Your CTA buttons are all that stands between your website and a lead; the all-important link between interested and committed, considering and converting, strike out or score…
But customers have already made their decisions before they click your button, right? Nope. Wrong. Tests have shown time and time again that the way you present your CTAs has a massive impact on conversion rate, and a few sneaky changes can be the difference between a dusty website visitor and a sparkly new lead.
What is a CTA?
CTA stands for ‘Call to Action’. CTAs are the marketer’s persuasive instructions to readers: ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign up Today’, for example. Marketers use CTAs to encourage people to complete an action, such as buying a product or signing up for a service. On a website CTAs are usually in the form of clickable buttons – and that’s what we’re discussing here.
How to improve your CTA’s conversion rate
Your overall conversion rate (the percentage of customers who actually complete the action you want them to) can be increased by improving the look and feel of your CTA buttons. It sounds odd, but your buttons play a much larger role than you think.
Given that this is a pretty easy way to increase your leads, we’d say it’s definitely worth some attention. Here are 18 quick and simple ways to upgrade your CTAs for more conversions.
Focus on the aesthetic
The way your CTA buttons look is going to play a major part in their success. Obvs. So take a bit of time on the design to make sure they look polished. Try to steer clear of those ‘80’s-infomercial’ looking buttons and anything that’s reminiscent of a ‘Click-here-to-video-call-with-Svetlana’ type pop-up.
Green and orange are statistically the most successful CTA colours, but do what looks best for your website. Generally, contrasting colours (colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel) do well, so make your CTA contrast with the background or dominant colour on the page.
Zero shades of grey
Grey has been shown to be the least successful colour when it comes to CTAs. Probably because it’s reminiscent of greyed-out, unclickable buttons. Steer clear of using grey if you can.
Having whitespace (space left blank or unmarked) around your CTA automatically draws the eye and makes your button look a whole lot more attractive. Buttons in busy areas tend not to be all that appealing.
Curves are sexy
Rounded and 3D buttons generally work better than flat buttons or buttons with sharp edges. Survey findings showed that web users feel that curvy buttons look ‘friendlier’.
Add a hover feedback reaction
Many designers recommend your buttons respond to being hovered over. Aside from just looking cool, it often gives the user that final enticement to turn their hover into a click. In addition, adding a sound or effect to the final click offers a satisfying little reward for your user, which is a nice touch.
Make buttons look buttony
It seems simple, but make sure your buttons actually look like buttons. Users should be able to tell – without even reading the copy – that the CTA is meant to be clicked.
Make juicy buttons
Try to make your buttons look juicy, as though they would be deliciously rewarding to click. You want your button to look so satisfying that people are tempted to click it just for kicks. Allow your button to channel its inner bubble wrap.
Get creative with your copy
While it is good practice to use a command in your CTA, you don’t have to stick with ‘buy now!’. Experiment with your copy and try to inject a bit of your brand voice into it.
Use the first person
CTAs written in the first person are more effective. So, for example, instead of using ‘Start your free trial now’, you should use ‘Start my free trial now’. This helps users identify with the offer and is much more likely to elicit a response.
Try an urgency offer
An urgency offer is an extra bit of information that tells users to hurry. Airlines often use this to great effect (2 seats left on this plane) and they are popular with retailers running specials (only 1 day left!). These bits of information create a sense of urgency and add an extra layer of value (rarity) to what you’re offering.
Make sure the copy of your CTA relates to the page it’s displayed on. For example, if I’m browsing indoor plants on a gardening website, the CTA “Buy Bulk Lawn Fertiliser” is going to be wasted on me. If you have different CTAs for different products make sure they’re being displayed on the relevant pages.
Work on your timing
WAIT before displaying a pop-up CTA. If people haven’t had a chance to read the page they have just landed on, how do they know they want to sign up? Most of the time they will simply click ‘no thanks’ just to get it out the way. Rather wait until they’ve scrolled down a bit before interrupting their reading with your pop up.
If someone has read all the way to the very bottom of a blog page, chances are they like what you’re saying. A lot. That’s why it’s always a good idea to put a CTA at the bottom as well as the top.
Keep it clean
Don’t display too many CTAs on the same page – it becomes overwhelming. Rather focus on the one that is tailored to the type of audience visiting that page.
Add click triggers
A click trigger near your CTA button can work wonders. What are click triggers? They’re bits of copy which can give an indecisive customer that extra little nudge. Below are a few common ones:
- A glowing testimonial, review or rating
- Low-price promises
- Special offers (10% off your first purchase, for example)
- Free delivery messaging
- Payment-option messaging (Visa, Mastercard, EFT)
- Security promises or icons (Secure payment, confidentiality promises)
- Risk-minimizing messaging (a line or two about what will happen after
- Brevity promises (a promise that the process won’t take too long)
A/B testing – also called split testing – is a way to compare two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. Basically, it shows two variants of the same page (option A and option B) to similar visitors at the same time. You can then see which one comes out on top in terms of conversions. For this reason, it’s a great way to test out your CTAs. Simply run an A/B test pitting your current CTA design/copy against your new one and you’ll know for sure whether your new tricks are working. For more info on A/B testing, have a look at this visual guide.
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