How to Call to Action Effectively.

Yesterday I read this brilliant piece on the topic CTA on Jeff Bullas blog by John Vuong read the insights here or in awesome Jeffs Blog here:

Action Phrases That Will Boost Conversion Rates Fast

John Vuong

Conversion optimization has always been a hot topic in internet marketing. To be honest, all of us already know the best call to action phrases or marketing techniques out there! Yet, here you are, reading through this post in hopes of improving your conversion rates.

What are you missing? There may be a lot of ways to improve your conversion rates, but we cannot stress it enough; targeted call to action phrases work, and it has been proven.

HubSpot conducted a study of 93,000 call-to-action (CTA) marketing campaigns. Based on their findings, there’s a significant increase in conversions with targeted call to action phrases, or what they tag as Smart CTAs rather than the run-of-the-mill call to action phrases.

Because of targeted call to action phrases, we can actively engage visitors to act on a desired action on a website. If we want them to subscribe to our newsletters, download that PDF guide, contact us for inquiries, or simply watch a video tutorial, we simply tell them what they have to do. The hard part is, convincing them that they have to do what we need them to do.

Sounds rather easy; but we know it’s complicated, right?

The best call to action phrases

Let’s cut to the chase! Here is some call to action phrases that you can use for your marketing campaigns:

1 Add to Cart

2 Buy Today

3 Call Now

4 Click Here

5 Contact Now

6 Donate Today

7 Enroll Now

8 Find Out More

9 Get a Free Quote Today

10 Immediate Download

11 Join Now

12 Learn More

13 Register Now

14 Reserve Now

15 See it in Action

16 Sign-up Here

17 Start Now

18 Take the Tour

19 Talk to an Expert

20 Watch Our Tutorial

The psychology behind CTA marketing

Now. Today. Here. More.

These are just a few words that have been used over and over again, yet they are as effective as ever in driving conversions down the funnel. Why are these words and phrases so good in giving us the action we need?

To be honest, these phrases above mean nothing to consumers if not used appropriately. HubSpot has remarkably gathered enough data that supports targeted call to action phrases as the most effective means of convincing your audience to turn into leads.

How can we formulate the best call to action phrase for our marketing campaign? Using HubSpot as the main example, we’ll take you down the road of CTA Marketing Psychology.

Lead your prospects to take action

Call to action words and phrases aren’t used only for buttons on your page. It covers all the aspects that make a visitor click the button to your desired action. HubSpot’s home page is CTA-oriented. Their snappy phrases convince you to learn more about how to close calls and connect with your audience.

Actively pushing your visitor to turn into a lead is another means of driving in revenue for your business. Using actionable words such as “get” and “yes” elicits a positive reaction from your visitors.

Take note of the way they formatted the content around the page. The title is in all capital letters, demanding attention. Add to it the active word “get”, it elicits a response from the user to indeed get a demo. The demo request form could have been titled as “Request a Demo”, but let’s face it – “Yes, I want a demo!” is more convincing and more actionable as it directly reflects your desire to avail a demo of their marketing platform.

Give away freebies!

Free Sales Training. Who doesn’t want something that’s already for free? Lure in people with anything you can offer for free. Why should you offer it for free? It’s like giving them a free taste that will eventually lead them to purchase a product or service from you since they had a good impression of what you can offer.

There are multiple points that we want to emphasize here on their landing page. Being able to try their marketing platform for FREE and for 30 DAYS is an attractive proposition for anyone that’s curious to try out their platform.

A touch of kindness goes a long way in marketing. Give them a taste of what you can offer before you lure them into patronizing your products.

Numbers, numbers

Numbers are part of the game as well. Take note on their Case Studies page, they have quantified the efforts that were part of their findings in offering their marketing platform.

Just by looking at these numbers, you can infer that their marketing platform works.

Numbers give a certain “predictability” when it comes to their marketing platform. These numbers give the user an idea of how efficient their platform is in managing leads and even traffic. Again, they have made it more visible in maximizing the negative space surrounding the results, as well as putting in more emphasis through bigger and more visible font styles.

On the other hand, the call to action phrase “Join 300,000+ fellow marketers!” attracts visitors to sign up for their email newsletter. How? It’s the thought of envy that there are already 300,000+ aware of HubSpot’s latest articles from the get-go. Because of these big numbers, visitors are compelled to jump on the bandwagon.

You can elicit this thought from your visitors; you can attract them to sign up for your newsletter subscription as people have the tendency to do what the majority tells them to do. People tend to follow suit of the majority, even if it’s a different medium. Because they see that the “norm” has signed up for your newsletter, they will feel the need to “fit in” and expect your numbers to grow.

How can I create the best call to action phrases?

Even with the list provided, it’s not a guarantee that people will go crazy clicking the buttons on your website. Strategically, you should decide which landing pages you are going to target to change their call to action phrases, as well as the page’s overall look.

Increasing your traffic is a logical step to increase your chances of securing leads. However, a significant increase in traffic must translate into an increase in conversions. To get the attention of your audience, you should create the best call to action phrase that will catch your prospects and lure them down your sales funnel.

Let’s take this website from Bullfrog Power as an example. It’s a Products and Solutions business dealing with green and sustainable energy. On their Home products and solution page, this is what we see above the fold:

And the rest of the page goes like this:

There are numerous call-to-action instances below the fold. Even though we say that people intuitively scroll down nowadays, we cannot deny the fact that these call to action phrases could have been more exposed and more inviting if these were placed above the fold.

