4 Best Practices for a Call To Action in your Ad

by Sam Beiler | Last Updated on 05.1.2020

Although a significant number of digital marketers now use digital ads as part of their marketing strategy, only a handful ever generate an ROI – and it has a lot to do with CTAs.

Consider this report by Invesp, for instance. The stats show just how popular digital ads have become, with marketers sending out 1,700 ads per month, on average, to every internet user in 2019. Indeed, a separate report by eMarketer shows that digital advertisers spent over $330.35 billion on ads in 2019, a 17.6% rise compared to 2018. This represented 50.1% of all media ad spending (including TV commercials and billboards).

However, you quickly realize that not everything is well. The Invesp report also shows that 8% of brands account for over 85% of all ad clicks on the internet. This is in line with a recent Medium contributor’s analysis which shows that 79% of digital advertisers struggle to prove ROI.

The CTA (Or Lack of One) is a Major Contributing Factor

The way you set up your ad campaign is obviously crucial, with targeting and ad optimization often ranked top of the list. However, just below those two is the CTA.

It doesn’t matter how well you can reach your target audience and how optimized your ads are; if you don’t have the right CTAs, your goose is cooked. Where the CTA is missing altogether, that ad campaign is good as dead.

Why You Need a Call to Action for Your Ads

  1. Consumers want and expect them

The digital user is so accustomed to how the internet works today that they can predict what will (or should) happen next. The CTA is one of the “standard” expectations. Whenever a consumer comes across an ad on the internet, they expect to see an accompanying CTA.

An ad without a CTA, therefore, can significantly confuse the consumer. A missing CTA might even be seen as a red flag; a sign of malice!

  1. CTAs destroy decision fatigue

The internet is saturated with blogs and articles, not to mention the 17,000+ ads that users come across every month. It’s exhausting to comb through this heap of information when looking up something online. As a result, the modern digital consumer is always looking for the shortest route to their solutions.

The CTA is one of the best ways to tell the consumer; “You’ve arrived. Here’s what you’ve been looking for.” It brings them to a “happy ending.”

  1. CTAs get consumers through the door

At least 31% of the people who respond to a digital ad do so by clicking directly on the CTA. They don’t need further convincing.

Another 48%, meanwhile, won’t click-through, but depend on the CTA for their next action. Up to 27% eventually search the product or service online while a further 21% end up searching the company website. But, they need the CTA for direction.

Call-To-Action Best Practices; How to Create Killer CTAs

Now that we’ve established the value of calls to action, it’s time to learn how to create strong CTAs.

Remember that you can’t get away with just any CTA. The wrong CTA can be worse than having no CTA at all. If your CTAs are offensive or spammy, for example, it quickly erodes your brand credibility and trust, resulting in reduced traffic and conversions.

So, how do you create compelling CTAs that convert?

  1. Open with a strong command verb

A CTA doesn’t offer much space to explain all your offers. You need to get straight to the point – by letting your audience know exactly what you want them to do. Opening with a strong command verb such as “Buy,” “Shop,” or “Order” will help get the point across right away.

  1. Evoke emotion with heart-warming words

The easiest way to connect with people is to appeal to their feelings. Phrases such as “Get 50% Off” immediately resonate with an audiences’ innermost feelings. Another phrase that works like magic is “Dream Vacation/Home.”

  1. Give them a reason to take action 

Why should they click on your CTA? Of course, you’re selling a product. But, so are many other marketers. What’s different about your offer? Will it help them save money? Do their jobs better? Or lose weight? Spell it out without mincing words.

  1. Leverage FOMO for more conversions  

Finally, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is an extremely effective marketing technique. Up to 69% of millennials report that they fear missing out on deals and offers. Ways to use FOMO in ad CTAs include creating urgency e.g., “Buy Now,” leveraging scarcity, e.g., “Only 10 Units Left,” and practicing exclusivity e.g., “No Girls Allowed”

Now, Your Ad is Ready!

As long as you pair the ads (bearing powerful CTAs) with engaging content on your site and landing pages, you can rest assured of plenty of traffic and conversions.