Get clever with your CTAs

How do you create effective calls to action in marketing?

Getting your call to action right can be tricky. Not so much where you want them to go, or what you want them to do, but the way in which you ask it.

As I used to get told time and time again as a stroppy teenager – ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’

Kath Pay wrote a great article about the difference in the appropriate calls to action in push vs pull channels. To summarize (although the full post is certainly worth a read), you should base your call to action on the sales funnel stage your prospect is at, and tweak it depending on whether they’re engaging with push or pull marketing activities.

At one end of the spectrum, if someone is reading a marketing email (push) at the top of the funnel, try a softer, more enticing CTA e.g. ‘Why not consider…?’ ‘Would you like to…?’

Once they’ve clicked and committed, and are actively engaged, now’s the time for more direct CTAs – ‘Buy now’ ‘Download’ ‘Free trial’.

Getting the tone of your CTA to align with the emotional engagement of your audience makes them more likely to convert.

The article got me thinking about how an insightful CTA can make a big difference to how you engage. Here are two of my favourite examples:


Bizible – The False Choice CTA


Tips for creative effective CTAs (Calls to Action)

Well, they’ve really got you hostage here. What self-respecting marketing professional could click ‘nope’ without looking over their shoulder first.

Clever, very clever. (But I outsmarted them by clicked the cross in the top right. Ha! Didn’t see that one coming eh Bizible!)






Jelly Splash – The Mind Game CTA


Landing page CTA best practice

To my shame, a few months ago, I developed an unhealthy obsession with a mind-numbing game called Jelly Splash. You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve kicked the habit now. I’m over it, and I’m coming to terms with the clever psychological warfare they played on me time and again.

In Jelly Splash, when you run out of lives you have two options – you wait 20 agonising minutes, or you pay. But here’s the thing: to decline either of these options and quit the game you’re forced to declare that you ‘give up’.

It’s so subtle, and so clever. Nobody wants to be a quitter. Especially when you’ve just been beaten by a blob of jelly. It goes again countless proverbs and fables that are ingrained in our psyche…

“Quitters never win”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” the list goes on…

I went there. I paid. And yes, I am ashamed.

It’s easy to be lazy and pick the obvious, most direct option with CTAs. Both of these examples have gone the extra mile in their audience’s shoes, and it pays off.

And now my blog is winding to an end, looks like it’s my turn to conjure up a clever, creative CTA…

My CTA is a Call to Arms rather than a Call to Action. I challenge you to think outside the box in your next campaign – be it email, DM, social, sales calls, whatever. Come up with a call to action that stop your audience dead in their tracks and makes them think carefully about their next action.

And let me know how it goes for you.