Looking to grow your email list?
Well, the most effective way to gain new email subscribers is to take advantage of the traffic you’re already generating.
How? By adding an eye-catching subscription form to your website.
In this blog, we’ve talked about creating email popups and collecting email addresses using the Getsitecontrol form builder. But if you’re looking to boost conversion rates significantly, having a great tool isn’t enough.
You’ll need to work on optimizing every part of your signup form, including the call-to-action words on that shiny Sign Up button 👇
And if you’re wondering whether some phrases may incentivize your visitors to sign up more than others, the answer is – definitely.
In this post, we’ve collected 16 examples of high-converting call-to-action words that you can use as inspiration when crafting your own email signup forms.
Let’s get into it.
What is a call-to-action?
A call to action is, as the name implies, a button, link, or text that calls the user to perform a specific action.
In the context of growing your email list, it’s the button that people click to either make a signup form appear, like this:
Or to submit the signup form, like this:
So if you’re wondering:
“Can’t I just write ‘Subscribe’ and be done with it?”
Well, technically, yes.
But imagine how many other businesses will be relying on those basic CTA words.
Nowadays, people’s inboxes are full. So you need to earn those email opt-ins. And while part of earning that opt-in is to come up with a great lead magnet, the other is to come up with powerful language to invite users to take action.
Best practices to write enticing signup call-to-action
Before we go into specific examples of high-converting CTA words, let’s cover the basics.
1. Start with the end goal
Before you think of getting started with your CTA text, you should first figure out the end goal of your sign-up form.
When a new reader subscribes to your list, you’ll send them a variety of emails, each email having the goal of getting your subscriber one step closer to conversion.
Your signup form CTA button is so important because it is the very first step on the way to the final conversion.
So, are you trying to get more people to sign up for a coupon so that they make a purchase? Do you need them to perform a set of actions? Maybe you own an ecommerce store and are looking to increase sales from repeat customers.
Whatever it is, getting people to join your email list is a crucial step of the funnel.
2. Gather a list of power words
The best call-to-action words are some of the shortest copy you’ll ever write.
And if you want to boost conversion rates, you should use the ones that convey specific emotions in your reader. These are also known as power words.
Some examples of power words are:
Notice that all of these words are verbs. They push the reader to commit a specific action. This is how you get your reader to go from reading to acting.
Apart from action-oriented words, there are other types of copy that are good at persuading.
Back in 2012, Copyblogger named the following 5 words as some of the most powerful in the English language:
You’ll see the words from both lists pop up among the best call-to-action word examples below.
3. Think of what’s in it for your subscriber
Power words are great, but they don’t tell the whole story — they should show a benefit for the reader.
For example, let’s say I create a form with a “Subscribe” CTA button. This CTA is self-serving because it focuses on what I’m gaining — a subscriber.
Instead, try to make your CTA phrases benefit-driven. Write them from your reader’s point of view.
Even in the case where the reader does care about you — and often, they don’t — you have better chances of convincing them to sign up if they see a clear benefit from doing so.
For example, look at the CTA for Krave Beauty’s Perfect Match product quiz:
By clicking the button, users acknowledge that they want to see this match. It’s beneficial to them because the product will be a match for their skin type and lifestyle.
4. Leverage action words
Unlike power words, action words are specifically used to make your form dynamic and encourage people to… yes… take action.
Not all power words are action words. But the best action words for CTAs are also power words.
Some examples of action words include:
5. Keep it short and sweet
In some cases, long buttons and CTAs can be effective. But unless it’s absolutely necessary, keep your CTA text short and sweet.
First, you’ll make it easier for visitors to digest the information on your popup or form. Plus, keeping your CTAs short makes it easier to optimize for mobile devices.
Think of how much space a 10-word button takes up on a tiny screen.
Does this mean there’s a limit to how many words your email signup CTA should have? Not necessarily. After all, if you’re testing a fun approach or if you’re using humor or personality, it may be worth it.
Just avoid making long CTA text just for the sake of making it long.
The best call-to-action words — in action
Enough said — let’s take a look at real newsletter sign-up CTA buttons with phrases that capture emails like crazy.
