Your marketing is nothing without a strong call to action (CTA). Visitors to your website or viewers of your videos need to know what action to take next.
In this quick guide, we’ll share everything you need to start creating compelling CTAs that work.
We’ll share some tips and best practices for call to action buttons, talk about different types of CTAs, and more. Plus, we’ll share a list of effective call to action copy you can feel free to use in your own marketing!
But wait. Before we get started, what exactly is a call to action? Basically, it’s defined as any piece of content or device used to get viewers or visitors to take an immediate next action. For instance, a product page with a BUY NOW button offers a call to purchase.
But calls to action don’t have to only lead to purchase. They could lead to a subscription, a sign up, a video view, or even simply to check out more content.
And they don’t have to include a button or text either! For instance, a YouTuber may share a verbal call to action at the end of their video, telling viewers to "Subscribe to my channel!"
As we mentioned in the previous section, there are a few different ways that calls to action can come to life. In this section, we’ll take a look at three different CTA types—vocal CTAs, text CTAs, and CTA buttons.
If there’s a person speaking in your video, you can add a vocal call to action. While they’re talking to the camera, or recording a voice-over, have the person in the video tell the viewers what to do next. It could be “visit our website to learn more,” “leave a comment below letting us know what you think,” or any other action you’d like viewers to take!
In this example, Sally from the Animoto team gives a verbal call to action at the five-minute mark. This is a popular technique on YouTube especially.
You can also add a call to action using titles or captions in your video. This is a good option if there’s a website you want your viewer to visit, a promotional doce, or some other text-based piece of information that might get lost if it’s only spoken.
If you’re using Animoto, you can easily create a text call to action by adding text to any block of your video. The video template below features a strong CTA to "Book today and get 25% off."
Text calls to action don’t have to be in video form. You can also write out a call to action on a landing page or blog post. This is usually most effective when there’s also a call-to-action button involved, which we’ll get to in the next section.
Call-to-action buttons can take a variety of forms. They can exist on a page, just like this button:
You can also include a CTA button in a video! In Animoto, you can add a call to action button and link that will show up anywhere our video player is embedded. You can see what that looks like in the video below (pause the video or wait until the end) and read more about how the feature works in the next section of the guide.
If you’ll be downloading your Animoto video and sharing it on YouTube or Facebook, the call-to-action button won’t carry through. But luckily YouTube and Facebook also provide you with the ability to add calls to action.
Whether you want the viewer to contact you, sign-up for a newsletter, Like you on Facebook or simply check out your site, Animoto’s Call-to-Action Button feature will come in handy.
This feature allows your video to link out to wherever you’d like when your video ends or is paused. To add your custom call-call-to-action video, just click Settings on your video play page. Then, fill out the "Call-to-action Button" section. Add a button label and URL. That's all there is to it.
Want to write a call to action that’ll get clicks? Here are a few tips and best practices to get you started out on the right foot.
If you’re adding a call to action to a video, what’s the video about? If you’re including it on a webpage, what’s the content on the page? If you’re writing a CTA to go along with a social post, what type of content have you shared? It’s important to make sure that your call to action makes sense in context.
For instance, if you’ve made a video about your company culture, it would make sense to have a CTA to "Join our team" linking to a page where people could apply to work with you. It would make less sense to have a CTA to "Buy now" on this video.
This video from Little Miss Party in a Box introduces potential customers to their offering — boxes with everything you need to to host the perfect party. The CTA, "Shop the Box," invites customers to visit their site and shop once they’ve learned what the product is all about. You can see the CTA at the end of the video below, or when you pause the video.
Start your calls to action with action verbs that make it crystal clear what you want viewers or visitors to do next—shop, visit, buy, order, download, subscribe, learn more, find out how, etc. For instance, "Shop now" is much clearer than "Ready to shop?"
Once you’ve told people what you’d like them to do next, create a sense of urgency. You can do this by including mention of a special offer or limited time frame. For instance, which of the following would you be more likely to click on?
How about here?
It’s clear that, in both of these situations, the second CTA is more enticing because it creates a sense of urgency (whether or not your offer is really for a limited time or your supplies are really running low).
"Visit our website right now to browse all of our great fishing, camping, and outdoor gear!" This CTA is way, way too long. When writing a call to action you want it to be short and sweet. Viewers should be able to read it at a glance. When writing your call to action, put some thought into how you can get the message across in as few words as possible.
It can also be fun to try out CTAs that are written from the customer perspective. Instead of "Get the free guide," try something like "Get my free guide." This can help create that sense of ownership before they even get the guide. It’s already their guide, they just have to click the button to receive it!
Last but not least, remember that your CTA is never set in stone. Try a couple different variations and track how many people click on them. Is one performing better than the others? That’s your winner! Are none of them performing well? Reiterate and try again until you find one that works. Learn more in our A/B testing guide.
If you need a little help, we’ve got you. Here’s a list of call to action examples you can pull from to use as is, or edit to make sense for your business.
Here are some simple call to action examples, ideal for CTA buttons.
Offering something free? Call it out with one of these call to action statements. People love free stuff, so let them know what they’re getting comes without the commitment!
To create urgency, or make give people FOMO (fear of missing out), try pairing the above call to action examples with some of the statements below:
Depending on where you’re putting your CTA, you may decide to get a little creative. Creative call-to-action button copy includes things like “Count me in!” or “Let’s do this!”
However, it’s important to make sure that, above all else, your call to action is clear. As an example, everyone knows what "Get started" means. But they may be confused if your CTA says something like "Beam me up, Scotty!"
What calls to action have you had the most success with? Let us know in the comments below!