Read this blog to the very end, and you'll walk away with $100,000! If only it were that simple. Still, a lure like that is enough to pull in readers from all corners of the internet. And if done right, it's enough to spur them to take the action you want them to take.
That's the whole essence of a call-to-action (CTA). Without CTAs, website owners would be dead in the water—they'd have no method to convert a visitor or reader into a lead (and hopefully into a buyer).
Below, we explore the world of CTAs: what they are, how they're beneficial to your marketing strategy, and how to write a killer one.
So without further ado, let's dive right in!
What Is a Call-to-Action?
A call-to-action is exactly what it sounds like—a prompt to get your audience to do something specific.
It's the part of your website, content, or ad that invites a reader to, well, take action. On a website, a CTA is usually a link, a clickable image, or a button.
Typically, a CTA will be found at the tail end of a blog or landing page, but it can appear elsewhere on a site.
That action could be:
- Getting a free trial
- Buying a product
- Registering for a course
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Requesting a quote
- And more!
A precise CTA makes it easy for the audience to do what you want them to do. No beating around the bush. No scouring through your entire website for the right form.
It's the link or button that triggers the next step in your sales funnel. You're placing the ball on the tee, so the reader just has to step up and swing (and actually hit, if they're interested in your offering).
If you're still in the dark regarding the benefits of a call-to-action, maybe the next section will help clear the air.
Why are CTAs Crucial?
Here are three reasons why call-to-actions are so essential:
CTAs Activate Your Sales Funnel
CTAs and sales funnels go hand in hand like bread and butter. They are inseparable.
You see, a call-to-action serves as a transition between the phases of a buyer's journey in Inbound Marketing. It instructs a user on what to do next, prompting them to take instant action.
Whether you want your readers to download an e-book or give you their contact info, you must provoke this action with a well-placed CTA in the sales funnel. In short, without a CTA, you're staring down a dormant sales funnel.
Customers Want Them
The human mind is so accustomed to how the online world works that they expect to see a CTA somewhere on your website. And given that more than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy, you wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of this stat.
CTAs Catapult Your Digital Advertising Strategy
We all know what digital advertising is truly about; it's about generating hype around your offering, piquing the attention of customers, and encouraging them to seal the deal.
The call-to-action is the missing piece in your digital advertising puzzle. It emphasizes the power of your ad copy, leaving the sign of approval on it.
Here's the thing: without the CTA, your ad copy will fall flat. That's because it'll lack the final hook that inspires visitors to take the next step.
Now that you've wrapped your head around the benefits of a CTA, let's now look at how to create one that your customers will fall for hook, line, and sinker.
A Checklist to Creating the Perfect Call-to-Action: 10 Must-Follow Tactics
An effective, off-the-charts CTA is a sum of various components. To get it right, you need to adopt the following tips. Shall we?
1. Communicate Value
You're asking visitors to act, right? So you need to make them understand that they'll get something worthwhile in return.
Obviously, this is true if the action is to hand over money. But any action online is an investment of effort and time, so the ROI must be apparent.
Ask yourself: "Why should the readers click here? What's in it for them?" Answer those questions in your call-to-action.
That said, avoid words like "buy now," "submit," or "download" in your CTA. They have zero value for the reader. Instead, the visitor needs to know they're getting a quote, saving 25%, or earning free shipping. That's value. And that's what is going to push them further up your sales funnel.
2. Incorporate Attention-Grabbing Design
One thing you should remember about CTAs is that they need to stand out and make an impact. A lasting mental impact.
Don't follow the standard practices when crafting your CTA image or button—it shouldn't match with the rest of your page design.
To achieve this, try combining the elements that fit your style preferences. These could be brand colours or fonts, but whatever they are, make sure the final CTA really pops from the rest of the page.
3. Use Action Words
We're talking about calls-to-action here. So it makes sense that the perfect CTA incorporates action-oriented phrases and words.
What exactly do we mean by action-oriented? Here are a few examples:
- Discover Your Niche: The idea of discovering something is certainly more exciting than "Download Our Ebook" or "Check Out this Video." Besides, "Discover Your Niche" speaks to the benefit of the e-book, not just the e-book itself. This goes a long way in boosting clicks.
