’re already well on your way to creating a persuasive and powerful call to action. You can give it an extra edge by using some persuasive tactics – start off by using power words in your calls to action.

What are power words?

These are words that trigger an emotional response in your readers – you shouldn’t overuse them, but sprinkling them through your copy can have huge effects. Teespring added a few power words to its calls to action and saw a 12.7% increase in conversions!

There are hundreds of power words , but here are a few examples:

  • Unbelievable

You can see how these words could spice up an otherwise boring call to action and catch a reader’s immediate interest. Remember not to use them too much though, or you’ll sound salesy and sleazy.

OptinMonster give us a great example of how to use power words effectively with its homepage call to action:

how to write a call to action optinmonster persuasive language

Words such as “now”, “monetize”, “powerful” and “instantly” are all designed to trigger an emotional response in the reader – and the visual on the right supports this idea of action and change.

Persuasive language isn’t just helpful in calls to action – our How to Write Product Descriptions guide shows you how to use these techniques to sell your products too!

6. Keep Calls to Action Short

Short enough to fit nicely into a button, anyway – try to keep your calls to action under 10 words if you can!

Too much copy could bore the user and lose their attention, or confuse them with too much information. You want to pack in the essentials, while keeping it short, punchy, and concise – it’s a tricky game that even the most experienced copywriters still struggle with sometimes!

You just spent five whole sections talking about all the important parts of a call to action – how can I fit all that into 10 words or less?

Okay, don’t panic – there are ways to incorporate everything without cramming it all into your call to action. You can place your call to action next to a testimonial, or have the surrounding copy emphasizing the benefits of your product. Here’s what our calls to action look like here at Website Builder Expert:


Will You Love Wix?

You can see that the button itself is in first person, uses active verbs, and positive language. But there’s also a little bit of context that allows more time to prepare and persuade the reader to click the button.

7. Make the Most of Colors

Colors are so important when it comes to calls to action. Our advice is to test, test, and test again. Create a red call to action and a blue one, for example, and use a software like Optimizely to see which version people respond to better.

Does it really make that much difference? Yes, it really does!

Pick a color that stands out for your button background, and make sure that your button text is easy to read. It’s a good idea to pick a color from your color scheme so that your call to action grabs attention, while still looking like a natural part of the webpage.

Netflix is a perfect example – the bright red calls to action are eye-catching while remaining totally on-brand:

how to write a call to action netlflix button color

Struggling with your color scheme? Check out our guide on How to Choose a Good Color Scheme For Your Website for some expert tips!

8. Think About Size and Position

When you’re designing your call to action, you need to remember that it should be one of the most noticeable things on the page. That doesn’t mean you should make it huge and “in-your-face” – there are some more subtle ways to draw attention to it, including:

  • Always placing your call to action above the fold (meaning the user doesn’t need to scroll down to see it)
  • Making the main call to action button bigger and brighter than any other button on the page
  • Only having a single call to action per page , to avoid confusion
  • Using title case within the button itself

You can get more tips on blog formatting here.

Need some help designing your website? Check out our handy guides:

  • How to Design a Product Page – get expert design tips to boost sales
  • How to Design a Website – 8 simple steps for creating your very own website
  • CRO Audit : Adding CTAs to your website can really help boost conversion rates

9. Personalize for Your Audience

Personalization is so much more than a buzzword – it’s a game-changer for your calls to action. Why? Because it taps into the individual needs and preferences of your audience. Imagine seeing a CTA that feels like it’s speaking directly to you. You’re far more likely to click, right? That’s the power of personalization.

To nail this, you need to dig deep into your audience’s demographics, behavior, and interests. Are they young tech-savvy entrepreneurs or retirees looking to start a hobby? Knowing this can help you tailor your language and offer in a way that hits home. Conducting market research can be one way to help get to know your audience better!

CTA on a webpage for Wool and the Gang

But don’t just take our word for it. A/B test your personalized CTAs against more generic ones. The data won’t lie, and you’ll quickly see which approach is raking in those coveted clicks and conversions. So, get personal and watch your engagement soar.

10. Use Social Proof

Ever heard the saying, “The proof is in the pudding”? In the world of CTAs, the proof is in the social aspect. Social proof is the psychological activity where people are more likely to take action if they see others doing the same thing. But how can you leverage this in your CTAs?

