Call to Action (CTA) is a term used to describe any element or device designed to prompt or encourage a particular response, sale, or action from a site visitor, ad viewer, or just about any one who interacts with your messaging. In marketing, CTA mostly refers to words incorporated into web/advertising copy, sales scripts, video sales letters etc.
The CTA is one of the most vital parts of a landing page or website. A weak CTA will significantly lower the number of leads that make it to the next step in the process, while a good CTA can quadruple conversion rates or ROAS (Return on ad spend).
Surprisingly, CTA's are surprisingly easy to get right if you follow a couple of tested and proven approaches and methods.
Be Compelling; Use Emotional Appeal
A 2019 HubSpot survey of 40,000 websites found that using drab language like “Download” or “Get Report” makes a CTA much less effective than most people thought. A CTA loaded with emotive language appeals to a deeper part of the human psyche. The emotions of fear, inclusion, anger, affection, freedom, and curiosity can all be harnessed in creating charged CTA's that leave users with no option than to follow the ride to see what’s on the other side.
No one ultimately wants to miss out, and that’s why you should research your target audience, know their pain points, and find emotional angles that you can co-opt into your CTAs.
What do all the examples above have in common? They are emotionally charged!
Use the same approach in your CTAs.
Pay Attention to Design
A well-designed call to action should stand out starkly against all other elements on an ad or web page. A few things to do here include:
- Shapes: Button designs work well in CTA placement.
- Use bold colours such as red, deep blues, and whites against contrasting colours will naturally pull in the viewers attention.
- Design the CTA to look and be click-able.
- Use Special Effects: Parallax effects, floating buttons, animations, confetti showers, gifs, unique fonts can be added to CTAs to make them more remarkable.
Mind Your Language; Use Imperative Verbs
Your call to action text should be by their nature words that elicit an action from the reader, so ensure that you use actionable words to draw visitors in. CTA's consisting of words like click here, submit, enter could be swapped out in favour of compelling variants such as read, get, try, Etc.
Here are some examples:
Here’s also a list of compelling call to action phrases:
All of these CTA's ,due to their imperative nature, demand quick action.
There also times when using a bit of reverse psychology works well. For instance, you tell people not to click, or tell them they will definitely miss out or do not deserve the offer. It might have the effect of causing them to do precisely that which you’ve asked them not to do.
Use Heat Maps, Testing and Analytics