Naturally, the words you choose to use in your sales copy are either going to convince your target audience to take action or drop them like a hot tamale. Whether you’ve written a landing page, blog article, or sales flyer, you’re building your case for a sale and punctuating that argument with a call-to-action.

The CTA is your final plea, so to speak, for your reader to move on to the next step toward a sale, and it’s the CTA that could potentially make or break you. Word choice here is crucial. Here’s what you need to know to make your calls-to-action as strong as they can be.

Writing CTAs that Convert

  1. Pick the right pronoun (me vs. you). In a study conducted by Unbounce and ContentVerve, two calls-to-action were altered on an otherwise identical landing page. The split test took one CTA button, “Start your free 30 day trial,” and swapped out the “your” with “my.” Can you guess what happened?”Start my free 30 day trial” result in 90% more clicks than “Start your free 30 day trial.” Simply by switching over to a first person pronoun, conversion went through the roof. Other studies found that first person pronouns like “I,” “my,” and “me” trumped second person pronouns like “you” and “your” by 24%.Why is this the case? The main reason is that people want to feel personally connected to the product or service that they’re buying. First person pronouns simulate a conversation that would or could happen in a country store, where the owner knows your name. It helps us feel more comfortable, and if using such language invokes even an iota of ease in an Internet customer, it’s a practice you want to keep handy.Keep in mind, we’re talking about using first person pronouns specifically for CTA buttons, not sales copy in general.
  2. Choose action words. You see the prompt to “click here” everywhere you go online. But how effective is it really? It’s a fallback CTA that could be so much more potent if it actually informed the clicker what was going to happen.Consider the difference between “Free e-book” and “Claim my free e-book.” Or “Submit” and “Support Haiti.” When the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund website made that switch, they increased dollars donated per visitor by 15.75%.
  3. Strong “setup” text. Our first two tips are primarily for your actual CTA button, but what about the text that sets the stage for your button? You want this text to:
    • Suggest scarcity. Imply or directly state a limited supply of your offer or limited availability.
    • State benefits. You want to literally spell out the benefit your reader can expect to receive by clicking your CTA.

Before giving the go-ahead on your next CTA, take a moment to check each of these items off your “effective CTA checklist.”

Does the CTA button speak directly to me? Does it tell me exactly what’s going to happen when I click it? And has the setup text given me a clear reason to complete this CTA?

What was the last CTA that you clicked and why? Share in the comments!


Soskey, Ginny. “The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action.” (June 4, 2014).

Ash, Tim. “4 Tips for Creating an Effective Call to Action.” (June 4, 2014).