Call-to-Action Buttons and Action Triggers: Alternate Wording for More Email SubscribersWhen social media platforms just started springing up, I remember many experts assuming social media would kill email marketing. In fact, the latter only got stronger…

Maintaining a loyal, active and steadily growing list is one of the strongest assets you can build: This is what can secure your business against various rankings fluctuations and emerging competitors.

Follow My Experiment

These months I am experimenting with my blog calls-to-actions (primarily for the sake of self-education but also to be able to share my results with my community and help others grow).

This article is my first step in the long-lasting experiment: Making the most of calls-to-actions.

While I think that A/B testing is important (and that’s what I am already doing), pre-testing materials are even more important: This enables you to take what I’ve got and run your own tests because what may have worked on my site may be counter-efficient on yours. So take what I’ve collected below and run your own tests (and share them below!)

First a few things that have been covered pretty well already:

  • Colors of calls-to-action are pretty important
  • Contrast of the call-to-action is even more important (Make it stand out!)
  • Shape and the size may matter too. They say, rounded buttons get more clicks (I haven’t tested that yet because, I believe, that involves changing the whole interface concept to rounded… Let me know if you test this out!)
  • To set up your CTAs, try using conversational forms or use one of these CTA plugins

Now to different ways to word your call-to-action:

Call-to-Action Button Wording

Express Urgency

Have you ever contemplated buying something, and then thought to yourself “I’ll think it over.” The same thing may happen to your blog readers preventing them from taking an action.

Creating a sense of urgency gets users to take action immediately instead of holding off on the purchase. More often than not, tomorrow becomes eventually, which ends up being never. The sooner you can get people to take action, the better.

Here are some effective call-to-action phrases that will make people rush to grab what you’re selling

  • Hurry
  • Get instant access
  • Join now

Or try adding words like these to your current CTA to experiment:

  • Immediately
  • Now

Here are more action triggers expressing urgency:

  • Only X days left
  • Closing soon
  • Today only
  • Last chance
  • Offer ends on “date”

Provide Clear Instruction

It’s a well-known theory that if you want someone to perform some action, you’ll get better results by telling them exactly what to do.

MarketingSherpa have tested it and found that “click here” link text increases click-through rates by more than 8%.

So this is something to test out:

  • Click here to subscribe
  • Subscribe by Email

Express the Sense of “Joining the Community”

Joining a group of people of common goals, feeling not alone is a powerful incentive, so this is something to try:

  • Be a part of
  • Be(come) a member
  • Join the team!

Instill the Feeling of Exclusivity / Win

Everyone wants to feel special, so this can be an effective action trigger:

  • Become a VIP (subscriber)
  • Join to the winning side


I suspect this is a later trend: Web users are getting tired of commercial CTAs pressing you to sign up to something on each page they visit.

It makes sense to avoid boring your user with the same call-to-action they see everywhere else and offer them to “learn more”. It invites the user to explore on his own without pressure.

  • Find out more
  • Learn more
  • More details
  • Get started
  • Get notified
  • Read it here!
  • I’d love updates
  • Tell me more
  • Explore more

Use Imperative Mode

Giving your readers the power to command instead of being instructed: It may work well for the certain types of readers (I know it would probably work well for me!)

  • Send Guide!
  • Send Videos!
  • Send Checklist!
  • Show me the data
  • Get my report
  • Take me there
  • Let me in
  • Send the Recipe

Try Emotional Wording

These don’t fall into a particular category but many of them are worth testing… Also some of them may match the tone of your site better than the others:

  • I want in!
  • Let’s do it
  • Yes, please!
  • Yes, I’d like to learn more
  • Sure thing!
  • I want to increase my traffic
  • I’m Ready
  • Let’s Party
  • I’m a rockstar
  • What’s the secret
  • Mom’s Only
  • Okie, Dokie
  • Get it While It’s Hot
  • Kick fear to the curb
  • See for yourself!
  • Count me in
  • Get it!
  • Discover the benefits

Power words

Finally, here are some words you may want to add to your current button to see if any yields more action:

  • Free
  • New
  • Now
  • Guarantee
  • Results
  • My (There’s a study showing that “my” work better than “your”)

Download All the CTA Button Variations!

Grab your free download here and play around:

CTA Button wording

More things to test…

Action Triggers to Use Near the Button:

  • Don’t miss your chance
  • You can’t “win” if you don’t play
  • This terrific offer won’t last long
  • Years from now you’ll say coulda, woulda, shoulda if you don’t subscribe today
  • Those who hesitate are lost
  • Some might look at this offer and ask, Why? We say to you, Why not?
  • You won’t know what you’re missing if you pass up this chance
  • ‘Tis a far, far better thing if you subscribe now

(More on these in my next article, please do submit the ones that work for you here)

An interesting tactic I see more and more recently is to add a “cancel” button and phrase it the way it acts like an action trigger:

  • No I am happy with my current rankings
  • No I don’t want to make more income

Title Case or Not?

I couldn’t find good case studies id the CTA should be capitalized or not. Two arguments to consider:

  • Title case can make your button label feel like a command. Hence, capitalization may make it stand out, it may make your CTA more convincing
  • For longer CTAs, sentence case can make your button text feel like a dialogue, thus more friendly.

