That title got your attention, didn’t it? That’s because it clearly communicated what I needed you to do in exchange for beneficial information. Therein lies the beauty of a well-crafted Call-to-Action (CTA), it removes barriers to conversion and establishes a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your customers. Read on for some quick tips on how you can rev up your conversions with compelling CTAs - based on data.
Use Clear Language
Whether you’re creating a CTA for a landing page or an email, clarity is key. Clear CTA messaging will guide your audience to the action you want them to take, and it’s crucial to leave no room for ambiguity in that action. Whether you want your audience to book a demo, download a resource, or schedule a meeting, writing that out plainly helps users know exactly what the next step is when they click your CTA. Leading with active verbs (e.g. get, book, download, start) and elements that convey a sense of urgency (e.g. now, today, instantly) can also motivate users to take action.
While clarity is king, having situational awareness for where your buyers are in their sales cycle can also increase CTA effectiveness. For example, when PartnerStack updated their homepage CTA copy to say “Get Started” from “Book a Demo,” they saw a 111.55% increase in conversions. Seeing as this CTA was above the fold on the homepage, it could indicate that consumers felt that “Get Started” was a step on the way to solving their problem vs. being enrolled in a sales cycle.
Influence Action Through Design
Once you have the language for your CTA down, it’s time to make it visually compelling. Color and style can help your CTA stand out from the surrounding content and inspire action, but that is often easier said than done. For example, If you were to search which CTA color performed best, you would find research suggesting that red is the best color for CTAs. But if your website or email design primarily features the color red, your CTA is more likely to get lost amidst the design. Along with color, shape can also play into how likely a CTA is to convert. Indicating that a CTA is clickable by containing it within a button shape clearly communicates where and how users can interact with your CTA so they don’t have to waste time searching. If you’re left with anything, know that contrast in design will help your CTA stand out.
With contrast in mind, it’s also important to factor in white space surrounding your CTA. VWO found that adding a CTA that had more white space and less clutter surrounding it increased conversion rates by 232%. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to test different CTA colors and designs against prior versions to see which leads to more conversions.
Location, Location, Location
It’s true in real estate, and it’s true in marketing. Location is everything. CTA location can mean the difference between conversion and confusion. Whether it’s contained within a page or marketing email, or appears in a popup, be sure to introduce your CTA only after you’ve clearly communicated what your buyer will get after submitting their personal information to you. Imagine you’re looking for a home to buy, and you step into a listed house to meet your realtor and they shout “Buy This House!” without even saying hello. That’s the impression you can leave your audience if they’re met with a CTA too early. While you don’t ever want to lead with a CTA, placing it above the fold can help users who are ready to convert right away easily take the next step.
Speaking of real estate, don’t be afraid to take up space with your CTA! It is the most important element on a piece of marketing collateral and as we discussed in the prior portion of this blog, it should stand out.
Even if you start off strong with a direct CTA that’s perfectly crafted from writing to design, there will still be members of your audience who aren’t quite ready to convert - but who are interested in learning more about you. They might not be ready to buy or book a demo, but that doesn’t mean the conversation (and conversion) have ended. Be sure to include a transitional call-to-action that gives value to your end user, such as a guide or a blog. To paraphrase StoryBrand founder, Donald Miller: They may not be ready to marry you, but they might be willing to go on a date with you.
While it’s important to ensure users don’t miss your CTAs, it’s also important not to overload your marketing with CTAs. Omnisend analyzed 229 emails sent over Black Friday/Cyber Monday and found that emails with three or more CTAs had lower click through rates. Less is definitely more, but you want to ensure users are engaged and have opportunities to learn more.
Don’t forget the Human at the other End of your CTA
In your mission to create CTAs that convert, it’s important not to forget the human on the other side of the conversion. According to HubSpot, including personalization in your CTAs can improve conversions by 202%, and including language like “Talk to a Person” can help establish the rapport your customers will get when they work with you. In all of your marketing efforts - not just your CTAs - it’s important to keep your end user in mind and continue to create helpful content that will resonate with them and help them along their journey.
Well-crafted CTAs are vital for creating conversions and building relationships with your users, and is an ongoing process. Trying and testing new CTA styles is an important practice, and helps you learn more about your customers. If you aren’t sure why your CTAs aren’t converting, or just feel in over your head with getting started, be sure to tag us in!