What makes a call to action effective?

A call to action is something that we have all encountered when browsing the web – it’s the message on a button or link that incites you to take action.

Whether it’s to sign up for a service, download an app, or buy a product, these are all examples of calls to action.

However, a call to action can refer to any action you want to incite.

That could be signing up for a free trial, adding a product to the cart, or even submitting an inquiry about your services.

In a few words, a call to action is what converts leads.

After your visitors have gone through your website, they will find themselves hovering over that CTA.

In the best cases, the work that you have done will be enough to convince people to take action and buy your product or enquire about your services.

Sometimes, a call to action can make or break your website strategy.

If you use confusing CTAs, your leads might not understand whether clicking on them will bring the desired result.

Or if you use too many with the same invasive sales-y language, they might be dissuaded from buying your product.

That’s because one of the main things that make a call to action compelling is its ability to convert leads without being noticed.

CTAs shouldn’t be obvious; they should blend with your content and act as the natural end to it or the first step in your sales funnel or onboarding process.

Here are some things to consider when you’re planning your calls to action:

The design

Good design can be powerful, even when it comes to simple buttons.

The size and colour of your call to action can influence whether someone will click on it.

It must be big enough to be noticeable without taking over your content.

You want people’s eyes caught by the button without feeling too forceful.

Plus, your buttons must match your brand’s visual identity to keep your online branding consistent.

So avoid using colours that might clash with your design or blend in so much that they don’t stand out.

To give you an idea of how much the design of a button matters, HubSpot did an A/B test on a green button and a red button.

The colour red is often associated with excitement and is famously eye-catching, and ended up increasing conversion by 21% over the green.

The wording

When choosing the words for your CTAs, it’s important to use action verbs and keep things simple. Your potential leads should be able to tell what will happen once they click the button instantly.

Otherwise, you miss the chance to convert leads and could even encourage them to exit your site.

Avoid using confusing language or more than 2 to 3 words.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your calls to action, don’t sacrifice usability in favour of an original CTA.

The location

Last, you need to consider where to place your call to action. When you’re working on your website strategy and writing the content for your site, think of when a CTA should be located.

This isn’t an exact science, and different professionals have argued what works best.

You can choose to place your call to action as part of your user’s journey, ensuring that it fits with your copy.

Or you can try and predict when the user might be tempted to take action by placing your CTAs as part of your design and in different locations at once.

Ultimately, you can try different approaches, test them, and then stick with what seems to bring the best results.

How to create a compelling call to action

Personalize your CTAs

In a study where 330.000 calls to action were tested, the ones that converted the most leads were the personalized CTAs with a staggering 202% better conversion than generic ones.

As such, studying your target audience and creating different CTAs for every segment would be good practice.

Plus, this goes well together with your online branding strategy.

Justify your offer

Your call to action should follow a body of text that reinforces why people should find out more, buy what you offer, or sign up for your platform.

Before trying to convince people to click on your buttons, highlight the benefits of your product or service – this should be part of your website strategy.

You don’t have to do this for every section that includes a CTA, but it would be good to have your buttons come after you either reinstate the quality of your offer or its benefits.

Avoid a cluttered design

What you do with the space around your calls to action matters much as what you do with your CTAs.

In a conversion test by Open Mile, they found out that reducing clutter around their buttons increased conversion by 232%.

Keep this in mind when you decide to add photos, graphics, and walls of text around your buttons.

Sometimes, simplicity is critical to getting the results you want, even from the point of view of your online branding!

Ask the experts

CTAs can be a tricky business.

Finding the right ones often involves a lot of trial and error and constant testing.

What was once working might now need a spruce up to continue to deliver results, if not improve at that too.

This can be a tedious task with no guarantee of success if you’re unsure what you are doing.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to get the help of a marketing company.

They can help you by testing different calls to action and monitoring what works and what doesn’t base on your analytics.

Then, they can use those insights to optimize your marketing copy and how you convert leads.

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