When prospective customers read your web content, newsletter, or email, it’s important to give them a clear and prominent way to take the next step in your sales cycle. That’s where a great call-to-action (CTA) phrase comes in. In marketing, a CTA is the phrase that invites the audience to take a desired action. A CTA is usually a hyperlinked button in a stand out color and size, a header, or a photo so that newsletter readers or visitors to your website can easily click through to your service once they’re interested.
Common examples include “Buy now,” or “Click here!” These simple CTAs can be useful, but as an online course entrepreneur, you’ll probably want to write CTAs that are more creative and unique to your business.
Using strong call-to-action phrases in an online course is the best way to attract new learners.
What’s the point of call-to-action phrases in an online course?
Before writing your call-to-action phrase, review why they are important and best practices for writing them:
Why are CTAs so important?
Call-to-action buttons encourage your audience to take actions that will encourage sharing of your content and boost sales. Without a good CTA, anyone viewing your newsletter, email, or website has to search for the next step and make decisions on their own, and they are less likely to be persuaded to check out what your course offers.
That’s why choosing a well-worded CTA is a key step toward generating traffic for your online course business. Anything you can do to create a frictionless, stress-free experience for your potential customer brings you one step closer to making another sale.
Choose the right wording
By utilizing simple and actionable words, a well-crafted CTA will catch the audience’s eye and allow them to process their decision quickly. Words are powerful, and the right ones can perfectly promote your business.
Some characteristics of effective call-to-action phrases in an online course are:
They are brief (brevity is the soul of wit!);
They focus on benefits that are clear and specific;
They may suggest urgency to motivate immediate action;
They lead directly to the promised result with one click;
They use first-person pronouns (“Start my free trial”) because studies suggest first-person pronouns will trigger more sales than second-person pronouns (“Start your free trial”) will.
Call-to-action phrases in an online course
Let’s look at 50 examples of call-to-action phrases you can use to attract learners:
Let’s face it: people like free stuff. Some of the best call-to-action phrases entice your audience because they will like the potential to get a great deal. Money-saving CTAs like these are perfect if you want to pitch a sample service, offer zero-cost signup, or provide another free feature you’d like to advertise to your audience.
1. Try it free today
2. Download a free trial
3. View free offer
4. Get my free demo
5. Start my free trial
6. Book a free consultation
7. Get my free report
8. Sign up for free
9. Send my free sample
10. Browse today’s sales
Notice that these invitations make it seem like the next step is risk-free and easy to take. That’s because you want your learners to feel like they’re freely exploring an appealing prospect instead of making a difficult decision or being pushed to make a big commitment.
Also, be sure that you’re informed of current best practices on how to bypass the toughest spam filters so that your marketing messages won’t be filtered somewhere that your potential customers will never see.
Course description CTAs
These call-to-action phrases describe the quality of your online course itself and can be combined with your hyperlinked CTA. They’ll draw a reader in and get them interested enough to click through to the next step.
11. The ultimate guide to …
12. Start learning today
13. Earn my degree
14. Find the right course for you
15. Transform how you …
16. The only course you’ll ever need
17. Always wanted to master …?
18. The ultimate workshop
19. The perfect course for …
10. Browse my extensive catalog
You can also ask a question and use a hyperlinked call-to-action as the answer. For example, “Want to learn everything there is to know about …?” can lead to a prominent CTA button: Yes! Copy experts say that the best, most effective questions are those that have absurdly obvious answers.
A newsletter is a great way to keep learners up to date with your current course offers. Newsletters are also a perfect place to share something with your audience that is more personalized than the content you might choose to publish on a public website. This can help subscribers feel like they are part of a special subgroup and encourage further engagement. Each email newsletter should include direct links to your website or signup page.
22. See course schedule
23. Watch … now
24. Join today
25. Get updates on …
26. Check out the course here
27. Take action
28. See how …
29. Receive the latest news
30. For more details, visit …
Perfect for knowledge seekers, these call-to-action phrases highlight the classroom aspect of virtual learning. It’s important to know your audience, and these choices may be the best fit for courses with any academic focus reminiscent of school:
31. Start learning
32. Try out the course
33. Pick my learning path
34. Enroll today
35. Save my seat
36. Learn more
37. Get my name on the roster
39. Choose your learning speed
40. Register now
Some course creators will want more general ideas to start off with. These phrases, while less specific, can still be highly effective. Some highlight a sense of urgency, to encourage potential learners to try out your service while it’s easy and available.
41. Try it now
42. Download a sample
43. See pricing
44. Click here to get started
45. Save my place
46. See more
47. Get my …
48. I want in!
49. Contact …
50. Take a tour
Call-to-action phrases in an online course: What’s next?
Display your CTA in a very prominent place that readers can’t miss. Remember that a call-to-action is a bridge into the next step of the audience’s learning experience, and they can’t walk that bridge if they don’t find it first.
When you are choosing a font for your CTA, it is usually best to use bright colors and large text. But if you really want to turn your CTA choices into a science, there are marketing experts who do studies about which typography is most likely to capture attention, resonate emotionally with your readers, and align with your brand message.
After you choose the right call-to-action phrases for your course, run LMS analytics to measure what does and doesn’t work. This assessment can tell you which CTA phrases are best suited for your specific audience and will get the best results. Consider using A/B, or “split,” testing to compare the performance of the different CTAs you try.
Once you figure out what needs tweaking, you can always come back to this list and adjust your wording choice. There are plenty of great options to choose from!
Finally, remember that selling your online course is the start of a relationship, and trust is important to maintain that. So be sure to pick a CTA that stays true to the spirit and content of your course material. If you exceed your learners’ expectations, they will not only love your current course but also be eager to buy your next one!