CTA3.31Having an online presence or social media business page is just the first step in the process. When customers find you, either through a google search, by following a Facebook ad or some other means, what do you want them to do?

That’s your call to action: essentially the purpose of your online efforts. It’s the course of action you want your customers or potential customers to follow, whether it’s as simple as scheduling an oil change, buying a product, signing up for an email letter, calling your shop or taking a survey.

Once you know that, you can get them to follow through, but it’s not as simple as just adding a button to your page. CTAs have a language all their own, as brief as it might he. Here are a few tips and examples.

Use action verbs. Common appropriate verbs are download, buy, click, sign-up. Action verbs tend to spur people to action (or, in fiction, describe action). They tell your customer what to do, so they’ll know what to expect.

Be immediate. Action verbs on their own will get your customers moving, but you need to add a time element, if it’s applicable. If you’re promoting a sale or special, include a deadline: “today” is an ever-ready deadline and you obviously don’t have to change it every day. “Now” is also good, along with “limited time,” for example: “Apply now for a limited time discount.”

Promise a benefit. Explain to your customers exactly what they’ll get by following your CTA. Will they receive special discounts? A free gift? More business knowledge? Customers are more likely to follow a CTA if they get something out of it—and they know what that is up front.

Be creative. There are subtle ways you can lead your customers to sign up, purchase or, perhaps, just investigate your website further. Consider these examples.

OfficeVIbeCTAOfficeVibe’s is fairly straightforward, but it offers a hint of the benefit, too. What’s more, they conserved space and offset that benefit, “become a better manager” with a different color, too.

NetflixCTAThe Netflix CTA offers suspense, benefit (both free, and the larger benefit of being able to watch whenever you want) as well as a time frame (for a month). It’s concise and confident.

Ugmonk’s CTA is a bit cheeky; it acknowledges that you are about to leave the site but offers a plaintive request at the same time. It’s less formal, but designed to play on our emotions—and it offers a succinct benefit, too.

UgMonkCTACalls to Action are necessary part of any web-related business advertising. They’re usually very succinct, but they still offer plenty of options for creativity. What do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments!