“No, I don’t want to download the Super Secret Spectacularly Successful Lead Magnet because I hate fun and making my life easier!!!”

I’m sure we have all seen a “No” option on a call to action (CTA) pop-up like this. I hate to break it to my fellow marketers, but nothing makes me not want to download your carefully crafted lead magnet quite like some wheedling or sneering prompt to do so.

And usually the actual CTA isn’t much better.

In fact, all you have made me do is read that cringey copy in a mocking voice (maybe not out loud in an office setting but at least in my head) and then click away. First, my mood was spoiled by having the pop-up for the Super Secret Spectacularly Successful Lead Magnet interrupt my reading. Then the copy turned my inner monologue into a whining child.

No, thank you. I think I’ll cope without it.

Why are CTAs so hard to write?

CTAs are tricky. Many copywriters and marketers jump into the sector because they dread activities like sales and negotiation, but a CTA is that moment of conversion. It is when copywriters have to become the person they fear the most — the salesperson. This can be even more daunting in the world of B2B copywriting when you might be trying to appeal to the marketing executive at another company who can see right through your usual tricks!

You need to feel confident in your copy and what you say to your audience. Doing the online equivalent of pointing at your product and saying “Buy the thing” is never going to work.

Your copy should craft a tantalising argument as to why the product or service you are promoting is the best option for your audience. Then the CTA should be the cherry on top that seals the deal!

A well-designed CTA truly makes all the difference, with conversion rates increasing by up to 121% compared to poorly designed CTAs.

How to write a bad CTA

Let’s be fair here; none of us started out perfect, and we’ve probably all written our fair share of bad CTAs in our lifetime! I am definitely guilty of a few bad ones early in my career, and I’m also one of those people who might not know what they want, but boy do I know what I don’t.

One of the biggest contenders for bad CTAs will be cringey language, as I pointed out above. Sorry to the writer behind the Super Secret Spectacularly Successful Lead Magnet, but a lot of people aren’t compelled to click a button or a link if the CTA is infantilising or daft.

Even on the most informal and laidback websites, we still want to be treated with respect and like we have brains in our head. Yes, the average customer might need a little bit of signposting to get them through the inbound sales funnel or onto the next stage of the customer journey. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat them with respect.

A bad CTA also simply might not say what the audience will get if they click the link. If your CTA is included as part of an email then you need to be especially careful here; in an age where we are recommended to not click suspicious links in emails you might be doing yourself a disservice and making your proposal just seem like a bad click.

How to write a good CTA

So, with all that said, what actually goes into making a good CTA?

A CTA is concise and punchy. We’ve all seen comedy routines where the punchline doesn’t quite land and everything falls flat. A good punchline will raise the roof with laughter. A good CTA will help to drive audiences towards its intended action.

CTAs also need to be clear. Though it might be boring to use language like “Download” or “Read More” or “Sign Up”, you know what to do and what you are going to get in return.

Really good CTAs are unique to the branding of their sites and evoke a sense of urgency or exclusivity with the copy around them. Offering a limited-time deal or highlighting that there are only a few spots left to claim on a course is one idea you could try. You may also include language such as “Join Us” or “I’m In” to make it seem like your company is this cool club that everyone wants to be a part of.

Make sure that you use action-oriented language such as “Call Us Now for a Free Demo” or “Let’s Get Started” to prompt action from your audience! After all, you want them to make that click!

Position is everything

You’ve crafted the perfect copy for your CTA, but are you actually putting it in the right place within the full content? Position can be everything! Even the Super Secret Spectacularly Successful Lead Magnet won’t pick up the clicks that its creators hoped to see if the CTA is in the wrong place.

How can we fix this? We need to make sure that the CTA is a good contextual fit. The end of a piece of content or directly after highlighted benefits is usually about right. The CTA should also be tailored to stand out from the content. Buttons work great because you can make them a

contrasting colour compared to the rest of the page so they really stand out and they provide the obvious place for you to click.

Start crafting better CTAs today!

If you feel like your content is good, and your SEO is good, but you still aren’t seeing the results that you want, you might need to take a look at what your CTAs look like. If they aren’t inspiring a click, that might be the roadblock in your way!

Don’t you want people to click, click, click again? Remember, keep it simple, clean, and to the point! Start crafting your CTAs with confidence today!