While most of us are reluctant to give our email address away out of fear of receiving spam, we will if the offer holds a strong enough perceived value. Just think about how many times you have downloaded or signed up for something online. The offer hits us right in the sweet spot. Most of those sign-ups are likely a result of a great call-to-action (CTA). Here are some interesting stats to help you create your own CTAs:

  • Less is best! Emails that contain a single CTA showed a 300% increase in the number of clicks and sales increased over 1600%!
  • Connect your headline message with your CTA! More than 90% of users who read the headline also read the CTA copy.
  • Use a button! Adding a call-to-action button to your Facebook page increases the CTR by over 280%.

CTAs are one of the most important elements on your website. Even if you have an attractive design and compelling content, if the CTA is difficult to understand or find, your conversion rates will be low.

A CTA can be a button, image, or link that aims to make your users take a certain action. For instance, depending on your goal, you can place a CTA at the end of your articles to invite readers to check out other articles on your blog, ask them to sign up for a Newsletter, add an item to their shopping cart, download a free e-book, etc.

The purpose of a CTA is usually to convert visitors into leads or sales – to grow your business. Sounds simple yet there are a plethora of options regarding its appearance, location on the page, and message. What will work best? It can be overwhelming. The good news is there are some common principles you can follow in order to create effective CTAs that will boost your conversion rates.

What makes an effective CTA? It’s much more than having pretty colours or design elements. Read on for tips to help you design, place, and write CTAs that actually convert.

The Looks

Make Your CTA a Button

This might seem like a no brainer but make sure your CTAs look like a button or at least something that looks like it should be clicked. CreateDebate found that making CTAs look like buttons boosted their click-through-rate by 45%.

People are habitual creatures so, when we see a button, we feel compelled to click on it. Similarly, if there’s no button where we expect it to be, we get confused. A confused mind will never buy because confusion creates indecision.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get more clicks through CTA buttons:

  • Make them rectangular
  • Use a clear, contrasting colour
  • Add clear space around them

Choose the Right Colour

Believe it or not, there’s a whole science behind the colour of effective CTA buttons. Check out these stats: Red CTAs increased Performable’s conversion rate by more than 20%, whereas orange CTAs increased SAP’s conversion rates by more than 30%.

Something as simple as choosing the ideal colour for your CTA button can make a huge difference in your conversion rates. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Avoid using black, white, and grey
  • Choose a colour that stands out from the background
  • Choose a colour that draws attention

The colour of the CTA button will largely depend on the rest of the elements on your website, the brand colour scheme, as well as the background. It can be a matter of trial an error. Test and measure everything! A quality online marketer will likely have the experience and know-how to find what works best faster than a novice.

Keep It Simple

We all tend to rush online, so make sure you don’t get too complicated in your message or design. If your website visitors can’t quickly grasp what you are offering, they will ignore it. The most effective CTAs are those that have a simple design and simple message. Simple doesn’t necessarily need to be boring. Great design, colours, and killer copy are your tools to make your CTA work. Take your CTA idea and work on it to distil it down to its simplest, easy-to-grasp form.

Does Size Matter?

Bigger is often better but it’s more important how you use it. The bigger the CTA button is, the easier it is to notice and respond. That’s why online marketers often fight with website designers. The marketer wants it bigger because it will likely convert better, whereas the designer wants it smaller because it looks nicer. Good design will get the balance right and make a CTA button that stands out from the rest of the elements on the webpage but still looks great.

When the buttons are too big they can disrupt the whole look of the page and seem unnatural or cheap. They can have the opposite of the desired effect because they don’t stimulate trust in your brand. This rule counts for mobile too. Microsoft recommends the CTAs in mobile UI to be at least 34Х26 pixels, while Apple recommends 44Х44 pixels.

The Message

When it comes to CTAs, the copy is the most important thing. While the design can help draw the eye and get the right kind of attention, the text tells us what is on offer and what we must do. Here is how to write powerful copy that attracts your users’ attention and converts.

