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50 Powerful Call to Action Phrases

By Kristina
15 Dec, 2020
13 min read

Sometimes running an ecommerce store can make you feel powerless. But successful ecommerce entrepreneurs learn to focus on the things they have power over. Things that can make an impact. Things like call to action phrases - also known as CTAs.

i've got the power

In 10 minutes you’ll learn what a call to action is and where they are used, what makes a good call to action (spoiler alert: it should motivate and inform) and how to write one. Then we’ll go through 50 powerful call to action phrases you can use in your own ecommerce funnel.

Let’s get started.

What is a call to action and where are they used?

A call to action is a form of persuasion. It’s a text inviting a customer to take a particular action. 

What that action is can vary a lot β€” learn more, subscribe, make a purchase, tell a friend. It all depends on what you want the customer to do at a particular moment in their journey discovering your product.

You’re most likely to come across call to action phrases displayed as:

- buttons like this  ?

add to bag button

- or anchor text for clickable links  ?

call to action anchor

And you’ll find calls to action cropping up just about everywhere in your sales funnel copy according to systeme.io

  • At the top of your funnel, you’ll find CTAs in your ads, social media posts, and SEO-oriented blogs.
  • In the middle of your funnel, they’ll be on your landing pages, pop-ups, and emails.
  • And the bottom of your funnel, you’ll find them on your product pages and in retargeting campaigns.
sales funnel
Image source: ClickFunnels

The good news is that replacing boring, generic calls to action with engaging, powerful call to action phrases will have an impact across your ecommerce marketing. You really do have the power!

What is a good call to action?

The easiest way to understand what makes a good call to action phrase is to look at a bad one. Let’s take an example you will definitely have seen:

CTA gif
Image source: Shopify

It’s bad for 2 reasons:

1. There’s no what: The call to action Click Here doesn’t really communicate what you want the customer to do. Sure, you want them to click. But what will that click enable for them? Will they learn something, join something, own something? Click Here doesn’t give them this information.

2. There’s no why: A good call to action phrase should always motivate. Give your customers a reason to click. But there is nothing persuasive about Click Here.

From this example, we can identify 2 important elements of what makes a good call to action: informing (the what) and motivating (the why). There’s one final element we need to add: clarity. Put these all together and you get a handy way to remember these principles: MIC.

MIC - motivating, informing, concise
  • M is for Motivating: Your CTAs should persuade customers to do something by telling them why.
  • I is for Informing: Your CTAs should inform customers on what will happen if they take this action.
  • C is for Concise: Your CTAs should be as short and clear as possible.

So we know what makes a good call to action phrase. But there’s a difference between knowing what a good CTA is and being able to write one yourself. It’s time to sharpen your pencils and do some writing practice. 

How do you write a strong call to action?

You want your calls to action to inform, motivate, and be clear. And there’s an easy 3 step process you can follow when writing your CTAs to make sure they meet these criteria:

  1. Define the action.
  2. Understand what will motivate.
  3. Be as concise and clear as possible.

Let’s take a look at each step.

Step 1: Define the action

When you’re creating any marketing content, you should always know what you want your user to do next. For example, in the CTA below, Shopify Plus store Pura Vida Bracelets has a clear goal - to get subscribers for their SMS marketing.

pur vida cta banner

So, how do you decide what actions you want your customers to take, and when? For example, what do you want them to do after reading your blog? Read another? Read a product comparison? Book a demo call or start a free trial? 

As you can see, there are lots of possible actions you could propose at any given point in the customer journey. Allow us to help you out with a couple of questions that will help you decide:

  1. What are your business goals now? 
    • Are you just getting started, in which case you probably need to raise awareness. Or do you want to become more profitable? Then you want subscribers. 
  2. How do customers progress through your ecommerce funnel? This might be impacted by:
    • How expensive your product is. Typically, customers will take more time and consideration before purchasing higher value products.
    • How many return customers you typically get. If you’re selling consumables or have a subscription product, many of your site visits will be from existing customers. So the actions for them will be different to those for new customers. In order to understand the behaviour of your existing customers better, address their complaints and answer their questions, make sure you add a “call us now” button so that people can still get answers from real human beings instead of chatbots.

