Call-to-Action Writing Examples: Forget Clickbait and Deliver Instant Value16 min read
Your call to action has to answer one question for people. “What are you going to do for me?”
If yours does that already, you’re starting from a good place. But there are always ways to tweak your messaging and improve your conversion rate.
It starts with knowing your target audience. Really knowing them. What they want, where they’re from, and how they speak. That way, your copywriting will resonate.
Clickbait is effective. But there’s nothing personal about it. Your call-to-action writing should show why you’re unique and how you’re going to deliver value.
The perfect call-to-action is unique to your business
There’s no go-to formula. But the best calls-to-action use things like:
- Action words and phrases
- Clever formatting
- Negative space around them
- Images that help relay the message
- Social proof and FOMO (fear of missing out)
- SEO keywords
This applies to any of your social media posts and Facebook Ads too. But I’m sticking to landing pages in this guide.
These examples of different CTAs are templates for inspiration. But your business is unique. So, your call-to-action writing should be too.
5 CTAs that aren’t so great
“Click here”. “Submit”. Sure, your target audience gets what these CTA buttons mean. But they’re overused and unimaginative.
Your call to action should be clear. It should be obvious to potential customers what to do next. And why.
Even big brands can get this wrong. So, sometimes it’s good to see what not to do. These are 5 CTA examples that could be better:
Where do you even start with this email marketing from Macy’s? No, seriously. I have no idea. An effective CTA draws your attention. Here, it’s being pulled in a million different directions.
A Father’s Day Sale that leads into a “Women” call-to-action button? (If you could even call that a button.) eCommerce brands usually have lots of different categories to buy from. But keep these for your actual site’s landing page.
“Shop now”. “Send an e-gift card”. “Get savings pass”. “Find a store”. You want your email marketing to draw attention to one specific offer. That way, you’re not bombarding people with too much choice. Because if you do, there’s a big chance they’ll choose nothing.
Silva creates outdoor equipment. And the company began when they invented the first ever liquid-filled compass. Pretty cool, right?
Now, a 15% off pop-up offer for signing up to their email list might be enough for some. But consumers are tired of invasive digital marketing campaigns. So, most are selective with who they give their details to.
This call-to-action writing doesn’t offer any other value. What are people going to get for subscribing other than the initial discount? Clearly, the business has great ideas and innovative products. But will subscribers just be spammed once they sign up? Who knows.
A good CTA makes the value of the conversion immediately clear. You don’t just need to entice people to become customers. You need to give them reasons to stay with you.
Ladybird Driving School
These 4 CTA buttons are from Ladybird Driving School’s homepage. Sometimes, you need multiple buttons (depending on what you offer.) But you need to hook people before they think about continuing.
Now, it could use a quick run through Grammarly. But here’s the main thing. This is Ireland’s only all-female instructor driving school. And they don’t mention it anywhere until further down the page.
Source: Ladybird Driving School
Most of the time, you have a few seconds to convince website visitors to stick around. People may not even make it long enough to scroll down. So, your USP (unique selling point) needs to be part of your main CTA copy.
Check out the difference if it was updated:
Source: Marketing Examples
Lead with what makes you different. Use words that make your value proposition clear. I know which of those web pages would spur me into the desired action.
You might have offers with lots of enticing parts. And it can be tempting to shout about them all on your landing page with lots of action phrases. But it can be messy. Unfortunately, Cruise.com has fallen into this trap.
The mix of numbers and small text makes it hard to know what to focus on. Yes, power words are great. But too many means they lose impact. And there are 7 other cluttered versions on a carousel that automatically scrolls.
Obviously, less is more when it comes to effective call-to-action writing. Try to pick your main offer and keep the details for the product page. Here’s how P&O Cruises do it.
Same industry. Completely different marketing style. If you’re relating to the first version, try A/B testing your landing page and see what you can cut down to improve your conversion rate.
Most people have probably heard of Microsoft Teams. But what about those who haven’t? If you didn’t know what it was, would you be able to work it out from this CTA copy?
Source: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft are basically relying on word-of-mouth marketing here. Because how else are you meant to piece together what these “amazing things” are?
Remember, a great call to action is direct. You shouldn’t assume everyone knows about your product or service. Even if you’re a huge brand. Netflix shows how to do it right:
Even if you think it’s obvious, try the Grandma test. (Full disclosure: I’ve just made this up.) But if your Grandma wouldn’t understand what you’re offering from just your CTA, you need to change it.
10 call-to-action examples that promise value
It’s crazy, but one or two lines of copy can seriously affect your click-through rate. Sometimes, even a single word.
You’re trying to get across the reason why people should choose to learn more, download a resource, or part with their cash. And the best CTAs deliver instant value.
So, here are 10 from different industries that can help inspire your own:
- Butternut Box
- Crazy Egg
- Smile Direct Club
- Good Pair Days
- Just Giving
- Wandering Bear Coffee
Butternut Box is a fresh dog food subscription. And the 6 main words of their CTA and imagery make this instantly obvious. The landing page also has lots of negative space and no clutter. Focusing your attention.
Source: Butternut Box
There’s a text box to choose your dog’s breed. Depending on your answer, a more personalized CTA button will pop up. If it’s a breed that fits their product, you’ll see this:
What’s more impressive is their disclaimer for certain breeds. They’re upfront that they might not be the right choice. If that’s you, they’ll suggest checking out some content marketing to learn more.