Start by showcasing positive reviews, testimonials, or ratings. These act like a word-of-mouth recommendation and boost trust and credibility instantly. Don’t stop there, though. Flaunt your numbers — whether it’s the amount of satisfied customers, subscribers, or even social media shares. Not only does this highlight your popularity, but it also implies a broader endorsement of your product or service.

Want to go the extra mile? Feature logos of well-known clients or partners, and include real-life success stories or case studies. These add layers of authenticity and authority that are hard to ignore. And if you can get an industry expert or influencer to back you up, you’re golden.

Remember, the key is to align your social proof with the context of your CTA and what you know about your target audience’s preferences. Get this right, and you’re not just persuading; you’re compelling action.

Find Out More

Check out these Social Proof Examples for more information and inspiration!

What to Avoid When Writing Calls to Action

Now that we’ve walked you through the main calls to action dos , here are the don’ts – we know you’re going to be a pro, so we’ll whizz through them before hitting the recap.

#1. Avoid friction words

Friction words are words that might put the user off  such as submit, sign up, buy, or complete – you want the action to be easy, and these words make it sound like work!

#2. Minimize risk

You can do this by offering a free trial or sample, or reassuring the user you don’t need any payment details from them. Don’t badger them for upfront payment or a gazillion personal questions to download your ebook – remember, keep it simple!

#3. Fight the boring!

So many calls to actions just say “Click Here” – you can get ahead of the competition by going the extra mile and putting some effort into enticing your users.

#4. Provide a smooth user journey

If your call to action says “Download Your Free Ebook” you’d better make sure your users end up with a free ebook in their inbox!

#5. Check your links

Broken links are a bullet to the head of any call to action, no matter how well-written or beautifully formatted. Check and double check all your links to make sure they work, and go to the right destination.

How to Write a Call to Action: Summary

For such a small button, calls to action certainly demand a lot of love and attention – but it’ll be worth it when you see the sales, clicks, and conversions come rolling in!

Here’s a quick recap of the steps we’ve gone through to reach this point:

How to Write a Call to Action: 10 Steps

  • Use active language
  • Be direct and personal
  • Focus on benefits
  • Create urgency and curiosity
  • Use persuasive language
  • Keep calls to action short
  • Make the most of colors
  • Think about size and position
  • Personalize for your audience
  • Use social proof

We also walked you through the common mistakes to avoid, so that you can get ahead of your competition. Hopefully you’re now feeling like a call to action pro, and are ready to leap into action and start creating some for yourself!

These tips can be applied to more than just written CTAs. Read our article on video marketing mistakes and see how you can improve in this often overlooked marketing format.

What is a call to action and why is it important?

How do i create an effective call to action, what common mistakes should i avoid when crafting a call to action, written by:, found this article helpful.

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2 officers, 1 first responder killed responding to domestic violence call in Minnesota; shooter also dead

Two police officers and a first responder were killed in Burnsville, Minnesota, responding to “a call of a family in danger” Sunday morning, according Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

The city of Burnsville released a statement identifying those killed as officers Paul Elmstrand, 27, and Matthew Ruge, 27, as well as Adam Finseth, 40, who worked as a firefighter and paramedic. Another officer, Adam Medlicott, was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“We must never take for granted the bravery and sacrifices our police officers and first responders make every day,” Walz said. “My heart is with their families today and the entire State of Minnesota stands with Burnsville.”

Medlicott was shot at the scene and is expected to survive, said Drew Evans, the superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz.

"Our folks come to work every day and are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice of their life, but no one expects it to happen," Burnsville Fire Department Chief BJ Jungmann said at the Sunday press conference. He added that it was a "tragic day" and that "we are all grieving."

Schwartz echoed that sentiment, calling the fallen officers "heroes."

"Our police officers and our fire paramedics, they come to work every day. They do it willingly. They know that they might have to give up their life for their partners, for someone else. They know they have to give up their life sometimes, and they do it anyways," Schwartz said. "And you cannot understand it unless you’re in the profession."

According to a statement from the city, police were called to a residence at 1:50 a.m. local time Sunday over a report that an armed man was barricaded inside with family members.

Evans called it a "domestic violence situation" and said there were seven children, aged 2-15, found inside the home with the suspect. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said earlier on social media that it responded to a scene “where there have been reports of officers involved in a domestic-related shooting.”