Which one do YOU prefer?

Two-Step Optins

Some marketers prefer to use two-step opt-ins (using the same plugin), so the CTA simply says ‘Get the free report’ (no email field), and this then takes you to a second screen where you enter the email address.

The theory is they have said yes once, before you ask for their address so they are more bought-in, and ready to give it.

A Few Helpful Case Studies Already Done

How YOU Can Contribute

Thanks to my helpful MyBlogU contributors who suggested CTA button wording variations below: @irinaweber048 of SE Ranking, @SakaneeJ of Blogging Aid, @Amabaie of THGM ghostwriters, @JKatzaman, Brightsidesmktg, @N8hanWilliams of Crazy Eye Marketing, @JEAlford, @northresearch of Myth Buster, @DIYMarketers DIY Marketers, @seotify Seotify, @duggansara of Sara Duggan | Blogger’s Assistant, @EP_pturner of MaXXers, @websuccess Web Success Team, @Laura_Rike of Envizion Advertising, @SeegerN of Seeger Consulting Inc., @timfel of

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and

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  1. Great tips! I will try some of your suggestions to see how it goes. Always room for improvement. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for reading, Harris! Do let me know if you try any of them and see some results!

  3. Deep Vam Dev says:

    Nice collection to keep handy for writing CTAs. I’ll start using the ones I haven’t used before.
    Thanks for sharing, Ann.

  4. Sunday William says:

    Hey David/Ann
    A good article for the average Internet marketer. The call-to-action should be attractive and will help increased conversion.

    Apart from the fact that the marketer should always include CTA buttons, making the buttons appealing will go long way to increase traction.

    At least, the beginner Internet marketer can apply these tips to start increasing call to action!

    This is very good post and Ann has done a very good job in this piece.
    I left this piece in as well.

  5. Hi Ann!

    What a great topic to talk about and share ideas in!

    CTA (call-to-action) is one of the most important things when it comes to marketing online. Taking you call to actions very seriously can really make a big difference in the results you get with your marketing efforts.

    We are psychological and emotional creatures – we are driven by call-to-actions – if you really really think about it! LOL 😉

    What others say, and in the way they say it, can have a great effect in our behavior.

    One interesting thing, that I have learned more about lately, is the power of Words. Just words in general. As human beings, with a very complex mind, our realities are often shaped by the words we speak out and the words that are spoken to us. Because, they Paint a Picture in your mind.

    When it comes to Words – using them in a Negative or Positive Way makes NO Difference in how they affect others. If you tell someone to “Not think of a Pink Elephant”, for instance, guess what …they are most likely going to actually paint an image of a “pink elephant” in their mind. There is no difference if we switch up the “Command” and say; “Go ahead and Do think of a Pink Elephant” … the outcome would be the exact same.

    So, you see, it is not about using words in a negative or positive command – it is just the fact that you are using words to paint a picture in the mind, Period. The mind does not know negative or positive, really. It only knows WORDS. And that is it!

    With this in mind, you can really play around with your Call To Actions! 😉

    Paint the image you want to paint inside your potential customer’s mind – by using the power of words.

    I don’t really think it matters so much what words you use and even what font or even colors you use (they do matter a bit, but just a bit) – what truly matters is the PICTURE you are Painting with your Words.

    I have not seen any online marketer really talk about this topic (the power of simple words). I think a lot are overlooking the power of the very same things they create their realities with, to help them paint a possible reality for their potential customers.

    For instance, using CTAs with Emotional Wording, as you mentioned here, is one of the most powerful way to entice people to take action. Because, you are painting a picture inside their mind – of them ALREADY making the decision to take action. There is definitely a lot we can touch on these topics and points here lol .. but I’ll cut it here 🙂

    My conclusion is, Call to Actions is all about learning to take advantage of Words, and just Words. That’s it. The type of font, the colors, the sizes, etc, are merely secondary things to play with. Just saying!

    Anyways, thanks for sharing these tips and for sharing that PDF file with valuable CTAs to play with 😀

    Keep up the great work!

    Have an awesome week!

  6. Thanks for the comment, Freddy! Interesting points here! I’d love to read more on the power of words, for sure!

  7. birthdayMeme says:

    What an incredible theme to discuss and share thoughts in!

    CTA (invitation to take action) is a standout amongst the most vital things with regards to advertising on the web. Considering you call to activities important can truly have a major effect in the outcomes you get with your advertising endeavors.

    We are mental and enthusiastic animals – we are driven by call-to-activities – looking at the situation objectively! LOL ?

    What others say, and in the way they say it, can have an extraordinary impact in our conduct.

    One fascinating thing, that I have adapted more about of late, is the force of Words. Just words all in all. As individuals, with an extremely complex personality, our truths are regularly formed by the words we stand up and the words that are addressed us. Since, they Paint a Picture in your psyche.

  8. Hello Ann,

    Interesting topic and very nicely explained too. I agree with you on the points mentioned.
    CTA needs to be catchy & clickable just like the title of a post.


  9. Thanks for this resource! I always feel like I’m only choosing between a few different CTA options in my mind. It’s always good to have a list to generate ideas.

  10. Stumbled upon this article on Google search today. I have downloaded and ready to add this into my databank. Thanks for sharing.

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