Calls-to-action (CTAs) can make or break a sale. If your CTA is not enticing enough, a user won’t fill out that form, click your ad, or subscribe to your newsletter.
Without those kinds of actions, it will be hard to keep your business growing steadily. That’s why it’s so important to write effective calls-to-action for your website.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what a call-to-action is, different kinds of CTAs, and how you can ensure that your CTAs are effective.
What is a call-to-action anyway?
Much like its name suggests, a CTA is anything that entices a user on your website to take action. CTAs are meant to invite users to complete an action, whether it be top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), or bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU). Either option puts the user closer to converting.
What is a TOFU action? When we talk about marketing, we like to consider our marketing funnel. The top of the funnel is where we see very surface level actions taking place. At the bottom, that’s where we see conversions being made — BOFU actions.
TOFU CTAs simply introduce users to dive a little deeper into your services. With a CTA, we’re not necessarily expecting a user to convert the minute they fill out a contact form, but that TOFU action leads them to the middle of the funnel where they continue to learn about your company, and eventually to the bottom of the funnel where they become a loyal, paying customer.
Here are some examples of TOFU CTAs:
- Give me more information!
- Sign me up!
- Download our free ebook!
- Do you love our products? Click here to learn more!
- Get your free guide!
BOFU CTAs are the CTAs that really entice users to make a purchase or become a client. These CTAs look a bit different.
Here are some examples:
- Buy now!
- Submit my payment
- I’m ready to be a partner!
Without effective CTAs on your website, you won’t be able to lasso your most valuable customers into your marketing funnel, and it’s unlikely that they’ll become a customer.
So what makes CTAs important?
As we mentioned, without clicking some sort of CTA, it’s unlikely that a user will become a paying customer.
One piece of information we can glean from CTAs is what users are interested in. So it’s safe to assume that if a user clicks on a CTA that allows them to submit their email address to receive future communications from your company — they’re interested in learning more.
If they click on a CTA button in one of your ads, they’re probably closer to the bottom of the funnel than you may have thought.
CTAs allow you to gauge interest that a user has in your company, and how far down the marketing funnel they are based on what CTAs they click.
We can gain all of this information just from a CTA on your website. But we won’t know any of these important facts if the CTA isn’t effective.
What makes a successful CTA?
First and foremost, the mark of success is clicks. Your main goal is to get people to click the CTAs on your website.
But let’s take a look at some of the more detailed aspects of CTAs that make them successful.
1. They get straight to the point
When you present an offer to your website users, they want a concise version of your offering. They don’t want to be weighed down with wordy CTAs. Though there’s no official word count for the most successful CTAs, you want to be sure that you don’t lose visitors due to confusing CTAs.
State what the CTA is for, and keep the button short and concise word wise.
2. They stand out from the rest of the page
If you create a CTA that is the same color of the background of the page that it’s on, it will surely get lost on the page.
Successful CTAs have a color that contrasts from the rest of the page, making it stand out. That being said, red — a color that will most likely stand out on any page — is one of the most effective colors for a CTA.
However, in a collection of case studies, that wasn’t always the case. This means you should always A/B test the color of your buttons before deciding on what color is right for your website. Green and orange buttons are also said to pack a punch when it comes to being notoriously clickable.
3. They’re A/B tested
So we mentioned A/B testing in the last paragraph, and it’s something worth talking about.
A/B testing is so important for CTA buttons because we know that CTAs are extremely important to your marketing funnel.
An A/B test allows you to put two different buttons up against one another to decide which one is the most effective and receives the most clicks. This allows you to really come up with the best option for your button instead of just taking a guess.
You can test the following with an A/B test:
- Best location
- Best color
- Best size
- Best content
- Best button text
4. They show the user what’s in it for them
If you only use words that promote clicking, like “click here,” “download,” or “request,” you may not get the highest amount of clicks possible.
Instead, you should show the user what’s in it for them by making the button interesting. Use phrases like “learn more by downloading…,” “grow your business by contacting us,” or “give me more results,” so that the user can outwardly see what clicking the button has potential to do for them.
5. They’re in the right location on your page and they’re the right size
Location and size are both super important to ensure that your CTA is as effective as possible.
In terms of location, you want to consider what it is that you’re asking the user to do, and where they would be most likely to push that button in your content.
For example, if you’re creating a call to action to sign up for a free guide to the perfect winged eyeliner, the best place for that CTA would be after a paragraph outlining the difficulties of creating the perfect winged effect.
If you save that CTA for the bottom of your page, visitors may miss it.
However, if you’re asking users to complete a general action, like filling out a contact form, the bottom of your page would be a great location. They just finished reading your fantastic blog, and now it’s time to find out more about your company by filling out a contact form.
The size of your CTAs is also important. There is such thing as too big — when your CTA is so big that users mistake it for a banner heading or ad and read right over it, that’s a problem.
You want to ensure that your CTA is big enough that it doesn’t get lost on the page, but not too big that it’s ignored.
In terms of size, you also want to make sure that the button on the CTA is big enough to click – even on mobile devices. This could be a huge pitfall if you make a button that is too small for people to click on small touch screens.
Do you have any CTA tips?
What are your favorite guidelines for creating successful CTAs?
Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear from you!