The fear of rejection coupled with a misplaced sense of humility can sabotage marketing messaging in a heartbeat. While it takes courage to start and run your own business, some entrepreneurs falter when it comes to asking people for something.
The entire point of marketing is to generate a response from the reader or viewer. To encourage as many responses as possible your messaging needs a strong subject line or title, rock solid offer to keep people engaged, and a clear call to action to convince them to click and start moving down the conversion funnel.
What is a call to action (CTA)?
A CTA is a button or link that prompts readers to take the basic action of clicking on the button or link. The CTA shows readers exactly where to click and, usually, tells them what they will get in return for taking that action.
What different types of CTAs are there?
Do Something NOW
This type of CTA asks the readers to take a specific action and usually includes a button for them to click. You’ve probably seen examples that say WATCH NOW, DOWNLOAD NOW, or BUY NOW. Slightly less obvious Do Something CTAs might say ADD TO CART or FOLLOW ME.
An implicit call to action is one that mentions something and then links to a relevant landing page. Implicit CTAs are often found in the middle of other text and are not as flashy and demanding as other CTAs. For example, you might be reading a blog about website design and within a paragraph, you see text that says, “We published a blog specifically about parallax scrolling last June,” and the text is blue and underlined, indicating it is a link and will take you to the blog. An implicit CTA is simply a gentle reminder of an opportunity.
Persuasive CTAs are the ones that mention a deadline or have other time-sensitive language and put some pressure on the reader to take the desired action. A persuasive CTA often refers to a common pain point of the audience being targeted by the marketing piece. “Don’t get left behind,” or “Your Cat Could be in Pain – Find Out More Here,” are examples of CTAs that are more aggressively working to convince readers to click the button.
This type of CTA works by not only communicating to the reader what he or she will gain from taking the desired action but also how it will personally benefit the reader. Usually, there is build-up text prior to the CTA button like, “We can help you get more from your social media marketing budget,” followed by a button that says, “Find Out How!”
Tips for Writing CTA Text
Use action-oriented words
Include convincing, actionable verbiage to draw readers in. Use something more compelling than “submit” or “click here” without getting too verbose. Include verbs like download, read, try, or reserve to grab readers’ attention.
Make the text on your buttons large and easy to read
There is a fine line to be walked here between easy to read and obnoxiously large lettering. A font with sharp lines at a 14pt will be easier to read than a curvy font at 30pt. Use your best judgment.
Keep the message short – this will also help you size up the font as much as possible. Two to three words are ideal. Consider including other verbiage before or after the button if you think it is absolutely essential and relevant.
Use the first-person point of view
A study done by Unbounce found that changing CTA button text from the second person to the first person yielded a 90% increase in the click-through rate. Not all industries may find this to be true but it is certainly worth a little A/B testing to see if you get better results from “Download my free poster” than you do from “Download your free poster.”
Create a sense of urgency
CTAs that include a sense of urgency tend to have high click-through rates. Whether you simply add “NOW” to your text or if you include something like “Only 7 free shirts left!” you can take play into consumers fear of missing out (FOMO) and increase the number of micro conversions.
CTA Design Tips
Use bright colors that are eye-catching and contrasting to content around them but don’t distract from the messaging. Brand colors are an excellent choice if you have one that you can dedicate exclusively to your CTAs. If your readers know that a mustard colored rectangle will always mean, “click here to get further into whatever we are talking about,” they’ll be able to more quickly and efficiently navigate your website, email communications, and social media posts. A/B testing colors is always a good idea.
Use white space around your CTA buttons to help them stand out more. The extra white space creates a visual break in content and focuses the reader’s attention on that CTA button. The extra white space is also helpful for readers who may be using a mobile device and are clicking buttons with a wide finger instead of a little mouse arrow.
Original advice would be to keep your CTAs above the fold. Many consumers use their mobile phones and have gotten used to the idea of scrolling – much more so than when online marketing first came about. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a CTA above where the fold would be on a laptop, and another a bit down the page, and another, and another…
Ideally, your marketing messages will have a number of engaging items on the web page, in the email, or as part of a social media post. The key is to make sure that none of the other content distracts from the main CTA button. The button that encourages the conversion goal should be the biggest and brightest. White space separation from other, secondary CTAs is also helpful.
Follow natural reading patterns
Most people read from top to bottom and from left to right. CTA buttons that are placed to the right or towards the bottom of the content tend to perform better than buttons placed on other areas of the page. It also makes the most sense to offer an opportunity to take action after reading related content rather than before.
Test All CTA Buttons
And test them in multiple ways. First and foremost, make sure they work and take the user to the landing page, form, etc. that they are hoping to find. Secondly, use A/B testing to better understand the performance of color, placement, button style, text style, and so on. Test any and all features that might impact the personal preferences of your target audience.
P.S. Test all of your links, too!
Without a firm idea of what to do next, a potential client might skim through your webpage then wander on to the next. CTAs tell readers 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. The right CTA at the right time is an invitation to seal the deal and create a loyal customer.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have extensive experience in the development and creation of engaging websites and other marketing for organizations of all sizes and across a number of industries. We understand the important role that CTAs play in your conversion rates and would love to learn more about your business so we can help you maximize your revenue potential. Contact us today – let’s get started!