Read This Now! – A Look at Effective Calls to Action

By Kayla Kurtz | @one800kayla | Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

By popular demand from our loyal PPC Hero readers, ladies and gentlemen, today’s post is going to dive a little deeper in to what may seem like a simple ad copy writing topic: calls to action. So why the dig-in? Because it’s time to stop resting on the easy stuff and make your calls to action more creative. Searchers are smart, and they are no longer easily fooled by your ‘buy now’ push. You need to give them something more, something that further entices them to click. It’s go time.

How did you get so creative?

First, I think it’s important to stress that I’m absolutely not saying there are no situations where ‘buy now’ might be working. Simplicity could be the key, all I’m saying is make sure you’re at least testing out some more creative options rather than resting on your laurels. By that same token, I’d even urge you to test writing ad copy that contains no real push or call to action. See if your customers prefer to feel more like they’re guiding the process. Type A’s, FTW!

Also, before we dive in to specific calls to action that you could try out in your accounts, I think it’s important to mention calls to action that aren’t directly calling for an action but rather implying an action. I hear you, “Kayla, you’re making no sense.” I promise, I am! I’m talking ad extensions. Adding sitelinks tells your user to click into one of those subcategories. Adding call extensions is an indirect way of asking your users to call you in lieu of clicking. That’s an action, right? Try. Them. Out.

Ok, serious business time. You want new calls to action and you want them to be more creative than ‘buy now.’ What do you do? The most important point to be made here is this: find a new way to say what you’re already saying. No one here is attempting to redesign the wheel and some of the following list may seem obvious. However, I bet if you look at the bulk of the ads you’re running, you’re predominantly serving the old faithful’s and very few fresh calls to action. The other side of the creative calls to action coin is to be as illustrative as possible with your word choices. Yes, ‘buy now’ represents an expediency to the action and what/when it needs to happen, but it also puts most of the emphasis on the user giving up their money to you, which could leave a bad taste in their mouths. Make them feel so secure they won’t be able to keep themselves from buying now. Everybody wins! Now for the list:

  • Book Now
  • Reserve Your _______ Today
  • Buy Now & Save
  • Research Your Options Now
  • Order Today & Pay Less
  • Tired of Searching? Let Us Help!
  • Sign Up Now
  • Discover Your ______
  • Order Online & Save
  • Save Up To ____% & Order Now
  • Read Our Reviews
  • Get A Free Estimate Today
  • Learn More
  • Get Your _______ Today
  • Offer Ends Soon. Don’t Wait!
  • Register Now
  • Plan Your ______ Before Time Runs Out
  • Join Us
  • Upgrade Your Service
  • Special Offer Expires Today

Again I’ll stress that this list is not exhaustive and it’s possible none of the listed variations may overtake the performance of your very simple ‘buy now’ phrasing. All I ask is that you take some time to write some fresh ad copy, and test out a couple of these options. For some back-up data to particular calls to action, make sure you check out Jeff’s post from earlier this week on picking the best PPC call to action using conversions per impression.

Tell us about your experience! Have you changed up your call to action game, only to see poorer performance? Or maybe you made some alterations and saw conversions skyrocket. We’d also love to hear any other creative calls to action you may have used or encourage others to try that we didn’t include on our list. Leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comments section below!