Call To Action The How And Where Of CTAs
By Kamal Jacob
Be it an online E-commerce portal, a subscription-based service, or simply an online donation platform, almost every type of business enterprise wants online users to visit their website and interact with their business by performing a desirable action. For any business, a successful digital marketing campaign comprises of 2 phases namely:
1) Drive more web traffic to your business website.
2) Convert a majority of website visitors into customers and increase revenue.
As a digital marketer, you can drive customer conversion by providing the right Call To Action (or CTA) buttons that enable your website visitors to interact with your business. So, the last time you downloaded your favorite mobile app or signed up for a free online course, it’s probably the result of an effective CTA implementation.
Be it more outright CTA-based actions like “Buy Now” or “Sign-up for our Course” that can drive your sales or informative CTAs like “Learn More” or “Call Now” that can gently pursue online users to perform actions, CTAs are increasingly becoming an integral part of any online marketing effort.
Image Source: http://coschedule.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/call-to-action-example-signs-770x334.png
So, why are CTAs so important for digital marketers? Here are some interesting statistics that highlight the power of CTAs:
1) Relevant CTAs have improved E-commerce conversion rate by 22% each quarter, while the Average Order Value (or AOV) for blog-reading users have grown 49% for each quarter.
2) Business pages on Facebook with CTAs have grown click-through rates by a massive 285%.
3) Business e-mails with CTA have increased user clicks by 371% and sales by a massive 1617%.
While all these statistics highlight the important role that CTAs can play in boosting digital marketing, let’s now delve into what a CTA is along with six of the best practices that have made CTAs so effective for modern business enterprises.
What is CTA and how it enables conversion
CTAs are an important tool for successful digital marketing aimed at getting an immediate response from an online user in the form of a user interaction. An example of a successful CTA is this one from the online subscription platform, Netflix urging new users to ‘’join free for a month’’ or registered users to simply ‘’sign in.’’
Image Source: https://designadvisor.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/CTA-1.png
What makes this Netflix example so significant? Well, along with the right ‘’action words,’’ the CTA buttons are highly visible (thanks to its colour scheme and differentiating font styles) and are strategically placed to incite a user action.
In the digital marketing space, successful conversions are measured by the number of times the user responds to your CTA, which can include real-life examples like:
1) Completing and submitting an online form
2) Clicking on a Facebook ad
3) Signing up for a monthly newsletter
4) Signing up for a free product trial (like the Netflix case)
All leading to the ultimate CTA of the user completing a purchase!
On the other hand, if your online users do not click any of your CTAs, your business does not generate any sales leads and conversions. In the next section, let’s look at six of the best practices that digital marketers follow when implementing a successful CTA.
Best CTA Practices in Digital Marketing
You can improve user clicks and interactions by implementing these best CTA practices:
1) Make your CTA text definitive and authoritative.
While the concept of CTA in the realm of digital marketing is new, CTA by itself are an integral part of traditional modes of advertising. Remember the examples of billboard or television advertising that always included a CTA such as:
a) Call us now and avail of a 20% discount!
b) Shop now and get 50% off!
c) Interested? Drop in now to our nearest outlet!
Image Source: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ceblog/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/15132845/call-to-action-2.jpg
In short, consumers are conditioned to expect a CTA when they are looking at your website, business e-mail, or Facebook page. Authoritative CTA with a clear action call (such as “Join Now!”) works more effectively than CTA like “Are you ready to join now?”
2) Make your CTA the highlight of your web page.
A simple web page design with subtle graphics can make your CTA stand apart and help in attracting user attention. A prime example of this principle is the Dropbox sign-up page.
Example call to action button by Dropbox
Image Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/hs-fs/hubfs/dropbox-cta-1.png?width=669&height=446&name=dropbox-cta-1.png
By maintaining the same color scheme for both the Dropbox logo and the CTA button, users can easily interpret the webpage element to be clicked to perform an action.
