Simple and Effective Tips for a Killer Call-to-Action (CTA)

In marketing, a call-to-action (CTA) is the phrase that encourages visitors to take a desirable action, i.e. complete a sign-up form, book a ticket, download a free ebook, start a free trial, and much more. However, when marketers set out to create an effective CTA , they often opt out for a CTA that feels right or looks good rather than spending time perfecting the message. What they don’t realise is that CTAs are the key to turning visitors into customers. While a CTA is not the only element you need to be successful online, a good CTA will improve your click-through rates and conversions.

These are the top 5 principles for creating an effective CTA:

Persuasive language

To persuade people to choose your product or service, you should use direct, actionable language. Would you click on a button that said ‘get started’ or one that read ‘try it for free’? The last one, right? Well, some verbs and adjectives are stronger than others. You just need to find the one that does the trick for your audience and can convince even the more hesitant prospect.

Above the fold

CTAs perform best when they are placed on a visible position, ideally in the top half of the landing page. Content that’s above the fold is more likely to be seen, as people have the tendency to not scroll, unless they are very motivated and want to read more information. But you shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting – for you it might work better at the end of your page. Remember to use a contrasting colour to make it stand out or even use multiple CTAs.

Action button colours

Many marketers spend a lot of time researching and brainstorming to pick the right phrase, but they don’t realise that colours, size and font are equally important characteristics. Specifically, colour is one of those design elements that give the CTA an immediate sense of importance, directing the visitors’ eyes to that ever-important button. Visually hierarchy matters so you can’t afford to take it for granted. Different colours can have an impact on your visitors’ feelings.

Sense of urgency

The reason why you add CTAs to your landing page is to get visitors take a desired action – now! So words like ‘now’, ‘today’ and phrases like ‘only 2 days left’, ‘buy now to get 40% off’ add a sense of urgency. Urgent situations cause us to act immediately and make impulsive purchases. There’s nothing like a ticking timer to convince someone to click.

Test and learn

A good CTA takes experimentation and time. Over time, you should make small tweaks to your CTAs, for example changing the text, colour, positioning and design to see which one delivers the biggest possible impact. For example, the click rate on a given CTA can vary according to its placement on the page or colour, so testing can help you learn what works best.