Writing Your CTA Message for More Clicks & Conversions

call to action words

By Nitu Sidhu, Campaign Manager

A call to action (CTA) message is usually no more than three words and sounds simple in theory, yet marketers around the world constantly second guess whether they chose the right message to get someone to click and eventually buy. Do a search online, and you’ll find articles upon articles about the intricacies of CTAs in your marketing campaigns. For example, “Which possessive determiner will help you achieve growth: ‘Get MY Deals’ or ‘Get YOUR Deals?’” 

At Persado we track, score and analyze the highest performing marketing language for brands across the world, including testing CTA messages. CTAs fall into the “functional” category of language that directly invokes a call to action. The truth is, the answer to the question of “Will using ‘MY’ in a message reach people in this special subconscious way that ‘YOUR’ does not?” is no. We’ve tried that in tests, and results were negligible. And even though our experiments are ongoing, we do have enough data to draw some tentative conclusions that will help you maximize the effectiveness of your CTA. 

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CTAs are Important

Certainly not the hottest of takes, but according to our experiments, choosing the right language for your CTA has nearly a 30% impact when it comes to conversions and a 40% impact for clicks when it comes to email, display and web page campaigns. That’s good for being the second most important factor when measuring impact, right behind emotional language. 

Persado Click Metrics for email, display and web page campaigns (up to October 29, 2018)

What Type of CTA Performs Best for Clicks?

Messages based on observation, like “see more,” take top honors when it comes to getting consumers to click to view a promotion or offer, our research finds. When you use observational language, you set up a low-pressure environment for subscribers/visitors to continue browsing a selection of products. Imagine that you have someone interested in an item or experience. You don’t want them to commit to anything until it comes time to a buying decision, and you certainly wouldn’t do it like a pushy salesperson. As tempting as it is to get a quick sale, it’s best for long-term loyalty to lead people down the funnel, keep subscribers comfortable and let them pilot their own destiny.

In a subject line and email body experiment with Air Canada, “Book Now” (acquisition) was the CTA for the control message. Persado put “See Deals” against “Book Now” as the CTA. This, along with other elements in the experiment, outperformed the control with a click lift of 219%!

call to action words

Generally speaking, we find that observational based language performs best if you are looking to drive click-throughs.

What Type of CTA Performs Best for Conversions?

What if you simply care about what brings in the money? Persado’s data has shown that language based on the acquisition can be most advantageous in order to get people to convert. Anything that highlights what the shopper can gain or access would fall under the acquisition category. This weeds out prospective subscribers and visitors and gets straight to the point with people who are interested and looking to make a purchase. In this web banner campaign with a global retainer, we were able to increase order lift by 112%! 

call to action words

The CTA, “Get 20% Off,” was the second most important element in our findings, contributing 20% to sign-up rates over “Subscribe.”

At Persado, these are just a few of the tags that we use to track and score performance when it comes to functional (CTA) language. Each brand is different and what works for one, may not work for the other. If you are interested in a more data-centric approach on super-charging all elements of your marketing messages, fill out the form below, and we’d be happy to get you started. 

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