Online, you stumble across CTAs on almost every page you visit. You probably don’t even notice them most of the time. They are small words, buttons or images that direct your regard towards them and makes you want to click. As a shopkeeper, you don’t want visitors to just look around and leave empty-handed. That’s why you’ll engage conversation with them, show your best wares and offer tempting deals.
The same rule applies online. When users land on your website, your goal is to make them interested and more likely to act. For instance, you want them to contact you for more information, subscribe to your newsletter or sign up. Unless they are already expecting to do that beforehand, you must push them into acting. The best way to do so is to use powerful CTAs.
A new user registered means a new contact to reach and a bigger chance for a loyal customer or user. A new subscriber to your newsletter means more visibility and opportunities. One of the CTAs’ main points is to generate click-through conversion. The more clicks you generate, the better it is.
How much are CTAs profitable?
Emails including a CTA generate an increase in clicks by 371%. Adding CTAs to your Facebook page and posts increase click-through rate by 285%. Videos with CTA get 380% more clicks than regular webpage CTAs. Such huge figures make our heads spin, don’t they? They should definitely encourage you to implement this marketing technique right now.
One way or another, the user’s activity is all that matters for your website. Without them taking particular actions when they visit your pages, you won’t achieve anything. The only way to push someone is to include CTAs to your website pages and social network posts.
What’s a good CTA?
Making great CTAs for your digital marketing strategy requires following several mandatory steps:
- CTAs are buttons. They are not anything else.
- CTA buttons generating high conversion rate are simple and smart. Don’t try to start a revolution in their design. They are rectangles that stand out and users are used to them. They should recognize them in a blink of an eye.
- The few words used must be well-chosen. Use the imperative. Talk directly to the user or you can even use the first person.
- Be quick. Keep it The more words there are, the longer users think about it and reconsider clicking.
- Try to create a feeling of urgency, that makes users feel like they have to act now. For instance, with a temporary discount or an exclusive
- Think about the path your visitors’ eyes will take. Make the placement of your CTAs logical and don’t hide it with the rest within the page or post.
When should you include CTAs to your content?
The answer is simple: as often as possible. Each of your pages or posts should provide value. For the users to make good use of it means taking action through CTAs. That’s why having CTAs on each important and relevant page is not a bad idea. For example, to make them keep reading via a Next page button or suggestions for other articles. The longer time a user spends time on your website, the more conversions you’re likely to generate.
However, it is not advised to place several CTAs on a single page or post. A CTA should either make the users leave the page after taking action or redirects to another page. Nevertheless, using multiple CTAs can be rewarding sometimes. They offer a choice – each type of user will have an interesting option or they can just work great together.
Whenever you can make a user click to buy or subscribe or register, do it.
How does it look like in practice?
The theory is fine. Putting it into practice is even better. The following list will highlight some great examples of CTAs. You should take your cue from them if you don’t know what CTA to create yet!
Netflix homepage (link): learn the basics
Red Netflix name, Red CTA button. Great catchphrase providing value and safety (available anywhere and cancellable if unsatisfied). Special attractive offer.
All ingredients for a successful CTA strategy.
Salesforce homepage (link): how not to overwhelm while using multiple CTAs
Rare are those examples of well-done spam! On a single short page, Salesforce catches the users’ attention with five CTA buttons. The two green ones are both reminders of the free trial, the second one is even more inviting than the first. The “watch demo” is here for the remaining visitors that were not convinced by the catchphrase. The two on the bottom right corner shows that communication is open and that their opinion matters. Besides, further down on the page, Salesforce keeps using CTA buttons in a smart way. You can never be too careful if you want to make sure that prospects click somewhere…
PointblankSEO (link): be friendly, be in their shoes.
Both CTAs here are original and efficient thanks to their personalization. Moreover, the website owner suggests checking out the blog while answering for them at the same time, making the choice a lot easier. Note the usage of both the imperative and the first person.
WordStream (link): give something instantly
Everyone enjoys receiving a free gift easily. A great CTA is one that makes the click immediately worth it. Rewarding the click with something right away is an excellent strategy to improve your click-through rate. If that wasn’t enough, WordStream claims saving time (60 seconds for a 40 hours work task) and being “Fast. Secure. Free”
Even better in videos
Most of the successful CTA buttons are on websites’ landing pages. As their name suggests, they are the pages users will land on when entering your website. Putting video on the landing page (or anywhere if it seems more logical) increases its effectiveness a lot. Watching videos is effortless for your visitors and provide an excellent passive way of spreading your message. Indeed, most people will prefer watching than reading. Both because it is easier and because visuals and sounds are more attractive than words. In short: you must embed videos on your landing page as often as possible.
Include CTAs in videos. Whatever the purpose of the video is (tutorials, testimonial, corporate, advertisement…), you always need to take care of the viewer to drive him to act in any way. Either subscribe to your channel, like your video, post a comment, click a link to your site, et cetera. As videos are much more engaging than text, CTAs have even better chances at being noticed and clicked on.
The same rules used for great regular CTAs apply for CTAs in videos. The main difference is that you must choose the moment to make it appear. You can choose a specific moment or display it for the whole duration of the video for example.
Word of caution: what not to do
As previously advised, CTAs must remain CTAs. You should not try to be overwhelmingly creative about their form. Focus on their content and the idea, not on a brand-new way of designing CTAs. People are receptive to what they are used to. Our brains process things better if they are already aware of what they see. Customize the message, colors and general shape.
Another thing that many companies don’t do is testing. You should test, in the long run, how you CTAs are performing. Do it frequently. Keep a watchful eye on their click-through rate. Try different colors and placement to find the sweet spot. What might seem obvious to you may not to others.
CTAs are essential elements for any digital marketing campaign. By not or badly using them, you are missing tons of opportunities. What simply look like small buttons you clicked on several times already are in fact extremely powerful marketing tools.