Evans said officers negotiated with the suspect while additional officers responded to the scene.

During those negotiations, the man opened fired, killing Elmstrand, Ruge and Finseth, and injuring Medlicott.

Police gathered in a Burnsville, Minn., neighborhood on Feb. 18, 2024.

Evans said investigators were unsure of the "exact exchange of gunfire that occurred" between the suspect and "several officers" who returned fire. He added that the suspect had "several guns and large amounts of ammunitions and shot at the police officers from multiple positions within the home," including the "upper portion" and main floor of the residence.

Officers also took fire from outside the home, Evans said.

At least one of the officers was shot inside the home, he said, adding that officials were still "piecing together" whether the two other officers were shot inside or outside.

The alleged shooter was reported dead around 8 a.m., and the other family members safely left the home later in the morning, the city statement said.

There had been no prior calls for service at the home or regarding the suspected shooter, Evans said.

He asked for patience while the department investigates the incident and noted the investigation was at its initial stages.

“We’re hurting as a team and as a family, particularly for those individuals who have chosen our police and our fire departments as a career to serve this community and to live out day to day what is one of the most important things here in Burnsville, and that's keeping our community safe," Burnsville City Manager Gregg Lindberg said at the press conference.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement that she was "devastated" by the news that two police officers and a first responder were "killed in the line of duty." She added in a post on social media site X that she attended a vigil Sunday night in their honor.

"Our police officers and first responders put their lives on the line to keep all of us safe. We will never forget their sacrifice. My heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims and to the Burnsville community," Klobuchar said.  

Both the city of Golden Valley, located 20 miles north of Burnsville, and the West St. Paul police departments offered condolences on social media.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara released a statement calling Sunday a "tragic and heartbreaking day" and offering his condolences "to the loved ones of the police officers and paramedic who were killed, and to the families of every Burnsville first responder."

"The two officers and the paramedic paid the ultimate sacrifice," he said. "On a day like today, I ask that we remember that our first responders are the real heroes among us."

Jim Nash, a Minnesota state representative, also posted to social media about the shooting.

“My heart is heavy for the families of these officers, the community of Burnsville, and for our country because this headline is not unique,” Nash wrote.

A group of state legislators — including state Sen. Jim Carlson, state Sen. Lindsey Port, state Rep. Kaela Berg, state Rep. Jessica Hanson and state Rep. Liz Reyer — released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying, “Our hearts ache for the first responders who died in the line of duty this morning,” and calling the deceased “beloved community members, neighbors, and friends.”

“We stand in support of the children and family of those involved in the domestic abuse call and this traumatic incident,” the statement continued. The state lawmakers noted that “these are some of the most dangerous calls that our officers respond to” and that they plan to work with law enforcement and survivors to make them safer for everyone.

“Burnsville is a place where we take care of each other, lean on our neighbors in times of need, and act together to make our city the best it can be,” the lawmakers said.

Incorporated in 1964, Burnsville is a suburb located south of both Minneapolis and St. Paul. According to the city’s website, it’s the ninth largest suburb in the metro area, with more than 64,000 residents.

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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17 Tips to Take Your ChatGPT Prompts to the Next Level

5 blue balls riding on 5 randomly arranged curved black tubes against a bright green backdrop

ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and other tools like them are making artificial intelligence available to the masses. We can now get all sorts of responses back on almost any topic imaginable. These chatbots can compose sonnets, write code, get philosophical, and automate tasks.

However, while you can just type anything you like into ChatGPT and get it to understand you. There are ways of getting more interesting and useful results out of the bot. This "prompt engineering" is becoming a specialized skill of its own.

Sometimes all it takes is the addition of a few more words or an extra line of instruction and you can get ChatGPT responses that are a level above what everyone else is seeing—and we've included several examples below.

While there's lots you can do with the free version of ChatGPT, a few of these prompts require a paid ChatGPT Plus subscription —where that's the case, we've noted it in the tip.

ChatGPT can give you responses in the form of a table if you ask. This is particularly helpful for getting information or creative ideas. For example, you could tabulate meal ideas and ingredients, or game ideas and equipment, or the days of the week and how they're said in a few different languages.

Using follow-up prompts and natural language, you can have ChatGPT make changes to the tables it has drawn and even produce the tables in a standard format that can be understood by another program (such as Microsoft Excel).

