Everything That Goes Into Creating a Great Call to Action

Posted on Aug 27, 2018 - By Martina Bretous

Calls to action, also known as CTAs, are listed on just about every website you visit. A CTA is a clear and relevant message that persuades a user to perform a specific action, while adding a sense of urgency to the task. However, if done haphazardly, it will likely not be successful. To generate an effective CTA, there are a few steps you must complete beforehand to make sure your message is consistent, flows smoothly and reaches your consumer as intended.

Before you read any further, it’s important to note that creating a compelling call to action is a back and forth process that comes with trial and error. While the tips mentioned below are an important part of the process, there’s no one specific way to make a good call to action. It requires a combination of user knowledge and the flexibility to test what works and what doesn’t.

Conduct Research

The first step to creating an effective CTA is analyzing the expected traffic from your target audience. While it’s hard to get a clear understanding of user motivations until you’ve done some A/B testing and collected data, the goal is to gain insight into user motivation. You also want to get an idea of users’ stage in the sales funnel – a reference that companies use to evaluate the users’ journey in the purchasing process.

Conducting keyword research is a great way to obtain this information about users. It can also provide answers to questions or concerns you may have about your target market. Another great resource for research is your competitors, as you can learn more about the industry and some pre-established guidelines. Once you’ve done your initial research, you can start to plan CTA implementation and incorporate that knowledge into the elements in your landing page.

Match Supporting Elements With User Research

Your landing page should reflect the research you’ve conducted and match expected user intent. Keep in mind that a lack of elements can be just as effective as a page with several elements. It’s all about finding the appropriate balance and what works best for your audience.

Strategic Positioning of CTAs

The placement of your CTA is critical to its success. Your main call to action should stand out on the landing page – and relevance and clarity are key. However, you must also consider eye-scanning patterns and your users’ stage in the sales funnel before deciding where to place the CTA. An eye-scanning pattern is the tendency of users to scan a page by following a certain pattern based on the formatting style and length of the page.

Keeping these variables in mind, it’s important to test various placement methods to see what works. Say your users are in the first stage of the sales funnel where they are unfamiliar with your product – in this case, placing a CTA at the top of the page may not be effective. Testing is the best way to see what position works best for the CTA, whether it’s above/below the fold or in another area where the user has gained information that could make his or her intent stronger.

Enticing Copy

The main goal of the copy is to be reflective of expected user motivations in order to lead them toward the CTA. Because you will have limited information on your target audience at this stage, the key to creating the CTA copy is clarity. Providing clear and guided copy will increase user engagement and consequently improve conversion rates. Here are a few guidelines when drafting your CTA copy:

  • Start with a clear and direct action.
  • Connect your supporting elements to your main goal.
  • Highlight your competitive advantage.

From there, you can begin to test variations and analyze the results to better understand your users’ motivation. Later on, you can optimize your page based on your results.

Appealing Color Schemes

Color also plays an important role in how your CTA is received. It can affect the clarity of your landing page and how users perceive the relevance of the information. While there’s no strict guidelines on what colors to use for your CTA, you should aim to be consistent. When you choose a color palette for your page, you can test assigning the brightest one to your CTA button. Disrupting the pattern, in an effort to grab users’ attention, can also be effective and is worth testing. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong color when it comes to color schemes.

Do A/B Testing

A/B testing, also called split testing, is an experiment that tests two or more variables. It can be used to gain information and improve performance. Conducting A/B testing is the best way to discover user motivation, which will lead to more effective CTAs. The steps to conducting an A/B test are as follows:

  • Observe users’ behavior on your website and analyze the data.
  • Create hypotheses based on the data.
  • Test the hypotheses by using variations in your elements.
  • Analyze the A/B testing results once you’ve collected enough data for it to be statistically significant.

Once you’ve identified the most successful variation, you can start to implement it and make changes as necessary.