Let’s be clear: every business needs to have a call to action (or CTA) on their website, even if it is just on their homepage.
It instructs readers what to do. Without it, businesses run the risk of having their readers do a skim and read, and drop off their website. Or, worse, later find out they have wasted their paid advertising budgets with tools like this one.
This could affect bounce rates, but what really hits home for companies is that the reader probably only grazed the surface of their site, service, or product.
This is where a good CTA comes into play. Read on to learn 6 ways you can beef up your CTA creation strategy.
1. Do They Want to Click on It?
As the name suggests, a call to action is just that: a call to action. As Forbes mentioned, it is the “action” part that a lot of business owners and marketers miss out on.
In order to incorporate the action part into your CTA, ask yourself: what do you want the reader to click on? What do you want them to gain from landing on this page?
Forbes goes on to state that you want to make sure the CTA is relevant to where the reader is in your sales funnel. In other words, is this reader at the top of the funnel? Middle? Bottom?
For those at the top, perhaps add a CTA such as “Subscribe Now.” Readers who are in the middle of the funnel may benefit from a CTA like “Learn More” or “Free Trial.”
And those at the bottom who are close to converting would need instructions on what to do next: “Buy Now” or “Click to Purchase.”
2. Limit the Options
People buy more when their options are limited; if there are too many, the individual may leave, feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Think In-N-Out. The infamous American fast food chain is known for their limited menu items.
For instance, they only give consumers three burger options: double-double, cheeseburger, and hamburger.
Contrary to popular belief, this works. In-N-Out, despite its short menu list, is still going strong, with abc7 reporting that the fast food chain is expanding to Colorado.
What In-N-Out has to do with CTA is this: Make your CTA simple. Don’t overwhelm your reader by placing them everywhere on the page, and make sure the message is short and straightforward.
3. Get Excited
Make your CTA pop out among the other standard CTAs—such as “Click Here.” Add some excitement with, as Forbes states, a CTA like “Yes, Take Me There!” The “Me” makes it more personal. Plus, the overall tone is energetic and exciting.
4. Make Your CTA Stand Out
Is your page mostly blue? Have your CTA—such as “Book a One-Way Charter Flight”— stand out by making it a different color. That way, when the reader visits your page, immediately his or her eyes will be drawn to the CTA. Enough said.
5. What You Put Next to Your CTA Matters
It is not just how your CTA looks or what it says that is important. You need to be aware of what you put around it.
According to Entrepreneur, social proof around your CTA—think testimonies and case studies—increases conversion rates.
Make sure though that the testimonies and case studies are genuine and speak to what your business offers its consumers.
6. Message Matters
You could have the most conversion-friendly CTA in the world but it may not matter if your message leading up to it is off. Case in point, let’s say your target audience is senior-age women who knit—(your company sells knitting needles).
If your message before your CTA is very slang—“Think Knitting Needles Are Too Cool for you. Think Again”—you’ll probably turn off your target customer and lose out on sales. So, create content that specifically targets your audience’s primary pain points your product or service sells. A quick reminder before a CTA can help boost that conversion rate.
7. Avoid Over Sales-y CTA’s
You’ve seen them: CTAs with way too many (overused) business buzzwords. Meaning, one (or five). Some top market-y words to avoid using as your CTAs, let alone content in general include are “buy-in,” “best practice,” “empower,” and “solution.” Used too often, these words will fall on deaf ears—because they already have.
If you are unsure if your CTA is sales-y, do the pretend-it’s-a-friend test. Imagine running into a friend and telling him or her that CTA. If they start to laugh or look a little confused, probably not a good idea. If not, you may have a solid friendly CTA that works.
Better yet, why not actually try out your CTA? Ask a friend, family member, acquaintance, or even just a friendly-looking person at the neighborhood market for their opinion.
8. Consider Using Persuasive Language
Persuasive language and market-y jargon may sound like one and the same. While there’s some overlap, persuasive language pulls at the target audience while market-y jargon usually leaves them running.
Forbes states these five words are the most persuasive in the English language (see if you agree): you, guarantee, free, results, because, new. So, consider using one or two or three of these in your CTA.
9. Stick to Active Voice
It’s not only what words you use but how you use them that determines who clicks and who doesn’t. That said, use active voice! Not sure what that is? Active voice is subject, verb, object. Put in action, here’s how it looks: “Jake walks his dog on Tuesdays.”
It is action-oriented and cuts to the chase. A marketer’s dream. However, it’s all too easy to wind up using passive voice instead. Passive voice is just that, passive. The object performs the actions instead of the subject: “The dog is walked by Jake on Tuesdays.”
Sounds wordy and a little off? You see, when we use passive voice in marketing, especially for CTAs, consumers easily get turned off. Not only is it harder to fit on one button (or on one page, for other forms of content) but it does not cause a sense of urgency. To create urgency and, from now on (except for fact-laden research and academic papers) use active voice.
10. Match CTA with Tone
We touched upon this earlier but it deserves its own point: create a CTA that matches your content’s tone.
As Canva states, a friendly “Join In!” or “Let’s Talk!” invites potential consumers to reach out—in an authentic way. Even better, leading up to it with a friendly introduction that encourages consumers to click and convert.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to A/B Test Your CTAs
Not sure if your CTA works for you? A/B test it. In general, the fewer variables you have, the better your results will be. Why do so many marketers use A/B testing? Simple. It’s proven to raise sales: In fact, according to B2C Community, former President Obama raised millions of more thanks to this test.
Besides these tips, to make testing easier, consider using A/B split testing software to get data on what works for your CTA and what doesn’t.
What other tips do you have that helps businesses boost their CTA creation strategy? What has your experience been using CTAs? Do you believe CTA trends have changed? Be sure to leave a comment below.