Every website should have calls to action (CTAs). Even if the site is not selling anything, there should still be a purpose to the site, and you will want to convey this purpose through your calls to action. Three things a good web marketing call to action provides is increased focus to the website, a way to measure success, and it gives directions to the website user.
People don’t want to give away their information for no apparent reason. So, to get people to click on your CTAs, you’ll want to present them with a good reason why they should. This can be as simple as explaining what they will get out of it and the benefits of responding. For example, Skype clearly explains what the user gets when subscribing to their service in the example below. Never underestimate simplicity when it comes to CTAs.
Incentives, as we all know, make people want more. It could be anything from a free T-shirt to a small discount of some sort or even an entry into a competition. Barack Obama used this technique in his presidential campaigns.
3. Limit Choices
To focus a marketing call to action, it is important to keep the choices limited. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm users with too many choices. It has been proven in numerous studies that if the customer is presented with to many choices, they will back out of the action more easily. If the choices are more limited, then the consumer doesn’t feel pressured and is more likely to click on your call to action. Remember, keep it as simple as possible.
4. Active and Urgent
Web calls to action need to be as clear as possible. It needs to be simple, but it also needs certain action words that will trigger the user to take action. Great action words are:
These words can be even more effective by adding additional action words like expiration dates, limited time offer, or rewards for signing up now. Tune Up does this by offering a discounted subscription for purchasing the lifetime version.
Positioning is crucial to any web marketing call to action. The ideal spot is central and towards the top of the page. It needs to be highly visible and easy to find. In the example below, the CTA is clearly placed in the center of the page allowing visitors to easily find the information they are looking for.
6. White Space
The space around a web CTA is also crucial. The more empty space around the CTA the more attention will be drawn to it. If there is too much noise around the call to action it will be lost amongst all the other unnecessary junk on the page. This Plan HQ example does a good job of having enough clear space around the web call to action so that it is easily findable and clickable.
7. Contrasting Colors
Color is an extremely effective way to draw attention to certain elements. This works especially well on websites that don’t necessarily incorporate a lot of different colors. For instance, if a webpage is black and white, a colored button will stand out incredibly well. Apple gives a great example below.
All of the CTA’s on this page are in blue. Considering the rest of the page has different colors, the CTAs stand out tremendously well and the user has no problem finding it.
Size also plays a large part in a marketing CTA. It needs to be large enough to immediately catch the user’s eye. We established that color, position and empty space also play a large part in an effective CTA, so try to combine all these elements when designing your CTAs. Firefox uses this principle well in the example below.
9. Utilize Every Page
Marketing CTA’s should be posted on every page if possible. You never want your website visitors to reach a point on your website where they get lost or are not directed somewhere else. Dead ends will often lead users to leave the site without taking any action to get in contact with you, and this is the last thing you want happening.
10. Follow Through
If your CTAs require the user to put in personal information, then only the minimal amount of information should be required because additional information can possibly cause the user to stop and back out of the call to action. The best way to get people to completelyt fill out your CTAs and forms is to require the minimal amount of information and make everything else optional. Or you could just not ask for the information at all. Wordpress does a great job of keeping their CTA simple in the example below.
Using all these techniques, a call to action should involve usability, creative design, and powerful copy writing. With all these elements, your calls to action should create a measurable increase in engagement with your website visitors.