A call to action (CTA) is an essential element of any marketing or sales message. It’s a portion of your website, advertising, emails, landing pages, or any other piece of content that tells your audience what you want them to do next. Sometimes, it could simply be a button below a block of text on your website. But a CTA typically includes multiple pieces of copy. Take a pop-up form on a website, for instance—these usually feature copy in the form of a header, body, and button to effectively communicate a single CTA.

Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or downloading a whitepaper, an effective CTA can make a huge difference in the success of your campaigns. But how do you write a CTA that actually gets results? Here are seven tips (and examples) for writing effective calls to action:

  1. Make it clear and specific

Your CTA should clearly state the action you want the reader to take, using specific language and action verbs.


  • Less effective: “Learn more”
  • More effective: “Sign up for our email list to get the latest updates”

There are channels with limited space where a CTA such as “Learn more” will have to do (e.g., banner ads). The key is to be as descriptive as the channel allows.

  1. Keep it simple

Don’t use complicated language or too many words in your CTA. The more straightforward it is, the more likely it is to convert.


  • Less effective: “Access our comprehensive guide to improving your marketing strategy”
  • More effective: “Download our free e-book”

While it’s smart to be specific, it’s easy to go overboard. The second example strikes a balance between specificity and simplicity.

  1. Use strong, positive language

Your copy should inspire and motivate the reader to take action. Moreover, avoid words that might be perceived as negative or pushy.


  • Less effective: “Buy now or miss out”
  • More effective: “Claim your exclusive offer while supplies last”

Both of these examples convey a sense of urgency, but only the second CTA does so in a positive manner (i.e., “or miss out” = glass half empty; “while supplies last” = glass half full).

  1. Offer value

In addition to telling your audience what you want them to do, make sure to explain why they should take action. What’s in it for them? What value will they get from taking the desired action?


  • Less effective: “Sign up today”
  • More effective: “Sign up for weekly marketing insights”

It’s worth noting that multiple copy elements can form a CTA. Take our second example—you can envision “Marketing Newsletter” as a headline with “Get the best insights sent to your inbox every week” as the body copy. In this case, “Sign up” will do for the button copy.

  1. Make it relevant and timely 

Your CTA should support the content of your message and should encourage the reader to take action right away.


  • If you’re promoting a limited-time offer, include a sense of urgency. This could be as simple as writing “Claim your limited-time offer” or including an expiration date nearby the CTA placement.
  • Writing a blog that’s relevant to a hot topic in current events? Consider a CTA encouraging readers to sign up for alerts or notifications about the latest developments.

You get the idea—be mindful of the surrounding context as you consider possible angles that could entice your audience to take action.

  1. Use persuasive design

Use design elements like color, size, and placement to draw the reader’s eye to your CTA and make it stand out.


  • Use a button containing a contrasting color to make it more noticeable.
  • Place your CTA above the fold so it’s the first thing your audience sees.

Ensuring your CTA is seen is what ultimately matters most—because there is no action without a visible call to action.

  1. Test different versions

A/B testing is a great way to see which CTAs are the most effective. Try testing different versions of your CTA to see which one performs the best. Once you have a clear winner, you can iterate on the high-level message conveyed in that CTA.


  • Let’s say your clear winner is “Join millions who are already using [product]”; this CTA conveys social proof, so you should iterate on that theme in further testing.

The key is to differentiate as much as possible in your early testing. Once you’ve identified a winning high-level theme, you’ll have a better understanding of the type of messaging that resonates with your audience.

Ready to write CTAs that convert?

Remember, CTAs usually consist of multiple copy elements. When implementing tips that require longer copy, like making your CTAs clear and specific, you can use supporting copy around the CTA button to be more descriptive. And when you write the button copy, focus more on keeping it simple, as discussed in the second tip.

With a thoughtful, well-written CTA, you can significantly increase the success of your marketing and sales efforts. It’s important to keep in mind that a CTA is not just about telling the reader what to do, but about persuading them to take action. Following the tips above will help you accomplish this goal. And your business will reap the benefits.