Understanding Calls to Action + How to Use Them to Increase Conversions

In order to inspire your prospects to take meaningful actions that help you accomplish your business goals, your marketing pieces – both digital and traditional – must provide crystal clear calls to action.

What is a call-to-action?

Quite simply, the phrase “call to action” refers to the specific language that directs your target audience to take action, such as “sign up” and “download.” When designing your collateral, it is extremely important to understand your desired outcome (aka your goal) as well as your audiences’ position in the marketing funnel so that you can select the best call-to-action for each particular instance. For example, a lead that you are actively nurturing may be best suited for a “download a free trial” call-to-action, while a new prospect would likely convert better with a “read more” request.

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These verb-forward phrases – download, read, view, order – are great for print collateral and clickable buttons; however, for text-heavy content, such as online articles, it is better to not include a verb in your action-seeking hyperlink.

One of the most common, if not the most common, call-to-action, “click here,” has become a thing of the past. Not only is the phrase verb-forward but also poses usability and accessibility issues, as well as negatively impacts search engine optimization (SEO). Instead, seek to include concise hyperlinks that provide information even when out of context. Here are a couple calls to action that follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep a handy list of impactful calls to action on your desktop.

  2. Read this article on Medium to learn more about the negative impact “click here” can have on your content.

Measuring Impact

As I previously mentioned, a key ingredient to an impactful call-to-action is identifying your desired outcome. When you have a specific goal (or set of goals) in mind, you can more easily measure success through common metrics such as reach, engagement, and clicks. This data will prove to be particularly valuable when you’re calculating your return on investment (ROI) for paid advertising – such as printing/mailing costs of a promotional postcard or a Facebook ad campaign – which can improve future advertising budget and creative decisions. 

To help you determine the best call-to-action and format for your message, I created a simple worksheet to guide you through the process. And, even better, the worksheet includes a list of over 35 of #TeamBumble’s most loved calls to action so that you never draw a blank.