Are your marketing calls-to-action (CTAs) getting the attention that they deserve? A simple button, or even a link, can make all the difference in the world to your marketing campaigns; success can boil down to something as simple as basic word choice.

How do you ensure that your CTAs are making the best possible impact?

The answer is simple: you need to A/B test some concepts and ideas. At any given time, you need to be running at least one marketing experiment that challenges the existing copy and placement of your CTAs. Just look at this example from Iron Mountain, an enterprise information management company that was able to increase its number of qualified leads by 140% by changing its headline from “contact us” to “request a quote.”


The reason behind this performance bump? The phrase “request a quote” is much clearer in that it’s tied to a specific ‘next step’ that interested prospects can take. “Contact us,” on the other hand, is more open-ended; it lacks specificity, leaves a lot to the imagination, and creates potential friction as a result.

The bottom line is this: your CTAs shouldn’t tell people to click on a button. Instead, they should be persuasive in guiding your audiences towards a judgment call. Here are 3 tips to help you create your best CTAs yet!

Tailor your language to your buy-cycle stages

If you tell prospects to “buy” too early, you’ll risk scaring them away. On the flip side, if you’re too late, you’ll potentially miss the mark on ‘sealing the deal.’ That’s why, when crafting your CTAs, you need to choose words that empathize with your audience’s thoughts and feelings at an exact moment in time.

For a good example, take a look at this CTA from education technology company General Assembly’s homepage. With a business goal of driving course sign-ups, the company realizes that it cannot push a hard-sell too early. Rather, General Assembly has created a CTA, ‘browse courses & classes’ to resonate with audiences who are in exploratory mode and looking to do more research before investing in a class.


Take a look at the word choices that General Assembly is using. The word “browse” speaks directly to audiences who self-identify as learners. The language also reinforces a basic level of comfort and encourages potential students to take their time in making a decision. And if you’re ready to make a purchase? Just check out the giant banner next to this particular CTA.


Develop CTA copy that lets your audiences decide when they’re ready to make a purchase. Test concepts that are less salesy by putting yourself in your visitor’s shoes.

Get hyper-tactical with your messaging

One of the biggest challenges with CTAs is that they can be ambiguous. Let’s say that you’re promoting a product demo or video as an example. If you have a CTA ‘see product

[x],’ you might actually confuse audiences and hurt your conversion rates as a result. Why? The phrase ‘see product [x]’ doesn’t translate into direct or tactical action. From these words alone, it’s impossible to see what exists on the other side of the click.

Optimize your marketing campaigns by testing tactical CTAs instead. For inspiration, take a look at the following button on the LeadPages homepage.


It’s direct, to the point, and transparent about what happens after the click. Audiences know very clearly that they’re going to see a video. The next steps that they need to take – and the value that they’re going to get from those next steps – are clear.

Tailor CTAs to the moment through real-time personalization and in-app messaging

When it comes to creating a successful CTA, context is everything.

Rather than waiting for potential customers to discover your value proposition, why not target them in the moment? Real-time personalization and in-app messaging technology can help you deliver your messages with CTAs in the moment .  For example, with a real-time approach, you can alter a CTA image and/or copy based on who the visitor is and their behavioral history.

In the screenshot below, you can see how Evergage targets website visitors with a relevant message and CTA in real time, based on which page they’re on and whether they’ve already taken the promoted action.. Dynamic CTAs like this can give you that extra edge you need to really boost your conversion rates.


Final thoughts

When it comes to optimizing your CTAs, empathy and technology will be your best assets. Develop messaging that resonates with your audiences on a personal level. Use real-time personalization and A/B testing to make your vision a reality.