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Writing effective CTA's

Published: May 02 2017

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a critical part of any online marketing strategy. Having a large following on Twitter or Instagram is great, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t get those followers to take action. However, holding your audience's attention and getting them to do what you want can be like herding cats. They may scroll through your site, but then close the tab, abandon shopping carts before checking out, they don’t subscribe to your hilariously played-out Youtube channel, and they aren’t even courteous enough to read your entire blog post. Whether we’re talking about a “buy now” button, a Tweet, blog title or ad, the text needs to inspire people to do something beyond just reading it.

The fastest way to grab someone’s attention is by making your CTA stand out from the rest of the page and making its presence undeniable. You can achieve that by picking a colour for your CTA button that contrasts the background of your site. For example, Medium has a white washed background, while their CTA button stands out in a bright turquoise colour. Contrast is one of the most powerful graphical techniques you can apply to your CTA, but remember to stay mindful of your overall website design. While you want to keep the colours contrasting and popping, make sure all of them fit in with your general website colour scheme and avoid using patterns that will distract the viewer.

Make sure your text is clear, specific and action-oriented. In this example, Google has used a graphic showing a number of places in which you keep your files scattered on a table, versus clicking “Go to Google Drive” where it’s “A safe place for all your files”-brilliant. While you should focus on your call-to-action text, don’t forget that graphics can help express meaning and strengthen your message. Whenever you create a CTA, you should always be thinking about the people who you want to be clicking on them.

Your CTA’s also have the power to increase product awareness. Many companies promote trial offers for their product/service, in which case, it makes sense to showcase what it is that you are selling. By displaying your product or service (in this instance, your app) through your CTA, you make the offer more tangible to visitors. It seems closer to capture it and, if its value is instantly visible, the call-to-action becomes that much more compelling. Instagram showcases an inside look right on the ad, that way potential customers can witness the experience being offered to them.

Sometimes you just need a little extra push to make a final decision. You can increase the chances of someone taking the action you want them to by providing them with an incentive. If you are asking someone to download your whitepaper, for example, you can mention that there is a bonus that goes with it. Or if you are inviting people to sign up for a consultation with your company, you should emphasize that it’s free. Incentives come in many different forms—they can be bonus offers, discounts, exclusive access, or certificates. Another example, Suitey mentions that you can “sign up in 60 seconds.” This lets your potential customers know that they aren’t about to start a fifty page form, committing them to twenty plus minutes of fill-out time.

Set your imagination free and come up with some enticing CTA’s that will urge visitors to take the next step. We hope these examples will inspire you to cultivate your creativity and prepare you to create some awesome calls-to-action, or call us today and find out how we can help your business and webpage!