1. Claim my welcome offer
Do you have a welcome offer for any new customers of your online store?
If that’s the case, you can try this very specific call to action like Moment:
What’s great about “Claim My Welcome Offer” is how unique the word ‘claim’ is in ecommerce. Although it’s on the long side, it’s also specific and lets visitors know exactly what they’ll get once they take action.
Plus, because of the use of the word “my”, visitors can already feel like the offer is theirs.
You read that right.
This CTA is 2 characters long.
Courtesy of Holo Taco, this super-short email signup CTA gets the job done. It’s an action word. It emphasizes moving toward something (their email list and fun content). And it stands out from the usual “sign up” or “subscribe” CTAs.
3. Sign me up
“Sign up” is a traditional CTA phrase that gets used quite a bit.
And “sign me up” doesn’t sound that different at first glance. But what it does is switch the point of view to the user’s perspective!
You’re involving them in the action. It’s not just about signing up – It’s about signing ME up.
See the difference?
Mountain Equipment Company uses this on their general opt-in box:
They use the same language on their slide-in forms, too.
4. I’m in!
Looking for something shorter?
This CTA button is for a free email course about growing your blog, brought to you from Breaking the One Percent.
With this CTA button, they’re bringing a positive attitude that feels like a challenge. Are you in? Of course, you’re in — you’re accepting the challenge. You don’t want to be left out, do you?
If you’re running an Ecommerce business, you could use similar language for a rewards program or a live sale event, too.
This is the kind of psychology this combination of words uses to convert more subscribers.
5. Join Now
Here’s another combination of two words that work well: Join Now.
Backcountry uses this in their loyalty program opt-in form:
Not only is this CTA super short… But “Join” makes visitors feel like they’re taking part in something exclusive, and “Now” makes it feel immediate.
Plus, you can use “Join Now” in almost any context – not just loyalty programs. Since people are joining your email list either way, it makes sense in the majority of use cases.
6. Join the movement
TOMS has been using a similar CTA for a while now.
This call to action focuses not just on the benefit of getting 10% off on your order, but on the community and charity aspect of joining their email list.
When you sign up for TOMS, you don’t just join an email list — you’re joining an entire movement. This makes you feel good about yourself, even if you’re not doing much at all, and improves your chances of conversion.
This works particularly well for a business like TOMS who has a strong philanthropic approach throughout their entire marketing.
7. Enter to win
Are you running a giveaway for your business? If that’s the case, take inspiration from Artiplanto and use text such as “Enter to Win” to entice people to sign up:
This catchy signup phrase works because:
- It’s relatively short
- It contains an action word (enter)
- It tells visitors what’s in it for them (the chance to win)
As a bonus, there’s the secondary CTA text at the bottom for those who want to close the popup box.
8. Get it now
This one from Marie Forleo is pretty simple:
The addition of the word ‘now’ creates a sense of urgency for the reader.
It emphasizes the fact that you don’t need to do anything extra or wait any longer to get this freebie. You can get it in your hands now.
9. Make it happen
The second CTA by Marie Forleo, ‘Make it Happen’ stands out as quite unique.
These words transcend the simple act of signing up for an email list. They position this simple action as taking the necessary steps to make ‘it’ happen.
What is ‘it’? It doesn’t really matter. What matters is how the reader feels. And if they can feel like they’ll make something happen by converting as a subscriber, then they’ll do it.
10. Get instant access
Chris Ducker, a business mentor and the founder of Youpreneur.com, positions his email list as a privilege by using the words “Get instant access”.
Let’s break down the use of these 3 words to see why this is so effective:
This is an action-oriented word that makes the reader feel good. You’re not just signing up to a list — you’re getting something for yourself.
With the plethora of free information available out there on the web, readers don’t want to go through a multi-step process to reach your freebies. Instant gratification works wonders.
This word suggests a form of gatekeeping. It feels like you have been granted access to something special.
So when you click on this button, you instantly get gratified by gaining access to something valuable — or, at least, something that has perceived value thanks to the way this CTA is positioned.
