What Is a CTA and How Do You Write One?

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what is a CTA

Did you know that, according to Hubspot, when you use CTAs as anchor text in blogs, you can potentially increase your conversion rates by up to 121%? That’s not the only thing that CTAs are good for, however, as they’re a crucial component of successful press releases as well.

What is a CTA anyway? It’s a call to action prompting readers to do something.

What should they be doing? It could be anything from filling out a form, making a call, scheduling an appointment, or following a blog. In any case, a convincingly designed call to action will go a long way in moving your audience through the buyer’s journey.

Simply put, if you’re creating content but not giving your readers something to do after they read it then you’re missing out on a lot of potential leads, conversions, and sales. Here’s what to know about CTAs and how to craft a winning one for your content.

What Is a CTA?

Arm Pump

A CTA, or call to action, is an element of a web page or piece of content that prompts the reader to take some sort of an action (hence the name!).

Common CTAs include buttons, links, images, or lines of text, which use action verbs (“buy,” “follow,” “click here,” “learn more,” or “sign up now”). The goal is to move the consumer to the next step of the sales funnel.

CTAs can be effective at improving conversion rates, whether the goal is to get a reader to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or download a white paper.

When designing a CTA, it’s important to keep in mind what you want the reader to do and make the CTA as clear and concise as possible. In this context, it’s helpful to understand the main types of CTAs and what they accomplish.

The Main Uses of CTAs

You might think people only use CTAs when they want someone to buy something. However, CTAs can also be used more broadly to encourage any type of action. In most cases, there are three goals that businesses aim to accomplish with an optimized CTA.

Generate Leads

CTAs are often used to generate leads by prompting the user to provide their contact information in exchange for something of value, such as a white paper or e-book.

Once the lead has been generated and you’ve captured someone’s information, you can then nurture them through further marketing efforts. This is usually how a CTA leads to conversions.

Increase Sales

One of the most important uses for a CTA is to increase sales. By driving traffic to a specific landing page or product page, you can increase the chances that visitors will make a purchase.

In addition, CTAs can be used to encourage prospects who have already shown an interest in your products or services to take the next step and become paying customers.

Gain Subscribers

You also use effective calls to action to encourage your readers to subscribe to your blog. A call to action is a statement or question that prompts an immediate response or reaction.

For example, you can use a CTA at the end of a blog post that asks readers to subscribe to your blog for future updates. To create an effective CTA, you need to make it specific, relevant, and actionable.

Where Should You Include a Call to Action?

There’s no one answer to the question of where you should include a call to action. Where you place your CTA will depend on the overall goal of your content as well as the specific message you’re trying to communicate.

However, there are a few general guidelines you can follow to ensure that your CTAs are effective.

First, consider where your readers’ attention will be focused. If you’re writing an article, for example, your readers will likely be focused on the text. As a result, placing a CTA at the end of the article may be the most effective.

On the other hand, if you’re designing an email campaign, your readers will probably pay more attention to the graphics and images. In this case, placing a CTA near an eye-catching image may be more effective.

Another important consideration is the context of your piece. For example, if you’re writing or publishing a press release, it might not make sense to include a CTA that asks the reader to buy something.

In this context, the CTA is usually to visit a webpage to learn more about what’s being talked about in the press release (however, this can vary!). Ultimately, it’s going to vary quite a bit depending on the goal of the content you’re creating and where you’re publishing it.

How to Craft a Great CTA

Having a CTA is a very powerful online sales pitch as it taps into the psychology of your visitors. So, it’s important that your CTAs are unique and totally specific to your type of audience and your particular objectives.

Here’s how you can write a compelling and high-converting CTA regardless of where it goes if you’re new to this type of copywriting and are still in the “what is a CTA” phase of things.

Incentivize Your Readers

To get people to take action, you need to offer something valuable in return. The secret lies in giving users a reason to click, share or give away their email addresses.

Basically, offer something of value in exchange for their click. This could be a coupon, a free sample, or access to exclusive content. If you need to, up the ante by including social proof just above or below the CTA.

Here, we’re talking about testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers. This helps show potential customers that others have had success with your offer.

Command Them to Do Something

A great CTA isn’t a request, it’s a command. You need to tell your audience exactly what you want them to do and why they should do it. The best CTAs are clear, direct, and easy to understand.

They should also be relevant to the rest of your content and tie in with your overall marketing goals. For example, if you’re looking to increase web traffic, your CTA might be “Click here to learn more about our newest product.”

If you’re trying to upsell a particular product, your CTA might be “Shop now and get free shipping.” Whatever your goal is, make sure your CTA is specific and actionable. Then sit back and watch your results improve.

Note that it’s important to strike a balance here. You don’t want the CTA to sound rude or demanding. However, it should sound like a strong suggestion that has value behind it.

Keep in mind that the reader should always feel that he has a choice; that call to action is there to convince them that it is the best choice they should make.

Use Action-Oriented Words

The words you use in your CTA can have a huge impact on its effectiveness. In general, you should try to use action-oriented language that clearly states what you want the reader to do.

These words are important for CTAs because they make a persuasive argument and need to fit in the allotted space. Here are some words that often end up on many copywriters’ lists:

  • Free
  • You
  • Now
  • Guarantee
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

These words aren’t foolproof, but they do tend to improve the performance of the CTA and its effectiveness in much of the sales copy.

Create a Sense of Urgency

As anyone who has ever run a successful marketing campaign knows, creating a sense of urgency is key to getting people to take action. And when it comes to crafting a great call to action, this principle is especially important.

One of the best ways to create a sense of urgency is to use time-based language in your CTAs. For example, instead of saying “Click here to learn more about our offerings,” you could say, “Sign up for our newsletter before October 1st and receive 15% off your first purchase.”

This immediately tells the reader that there’s a benefit to taking action now, and it’s much more likely to result in a conversion.

CTAs & Press Releases

Are there CTAs in press releases too? You bet! Any well-written press release should end with a call to action prompting readers to take some sort of action.

Without a CTA, your press release may be interesting and generate some buzz, but it’s unlikely to result in any concrete action. And, lucky for you, writing a great CTA for a press release is similar to writing a great CTA for other platforms.

Some call to action tips for press release writing include keeping it short and concise. Your CTA should be no more than a few sentences long. Get straight to the point and make it easy for readers to understand what you want them to do.

Be specific and make it actionable. Then, test it out. Before you send out your press release, test your CTA to see how effective it is. Send the release to a few friends or colleagues and see if they understand what you want them to do after reading it.

Get Help With Press Release Writing

So what is a CTA? It’s honestly one of the most important aspects of writing a successful press release. There’s an art and a science to crafting an effective CTA, and we’re here to help you with that.

From understanding what to include in a press release to get the attention it deserves to offering premium writing and editing services, we offer it all. Click here to explore the benefits of our press release writing services.

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