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5 Tips To Help You Optimize Effective Call-To-Action

Modupe Ogundiran

Modupe Ogundiran

A new year is here and you need to up your game to achieve your desired goal. You shouldn’t be doing what you did last year and expect a great result, try to be better and see how your ROI will improve. Your content needs to be top-notch, image should be catchy and call to action should kind of push your audience to take action.

We suggest you include eye-catching images of people actually using your product or service. We say “include testimonials,” because those have the potential to increase user trust. We recommend you leverage social proof to showcase just how popular you really are. And we even tell you to add a badge or two to your page to boost perceived authority.

Here are some strategies that will help you optimize call-to-action

1. Write your CTA button in first person

This tip has to do with altering something called “possessive determiners” on your buttons. You may not recognize by name, but you will as soon as I show you them in action. In English, there are seven different possessive determiners: my, your, his, her, its, our, and their. In copywriting, we’re taught that the most powerful word you can include in your writing is “you,” because of its ability to make the reader feel as though their being spoken to directly.

2. Find the perfect color

Color usage does matter, sometimes a lot. But saying that one color converts better than another is simply stupid. There is no universal best color. What works on one site, doesn’t necessarily work on another. Visual hierarchy matters and making your call to actions stand out matters. So “green vs red” is not so much about the color, but “does the important stuff stand out enough” and if not, how can we improve the situation. But when deciding on a button color, think less about getting inside your user’s heads using color psychology mind tricks, and more about making your button stand out so they know exactly where they need to click to convert.

3. Make your copy results oriented

In college I was taught by our department’s career counselor to make my résumé “results oriented.” I had never heard of such a thing. She said, “Your résumé focuses too much on the tasks that you performed, and not enough on the results of those tasks.” For example, if I’m a conversion rate optimizer, instead of saying something like “I optimize client post-click landing pages,” I would say “I optimize client post-click landing pages, routinely boosting conversions by 7%. CTAs that begin with “Buy”, “Order”, “Click”, “Sign-up”, etc. inherently focus on what you have to part with. Coming up with alternatives that start with, “Get” helps you focus on answering the prospects’ number one question, “What’s in it for me?”

4. Leverage powerful words

As humans are greedy, we’re lazy, and we’re cheap. The sooner you understand that, the better buttons you’ll create. We want to be richer, better looking, and in shape we want to be so now, and we want the solution to be free. It’s important to keep this in mind when writing CTA button copy.

Appeal to laziness:

  • Emphasize words that convey a quick result. Use ones like: now, today, quickly, swiftly, easily, simply, effortlessly
  • Example: “End my struggle with weight loss now!”

Appeal to greed:

  • What will pressing this CTA button help your prospect become? Use words that convey an elevated status: wealthier, smarter, more handsome, more beautiful, happier, slimmer, stronger
  • Example: “Send me the kit for a whiter smile!”

Appeal to frugality: Use words

  • Use words like: free, affordable, at no cost, inexpensive, for the low price of, for just…
  • Example: “Show me how to get fuller hair, at no cost.”

I use a book called “Phrases That Sell” to find powerful copywriting ideas when I get stuck, but for most, a simple thesaurus will do.

Whenever you’re tempted to use a boring, everyday word or phrase as a CTA like “Learn how to invest,” substitute it with a stronger action verb, and appeal to the three things we mentioned above. Soon “Learn how to invest” becomes a more powerful CTA like “Discover the secret to unlimited wealth.”

Which would you rather click?

5. Forget about “the fold”


If your product or service is complicated, and it necessitates a longer, more comprehensive page, don’t stress about cutting down copy. If it’s well-written, they’ll read it. In the words of legendary advertiser Howard Luck Gossage: “The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” (Or in this case, sometimes it’s a post-click landing page.)

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Oti is a vastly experienced digital media and marketing professional with over 10 years of industry experience. He has worked across Agency, Brand, Publisher and Marketing Technology sides of the industry in various capacities.

Driven by a strong commitment to continuous innovation, Oti has managed so many successful digital projects across Africa and Europe for brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Guinness, Kellogg’s, EA Games, Sony Entertainment, etc., and advises senior management of global brands on data-driven marketing and digital transformation.

Consumer insights in marketing: Oti

Oti currently heads Product at Terragon Group, Africa’s leading data aggregation, enrichment, and activation company, where he is responsible for developing innovative data-driven marketing solutions for SMBs and Enterprises across Africa.

Oti is the current President of Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP), the foremost professional body for digital marketing practitioners in Nigeria. He is also a communications consultant to the African Union in areas of youth engagement and digital interactions. A known public speaker, teacher and trainer, Oti has facilitated several conferences and digital events, and was recognized by Marketing Edge Magazine as an Outstanding Digital Marketing Personality of the year 2021.

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