If your landing pages don’t contain a strong Call to Action (CTA), you are missing a conversion opportunity with every viewer. Crucial to inbound marketing, effective CTAs have the potential to change readers into viable leads and increase your bottom line.
A CTA is a prompt on a webpage or email that tells the viewer to take a specific action. Vizion Interactive refers to it as the transition between looking and buying. The CTA is the final hook to encourage movement to the next step in the customer/client funnel. Customers expect them; customers want them. In this case, predictability is a positive thing. A call to action is not always about making a sale but is always about persuading the reader to DO something. “Refer a Friend,” and “Apply Here,” are examples of CTAs that stand as tipping points between bounce and conversion and provide a better chance of closing the deal. By offering compelling CTAs in multiple locations on your website, you take advantage of opportunities to motivate your audience to take a step towards becoming a customer or client. Many experts agree on the basic elements of effective CTAs: placement, design, copy, and timing.
Placement & Design
A location above the fold is recommended to counteract viewers who are reluctant to scroll although ConvertVerve found that below the fold near strong supporting information is also effective. While too many CTAs on a page may be counterproductive, at least one on each landing page, without redundancy, reduces the mental effort required from the viewer to continue through your website. A colorful CTA that contrasts with the background color stands out well and the use of negative space around the button further emphasizes the CTA. Whether you use a banner, button or graphic CTA, Articulate Marketing suggests a clickable shape to help make the next step crystal clear to the viewer.
A clear and compelling message telling the reader what to do next is important. Entrepreneur recommends asking yourself two questions: What do you want the reader to do? Why do you want them to do it? The CTA should also communicate value the customers. They should understand the clear benefit of clicking to the next step.
Strong, command verbs that provoke enthusiasm or emotion work best, paired with a sense of urgency.
Be specific, not generic:
WHEN you ask someone to take a specific action is as important as your verbiage. If a prospective college student is looking at the “About Us” page, a visit or apply CTA make sense. A CTA asking the viewer who has yet to be accepted to fill out a housing application doesn’t. Boagworld recommends taking advantage of FOMO (fear of missing out) but, at the same time, the call to action needs to match the stage of the buyer process.
What to Avoid
· Rotating slider of options without clear calls to action
· Redundancy, whether actual or perceived Example: “Request a Demo” AND “See it in Action”
· An overwhelming number of CTAs on the same page (this is not only confusing to the reader, but it also hampers your ability to meaningfully analyze the performance of the CTAs)
· CTAs that blend into the background
· Language that is passive or vague Example: “Continue” Continue where? For what? Why?
· CTAs that don’t convey value to the customer
CTAs also provide your business with valuable metrics. You can test the effectiveness of a CTA by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times the CTA page was seen – another reason to limit the number of CTAs on a page. You can also compare effectiveness of different styles and messages to see what works best with your viewers at various places in the customer/client funnel.
Without a firm idea of what to do next, a potential client might skim through your webpage then wander on to the next. The right CTA at the right time is an invitation to seal the deal and create a loyal customer. CTAs are the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae: tell the reader why your product or service is necessary, explain how your company offers the best quality, then inspire the viewer to click the button that is the next step to meeting their goals.
Need help with CTAs or overall messaging and user experience strategy. Contact us today to see how we can help engage your customer and guide them towards the intended result.