If you provide ChatGPT with a typed list of information, it can respond in a variety of ways. Maybe you want it to create anagrams from a list of names, or sort a list of products into alphabetical order, or turn all the items in a list into upper case. If needed, you can then click the copy icon (the small clipboard) at the end of an answer to have the processed text sent to the system clipboard.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to respond as your favorite author.

With some careful prompting, you can get ChatGPT out of its rather dull, matter-of-fact, default tone and into something much more interesting—such as the style of your favorite author, perhaps.

You could go for the searing simplicity of an Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver story, the lyrical rhythm of a Shakespearean play, or the density of a Dickens novel. The resulting prose won't come close to the genius of the actual authors themselves, but it's another way of getting more creative with the output you generate.

ChatGPT can really impress when it's given restrictions to work within, so don't be shy when it comes to telling the bot to limit its responses to a certain number of words or a certain number of paragraphs.

It could be everything from condensing the information in four paragraphs down into one, or even asking for answers with words of seven characters or fewer (just to keep it simple). If ChatGPT doesn't follow your responses properly, you can correct it, and it'll try again.

Another way of tweaking the way ChatGPT responds is to tell it who the intended audience is for its output. You might have seen WIRED's videos in which complex subjects are explained to people with different levels of understanding. This works in a similar way.

For example, you can tell ChatGPT that you are speaking to a bunch of 10-year-olds or to an audience of business entrepreneurs and it will respond accordingly. It works well for generating multiple outputs along the same theme.

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Tell ChatGPT the audience it's writing for.

ChatGPT is a very capable prompt engineer itself. If you ask it to come up with creative and effective inputs for artificial intelligence engines such as Dall-E and Midjourney , you'll get text you can then input into other AI tools you're playing around with. You're even able to ask for tips with prompts for ChatGPT itself.

When it comes to generating prompts, the more detailed and specific you are about what you're looking for the better: You can get the chatbot to extend and add more detail to your sentences, you can get it to role-play as a prompt generator for a specific AI tool, and you can tell it to refine its answers as you add more and more information.

While ChatGPT is based around text, you can get it to produce pictures of a sort by asking for ASCII art. That's the art made up of characters and symbols rather than colors. The results won't win you any prizes, but it's pretty fun to play around with.

The usual ChatGPT rules apply, in that the more specific you are in your prompt the better, and you can get the bot to add new elements and take elements away as you go. Remember the limitations of the ASCII art format though—this isn't a full-blown image editor.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

A ChatGPT Plus subscription comes with image generation.

If you use ChatGPT Plus , it's got the DALL-E image generator right inside it, so you can ask for any kind of photo, drawing, or illustration you like. As with text, try to be as explicit as possible about what it is you want to see, and how it's shown; do you want something that looks like a watercolor painting, or like it was taken by a DSLR camera? You can have some real fun with this: Put Columbo in a cyberpunk setting, or see how Jurassic Park would look in the Victorian era. The possibilities are almost endless.

You don't have to do all the typing yourself when it comes to ChatGPT. Copy and paste is your friend, and there's no problem with pasting in text from other sources. While the input limit tops out at around 4,000 words, you can easily split the text you're sending the bot into several sections and get it to remember what you've previously sent.

Perhaps one of the best ways of using this approach is to get ChatGPT to simplify text that you don't understand—the explanation of a difficult scientific concept, for instance. You can also get it to translate text into different languages, write it in a more engaging or fluid style, and so on.

If you want to go exploring, ask ChatGPT to create a text-based choose-your-own adventure game. You can specify the theme and the setting of the adventure, as well as any other ground rules to put in place. When we tried this out, we found ourselves wandering through a spooky castle, with something sinister apparently hiding in the shadows.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

ChatGPT is able to create text-based games for you to play.

Another way to improve the responses you get from ChatGPT is to give it some data to work with before you ask your question. For instance, you could give it a list of book summaries together with their genre, then ask it to apply the correct genre label to a new summary. Another option would be to tell ChatGPT about activities you enjoy and then get a new suggestion.

There's no magic combination of words you have to use here. Just use natural language as always, and ChatGPT will understand what you're getting at. Specify that you're providing examples at the start of your prompt, then tell the bot that you want a response with those examples in mind.