If you’re feeling a bit stuck after going through these questions, don’t worry. There’s a super helpful tool for understanding your funnel - Google Analytics. You can use Google analytics to create custom funnels

custom sales funnel
Image source: hotjar

Custom funnels like this can help you understand how customers progress through your store and decide which actions your CTAs should focus on

Once you have defined the action, choose a verb (action word) for your call to action phrase. The more specific, the better. Here are some different options you can use: 

Some specific action words for your CTAs
Learn, Compare, Book, Sign up, Subscribe, Select, Access, Read, Watch, Claim, Start (for example, start your free trial)

For added impact, you can personalize the action:

  • Book my demo
  • Sign me up
  • Select my plan

Step 2: understand what will motivate

Motivation is critical for good cta phrases. And there are a couple of really simple strategies you can use when writing your CTAs to make them motivational.

  • Urgency: Make your customers feel this is something they have to do now. If they wait, they will miss out or it will cost them in some way.
nearly natural banner
Nearly Natural put a 30 minute limit on their discount to new subscribers. Emphasising this in the CTA helps to add urgency.
  • Scarcity: Create the feeling that whatever you are offering is in short supply. This will create both a fear of missing out and a sense of exclusivity when they do actually get it. 
Notice the phrase Everything Will Sell Out! in this web copy by Pura Vida Bracelets. It emphasizes that stocks are limited and scarce, motivating its audience to act now.

Here are some handy words and phrases you can use in your CTAs to create these feelings:

UrgencyScarcity
NowLimited edition
While stocks lastExclusive
Don’t miss outOne-off
Must endBiggest ever
Hurry
Offer ends

Scarcity and urgency are very basic motivators. To get more sophisticate with your persuasion, consider these questions:

  • What do you know about your customers and their demographic?
  • What questions or concerns do customers often have?
  • How do your customers want to feel?

These can help you optimize the way you write your CTAs. 

For example, conversions jumped 12.7% for one CTA used by ecommerce store Teespring when they made a small adjustment to the text (this case study on optimizing CTAs has all the details). The change they made was based on something they learned about their customers. The original call to action phrase was this:

buy now cta buttone

They saw from feedback and surveys that some customers worried whether the custom tee shirts they order would be produced. So they changed it:

buy it now cta
Image source: Optimizely

The later version is reassuring, creating a feeling of confidence and trust, especially with the words: “don’t worry.” And because it relates directly to a known customer concern, it converts better.

Here’s a similar example, this time from Amazon. They motivate their customers by emphasizing that they will be free from any risk.

amazon prime cta banner
Image source: CrazyEgg

In these cases, the language relates a lot to how customers feel. And emotions are great for getting people to act. 

So here are 3 simple changes you can try to give your CTAs added emotion:

  • Write save instead of buy: For more risk averse customers, saving may be more appealing emotion than buying. It can create a feeling of being smart (that you’ve found a deal) and safe (that you’ve avoided overpaying).
  • Write discover instead of learn: the word discover has more energy and excitement, creating a childlike sense of exploration.
  • Write uncover instead of access: while access just means something is available to you, uncover suggests its secret, or that finding it is an exciting game. 

Use these action words in your CTAs to create more emotion. 

cta words

To finish this section on motivation (we’re nearly there!!) let’s take a look at some masters of marketing communication, Disney. 

disney resort banner
Image source: CrazyEgg

Did you notice all emotion-inducing action words in this short text? Words like stay, celebrate, and save don’t just tell customers what they should do, they also tell them what emotions and feelings they can expect to experience. 

Step 3: Be as concise and clear as possible

So you’ve figured out the action you want your customer to take and the emotion you want to emphasise. Now write a phrase that includes both the elements. 

Then make your statement shorter.

Then shorten it again.

And again.

Your call to actions need to be concise and clear so it is easy peasy for the customer to understand what they should do.

Consider the most common call to action of them all:

Buy Now!

In just 6 characters this call to action both informs and motivates:

  • We know exactly what will happen when we click the button. 
  • We feel motivated by the urgency of the word now, which creates excitement and could play on fears of missing out.

This example shows you don’t need to be a creative genius to create an effective call to action phrase. You just need to think clearly about the action you want and what will motivate your customers.

