Getting in on the Action — Using Call to Action Verbs

In the Pay-Per-Click ad world, the goal of your ad is not just to inform … it’s to convert. Conversion means your customer both clicked on your ad and purchased something or signed up for something (mailing list, etc.) on your site. So, how to you get them to click?

The Psychology of Words

BrainVerbIn school, you probably learned that active voice is preferable to passive voice when writing a paper. The same is true in your marketing copy, and good writers spend time rearranging words to use active voice most often. Active voice means the “subject” is performing the action.

The part of our brain that responds to commands is the primitive lizard brain (the amygdala). As a part of our survival instinct, the amygdala responds to urgency rather than reason, but also to entertainment rather than persuasion.

When it comes to marketing, we want the customer or consumer to perform the action. That means we use active verbs and sentence structures to help direct the consumer toward taking action. We entertain them with colors, images, and other “shiny things.” Google ads, like billboards, must direct the consumer within split seconds, so there’s no time for persuasive marketing prose to work its mojo. Enter the “call to action.”

mouse-red-click-hiCall to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a single word or short phrase to urge the customer to do something … in this case, to “click” through to the next phase of our marketing plan (sale, sign-up, etc.). Of course, we’ve all seen “click here” or “sign up,” or even “learn more” or “buy now.” These common call-to-action phrases do urge your customer to click, but are so common that consumers often ignore the call. I call this “click fatigue.”

 

Here is a list of other call-to-action phrases that appeal differently to various consumers:

Single verbs:

  • Compare
  • Find
  • Order
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Now

Common Short Phrases:

  • Join Now
  • Get it Now!
  • Act Quickly
  • Download Now
  • Immediate Download
  • Limited Availability
  • Buy Now
  • Free Shipping
  • [X] % Off
  • Add to Cart
  • Order Now
  • Reserve Now
  • Today Only

Longer Phrases:

  • Come See Us Today
  • Reserve Yours Now
  • Try [something] Free Today
  • Only [X] Days Remaining
  • $[X] Off — Today Only (or This Week Only, This Month Only)

Of course, you don’t need to limit your call to action to just three or four words, but given the short duration your ad appears, conversion may depend on how quickly the words register with your potential consumer. SteamFeed offers these additional interesting and intriguing CTA phrases:

  • Grab Yours Now –> [LINK] (yep, it had that little arrow leading me right to the link)
  • Will You Be There? [LINK]
  • Hope To See You Soon! [LINK]
  • Please Share With Your Friends And Fans: [LINK]
  • What Are Your Thoughts On This (Topic)? [LINK]
  • How Would You Handle ______?  [LINK] (asking for responses; tie it in with your topic)
  • Read This Post: [LINK]
  • Have You Ever ______? (enticing comments or engagement)
  • What’s YOUR Favorite ______? [LINK] (tie it in with your topic)
  • This Article Will Teach You How To ______: [LINK]
  • YES or NO? ____________
  • Seriously, SIGN UP! You’ve Got Nothing To Lose: [LINK]
  • Save Your Seat! [LINK]
  • Limited Seating Available: [LINK]
  • View This _____ To Learn How To ______: [LINK]
  • Want A Sneak Peek At ______? [LINK]
  • QUICK QUESTION: Do You Prefer A, B, Or C? (enticing comments or engagement)
  • You Don’t Want To Miss _______! [LINK]
  • This Is THE Solution For ______: [LINK]
  • This List Is Filled With Resources For ______: [LINK]

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about augmenting the “call” with colors, shapes and other triggers.

Getting in on the Action — Using Call-to-Action Verbs
Call to Action: In the Pay-Per-Click ad world, the goal of your ad is not just to inform … it's to convert. Conversion means your customer both clicked on your ad and purchased something or signed up for something (mailing list, etc.) on your site. So, how to you get them to click?

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