5 Tips To Create Smashing Calls To Action

By February 3, 2015Online Marketing
You’ve probably read the words “call to action” or “CTA” for short on my blog before. I bang on about it all the time because it’s one of the most essential things you need to nail if you want your business website to generate leads and makes sales!

In fact, it’s not just for websites… you can use it across ALL your marketing efforts.

If your goal is to have your potential customers read your blog, purchase your product, watch your video, sign up to your list or give you a call… you will need a strong CTA.

So with all this talk about the importance of CTAs, you’re probably thinking…

“What in the world is a CTA?!”

You got me! I’ve always talked about CTAs, but have never discussed them thoroughly.

So today, let me give you a 101 on the subject.

A Call To Action (CTA) is a set of words or an instruction, often typed in an clickable button, that urges the reader to take an immediate action. It’s basically just telling people what to do, and before you scoff, yes — you do still need to literally tell people what to do to get good results. 

It’s very effective because it usually serves as the “push” your website visitors need to take advantage of your offer.

In 2013, 70% of small business did not have any call to action on their websites. But those who knew of it saw AMAZING results.

And when I say “AMAZING” in all caps, I don’t mean a small improvement…

37Signals.com, now more commonly called as Basecamp.com, saw a 200% increase in their signs ups after adding a CTA on their website.

Don’t believe it? It’s true! It’s been tested and proven… it worked for them, it’s worked wonders for us, and it can be a game-changer for your business too!

Which leads me to your next question…

“How do I create a SMASHING CTA?!”

I like your enthusiasm!

Below are five tips to create a strong CTA for you website and other marketing strategies:

1. Focus on the benefits

It shouldn’t be a surprise to you if after a week of launching your ‘unique product’, you see someone else selling the same thing or something similar. Sadly, that’s just how the business world works.

So how can you create a smashing CTA, when the features of your products are the same or similar to your competitors? Focus on the benefit. 

What benefit can your potential customers get if they purchase from you? Yes, it’s a similar product… but do you offer:

  • Free Shipping?
  • Discount coupons?
  • Freebies?
  • Fancy wrappers?
  • Same-Day Delivery?

Anything that sets you apart from the rest makes a strong CTA. 

So let’s put this tip into practice! Let’s say you own a shoe store. Most of your competitors offer the same items, but they don’t provide discount coupons.

What should your CTA button be?

A. Purchase Item
B. Purchase Item & Save $20

Option B is so much better, isn’t it? See the difference? The benefit sets you apart which will most likely bring you more sales!

 

2.  Fulfil what your CTA is trying to say

I’ve talked a little about this when I discussed my tips on how to create your best landing page yet. In that article, I mentioned that the pages you will be directing your readers should fulfill what your CTA promised.

I’ve read phrases like “click to change your life forever” and “watch this video and have your mind blown” a thousand times only to find that that the article and the video was nothing short of ordinary.

Did I feel betrayed? Yes. Did I want to read more? No.

You do not want this scenario with your website visitors, prospects or customers.

REMEMBER THIS: There’s no point in getting their attention once only to lose them forever. 

So be specific and transparent with your CTAs.

3. Learn to play with words

If you’ve seen the most visible CTA in CrazyEgg.com’s website, then you know what a smashing CTA is. Crazy Egg, one of today’s best heat map tools, understand the element of playing with words in creating a strong CTA, and have applied that to their site.

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Above is a screenshot image of their offer (heat map technology), the benefit that you’ll get when you work with them (you get a free heatmap), and their CTA (show me my heat map). Now if you think any group of words would work, then you’re wrong.

Let’s see the next image…

1186653

Don’t worry! They didn’t really change their CTA to “View More”. We edited the first Crazy Egg image to show you that your words matter. You just can’t place generic instructions if you want your sales to increase. You have to play with your words.

Think of it as courting your viewers. You have to be extra smooth to get them to like you.

4. Your Clickable Button Color matters

Now that we’ve established the ways to write your CTA, let’s move on to the aesthetics. Does the design of the button matter? How about the color? Will any font do?

I’ll answer all your questions with the example below…

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The image above is our ‘above the fold’ ad. It features the benefit our clients get from us, and that is to “Get More” than just a website. The professional red button with an easy-to-read white font is our CTA. As you can see, it is creative and pleasant to the eyes. (This is what we do best).

Now let’s see how a single change in design would change the whole look and feel from creative and trustworthy to amateur and doubtful:

1186655

Yikes! I can’t even look at this image for a long time! It hurts my eyes. 🙁

So I guess the point is, you have to make sure that your CTA pops but still looks professional. Experiment with colors and see which one works best for you.

My tip is when you think you’ve found the perfect color, ask your employees what they think about it, leave it for a few days… then look at it again to gain a new perspective. If you still like it, go with it and test it on your website visitors. If you don’t have time to get into fancy A/B split testing then try one colour one month, measure your results, then try another colour for another month and see the difference.

But it’s not just the colour that matters…

5. It’s your button size too!

Would you like to see how our site would look like if our button is slightly larger?

Let me create another quick edit…

1186656

Whaaaat?!? I bet if this goes live we’d lose more than 50% of our conversions. Again, it’s all about making the button pleasant to the eyes without overdoing it.

Do you now feel confident in creating your call to action text / button? Fire away in the comments if you have any questions!

Need help in recreating your current CTAs or improving your website conversions? We’d love to help. Contact us today and our experts will go over your site with a fine-tooth comb and make suggestions to you in the way of a website audit report, absolutely free of charge. Click here now to get in touch.

What do you think? Share your comments below.

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