If you do want to get more creative, that’s fantastic. Just make sure your idea is always clear to the customer. To do this, follow this structure:

1. Creative or emotion-focused call to action phrase focused on a user benefit
2. Practical call to action phrase
3. Very short call to action button

The Disney example we just looked at provides a perfect example of this structure.

disney resort banner
Creative or emotion-focused call to action phrase“Stay with us and celebrate the magic of the season”
Practical call to action phrase“Save up to 20% on rooms”
A very short call to action buttons“View offer details”

50 Powerful call to action phrases

Now let’s look at 50 call to action phrases you can use throughout your e-commerce funnel. We’ve divided these texts into different actions you are aiming for:

  • Buying
  • Claiming a deal or discount
  • Subscribing or opting in
  • Reading or watching content
  • Starting a trial

For each type of action, we have example calls to action for buttons and whole phrases. And we provide a quick analysis of why it works.

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CTAs to get customers buying

Here are 6 texts you can use for CTA buttons, especially on your product pages.

1. Buy now 

A simple, classic CTA that provides a clear action to follow and creates urgency with the word now.

2. Complete my purchase

An informative CTA that shows this is the final step in the buying process. By adding my we make this button more personal.

3. Treat yourself today

A much more emotion-focused CTA, this button would work well for luxury items or impulse buys where customers need a little extra encouragement.

4. Grab it today

This CTA also creates a sense of urgency and impulse, and would work well for lower cost products or consumables bought by customers who regularly return to your store.

5. Try out today

This CTA feels much safer, emphasizing that you are trying rather than buying. If you offer generous returns policies this is a great option to use.

6. Get the look

A CTA specifically for fashion stores, this message works because it focuses on the end result a customer gets.

And here are 6 call to action phrases you can use on product pages, in emails, on retargeting messages and in pop-ups. Use these before your CTA button.

7. Buy now to avoid disappointment

It has urgency, and communicates an important benefit for risk averse customers - avoiding disappointment.

8. Buy now and enjoy {add user benefit}

This is a positive CTA that focuses on user benefit and the positive experience the product will give them. Remember that emotion drives action.

9. Why wait? Give yourself the {user benefit} you deserve

This call to action phrase is designed to drive action by focusing on self esteem. Just think of L’OrΓ©al and “Because I’m worth it”

10. Choose the perfect look for you

Here the emphasis is on choice and personalization. Instead of using commitment-heavy words like buy or purchase, phrasing it as a choice makes the decision feel lighter.

11. Grab one today and boost your {user benefit}

A combination or urgency and positive outcome, the informal tone here would work well for brands selling low cost products.

12. Get one today and see instant results

A simple cause and effect statement, the addition of “today” and “instant” create urgency and excitement.

CTAs to get customers claiming a deal or discount

Here are 5 CTA button texts to get started with when promoting your deals or discounts.

13. Save big

For some customer demographics, the discount is almost as important as the product itself. This CTA phrase helps to create a sense of achievement in a big discount discovered.

14. Claim my exclusive offer

This text is personalized, and words like “exclusive” create a sense of, well, exclusivity. Great for making your customers feel special.

15. Get my discount

A simple but effective example, adding my makes the result feel more personal. 

16. Claim free shipping now

This CTA works for free shipping or any offer you’re making. It has enough urgency to drive action.

17. Redeem my voucher

A practical and informative CTA, the focus here is not on making a purchase but getting the discount.

And here are 5 CTA phrases you can use when promoting your deals and discounts - they’re perfect for sending to your email list or using on social media.

18. Enjoy massive savings while stocks last

This phrase combines the positive emotion of getting a great deal with a sense of scarcity that stocks won’t last forever.

19. Don’t miss out on our biggest ever discount.

Expressions like “biggest every” are great for creating scarcity. You want your email list subscribers and social media followers to feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

20. Hurry. Grab yourself a deal to be proud of with this limited time offer

Another combination of pride in finding a great deal mixed with urgency.

21. Claim your one-off discount today and save big on your purchase

This phrase emphasizes the scale of the discount while creating scarcity and urgency.

22. Grab a huge deal with our limited time offer

A word like grab sounds impulsive, a feeling reiterated by the phrase “limited time offer”.

CTAs to get customers subscribing

The next 4 texts are perfect for CTA buttons where you want customers to subscribe.

23. Sign me up

Because it’s in the first person (me instead of you), this CTA button sounds both personal and dynamic.

24. Subscribe now

This simple CTA still manages to create urgency with the word now.