3) How to use CTA in your E-mail marketing campaign.
A CTA can be an effective component in an E-mail marketing campaign in attracting user attention and in encouraging them to respond to your marketing message. Here’s a good example of how to use CTA in E-mail marketing message.
When brands incorporate CTAs, they are compelling users to do more than just read.
Image Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/assets/uploads/2016/03/75-calls-to-action-01.jpg
Along with a simple and direct CTA message like “Shop Now,” here are 5 useful tips for using CTAs effectively in promotional E-mail marketing campaigns:
a) Make it simple by providing just 1 CTA button in your E-mail.
b) Where should you place your CTA button? At the top or at the bottom of the E-mail? For E-mail subscribers who know the purpose of your e-mail, the CTA button can be placed at the top (or above the fold). Promotional messages that require some explanation can have CTA buttons at the bottom (after a user scroll).
c) Use a CTA design that makes it stand apart from the rest of the message. Example, the light blue colour used in this De Beers e-mail message.
De Beers Call to Action
Image Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/assets/uploads/2016/03/Color.png
Use a CTA button instead of a hyperlink as this can improve conversions by 28%.
4) Take care of your CTA design elements.
Let’s start with a case study where RIPT Apparel improved its conversion rate by 6.3% after changing its CTA button color from a black to a contrasting green color.
Image Source: https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/0*-aCLp_gLKqFxMCb3.png
The second and improved version shows a CTA button with a color contrasting to the rest of the page, thus attracting the user’s attention. Apart from the CTA button color, the color of the CTA text should also contrast to the button color itself so that it easily stands out. Other CTA button design-related aspects that can affect the overall user experience and interaction include:
a) Use of a CTA button that does look like a clickable CTA button. For example:
b) Use of CTA button with a proper size that is neither too big nor too small.
c) Leave ample amount of white space around the CTA button to attract user attention.
d) Use of microcopy or small messages with the CTA that can guide or assure the user in performing the action. Example of an effective microcopy:
Call To Action (CTA) button
Image Source: https://speedwell.com.au
5) Where to place your CTA button?
An important aspect of your website or landing page design is where should you place your CTA button so that they are easily seen by your users. Among the major considering factor is the stage of your user’s journey, for example, placing your CTA button above the page fold is recommended for users who are already ready to take action and don’t want to spend much time scrolling on web pages.
Though not a strict practise, here are some position-based guidelines that can be followed for deciding CTA button placement:
a) Central positioning
Works best for less-cluttered web page layouts like the Netflix page that we saw earlier. Another example is the following Duolingo website that places the CTA button as a prime element in the page.
Image Source: https://designadvisor.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/CTA-3.png
b) Top of the page
Recommended for users who are ready to purchase or perform an action. A prime example of “top of the page” CTA is this Vimeo page that adopts the natural pattern of users browsing the page and placing the CTA buttons at the appropriate location.
CTA Button Placement - Non-Central Placement
Image Source: https://designadvisor.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/CTA-4.png
c) Bottom of the page
Recommended for selling or promoting complex products that need a fair bit of information and explanation before the user to decide. This case study reveals how using a “below the fold” CTA outperformed the “above the fold” CTA variant by 304% in the conversion rate.
Is your CTA button also tied closely to a specific product or product category being viewed? For example, the “Add to Cart” or “Shop Now” buttons on an E-commerce website. In such cases, it’s recommended to place your CTA button alongside the product image or placement.
CTA Button Placement - Under Images
Image Source: https://designadvisor.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/CTA-7.png
Through the right level of direction and encouragement, online marketers can use CTA buttons effectively on their website landing pages and E-mail marketing messages to garner the right user action. Writing and designing CTA elements using the basic practices highlighted in this write-up are now crucial factors towards improving customer conversions.
We would love to hear about your views on this topic. Post your views in the Comments section provided below and let us know if we have missed out anything important. If you are looking for a professional training program in digital marketing or in UX/ UI Design, do check out what we offer!