The chances are that you have been on a website and noticed the messages that ask you to “sign up” or “join now.” These are known as Call To Action (CTA) buttons and are often referred to as CTAs. When you use Sleeknote or any other pop-up tool, the primary intention is to gather leads. You want something from your visitor, but how do you get it?

This is where CTAs come in handy. They let your visitors know what to do—whether it’s getting them to sign up for your newsletter, entering their email address, or going to a certain landing page.

Creating the perfect CTA isn’t rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park either. In order for you to better understand the overall process, here are seven steps that will allow you to understand how CTAs work. Here’s a CTA for you: Read this now and become a CTA master.

Tip 1: What do you want?

The first tip is probably the most simple, yet the most crucial. You have to find out what you want your visitors to do. So what do you want them to do?

If you want them to buy your eBook and sign up for your newsletter, then you should focus on these two things and nothing else. Studies show that you only have a couple of seconds to persuade the visitor to react to your CTA, so you can’t confuse them with long and complex messages.

Tip 2: Be the boss

How would you react if you saw a pop-up with the message that says, “We are ready to give you a call and help you out whenever you want. We are waiting.” Well, you probably wouldn’t sign up for a call immediately because you are under the impression that they are actually waiting for you, so tomorrow is probably just as good as now.


That is not the reaction you are looking for. You want your visitors to act now, which is why you need to take control and not be afraid to use a commanding verb that entices the reader to take a specific action. Experience tells us, that direct verbs such as buy, sign, look, click, press, go, or other verbs that call for immediate action are the ones you want to use.

A CTA that boldly asserts, “Buy today!” is far better than one that says, “You can buy it here.”

So by now, you should have a better understanding of how the process works. However, you have probably seen a CTA that says, “sign up,” “go here,” or “download now.” These next few tips will help you take your CTA from one that is alright to one that says, “Yes, thank you!”

Tip 3: What’s in it for me?

The third tip is to let the visitor know what they need to do by using direct verbs. However, it’s an ever better idea to give the customers a reason to do this. It is fairly easy to tell someone to sign up now or download, but what is their motivation?

Answer the question that asks, “What’s in it for me?” Chances are, you probably have something great in store for anyone who signs up for your newsletter or downloads your ebook.


So let’s look at the science behind it. The AIDA model is a well-known model for marketers worldwide, and it explains how you can convert visitors into customers. The first part of this equation is the letter (A), which stands for “attention.” Sleeknote handles this part for you; it pops up or slides in and attracts the visitor’s attention. The letter (I) stands for “interest,” and it is in your best interest to spark their interest in your offer. First, the Sleeknote slide-in or pop-up needs to be well-designed; it is also a good idea to include a picture.

The letter I also stands for the question that asks, “What’s in it for me?” You have made the customer interested in what you have to offer. For instance, if they can download your free ebook, then let them know. “Download my free ebook,” is a good example of an effective CTA.

You should always remember that the most important thing is persuading the visitor to click that magic button. The following tips offer some great examples of what works really well.

Tip 4: Declare your goods

One thing that keeps the visitor from converting is the fear of the unknown. If someone has to click on something, and they don’t know what’s going to happen, then a lot of the more insecure internet users are not going to click.

That is why you should let them know what will happen when they click on your CTA button. For instance, if you are a travelling agency offering tailored holiday solutions, then you should let everyone know. Your CTA should be something that says, “Sign up and start planning your dream vacation now!” If you are offering a free trial in return for their details, then your CTA might say, “Enter your details below and get started,” or it could say, “Start trying out (your product) now.”

You get the picture, don’t you? It’s a very good idea to inform your potential customer of what’s going to happen if they click the button. Whether they get an email, an offer, an ebook, a free trial, or something entirely different is up to you, but you have to tell them. It gives the customer a sense of safety and makes you seem like a stand-up guy (or girl).

Tip 5: That little extra

This next little piece of advice isn’t a must, but it’s a fantastic idea—even if we do say so ourselves. All experience tells us, that whenever you give the customer something in return for their email addresses, you are more likely to grow your email list more quickly and efficiently. This tip is also a massive part of answering the question that asks, “What’s in it for me?”

