Tips for creating compelling calls to action to drive more conversions

There’s nothing more frustrating than successfully attracting a potential customer to your website, only for them to close their browser without buying anything.

Enter calls to action (or CTAs) – pivotal elements that guide shoppers through the buyer's journey, helping you achieve your business goals, whether that’s lead generation, conversions, or customer engagement.

Curious about how to write a CTA and the types of CTAs that generate the most conversions? Use this guide to get started.

What is a call to action?

A CTA is a prompt that encourages potential customers to take a specific action, such as clicking a button, making a purchase, or filling out a form.

Understanding the power of CTAs: How CTAs can influence consumer behavior

The goal of a CTA is to drive engagement and turn potential customers into actual ones. But what makes them so effective? The answer lies in psychology.

Effective CTAs often tap into psychological triggers that evoke an emotional response and drive action, such as:

  • Urgency: Compel immediate action by suggesting that time is running out (e.g., "Limited time offer" or “Flash sale!”).
  • Scarcity: Play on the fear of missing out on a valuable item or opportunity by emphasizing limited quantity (e.g., “Only 2 left!”).
  • Social proof: Leverage the influence of others to validate the quality or value of a product (e.g., "Join 10,000 others who’ve purchased!")
  • FOMO (fear of missing out): Capitalize on people’s desire to be included or to gain access to something exclusive (e.g., “Exclusive offer” or “Don’t miss out!”)

What are the different types of CTAs?

CTAs come in various forms, each serving a unique purpose depending on your business goals and the stage of the customer journey.

Some common types include:

  • Educational CTAs: Encourage users to learn more by checking out relevant blog posts or bonus content (e.g., "Learn more.").
  • Lead generation CTAs: Aimed at collecting user information, these CTAs often lead to forms or subscription pages (e.g., "Subscribe now.").
  • Sales CTAs: For driving purchases (e.g., "Buy now.").
  • Social sharing CTAs: Designed to increase customer engagement with social media platforms by encouraging sharing (e.g., "Share this article.").
  • Event promotion CTAs: To boost attendance for webinars or live events (e.g., "Register today.").
  • Trial or demo CTAs: Offer users a chance to try the product or service before making a purchase decision (e.g., "Start your free trial.").
  • Feedback CTAs: Encourage customers to leave a review, enhancing credibility and trust of your products (e.g., "Leave a review.").

What are the key elements of a compelling CTA?

Creating effective CTAs involves more than just a catchy phrase.

A great CTA typically has:

  • Clarity: Your CTA should be clear and straightforward, leaving no room for ambiguity. The potential customer should know precisely what action you want them to take.
  • Action-oriented CTA language: Use strong, action-oriented verbs like "Buy," "Subscribe," or "Download" to guide the potential customer towards taking the desired action.
  • Urgency: Incorporating a sense of urgency, like "Act Now" or "Limited Time Offer," can prompt potential customers to take immediate action.
  • Visual appeal: Use contrasting colors, bold fonts, and strategic placement to make your CTA design pop.
  • Value proposition: Clearly communicate the benefits potential customers will gain by taking action, whether a free trial, a discount, or exclusive content.

Tips and techniques for crafting engaging CTAs

Engaging CTAs go beyond compelling text. The focus should be on the entire user experience. Here are some tips on how to create a CTA that may increase the likelihood of a conversion:

  • Personalize whenever possible: Tailor your CTAs to the preferences and behaviors of each audience segment — research has found that personalized CTAs perform 202% better than standard ones.1
  • Test CTA placements: Experiment with different locations on the page to find the most effective spot.
  • Keep it short: A concise, action-oriented CTA phrase makes it easily understandable.
  • Ensure relevance: A CTA should be highly relevant to the content or offer it is associated with. Irrelevant CTAs can confuse your audience and reduce engagement.

Examples of effective e-commerce CTAs and why they work

As potential customers browse, compare products, and read reviews, CTAs serve as critical touchpoints that guide them through the decision-making process. They can also act as the final nudge when potential customers are on the verge of making a purchase.

Here are some effective e-commerce CTA examples:

  • "Add to Cart" and “Buy”: These buttons are the gateways to conversion – straightforward and action-oriented, they make it easy for users to proceed with their purchase.
  • "Shop Now": This CTA takes users directly to the product page from an ad, reducing the steps needed to make a purchase.
  • "Watch Item": By encouraging users to engage with products they like, this CTA increases the chances of a future purchase.
  • “Subscribe”: Capturing email addresses means businesses can build a valuable customer database for future marketing efforts.
  • “Leave a Review”: By making it more likely for customers to leave feedback or reviews, the platform enhances stores’ credibility and influences other potential buyers.

Overall, strategically updating CTAs is a great way to optimize your e-commerce online store and increase e-commerce conversions for your online store.

Common mistakes to avoid when creating CTAs

Besides knowing what makes a compelling CTA, it's just as important to know what pitfalls to avoid. Look out for these common CTA mistakes:

  • Vagueness: Avoid unclear or generic language like "Click Here." Your CTA should specify the action and the benefit.
  • Overwhelming choices: Offering too many CTAs can confuse the potential customer. Stick to one primary action you want them to take.
  • Poor visibility: If your CTA is hidden or blends in with the background, it may be ignored.
  • Ignoring mobile users: Ensure your CTA is easily clickable and visible on mobile devices.

Benefits of CTAs: Unleashing the business potential

By not incorporating effective calls to action (CTAs) in your marketing campaigns, you may be missing out on potential revenue.

CTAs are more than just buttons or phrases — they offer significant business advantages like:

  • Increased conversions: Well-crafted CTAs guide users towards desired actions and ultimately increase conversions at checkout.
  • Enhanced user engagement: Effective CTAs keep the audience involved, encouraging further interaction with your content or platform.
  • Sales funnel progression: CTAs can move potential customers through the sales funnel, from awareness to consideration to purchase.

Well-crafted CTAs can be an integral part of your toolbox of ways to promote your business online, making the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful conversion.

But when it comes to reducing cart abandonment rates, don’t stop at optimizing CTAs. Take the time to build a relationship with potential customers. Get started with these tips to gain customer trust and boost conversion rates.

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