If you want someone to do something on your website, use an effective call-to-action. Here’s a simple formula to create an effective one for your landing pages:
Verb + Benefit + Urgency or Place
Verbs are action words and should be first because they make the point—immediately—turning a button turn into a demand. Verbs include words like get, buy, try, see, upgrade, download, view, play, listen, register, win, lose, etc.
In some cases, the verb and benefit are the same word, e.g., upgrade. In this example, however, “Get Version 2 Now!” the version is the benefit. In this example, “Lose 5 pounds in a week!” the benefit is losing five pounds.
Keep in mind, the benefit is geared toward the user, not your website, e.g., “Join Our Newsletter” does not demonstrate a clear benefit to the user. But, it sounds great for the business owner.
Urgency or Place
Providing a time frame or place for users is easy and gives them a sense of direction, e.g., now, today, before we run out, here, this, etc. For example, this phrase, “Start here…” tells a user exactly where they should start. “Discount ends tomorrow!” tells a user when the discount ends and creates a sense of urgency.
The call-to-action in this social media ad is “Download the checklist today.”
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When designing a button or a link, avoid using “click here…” The button or link tells a user what they need to do. You don’t need to tell them again.
Also, long or difficult language on a button will cause you to lose clicks, e.g., “start here” vs. “to begin using this site click this button”.
Call-to-Action buttons work well on websites, in advertising and print, on the radio and television, and even with people.
The next time you want someone to complete a task, consider the call-to-action formula.