You may have succeeded in building trust with your website, but is it driving enough conversions and sales? After all, that’s one of the main reasons you have a website, right?

If you feel like there’s some room for improvement, you could probably do with reviewing your website’s calls-to-action (CTAs). Do you even know when was the last time you tweaked yours?

A great CTA is a core tenet of a site that’s optimised for conversions — so be inspired by these CTAs from some of the best in the business!

The quirky lead-in

Call to action copy can be accused of being a bit formulaic and repetitive — sadly, people don’t tend to be too adventurous when it comes to what they put in the CTA button.

If you have similar constraints or concerns, but want to display some playfulness and use your imagination — why not create a quirky lead-in to help tell your company story?

Something funny and quirky will help you stand out in a sea of corporate beige (or blue).

The example from Zendesk below is a great example of a fun copy lead-in that makes 100% sense in terms of the customer persona:

Zendesk’s CTAs pack their punch

It’s clever, cool, and exactly what you would expect from a tech platform like Zendesk. They’ve even managed to bring in the customer service buzzword ‘relationship’.

Sound familiar? Here is the original clip from Casablanca:

The mistake you don’t want to make here is to write something that will alienate or confuse your audience, so don’t be clever just for the sake of it.

No risk, no fuss

Another useful CTA strategy is to reassure the user that the sign-up process or purchase will be easy or risk-free. This is especially important for any free trial offers or purchases where the user may be on the fence about signing up.

This one on Shopify’s create your own store page goes as far as to state “Completely risk-free. No credit card required”. For anyone who has been caught out by a free trial, that’s music to their ears. Notice also how the words ‘free trial’ are highlighted.

Shopify’s call to action

Another great CTA comes from Dropbox who offer a very generous 30 day free trial period:

Dropbox’s call to action

The lesson here is to reassure the user, make sure they understand it’s free, and make the trial period as long as you can.

Be better

One of the most powerful CTA strategies is to show people how they can be and do better with your product or service in tow. This is all about leading with your major value propositions.

This example from MailChimp uses both simple and complex language to entice the user:

MailChimp’s call to action

The simplistic message on top is matched by an equally simple button — but the the body copy really sells it home with images of brainy automation.

Capsule CRM hits the user on two levels with its CTA:

Capsule’s call to action

  1. The system is super smart and simple
  2. You can service customers better + save time.

Simple and effective, sometimes it’s just worth spelling out what it is that you do.

The lifesaver

Sometimes, you want your CTA to cause people to breathe a sigh of relief. *Finally* — I’ve found it!

Check out Evernote:

Evernote’s call to action

The Evernote CTA is also strengthened by the easy form log in — because everyone hates complex forms.

Having the form there to fill in with a sign-up button is the quickest and smartest way to get instant online custom. After all, it saves your customers time.

Picture this

In a B2B setting, CTAs are often focused on making your team and your office life more efficient. Whether it’s making finances or HR less painful, a CTA should always offer a clear value proposition that’s ideal for the customer persona. And it doesn’t hurt to ask people to use their imagination a little…

Xero’s call to action

“Picture your business running on your terms.”

What a sweet-sounding sentence for the busy entrepreneur.

This one from Xero also has a video option for people who aren’t ready to click, and just want some more info for now.

It’s important to remember that not everyone will be ready to buy right there and then — factor that into your web design or copy strategy.

Another good one on the B2B side comes from project manager Paymo:

Paymo’s call to action

Helping your team achieve more is a powerful statement that conjures up images of productivity and team cohesion. And there is even as secondary CTA for freelancers who get a free account!

Note the use of cool graphics — think outside the box to help increase dwell time and engagements.

Voice of reason

Sometimes the best thing you can do with your CTA is to come across as the mature voice of reason. Words like “you’ve found it”, “new ways”, “partner”, all belie credibility and maturity — two things that are going to convince your customers that you’re someone they need to invest in.

Here is how Zenefits do it:

Zenefits’ call to action

The CTA has a tactile video background that keeps moving and drawing the eye. The bold statement gets the user thinking about how their world is changing, and whether they are ready for the challenge.

CTA lessons

Phew! Now, let’s review what we’ve learned…

Here are some overall lessons about your CTA to take into account:

  1. Be free — free trials and offers are great sales drivers, so add them to your strategy.
  2. Be funny, tell a story, or just be a bit different. But not too different so that your audience doesn’t understand you.
  3. Use colour and graphics well. Copy is important, but so is the overall web design.
  4. It’s all about the lead-in copy — think about how your CTA button is best introduced.

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration — so don’t be shy about having a look around at other people’s websites to get some creative ideas!

About the Author

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on e-commerce and how companies can improve the way they represent their brand. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their reach.