11. Become a conversion master
What better way to convince your reader to click on a button than to give them a promise of mastery?
The first word from ConversionXL’s brilliant CTA button is “Become”, which is a powerful verb. It tells the reader that they have a chance to ascend to something beyond what they already are.
And what can they become, exactly?
A conversion master.
ConversionXL could have made their CTA button simple by writing “Get the Guide”. But instead, they used copy that creates expectations for the future subscribers.
When you click on this button, you feel like you’re already halfway to your goal of becoming a conversion master — even if all you’re doing is getting a guide and joining an email list.
If there’s one thing you can learn from this example, it’s that CTA words can convey an entire transformation — not just an action.
12. Yes! I want in >>
Whether you’ve got a loyalty program, a free training, a private community, or anything else that your audience may want into, you can leverage the phrase:
“Yes! I want in!”
Elna Cain does this with her Blog Traffic Planner:
There’s quite a bit to break down here.
First off, we’re seeing an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ But on top of that, the ‘I want in’ phrase suggests exclusivity. It feels like Elna is doing you a favor, and not the other way around when you click on that button.
The last little detail is the use of the ‘>>’ symbols at the end. It adds a bit of a dynamic feel to an otherwise static form and gives a sense of direction.
Elna has grown several blogs and email lists over the past few years, so you should definitely use her CTA buttons as inspiration.
13. Send it to me!
Also by the team behind Breaking the One Percent, this is their main call to action available at the moment in most of their blog posts.
Notice that it’s for the same freebie as the previous example:
‘Send it to me!’ makes one thing clear to readers — you’re not doing any of the work. Instead, this phrase makes it seem like they are doing the work for you.
You can sit back and relax as you wait for their team to ‘send’ you the freebie.
Once again, this can apply to almost any type of lead magnet, including coupon codes, holiday gift guides, and more.
14. Grab your freebies now!
Ivory Mix offers free stock photos and updates via an email list. Upon signup, you are offered your first set of freebies:
This copy works well because it entails ownership of the freebie she’s giving out.
The freebie belongs to you. You can grab ‘your’ freebies just by clicking the button.
Not just that, but the use of the word ‘grab’ feels much more action-oriented than ‘get’, for instance. And with the addition of the word ‘now’, it adds a bit of urgency.
15. YES, tell me more about the guide
iDalko creates applications for the Atlassian suite of software. In this example, they’re giving away a guide to Jira, a popular project management tool.
But that’s not all. Notice that they have not 1, but 2 CTA buttons.
This is a persuasive trick that convinces the reader that they need this guide. If you don’t want it, you must click ‘No thanks, I’m already a Jira expert’ before you can say no.
As a reader, you may start questioning yourself — are you a complete expert, though? Maybe you could use some help.
Maybe you could use this guide.
16. Reserve my seat
In this example, Amy Porterfield uses a popular technique:
What she does here is to position the ownership of the webinar seat to the reader, similar to what Kevin Kreider does with the ‘Get My Copy’ phrase.
This is done by adding ‘my’ to the CTA.
This phrasing makes the reader feel entitled to hopping on this free masterclass webinar. But they won’t magically have a seat available — they must reserve it first.
The word ‘reserve’ gives a sense of urgency — other people want a spot in this webinar, too. If you want in, you must reserve your seat before it’s too late.
Best call to action words — get to crafting yours!
There you have it — these are some of the best call-to-action words out there to use as inspiration when crafting your next email opt-in form.
Of course, you shouldn’t directly copy other CTAs — instead, take these examples as lessons of what works well in a given situation and for a given niche, and adapt this lesson to your own audience.
Ideally, you should consider A/B testing a few combinations of call to action words to see which one brings you the most conversions.
Getsitecontrol allows you to easily launch several versions of the same signup form so you can take them out in the field and quickly identify the winner. Sign up for free to launch your popups and create awesome CTAs today!
Charlene Boutin is a freelance content writer & email marketing strategist for hire specializing in helping Ecommerce and SaaS businesses increase conversions by growing authentic relationships with their audience. She loves helping business owners tell their unique stories to capture the hearts of more customers.
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