A Guide to Writing Calls-to-Action (and 65+ of the Best Words & Phrases)

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Far too often well-meaning marketing departments put together beautiful ads, flyers, and digital content promotions that look great, but fall short and don’t deliver results. One of the reasons why these otherwise great marketing materials fail is because they don’t include strategic calls-to-action.

A call-to-action is the element in a marketing material that tells the audience what and how they can move forward with their interaction with the brand.

These sentences and phrases can be the difference between a high-performing promotion and a complete dud of a marketing campaign. So if you are creating marketing materials, use this advice to write calls-to-action that make things happen and deliver the best results for your campaigns.  

Tips For Writing Calls-to-Action

Don’t rush writing your call-to-action. Put in some planning, and be strategic about the way you craft your sentences and statements.

Speak directly to the audience. Use words like “you,” and direct your sentences right at the audience. Write your copy as though you are talking to your audience. 

Be direct and concise. You don’t want your call-to-action to be confusing. Be clear and direct and tell the audience exactly what you want them to do. Don’t cloud the message by using puns and witty words that are fun to you, but confusing to your audience.  

Use verbs and action words. Your call-to-action should be powerful and motivating, so use verbs that guide the reader to move.

Show the benefit. Appeal to the needs and wants of the audience by showing how taking action will benefit them. Give specifics on how this step will improve their lives and solve their problems.

Add urgency. Give the audience the push they need by adding a sense of urgency to your statement. Tell them why they need to take action now and what consequences they will face if they don’t.

Reduce risk. Consider why your audience may not want to take the action. Think about what reservations and fears are holding them back, and then address that in your statement. Alleviate their fear so they don’t see any risk in moving forward.

Now that you have the basic concepts that go into a good call-to-action, let’s look at where you can use a call-to-action most effectively.

Where To Use Calls-to-Action

Once you know how to write calls-to-action that motivate audiences to move forward, you’ll see that you can use these powerful statements in a variety of marketing strategies.

End of Video Segments: Video marketing catches and holds attention better than any other marketing material, so use this attention to your benefit. At the end of your videos, whether they are informational or purely marketing, add a call-to-action.  

End of Text-Based Content: Don’t let your audience stop reading without knowing what you want them to do next. Use calls-to-action at the end of blog posts, ebooks, case studies, white papers, landing pages, brochures, and other types of written content.

Digital Signage Content: Digital signs are a powerful tool for conveying information across many customer touchpoints. Be sure to capitalize on this engagement by not just sharing information, but also telling your audience how they can take the next relevant step with your organization.

Website Homepage: Make sure that when visitors get to your website, they can quickly tell who you are, what you do, and what they should do next. Guide visitors through your website by using calls-to-action on the homepage (and at the end of every other page).

Website Opt-ins: Use call-to-action statements on your website to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter or receive one of your free opt-ins such as a free ebook, worksheet, promotion, downloadable, etc.

Overhead Music: Overhead music sets the mood in your office or store and creates a comfortable environment for visitors. It can also guide your visitors to take action. Sneak in calls-to-action between your music to find another way to communicate with your audience.

Email Subject Lines: Get more of your audience to see your emails by using strong calls-to-action that make them want to open your latest communication.

On-hold Message: When a person calls your business, they are a highly-engaged prospect. Don’t let this attention go to waste. Tap into the potential by using calls-to-action in your on-hold messaging to get these engaged prospects to take action.

Once you master the craft of writing powerful calls-to-action, you’ll start noticing major improvements in the performance of your marketing materials across all platforms and mediums.  

65+ Call-to-Action Words & Phrases

If you are struggling to create your call-to-action, use the following lists to get your ideas following.

Action Words

It should be no surprise that an action word is a necessary part of a strong call-to-action. It is what tells the audience what you want them to do. Use these action words to steer the user to take the next step.

  • Call
  • Click
  • Download
  • Sign Up
  • Ask
  • Tell
  • Share
  • Join
  • Try
  • Launch

Benefit Words

Use words that show the audience why performing the next step will benefit them. Use words that show how their life will improve if they follow through with your request.

  • Start
  • Stop
  • Build
  • Grow
  • Learn
  • Discover
  • Find
  • Profit
  • Win
  • Understand
  • Create
  • Build

Persuasive Words

Add words that encourage the audience to take action. Use persuasive language that makes your offer irresistible.

  • You
  • Guarantee
  • Results
  • Because
  • New
  • Free

Urgency Words

Convince your audience to take action now by adding urgency words. Explain why the audience needs to act right away.

  • Instantly
  • While Supplies Last
  • Limited
  • Today Only
  • Last Chance
  • Immediately
  • Now
  • Closing Soon
  • Hurry
  • Offer Ends on “Date”


Value & Exclusivity Words

Help the audience see why they need to take action. Use words that show the value of the action, and add phrases that make the offer seem exclusive and special.

  • Secret
  • Save
  • Free
  • Try
  • Request
  • Only Available
  • Pre-order
  • Exclusive
  • Suddenly
  • Bargain
  • Miracle
  • Magic
  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Challenge
  • Compare
  • Introducing
  • Improvement
  • Revolutionary
  • Remarkable
  • Insider

Safety Words

Remove the audience’s fear of taking action by using words that make them feel safe about going forward.

  • No Risk
  • Guaranteed
  • Official
  • Privacy
  • No Obligation
  • Proven
  • Secure
  • Refund
  • Results
  • Tested

Browsing through this list will give you ideas of phrases to add to your call-to-action. Or, you can write your call-to-action and then revise it by looking through this list to find words that pack a better punch.

Looking for even more advice on how to improve the results of your marketing materials and campaigns?

See how the Spectrio team of professional writers and producers can help you craft content and call-to-actions that create results.

Schedule a FREE Consultation Today

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