If you ask them for their details and offer them a chance to win a gift certificate, then they have a compelling reason to enter the competition. They have already shown an interest in your product or your service just by entering your site, so they would probably be interested in winning a gift certificate.


Another more expensive option that will definitely increase the amount of sign-ups you get is to give them something for free. Examples of this would include CTAs that say, “Sign up and get a free catalogue,” or maybe something that says, “Join here and receive free nail varnish.”

This can be twisted and turned in any way you would like. You can decide the product or service they get for free, and you can also offer them a discount or voucher; the choice is yours. Therefore, you should always remember that when you give something away, the amount of sign-ups will increase dramatically.

Tip 6: Flash those numbers

Let’s go back to the AIDA model. You have attracted the visitor with your pop-up and awakened their interest with a nicely designed box, but more importantly, you have done this with a CTA that tells them what to do, when they should perform this action, and why they should do it. The letter D stands for “desire.” You have to make the customer want to enter or sign up. A great way of doing that is by adding numbers (not just random numbers, of course). By making it absolutely clear what they will gain from clicking, you are much closer to conversion.


Let’s look at a few examples:
“Sign up today and get a voucher,” is a statement that sounds nice but is not entirely convincing.

Now how about this one:
“Sign up today and save $20 on your next buy.”
Simply by adding the amount the customer will save, you increase the chances of them converting.

Other examples would include messages like these:
“Enter the competition and win” or “Enter the competition and win $200.”

The numbers can work for you even if you don’t want to give anything away for free.
Numbers can add to a sense of safety like this example:
Join our member’s club like 5,893 other people have done.” This causes the customer to think that if a lot of people have already done this, then why shouldn’t they do it as well

Numbers can also make it absolutely clear to the visitor that the signup process only requires a small portion of their time:
“Join our premium club! It only takes 28 seconds!”

Case closed. Numbers rock.

Tip 7: Be personal

All of the examples above are written in a fairly formal language. That has been a very active decision because we do not wish to offend anyone, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. It can be hugely beneficial if you know who you are talking to and deliberately tailor your message to this target group. That means you can adjust your language specifically for the receiver, and this gives you a much bigger chance of catching their attention and getting them to do exactly what you want them to.

But be careful, because if you aren’t certain about what tone of voice your CTA should have, then stay safe. You could offend your visitors or come across as being unprofessional.

Keeping this in mind, here’s an example of a more “fresh” CTA:
“Become a champion and join our premium club now.”

The sky’s the limit on this one. Go ahead and get carried away testing all sorts of interesting, different, and creative messages that say, “Take me there!” or “Show me the goodies!” or “Yes, I want the free stuff!” Your creativity is your only hindrance.

We know that if you carefully analyse who you’re talking to and adjust the tone of your voice, it will benefit you and the size of your email list in a very positive way. People love to see something refreshing that they haven’t seen before, and your creative CTA will leave a fantastic impression on the visitor.

In conclusion

Finally, the last step in the AIDA model is represented by the letter A, and this stands for “action.” Having followed all of these tips, you can almost be certain that your visitor will take action and convert. So now it’s up to you; follow the easy tips, be creative, and start converting like never before!

In addition, if you have any fantastic CTA hacks that weren’t on the list, then please let us know. We would love to hear them!

Emil Kristensen
Emil is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote. When he’s not busy with writing awesome content and building the Sleeknote brand, he spends his time reading and watching vlogs on YouTube (big fan Gary V). Fun fact: between the co-founders he is the fencing champ.

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  1. So much awesome advice here, Emil. Thanks for a great and funny post.

    The most difficult part of writing a good call-to-action for me is to flash the numbers – is there any way to avoid that and still convert your visitors?

  2. Hi Emil. Great post! I think splittesting should be on the list – to make sure you are improving, when you try out different things to optimize your CTA.

  3. Good tips but a little hard to read with all these animated gifs looping around. What happened to static pictures?

  4. This is a truly awesome piece of content and I just like the manner you have tackled a number of the subject areas that interest me by far the most. I’ll unuqestionably be coming back again to your blog for even more enlightening commentary on Do CPNs work? Are CPNs Legal? thank mike for the posting.


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