This instantly makes Butternut Box feel trustworthy. And the final strong CTA button asks you to “Join the pack”. As well as sounding fun, it creates an emotional response of belonging.
Lemon is a bit of a vague name for a site. So, the CTA has to do the heavy lifting here. And boy, does it. “Behold!” isn’t an action verb you see that much. Especially in caps. So it immediately grabs your attention.
The rest of the CTA headline makes it clear it’s a matchmaking site. But not for romance. For startups and developers. The whimsical brand voice and symbols (like the coding double dash) are so out of the ordinary that they’re memorable.
Plus, the “match me with a dev” CTA button tells you exactly what will happen next. Lemon know their target audience and how to make themselves stand out. And that’s how to nail your call-to-action writing.
Crazy Egg are all about website optimization. Mostly through heatmaps, screen recordings, and A/B testing. They have a much simpler (more relatable) brand tone than Lemon. But they’ve nailed all the same things:
- A CTA headline that sums up the value of the product in a few words
- A clear button that tells you what happens once you click
- Microcopy that covers pain points about pricing
Source: Crazy Egg
They’ve also added social proof to show the huge number of sites that trust them already. There’s nothing else on their homepage either. The entire thing is centered around this one CTA. So, you know they’re confident about it.
Sure, the design could be a bit more interesting. But it keeps all focus on the call to action. And that’s where the conversion lies.
Everydae’s call to action is a little different from most types of CTAs because their pricing is one of the first things you see. But this is because it’s what makes them different.
SAT private tutors can cost around $2000 and be little more than “glorified babysitters”. But this program is all about affordable, engaging study that guarantees results.
Using bullet points breaks up a wall of text to hit the main selling points. And the “Unlock success for $49” CTA button is *chef’s kiss*. There’s no boring “add to cart” in sight here.
The whole thing isn’t just a good call to action. It’s a great one. If you’ve got a few points to hit, make them easy to read. And don’t be afraid to put competitive pricing at the top.
Smile Direct Club
Why should your customers choose your product over more traditional options? Because your call to action faces each of their paint points head-on to show why yours is the better choice.
Braces can be unsightly, expensive, take a long time to work, and need to be checked regularly by a dentist. Smile Direct Club has solutions for all of these in 2 lines.
- 60% less than braces
- No regular in-person visits
- Straighter teeth in as little as 4-6 months
- For £69.43/per month
Source: Smile Direct Club
The final button shows Smile Direct Club know the stage of lead generation potential customers are at too. There’s no sense of urgency to “buy now”. You’re encouraged to find out more first.
It’s also another excellent use of white space around the call-to-action writing. Because it draws your attention to what’s important. The offer.
Good Pair Days
Good Pair Days is a simple SaaS concept. It’s a personalized wine subscription. And their call to action makes it super clear:
- Discover wines
- Paired to your tastes
- Delivered to your door
Source: Good Pair Days
There’s really not much to say about this one because the main CTA is so great. The writing speaks for itself.
The only thing I would possibly suggest is making the “Discover your wines” text a little bigger. Or even A/B testing “Discover my wines”. That could produce some interesting results. But either way, the copywriting is on point.
Notion is an online workspace for project management. But you probably gathered that from their CTA, right?
The conversational copy feels down-to-earth and relatable. And it’s broken up into short sentences. Which gives the impression the product will be easy to use.
The “Get Notion free” button handles any objections about pricing. And the color makes the next step stand out in a sea of black and white.
Social proof is always a good idea too. And Notion proves you don’t need testimonials cluttering your CTA. Sometimes, a few logos is all it takes.
Just Giving’s CTA is all about good vibes. “Do something incredible today” is enough to pique anyone’s interest. And the line below tells you exactly how to do it.
They reckon you know what you’re planning to do if you’re on the site. So, the “Start fundraising” call-to-action button takes you straight into the action.
Source: Just Giving
A strong hook gets people interested. Then you need to give them a bit more information. And the next step to see it through. That’s how call-to-action writing can provide instant value.
Wandering Bear Coffee
Imagery is so important to work alongside your CTA. You can be a little more vague with your text if you have a strong product shot to back it up. Wandering Bear Coffee is a great example of this.
They don’t use a wall of text to go into detail about the drink. They let the photo do the talking and introduce you to their brand voice with a single line.
Source: Wandering Bear Coffee
“Get caffeinated” is probably my favorite CTA button on this list too. It’s fun and unique. All while still conveying the value you’ll get from the product. Hello, caffeine boost.
Your main call to action doesn’t need to be for your entire service or product. If you’re an eCommerce brand, you might use it to highlight a specific range or offer.
Glossier has chosen a mini pack of skincare essentials for their focus. As it’s Summer, I’m guessing they’re pushing these for customers who will be heading on vacation.
Their light-hearted ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ hook immediately addresses the pain point of those they’re targeting. Then they make sure to include the price (another pain point) above the button to take you to the collection.
You can play around with your CTA placement. You might choose to put a purchase below an educational resource. It all depends on whether cold or warm leads are arriving on your site. So, figure this out first.
Call-to-action writing should be unique to your business. But what’s just as important is where you send website visitors once they click. An awesome CTA should be the start of an engaging user experience.
The first thing customers see on your site has to convince them to stick around. So, figure out your USP. Communicate it creatively. And remember, less is more.
What recent call-to-action writing has convinced you to click? Which was your favorite from the list? Let us know in the comments below.