Short and Effective

Everything that your website visitors need to know should be explained on your webpage through its content. Now they’re ready to take action. Select your words carefully. Make sure there are as few words as possible, that they’re short and easy to understand.

Use Persuasive Words

A good CTA button tells users what to do next and reminds them of the benefits of taking action. This is achieved with the use of action verbs and persuasive words that encourage people to take the desired action. Here are a few examples:

  • Dominate
  • Easy
  • Free
  • Guaranteed
  • New
  • Proven
  • Reserve
  • Results
  • See
  • Save
  • Try
  • Use
  • You

Call for Immediate Action

Don’t let users leave your website without taking action. Use words and phrases that create a sense of urgency. Encourage them to take action now while they still can.

You could try phrases like the following:

  • Only 3 days left
  • Buy now and get 20% off
  • Closing soon
  • Act before it’s too late
  • Limited quantities available
  • Limited supply
  • While supplies last
  • Get your discount before it’s gone
  • Last chance
  • Today only
  • Offer ends on Nov. 13
  • Immediately
  • Hurry
  • Don’t miss out

Use the First Person

When people see ‘your’ or ‘you’, they feel like you’re talking directly to them. By using the first person (‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘me’) in your CTA button’s copy, you’re speaking about your audiences favourite topic – themselves. Phrases that contain first-person pronouns such as ‘my e-book’ or ‘I want the e-book’ create excitement and help build trust. Avoid using the first person plural (‘we’) because it shifts the focus away from your audience and puts it back on your business, which they are not interested in.

The Location

Choosing the right location for your CTA button can make a huge difference.

Most purpose-built landing pages use a foolproof layout that flows like this:

  • Headline
  • Copy
  • CTA

This layout is popular because it follows a logical sequence and is familiar to website visitors. They can quickly read your headline, read as much of the copy as they wish and then scroll to the bottom for your CTA if they want to take action.

Here are some conversion rate statistics published by Grow & Convert specifically for email capture forms in blogs:

  • Generic, end-of-post: 0.5 – 1.5%
  • Sidebar: 0.5 – 1.5%
  • Bars and sliders: 1 – 5%
  • Pop-ups: 1 – 8%
  • Featurebox: 3 – 9%
  • Welcome gates: 10 – 25%

Whatever location you decide to use, ensure it’s in clear space and doesn’t feel cramped. Too much hype and clutter can make your CTA button invisible. For instance, when OpenMile reduced the clutter around their CTA button, the conversion rates increased by more than 230%.

Where you place your CTA button depends on many factors. According to Neil Patel, website visitors want to learn about your offer before being presented with a CTA. By placing the CTA above the fold, his conversions reduced by 17%. Kimberly Snyder placed their CTA after a video explaining their services. This increased their conversion rate by more than 140%.

The best approach is to test your CTA’s location and find what works best for you.

Conclusion

When creating CTAs for your website, always keep your visitors in mind. What do you want them to do? How can you make it easier for them to take the action you want them to take?

Here is a quick recap on what makes an effective CTA:

When it comes to appearance:

  • Make your CTA a clickable, rectangular button.
  • Use a contrasting colour to make it stand out from the other elements on the page.
  • CTA’s design should be simple. Don’t go crazy.
  • CTA’s size should be optimal. It should be big enough to be noticed, but not too big to mess up the webpage design.

When it comes to copy:

  • The copy should be short, simple, and effective.
  • Use persuasive words, words that create urgency, and first-person words to increase your copy’s effectiveness.

When it comes to placement:

  • The CTAs place should be logical and natural.
  • Make sure it can be easily seen.
  • Make sure you’ve explained your offer in a compelling way.

There are many more tricks you can use to create CTAs that will boost your conversion rates, but our recommendation is to start with these simple strategies and evolve from there. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Continue to test, measure, and tweak to see what works best for you!