You can ask ChatGPT for feedback on any of your own writing, from the emails you're sending to friends, to the short story you're submitting to a competition, to the prompts you're typing into the AI bot. Ask for pointers on spelling, grammar, tone, readability, or anything else you want to scrutinize.

ChatGPT cleared the above paragraph as being clear and effective, but said it could use a call to action at the end. Try this prompt today!

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to give you feedback on your own writing.

In the same way that ChatGPT can mimic the style of certain authors that it knows about, it can also play a role: a frustrated salesman, an excitable teenager (you'll most likely get a lot of emoji and abbreviations back), or the iconic western film star John Wayne.

There are countless roles you can play around with. These prompts might not score highly in terms of practical applications, but they're definitely a useful insight into the potential of these AI chatbots.

You can type queries into ChatGPT that you might otherwise type into Google, looking for answers: Think "how much should I budget for a day of sightseeing in London?" or "what are the best ways to prepare for a job interview?" for example. Almost anything will get a response of some sort—though as always, don't take AI responses as being 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time.

If you're using the paid ChatGPT Plus tool, it will actually search the web (with Bing) and provide link references for the answers it gives. If you're using the free version of ChatGPT, it'll mine the data its been trained on for answers, so they might be a little out of date or less reliable.

Your answers can be seriously improved if you give ChatGPT some ingredients to work with before asking for a response. They could be literal ingredients—suggest a dish from what's left in the fridge—or they could be anything else.

So don't just ask for a murder mystery scenario. Also list out the characters who are going to appear. Don't just ask for ideas of where to go in a city; specify the city you're going to, the types of places you want to see, and the people you'll have with you.

Your prompts don't always have to get ChatGPT to generate something from scratch: You can start it off with something, and then let the AI finish it off. The model will take clues from what you've already written and build on it.

This can come in handy for everything from coding a website to composing a poem—and you can then get ChatGPT to go back and refine its answer as well.

You've no doubt noticed how online arguments have tended toward the binary in recent years, so get ChatGPT to help add some gray between the black and the white. It's able to argue both sides of an argument if you ask it to, including both pros and cons.

From politics and philosophy to sports and the arts, ChatGPT is able to sit on the fence quite impressively—not in a vague way, but in a way that can help you understand tricky issues from multiple perspectives.

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EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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Vote on U.N. Security Council resolution to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza in New York


Reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Alistair Bell

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Senegal presidential candidate, Anta Babacar Ngom, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Dakar


  1. 50 Call To Action Examples (and How to Write the Perfect CTA)

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    Write with Grammarly What is a call to action? A call to action is a concise prompt designed to spur an immediate response from an audience, guiding them toward a specific action. No matter whether you're asking your audience to make a purchase, subscribe to a service, or engage with content, the call to action is a strategic marketing tool.

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    Try out speedy words like "grab." So let's take a look at these truly effective call to action phrases that we can learn from and laugh at. Blunt call to action phrase examples In the name of being forthright, let's start with the blunt examples. 1. No nonsense. Just really good marketing insights Brafton's approach here is plain and simple.

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    A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You often see call to action examples in persuasive writing. Once a brand has made its case in a blog post or video, for instance, they'll often include a call to action at the end. A political action group may write a piece on the importance of voting in the next ...

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    But more than that, a call to action—like any good sales closer—acts as a climax to the pitch. It serves the same function as a joke's punchline, and without a CTA, the visitor is left in a sort of directionless limbo. A good CTA not only signals that the pitch is over; it also recommends the next course of action.

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    Boring CTAs won't cut it. Download this free guide of the 36 best call-to-action phrases ever and start using conversion-boosting CTAs. Benefits of a good call to action A call to action is a signpost that leads people down the road of becoming a customer. It helps to keep prospects moving toward that goal so they don't veer off and get distracted.

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    Overall, a great example of a kick-ass call to action. 6. Square - 'Get Free Card Reader'. Offering something your prospects really want is a great way to increase conversions. If you can manage this, your CTA doesn't have to be particularly innovative or exciting, as demonstrated by this landing page by Square.

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    3. Create a sense of urgency. Add a time element to your CTA to create a sense of urgency. This encourages your audience to act promptly instead of procrastinating. It can also foster a fear of missing out (FOMO), driving people to take action to avoid losing out on valuable opportunities or limited-time offers.

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