There are two options that they can choose: either putting it above or below the fold. This is a contradicting notion, but each process has its own proven studies correspondingly. Above the fold and below the fold have its own pros and cons, and that’s what I’d like to present.

First, the more aggressive approach – above the fold. They can present the home types up front, with a call to action phrase of “SELECT YOUR HOME TYPE” and a clincher sentence like, “Choose a plan that’s right for your home.” They could use the icons as the icon buttons itself.

Here’s a rough example:

The call to action phrase “SELECT YOUR HOME TYPE” demands action from the user as it ushers their vision to click on the following selections below. The blurb gives the users an idea of what they can do with the options on hand.

This gives conversion an opportunity from the get-go as the plans are presented upfront. However, this does not give users the opportunity to know the product features and benefits under the Home category.

Offering your products upfront may halt the user’s experience in getting to know your product offering. This is a good suggestion for those with landing pages explaining the product in detail. This page can serve as an interconnection between the home page to a specific product page itself, that is if you’re planning to connect it to a page with a contact form that gets the details after you explain the product in detail.

Second, is going below the fold – a different method from what we discussed previously.

Looking at the current state of their Home product page, we can deduce that they have decided to go with putting their call to action below the fold.

Tony Haile from Chartbeat came up with this study and found out this heat map from a range of 1 million visitors from 10 publishers that they’re currently handling. In a span of 24 hours, he found out that the engagements were mostly performed in the middle towards the bottom of the fold. This refutes the claim that there’s a better place either above or below the fold; but in this instance, we should also consider the purpose of the page or the desired action you want to derive from the audience themselves.

Now that scrolling has become a natural habit for website visitors, using the space below the fold has become a customary trend among web designers. Here’s an example of Kuno Creative’s Inbound Marketing Strategies page:

Above the fold is a simple description of their inbound marketing services. If you continue to scroll down the page, you will find out more about their services. After going through their services under inbound marketing, you’ll end up with a form that allows you to sign up your details for more information regarding their inbound marketing service.

Kuno Creative’s above the fold doesn’t give an impression of a false bottom, creating an environment that signals the user that there is more than meets the eye. It will encourage the user to scroll down, read the details, and then the only plausible action is to fill out the form if they are interested.

Below the fold conversions work because most of the layouts follow the AIDA Model. HubSpot’s Marketing software page follows this model.


How does Hubspot capture your attention? By throwing in a question that piques your interest. Because of this simple question, it triggers an awareness that Hubspot’s marketing software is an all-in-one solution that can help your business online.


Now that you’re aware of Hubspot’s Marketing software, they will continue to tickle your interest with what you can gain from using their software. Customers would want to know its features. This simple list immediately gives away the features everybody’s looking for.


This part further seals the deal – HubSpot is making itself distinct from the rest. Aside from the features that were mentioned earlier, they are emphasizing what they can deliver. This gives the audience the idea that benefits outweigh the cost of the software.


This is where you set the bait. This is the part where you get them to convert. See how the call to action phrases are well-thought out in this part of the page? There’s ample space for the free trial, while there are several links that can serve as added support in convincing the potential buyer to purchase a plan.

This blog from KISSMETRICS has this simple correlation graph showing the relationship between CTA placement and product/offer complexity. If you’re offering a simple product that doesn’t demand much information before making a purchase, it is advisable to place a call to action from the get-go. However, if your product or offer needs some prior convincing that it is indeed, a stellar product, place your CTA below the fold, up to the bottom of the page.

Tips on formulating the best call to action phrases

You might be curious about how to create a call to action phrase that can help in boosting conversions. Here’s a simple list you can use for brainstorming your very own call to action phrases.

• Kuno Creative’s consultation form is a good reference. Phrases such as “how we can help you build your brand” and “capture qualified leads” makes it catchier. These phrases mark an impression on a potential lead because they are “hearing” what they want to hear. That’s how you want to formulate your call to action phrases.

• Create a list of verbs that denote active action, rather than those that denote passive tones. ResumeGenius perhaps has the longest list of action verbs you can browse through to come up with your CTA marketing phrases.

• Limit the length of your CTA phrase. Ideally, your CTA should go with two to five words. Keep it short, and sweet.

• Create a sense of urgency. Instead of just using, “Sign Up”, use “Sign Up Now” on your CTA button. You can always use the space below the phrase to list your offers or freebies that will hook your leads further. On the other hand, eCommerce sites that give out discounts until a later date can also take advantage. Take this Newsletter Subscription form from H&M and’s header CTA as examples.

• Test what verb or CTA phrase catches the crowd best. In creating a CTA phrase, it’s important that you use simple words to easily convey what you want your users to do. No need for flowery jargon-filled words!

Write your CTA phrases, now!

When writing your CTA phrases, keep in mind that you don’t want to sound as if you’re begging for attention, but strike them with a personal touch. Testing can help you rule out what works most for your visitors, but also consider other factors such as CTA placement, button format, typography, style, size, and more.

Do you have more tips on writing call to action phrases that convert? Share it with us in the comments!

Guest author: John Vuong is the sole owner of the Best SEO Toronto Company, Local SEO Search Inc., John’s mission is to help local business owners improve their online influence so they can dominate their industry. With his business acumen and innate understanding of the local business landscape, John writes blogs that delve on how to customize SEO campaigns based on client


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