A call-to-action (CTA) is an essential inbound marketing tool that invites users to take an “action” that then brings them further into the site owner’s marketing fold. Common CTA invitations found on many websites include
- Requesting a service quote
- Downloading an industry guide
- Entering a content
- Applying for transaction
The reason CTAs are important is simple. They create solid “leads” or contacts site owners then have the opportunity to engage further. When a service quote is requested, for example, the applicant is often contacted personally afterwards by an agent to ensure their experience was adequate. The agent then has a very good chance at completing or furthering a sale.
CTAs can take many forms, but the most common is a flashy button. But there’s a lot more to it than that. The following are a few tips as to how to inspire the almighty click.
1. Use Words That Mean Something
Copy that implies value and inspires action is the most successful in earning a click. Instead of “Submit”, try words like “Download”, “Discover”, “Explore”, “Learn”, “Find” and “Examine” so that users feel like they are being rewarded for their efforts
2. Make Your CTAs Obvious
Keep your CTAs at the top of the page if you can, and make them big, bold, robust and dimensional. Contrasting colours work well to draw the user’s eye, and avoid “flat” design. Remember that it’s still fun to click on things! Places to put your CTAs include:
- At the end of articles
- Within articles content
- In a side-bar (preferably right-hand)
- In a top banner
3. Make Your CTAs Relevant to the Page
Your CTA needs to relate somehow to the page that it’s on…otherwise they can tend to look like accidental advertisements and lose their value edge. Blogs work well for promoting CTAs and their content can be created to support the CTAs purpose or result.
4. The Clearer the Better
Make it very clear what the reason of your call to action is. Generally web users are a savvy group, and for the most part people avoid filling out forms order to keep their private information off the Internet as much as they can. But if they are looking for a particular service they are often more open to submitting their details…as long as you make it very clear how their information will be used and what they will get out of it.
4. Choose Carefully
You only have a very short while to get your user’s attention, so use it wisely. Get to the point as fast as you can. Too many adjectives, adverbs and passive language diminish the sense of urgency that should be built into CTAs.
6. Always Deliver
The death of any CTA is one that doesn’t work. You will absolutely lose future business if the download you have promised fails or the user gets sent to an unfamiliar URL. And if you promise a personal response, make sure it gets done. You will build trust and respect with your client.
7. Make it Worth Their While
Always provide something of use and worth. A CTA is essentially your first shot at showing what your business can offer. Think of it as your first product…the last thing you wants are returns and exchanges!
8. Switch ‘em Up
Keep creating new CTAs for different placement on your site. Regular users tend to ignore the things they see often or begin to expect, so switching your CTAs around and providing new offers regularly gives the positive impression of a company that is constantly working to earn your business.
9. Give Them Their Own Page
Clicking on a CTA should take a user to what is referred to as a “landing page”, which reiterates what the offer is and clarifies its function. A user will feel more comfortable because they know they have been taken to the right place.
10. Never Miss an Opportunity!
You CAN have more than one CTA on a page, and everytime you do a content refresh or post a new blog think if you may have a relevant CTA lying around to complement the copy. If you don’t then make one!
CTAs are really fun to test and experiment with to see what works best for you and your company. Sometimes it’s surprising what the most successful tactics turn out to be!