Advertiser's Blog

The anatomy of an advertisement part 3: Activate your audience with a call-to-action

Why you need a call-to-action

Your call-to-action or CTA is what drives your readers to take action. Imagine your prospective customers being attracted by your headline, reading your entire copy and then being left with no clear follow-up. A call-to-action is there to captivate your audience’s consideration while you already have their attention.

A good call-to-action helps you boost content and increases conversions. A call-to-action guides your prospects on a path of awareness, discovery and consideration so that eventually they make the decision whether to buy or not.

How to write a convincing call-to-action

There are 3 main ways to structure your call-to-action. The first one being a straight command like ‘do this’ for example ‘Subscribe now’. The second one provides a little more context: ‘do this by doing this’ for example ‘Save time by subscribing now’. The last one we believe is best because it explains why: ‘do this because of this’ for example ‘subscribe to our blog to stay on top of all trends on one platform’.

A call-to-action is best placed in a central and visible place. Preferably the contour of your CTA-button has a contrasting color to make it stand out of the rest of your text. Below we’ve posted some tips on how to write a good call-to-action.

  • Stick to your goal

Don’t try to sell everything your business has to offer. Keep it clear and concise just like your advertisement. Think of what the goal is of your advertisement. Do you want to achieve more conversions or blog subscribers?

  • Use emotional anchors

By this we mean words that provoke emotion to help the customer form an image of themselves using your product or service such as ‘Book your dream trip now!’ The simple usage of ‘dream’ in this sentence makes going on a trip instantly more attractive.

  • Use social proof

Social proof always works well and depending on your business you could easily use it in your call-to-action such as ‘Join our 100 000 users today!’ Social proof is one of the 6 principles of influence by Robert Cialdini. People will always try to talk themselves out of buying something, unless there is proof of others faring well by buying it. Strengthen your words with evidence.

  • Repeat your benefits

What do you want your customers to remember about you? It will probably be how you can help them, so repeating what you could do for them in the call-to-action is a great idea. It can sound something like ‘Join now to get unlimited access to…’ Keep in mind your customer’s goal to really make your CTA stand out.

  • Speak positively or negatively

To illustrate, negative speaking would be ‘Join now to never your ad get ignored again’, while the positive version might sound like ‘Join now to get your e-mails read X% more’. Both could work so it’s an issue of testing what works best on your target audience.

  • Offer instant gratification

You can’t always do this but in some instances this is exactly what your prospects want. You can do this when giving away tangible things or providing them access to an exclusive (online) space. Your call-to-action would look something like ‘Start your free trial now’ or ‘Download for free now’

As with the rest of your advertisement you need to test different CTA’s to test which work best. When implemented correctly call-to-actions can have a lot more effect besides activating readers of your advertisements. You can use it in content marketing, on your website and social media to activate your following.

Now that you have a compelling headline, a concise body and an attractive call-to-action your advertisement is ready to go. In An advertisement that sticks you can find how to set up a strategy to distribute your message to the right people and on the right channels.


Zerocopy enables students to print their courses for free because of advertisements targeted to this young and hard-to-reach audience. We created a community where companies and students connect to create a win-win situation for both sides. Are you an advertiser trying to reach a young high educated target audience? Then don’t hesitate to ask for more information. We make sure your advertisements truly matter.

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