How to Write CTAs that Convert

Learn how to keep your readers engaged and drive them toward a clear action with CTAs that convert.
How to Write CTAs that Convert

Imagine stepping into an elevator and going to push the button for your floor, only to find that the buttons have symbols on them instead of numbers.  

I bet you’d be pretty confused about where you were going. Personally, I’d be looking for the nearest escape route.

Well, if you’re creating content with ambiguous calls-to-action, it will have the same effect on your readers.

Your content should drive your readers in a clear direction; otherwise, they’re going to get frustrated or lose interest altogether.

So let’s talk about how to keep your readers engaged and prevent them from jumping ship by writing CTAs that convert

Make them Actionable

Calls to action are buttons placed within a piece of content to prompt people to take an action and continue their journey down the conversion funnel – download an ebook, sign up for a consultation, get started with a one week trial, etc. So it should go without saying that your CTAs should be action-oriented.

Some great examples of CTAs include:

  • Download Your Free Guide
  • Start Your 3-Day Trial
  • Request a Free Quote Today

You’ll notice that each example starts with a clear action and tells people exactly what it is you want them to do.

Keep them Short & Sweet

You’ll also want to keep your CTAs short and to the point. Your message should be clear, offer a distinct value, and be easily digestible.

No one wants to read (let alone click) on a CTA like this:

“Download Your Free Ebook About Traveling Without Your Kids and Get Started Planning Your All-Inclusive 4-Day Vacation to Jamaica Where You’ll Actually Get Some Rest for Once“  

Keep in mind that you have a limited opportunity to capture a reader’s interest (and their information), so keep your copy between 90 – 150 characters and get right to the point.

You should also avoid shoehorning multiple CTAs into a single piece of content. Too many options will just confuse the reader, making them much less likely to click any of them.

Instead, stick with one CTA that's solid, and then you can place it in more than one location, creating more conversion opportunities. That way, people won't have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post if they're already interested in your offer. If you decide to do this, you should also be sure to include the same CTA at the end of the post, in case you don't pique their interest until they've finished reading. 

Have a Specific Goal in Mind

In order to achieve the best results, you should always know what you want from your reader before you set out to write your CTA. After all, if you don’t know, how are they supposed to?

Base your CTA around your most current marketing goal. Are you looking for more social media follows? Ebook downloads? Participants for your next speaking engagement? Know your goal and communicate it clearly.

In addition to having your own goals, put yourself in their shoes and think: what’s in it for them? What will your CTA help them achieve? Financial security? Weight loss? Increased productivity? Clearly communicate the benefits of your offer and base your CTA off of the one most important to the people you’re after.

Create a Sense of Urgency

To get people’s attention and drive them to take immediate action, you need to create a sense of urgency.


See what I did there?


That wouldn’t be super effective (not to mention the third degree burns).

Now I’m not saying to write CTAs about buildings being on fire (in fact, that would be an absolutely terrible idea), but it illustrates a greater point: the more time people have to do something, the less motivated they are to do it right away.

If you give people an indefinite amount of time to download your offer or start a trial with your CTA, they can always put it off until another day, or forget about it completely. And if everyone is putting off clicking your CTAs until another day, you’ll never have any customers.

Instead, use their fear of missing out to your advantage with limited or one-time offers to prevent hesitation, procrastination, or just sheer forgetfulness.

By keeping your messages action-oriented and short, clearly demonstrating the value of your offer, and lighting a figurative fire of urgency with your CTAs, you’ll start bringing in the leads you want, and and no one will be looking for the nearest escape route.