Call-to-action is one of the main elements in the design and publication of landing pages and email marketing.
It has to be tempting, inviting, and clear, otherwise it just won’t work.
CTA is one of the most important elements of email marketing and of the landing page you’re creating in order to convert leads. A minor change in the wording or the design can sometimes raise the number of clicks drastically and rake in tons of leads. When Google, for example, switched the background color of their call-to-action to blue a few years ago, the number of clicks on their call-to-action shot up by 50.5%!
Whether it’s a sign-up form in a newsletter, on a landing page, a click to purchase or for additional info, the CTA is what makes a campaign succeed. The CTA is also a significant factor in the user experience – a good call-to-action makes it clear to the user exactly what happens when they act on it.
How to create an attractive CTA that no one can resist:
The power of the word
A CTA has to answer one or more of the following questions: What the recipient has to do, where the link will take them, or why it’s worth their while to click on the link. A well-worded CTA answers all three questions in only one word or in a very few words.
When it comes to CTA buttons, there’s no one perfect wording that will appeal to all the recipients. You should try out different CTA’s and see which wording best suits the target audience you’re aiming for. If you’re designing your CTA as part of a newsletter design, you can carry out AB testing solely on the call-to-action button and see which one leads to the most clicks.
In writing the text for the call to action button, there are a few elements you should take into consideration:
The use of questions/nouns/verbs
Sometimes it’s better not to ask too many questions and to focus on the outcome. The use of a question may be tempting, but CTA’s that are too ambiguous or “too commercial” may be a turn-off for some users.
The wording of the CTA depends on your platform and don’t forget that you write most of your text outside the CTA. Whether it’s a landing page, a pop-up sign up form, or a CTA within a newsletter, you write most of your text outside the button itself, in the heading or the text block, with the button being the “deal closer”.
The CTA in the MixCloud newsletter (a music listening platform) is simple and good: “Play All”
How many words are there in your CTA? calls-to-action tend to be short, and the users expect that. If your CTA is too long, it may very well detract from its effectiveness.
“Get an offer”, “Purchase”, and “Sign up” are precise, clear, and short CTA’s and they usually do the job.
Design and placement – the right user experience
The placement of the CTA is critical and it leaves you a wide berth for experimenting. Is your CTA positioned at the head of the campaign? On the side? How is it related to other elements on the page? In order to determine the optimal placement, you need to take three basic elements into consideration:
The CTA’s placement relative to the rest of the campaign
Ask yourself how much white space you should leave between the CTA and the text and pictures in the campaign. Does the placement you’ve chosen draw attention to the CTA? Is the CTA the first thing the users encounter when they open the campaign, or do they have to scroll down a little to see it?
Every choice has advantages and disadvantages, and making the right choice depends on many factors. It’s important, of course, for the CTA to be prominent, but it needs to stand out without looking too forced, which might put the users off.
A number of CTA’s
There’s no reason for the CTA to appear only once in the campaign. It may be worthwhile for you to plant a large and clear CTA on the right side, let’s say, but also to supply links to the website as part of the campaign’s texts.
On landing pages longer than one scroll down, for instance, it’s a good idea to include the CTA both at the top of the page and at the bottom.
The area in the campaign
A CTA may appear in a variety of different places. It can appear at the head of the campaign or in the pre-header, in the menus or the footer, within the text or alongside it. One of the things that should be considered is the reading direction.
If you’re writing in Hebrew, people will go over your text from right to left. In cases where the text explains why it’s worthwhile to click on the CTA, it should appear to the left of the text and not on the right.
In a newsletter campaign, it’s a very good idea to link pictures and headers as well, since the users tend to click on them.
Color, size, and shape
The size of the button, its shape, the color you’ve chosen, the font size, and the use of icons – all these can significantly change your conversion rate.
The size of the CTA button affects its dominance within the campaign, and choice of color is also important. Choose a color that’s different than the color of the rest of the campaign, but try to stick to a color that’s connected to your brand.
Take, for instance, the CTA on the home page of Pinterest, which is integrated into the sign-up form. The sign up form is on a colorful background that manages to convey the colorful and multi-hued essence of Pinterest.
The background of the sign up form itself is black and white, while the CTA buttons are in prominent colors – blue and red. Blue is the color of the button for registering via Facebook, with blue also being the Facebook brand color. Red is the color of the button for regular sign-up, with red being the color of the Pinterest brand.
If your CTA is an image or a button, it will probably be more effective than text. That being said, remember that at least some of the recipients won’t see the pictures in the campaign. It’s a good idea to use HTML tables and background colors in order to create an HTML version of the button, which will be visible even if the button isn’t shown. It will never be as attractive as a well-designed button, but at least all the recipients will be able to see it.
A good example of a CTA that includes all the characteristics we’ve spoken of is on the landing page of DropBox:
The sentence “DropBox works the way you do”, which is the page header and the most prominent sentence on it, tempts the users. The direction of reading is from the left, so after the header the next thing that catches our attention is the CTA button that’s colored sky blue, the DropBox brand color.
The button is part of the entire text and appears alongside it as a part of the whole, so that together, the users get the whole picture. Finally, the button uses a short, clear text and provides an important detail – sign up is free!
In addition, the landing page, which is also the DropBox homepage, is a numbers of scrolls long. So at the end of the page there’s another sign-up form with an additional CTA.
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