Calls To Action: Why You Don’t Always Want To “Learn More”

By: Emily Whitworth

In a business where “content is king,” it’s easy to dismiss the basics.

Flashy websites, interactive ads and tongue-in-cheek memes all have their place. But without an effective call to action (CTA), all of that “content” won’t get you conversions.

At PLUS, we understand the importance of compelling copy that moves your target audiences to action. There are CTAs that work – and those that don’t – and we take them seriously to ensure both our organic and paid content is as effective as possible.

Organic Content and CTAs

Calls to action are our one shot to turn a target audience into an advocate, a prospect into a donor, or a lead into a customer. We must connect with users to draw them into our way of thinking – and by doing that, convert them into advocates for our clients’ goals.

For organic, non-paid digital content, CTAs must clearly guide users to action without the benefit of having a targeted audience scope.

The heart of a good CTA is simple:

  • it has to be clear and concise;
  • it has to have a unique value proposition.

With these rules in mind, it can be tempting to find a CTA that works and use it for every post or paid ad. Two particularly easy traps for copywriters are “Learn More” and “Submit.” While suitable in certain contexts, these CTAs become substitutes for creative ways to activate viewers and drive engagement.

To avoid burning out users and motivate them to join our cause, PLUS utilizes alternatives that work by compelling an action that will add value to their lives instead of consuming what little energy they have.

Take this (fictionalized) client, whose goal is to garner email signups:

This CTA has no value proposition, and while the ask is clear, the copy needs to compel a user to click and follow through.

This post has all of the elements of a good CTA: a value proposition (knowing more about upcoming events) and a clear, concise ask (joining the community).

Digital Advertising and CTAs

Paid content puts an even greater emphasis on strong CTAs to generate conversions at the lowest cost. Anything less than a strong value proposition directly affects our clients’ bottom line.

Advanced targeting capabilities allow advertisers to reach an exact audience with custom CTAs, giving us an opportunity to further encourage users to convert to our cause.

Additionally, platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow advertisers to place CTA buttons directly on their paid content to supplement strong CTAs in the post copy.

The Paid CTA Test

As part of our efforts to maximize the effectiveness of our lead acquisition ads, PLUS tested three different CTAs in our digital advertising for one client:

  • A standard petition ask (i.e. “Sign the petition → ”)
  • A poll (i.e. “Which do you prefer?”)
  • A moral question (i.e. “Should [opposition] continue to [do negative things]?”

Time and time again, our team has identified that choosing moral CTAs that pull at audiences’ sense of right and wrong is the key to driving campaign conversions, whether they be email signers or social followers, at the lowest possible cost.


Calls to action play integral roles in turning casual viewers and targeted audiences into advocates. From organic content to paid advertising, a compelling CTA is key in engaging and activating users to support your overall campaign goals.

Contact us today to see how our calls to action can help your cause succeed.


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