Create call to action buttons online, shorten links for social shares

Call to action buttons, CTAs, are great for encouraging people to take action on your website or blog, social media and other places. Use this online tool to shorten links and create CTAs.

A call-to-action button is designed to get people to take some form of action and it is widely used on the web. Sometimes it is used to get people to buy something, but not always. It can be used to encourage people to sign up for an email newsletter, join a membership site, club or Facebook group. It might encourage people to lose weight, get fit, use a free service or app. It is not always about selling stuff.

If you have a website or blog, if you share links on social media websites and apps, you should be using CTAs.

Common call to action words

  • Try
  • Buy
  • Subscribe
  • Join
  • Start
  • See how
  • Click here
  • Download

There are many more CTA words and phrases and there is a good article by AdExpresso, 15 Call to Action Examples that looks in detail at them.

A call to action is usually placed where it will catch people’s attention. For example, when you visit a website you often see a popup message asking you to subscribe to the site’s newsletter, or you may see a popup with a time-limited offer and so on.

Web popups are irritating, but they are the best way to grab people’s attention and they do work better than burying something in the text of a web page. If you need to tell people something important or get them to perform some action, a popup is best.

I wrote about popup creators in Create popups for WordPress sites for offers, newsletters. There I looked at the Popup Builder plugin for WordPress and I have also used the Icegram WordPress plugin on sites.

Those plugins are good at what they do, but they are limited to showing CTAs for your own website or blog. What if you could create popup CTAs that appear on other sites on the web. Imagine sharing a link to a great article on a popular website via social media and when people visit it, they see a CTA for your product, service, website or whatever. That is what Sniply does.

Sniply does two things and it is a URL shortener so you don’t have to paste long and ugly URLs into social media posts. It enables you create a CTA that appears on your own website or anyone else’s. You can share links on social media, via email or messaging apps, and when people visit the site, yours or someone else’s, they see your CTA.

Example call to action with Sniply
An example CTA in Sniply

Look in the bottom left corner of the screenshot above. When people visit the Apple page on Wikipedia by clicking my link, which I can share anywhere, up pops a CTA telling people to see Apple Mac articles on my site. This isn’t all Sniply does and there is more.

Let’s see how Sniply works. I use a free basic account for this. It has some limitations, but these are mostly in the color and popup position choices. It is otherwise fully functioning.

1 The Sniply dashboard

The Sniply dashboard
The Sniply dashboard

Sign up for free and log in. The dashboard is displayed and this shows information about the snips you have created, clicks and conversions. It is business oriented, but you can use it on a personal blog too.

At the tip it prompts you to enter a URL and create a snip. The URL could be a link to something you want to share on social media. It can be a link to your own website or any other website.

2 Create a brand in Sniply

Create a brand in Sniply
Create a brand in Sniply

The first task after joining Sniply is to create a brand. Look for the message when you first log in. You can create brands at any time by expanding Mange in the sidebar and selecting Brand Profiles.

Business users might want to create several brands for the products and services that they sell, but a solo blogger could simply add their blog logo or a photo of themself and link back to their home page. That’s me, my site name and the site URL.

3 Create a call to action link

Creating a CTA with Sniply
Create a CTA in Sniply

Enter a URL into the box at the top of the dashboard and click Create Snip. It can be your site or another one.

The first task is to select a brand and a business may have several. I just have one and clicking my picture selects it.

4 Select the Sniply type

Creating a CTA using Sniply
Select a Sniply type

In this step, you can choose the type of Sniply and free users have a choice of Button or Text link. Subscribers can use forms or images. As the mouse hovers over each one, a preview appears at the bottom of the page so you can see what it will look like.

Click the Sniply type you want. I will select the Button type.

5 Customize the call to action

Create a CTA using Sniply
Customize the call-to-action message and link

We now create the CTA, replacing the default text and link. Enter a short message. This is your call to action and should tell people to do something. There is a button or link that people can click. Here I am creating a button.

6 Customize the design

Create a CTA link using Sniply
Customize the Sniply CTA

There are four themes for the CTA and when each one is selected, a preview is shown at the bottom of the page.

Sniply call to action creator
A Sniply CTA
A Sniply call to action
A Sniply CTA

Select each theme in turn and see which one you like the most.

7 Copy the CTA link

A Sniply call to action link
A Sniply call to action link

That’s it and the CTA link is shown so you can copy it and paste it wherever you want, like social media, emails, and so on. The link is short and simple. It is added to the dashboard and you can view your Sniply links, edit them and change them.

Extra features in Sniply

Sniply is great for sharing links to other websites, like the Wikipedia example I showed at the start. You can also create links to news stories, information articles and much more. When people click your link in a social media post, they see a CTA sending people back to your website.

You see the destination website, but the URL always begins… and it stays there, even when you click around the site. For example, When your CTA is clicked, it takes people to your site with your site’s URL. This is OK if it is someone else’s site you are linking to, like Wikipedia, but you don’t want it on your own site.

A CTA to be displayed on your own site needs a tiny bit of code in the footer of your website or blog. It changes the URL from https://sniply/… to your own site’s URL. Go to Integrations > Embed on Website in the Sniply sidebar to get the code and use a plugin like Headers and Footers to insert it into your site.

There are extra features when you do this and you can automatically add a CTA to every external link. So when people click a link to visit another website, you can include a CTA saying Come Back! or make them some sort of special offer or something similar.

You can also automatically show a CTA to incoming visitors, like Sign Up For My Email Newsletter or whatever message you want to show visitors.

A plugin that enables you to create popups, like Icegram, is better than Sniply for your own website. However, Sniply lets you share links to other sites and have your CTA pop up on their site. This is very useful.

Most features are free, but not color customization. That requires a subscription. Free CTAs are white and since most web pages are white, they don’t stand out very well. Color is needed to make them more visible.

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