Heeding the Call: Dos and Don’ts of Great CTAs

August 21 / Andrew Kopp / filed under Internet Marketing

digital marketing call to action

A call-to-action, or CTA, is the hook that gets your audience to take initiative. It may be a nifty plugin, a line of text on your PPC ad, or the last few sentences of a sales page or blog. It seems simple—after all, how hard is it type out “Click Here” and be done with it, right? But if you want consumers to stop scrolling and pay attention, it’s crucial to create CTAs designed to transform leads into sales quicker than you can say “Buy Now”.

DO: Be Clear and Follow Through-

Consumers want to know what’s in the pot at the end of the rainbow. CTAs that encourage people to make an appointment, learn more, or enroll now make sense because they’re easy to understand, but make sure you’re delivering on your promise. In other words, when people click through they better find exactly what they expected.

DON’T: Bury the Lede

A soft sell is fine and even preferred in some situations, but that doesn’t mean you should hide your CTA in a wall of text. Don’t make people work for their reward because they won’t. Put clickable buttons in a prominent spot and write text-based CTAs so that anybody and everybody understands how to get to the next step.

DO: Use Action Words

Action words are those super-powerful verbs that inspire a reaction:

  • Discover
  • Book
  • Follow
  • Download
  • Tour
  • Visit
  • Act
  • See
  • Shop
  • Click
  • Buy
  • Check
  • Learn
  • Request
  • Purchase
  • Get
  • Come
  • Compare
  • Join
  • Find
  • Contact
  • Give
  • Register
  • Read
  • Save

The list goes on and on, but the general idea is to create a sense of urgency without being aggressive.

DON’T: Get Too Creative

Everyone wants to be different but get wrapped up in trying to be clever and you risk your audience missing the point. “Learn More” is popular because it works. “Get Your Knowledge On” is likely to be a lot less effective. But that brings us to a vital point…

DO: Test Your CTAs

A/ B testing allows you to launch multiple ads and see which connects and converts best. Switching up your CTAs should be part of that process. By assessing engagement and reworking vague or complicated CTAs to make them more reader friendly, you build on your success and maximize your resources.

DON’T: Assume Emails Don’t Need a CTA

Whether you’re emailing your list to share a recipe or talk about the latest WordPress update, always be sure to include a succinct and powerful CTA. Why? Because emails with a single call-to-action boost clicks by a whopping 371%. Even better, those CTA-spiked emails fuel sales by a staggering 1617%.

DO: Play with Location

The typical blog move is to put a CTA right at the end of the post, but that only nets you a 0.5 – 1.5% conversion rate. Switch to a feature box and you increase that rate to somewhere between 3% and 9%. Relocate your CTA to a welcome gate (a bold but effective pop-up that specifically targets new site visitors) and could see rates as high as 25%.

DON’T: Sacrifice Variety for the Sake of Stability

Just because you find a CTA that works doesn’t mean your job is done. Even the best CTAs eventually go stale, and different audiences will be drawn to different things. Continuous reevaluation is key and giving into the temptation of experimentation could be exactly what you need to ratchet up consumer response.

Eager to see how the right CTA could drive your brand’s sales? Connect with the Chair 10 Marketing team to explore your options for digital marketing strategy, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and more.