- Talk to Us: We bet you've seen this CTA before, and you'll agree that it sounds more personal and action-oriented than "Contact Us."
- Reserve Your Spot: Doesn't this sound way better than "Submit Your Application" or something along those lines? "Reserve Your Spot" is much more luring.
No matter what action you're trying to get your website visitors to take, use action-oriented words in your CTA, and you'll find more success.
4. Keep it Short and Concise
The most effective CTAs are often the simplest.
Calls-to-action should be as precise and as easy to follow as possible. Complicated or overly fancy CTAs may drive your prospects away, and that's bad news for your brand image and business as a whole.
Links that double up as CTAs should be short and clear. As for phone numbers, they should be tied to a statement or image that boosts recall. They should also be easy to remember, and most importantly, clickable.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Try out Different Types of CTAs
Newsflash: there are multiple types of CTAs.
It's important to try out various types to see what works best for your website:
- Image CTA: This is a nicely crafted CTA that catches the eye with a short message that gets readers to click on it.
- Pop-up CTA: These can be placed in the bottom right, left, or center of the page. They should have a short sentence with a button or form to fill out.
- Text CTA: A text link that stands out from the rest of the web copy.
- Button CTA: A link that resembles a designed button.
The trick here is to use more than one CTA format per page. If you are using an image CTA, you might as well add in a text CTA to help drive the point home.
6. Infuse a Sense of Urgency into Your CTAs
Adding the element of urgency into your CTAs is one of the best ways to keep your readers focused on the action you want them to take.
Is it a promotion that's ending tonight? Is the offer limited? Only a dozen items left in stock? Let your CTA communicate to your customers that they should act now instead of postponing it for later.
7. Learn the Art of Placement
Where you position your calls-to-action is almost as crucial as the CTA itself.
Ideally, a CTA should be placed above the fold i.e., in a spot that can be seen without having to scroll to the bottom of the page. More so if it's about a free incentive or signing up for a newsletter.
However, other calls-to-action, the kind that asks visitors to make purchases, are better off at the bottom of the page. Imagine being asked to buy a product before you've even had a chance to read the sales page or a corresponding blog. It's a bit of a turnoff, don't you think?
Understand what you're asking the online audience to do, and then put your CTA in the spot that best facilitates that action.
8. Appeal to Emotion
The best CTAs have an emotional twist to them. They sting readers right in the feels.
Good news is, emotion-packed CTAs aren't that hard to craft. Simply follow these tried-and-true strategies:
- Create a sense of belonging: Phrases like "become part of the family" or "join us" appeal to people's desire to be part of a community.
- Make it personal: Utilize pronouns like "me" and "I." At the most basic level, such pronouns make it easier for your readers to imagine themselves taking action. Examples in a sentence would be something along the lines of "Sign me up" or "I want to save money now!"
- The bandwagon tactic: Show your visitors how many other people have taken action by using phrases like "Join our community of 10,000 members today!" On top of establishing trust, such a CTA paints your brand as a valuable source. And who would dare say no to a credible source?
9. Stay True to Your Tone and Voice
If you're cool and chill (like us, obviously), your calls to action should feel the same.
If you're professional, laid-back, and upscale, stay on tone.
"View our catalogue" versus "Head over to my website to get yourself one!" both prompt your visitors to the same action, but with a different voice and tone.
Every copy on your website—including CTAs—is part of your brand voice. Don't deviate from the flow.
10. Try Again and Again (Till You Get it Right)
Like most things in life, CTAs are not a one-off thing.
To see what drives traffic best, you need to experiment as much as you can. Switch up the colours, the phrasing, the font, or even the images if you can.
Try A/B testing to gauge what works best, and then adjust, refine, and try again.
Even a simple change from "Reserve Your Spot" to "Reserve My Spot" can make a world of difference.
A Few Final Words
A journey of a thousand miles begins within a single step. If you really want to craft powerful, show-stopping CTAs, you've got to take that bold step and give your website a little shakeup. Give it a little more love. Update it, or if it's in a pretty bad state, redesign it. All the best in your CTA creation journey!
Here at Pixel Fish, we love everything website design, and we're convinced that if you give us a chance, you won't ever want to go back. Yup, we're that good. Ready to meet our web agency Sydney team? Talk to us today via 1300 631 099 or fill out this form!