25. I’m in

This is perfect for getting existing customers, like those on your email list, signed up to additional lists or VIP groups. 

26. Join the action

This phrase makes customers feel like they want to be part of something exciting.

etoro facebook ad
A CTA like Join the Action works perfectly in social media copy, for example this Facebook ad by EToro

Here are some longer CTA phrases you can use in email or web copy to gain new subscribers.

27. Join the {brand name} community 

The focus here is on joining a group of likeminded people rather than signing up to receive information.

28. Unlock exclusive benefits by subscribing 

Unlock is a great word to use because it gamifies the experience and feels somewhat secretive.

29. Be the first to know about new products and offers

Here the focus is all on speed. This will work great if you regularly run flash sales or offer limited edition products.

30. Unlock VIP deals and discounts as a subscriber

Here VIP stands out. You want to make your subscribers feel special, and calling them VIPs is the perfect way to do this.

31. Be part of our growing community

This message focuses on being part of a trend and connecting with like minded people.

32. Sign up now to claim exclusive discounts 

This is a simple phrase that combines both urgency with scarcity.

CTAs to get customers reading and watching content

Try the CTA buttons to improve the conversion rate on your blogs and social media posts.

33. Find out more

A simple CTA, this is an improved version of learn more, which reminds people too much or school or studies.

34. Discover more

Here the word discovery adds dynamism and creates a sense of exploration and adventure.

35. Get the latest updates

This CTA emphasizes the benefit the content will give, which is to stay up to date.

36. See for yourself

A great choice for videos, here we emphasize that the content we’re offering empowers the customer to make their own judgement regarding your product.

37. See it in action

Another great option for videos, the emphasis is on understanding how it works so it’s great for tech products or innovations.

38. Download my ebook

A CTA that clearly shows what will happen with an added touch of personalization.

39. Get the lowdown

This a more interesting and dynamic phrase than learn more, and feels like you’ll get a complete overview of what matters.

Here are some CTA phrases you can try out to get customers clicking on your content.

This phrase focuses on the benefit you’ll gain from reading or watching the content.

41. Compare features and prices so you can find the perfect {product name} for you

A great CTA phrase for comparison pages, it makes the customer feel empowered in their decision making.

42. Learn the secrets of success

Emphasizing secrets makes the learning process feel more fun, and your customers will feel like they are accessing something exclusive.

43. Take 2 minutes to see how it works

Another simple CTA, here we emphasize how little effort and time it will take for customers to read or watch your content.

CTAs to get customers onto your free trial

Use these texts to improve the conversion rate on your free trial CTAs.

44. Start your free trial

A simple CTA that is nicely personalized and has enough urgency to encourage actions.

45. Try it now

This CTA phrase is more direct and might be well suited to more impulsive customers.

46. Join free for 1 month

This CTA is super informative and clear, with all the important details (free, 1 month) included

47. Try out for free

This CTA emphasizes zero commitment on the customer side. You’re just trying out and its free.

Try these call to action phrases to boost sign ups to your free trials.

48. Start your free trial with no strings attached

This phrase clearly emphasizes that there is no commitment needed, which is great for risk averse customers.

49. See {product name} for yourself with our {time period} free trial

This CTA explains that you are empowering your customers to make up their own mind about your product.

50. There’s nothing to lose with our {time period} free trial

A strong CTA stressing to your customers that there is zero risk on their part.

Call to action phrases: the takeaways

So, you have everything you need to get started improving your call to action phrases. We’ve covered what they are and how to write them, and even given you 50 texts you can use yourself.

Just remember MIC - the 3 key qualities that make a good CTA:

  1. Motivating
  2. Informative
  3. Concise

Once you’ve written your own, or added some from the 50 we have shared, it’s really important to do some A/B testing. For important CTAs, test the existing text against the new version to see which one performs best. Testing is the only way to understand exactly what works best for your unique audience.

Then, with your CTAs optimized to perfection, you’ll be ready to improve other parts of your e-commerce copy. This blog on 7 copywriting tips for your product pages is a great place to start. 

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Kristina

I'm a content manager at sixads. I'm fiery about marketing, writing and traveling, so you can often find me scribbling away in some unknown corner of the world. If you want to know more ways to increase traffic and attract buyers to your online store get in touch with sixads on one of the channels bellow.