When was the last time you picked up a new box of snacks at the store? Signed up for a new dance class? Bought a pair of shoes that you wouldn’t have considered wearing? You probably didn’t realize it, but when you did those things, you responded to a call-to-action.
Chances are, there was something about those snacks, that class or those shoes that made you make the purchase. It could have been the design of the package, the copy or something else entirely.
So, what makes a great CTA? Let’s take a look at these call-to-action examples.But First, Some CTA Best Practices
We can’t get into what makes a CTA great without first looking at how you should put one together.
The goal of any call-to-action is simple: get your potential customer to do something. Try these tips to inspire action among your audience.
Be concise. Sure, it’s tempting to cram all the awesome stuff about whatever you’re promoting into the text, but don’t. Try to keep your copy to a few words and clearly explain why someone should take action. For example, in the case of the new snacks, maybe they are “limited edition,” have a new ingredient formulation or use organic ingredients.
Use action verbs, but think outside the box. How many times have you seen a CTA that begins with the words “download” or “get”? While these are action verbs, they’re not very enticing. To come up with better action verbs, stop and think about what you’re promoting before you write the CTA copy. For example, if you have a piece on protecting against identity theft, you might use phrases like “start protecting yourself now” or “see how to guard against identity theft.”
Consider the design. Yes, great copy makes someone click, but a great design with visually appealing colors is just as important. Think about it, you’re not likely to see a CTA if it blends in with the page you’re reading. Contrasting colors to your site design usually stand out best.
Don’t forget about placement. Think about where your customer is in his or her buying journey and let that influence where you put your CTA. Try putting it in multiple locations and on multiple pages for maximum visibility. And finally….
Test, test, test. Once you’ve come up with amazing copy and design and found the perfect places to put your CTA, take a look at the data once in a while. You might find that a simple tweak of the language, a different button color or a different location make all the difference for its performance.
Now that you know what goes into a well-performing CTA, let’s look at some call-to-action examples that perform well and why.
CTA No. 1:
About the CTA: This CTA was created to get patients and potential patients of a medical practice to download a guide about cholesterol.
The views-to-clicks rate for this CTA is over 5 percent and the clicks-to-submission rate is nearly 54 percent.
Why it works: Several factors make this CTA clickable. Its orange background color makes it stand out on a site that mainly uses blues, greens and reds in its design.
And the language does two things: It plays to the reader’s pain point—anyone reading the blogs to which the CTA is attached may have either high cholesterol or be interested keeping their levels in check. And it clearly communicates the benefit—see how you can lower your cholesterol now.
CTA No. 2:
About the CTA: For this CTA, we wanted readers to download a guide about long-term care insurance.
Why it works: This CTA also plays to the reader’s pain point—they want to know more about long-term care insurance. But what makes it stand out is the language. It’s not simply “download this guide to learn more about long-term care insurance.” Instead, it stands out by providing misconceptions about long-term care insurance.
The term “misconceptions” also is emphasized in the design, italicized and larger than the accompanying text. And the button uses enticing action language that goes beyond “download now.”
CTA No. 3:
About the CTA: This CTA was created to send readers to a blog post about Google Site Search shutting down.
The Google Site Search CTA saw a nearly 3 percent views-to-click rate and a clicks-to-submission rate of more than 6 percent.
Why it works: The use of a variety of bold colors as well as a CTA that’s “scary”—your site is going to break if you don’t fix this—make this CTA intriguing and clickable. The red button also helps it stand out.
You’ve got the best practices, even been inspired by some successful CTAs, and now you’re ready to create the best CTA your brand—and audience—has ever seen. But before you start writing and designing, keep the following tips in mind.
Go beyond the cover: The phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” also can be applied to CTA creation. Whether you’re creating a CTA to get someone to download a guide or attend a webinar, look beyond the title for inspiration. What are some benefits of downloading or attending? For example, the text for the first two CTA examples above uses copy from sections of the guides to get people to click. If you’re promoting a guide or webinar, look at the section titles or bullet points on the landing page for ideas.
Think in succession: We’ve talked about the importance of using action verbs for your CTA buttons, but sometimes it can be difficult to think outside the “register now” box. To help, try thinking logically. What would make you click if you saw your CTA copy? If, for example, your copy is “3 ways you can start saving money now,” your button copy could be “See how” or “Start saving now.”
Know your audience: Really great CTA copy hits a reader where he or she has a pain point. What is the reader of your piece, attendee of your webinar or user of your product struggling with? Use these pain points to grab your audience’s attention.
Imagine the following scenario: You've trained for months to run a marathon, and on race day you give it everything you've got. But when you get a few feet from the end, you begin to casually walk to the finish line instead of keeping up your pace.
This analogy could apply to content creation, too.
As a content marketer, you've put a lot of time and effort into creating a piece of content your audience will love. But most of us don't devote the same time to creating the CTA for that piece . Putting the tips above into practice won't leave you casually walking to the finish.