Click this way – calls to action that work

A necessary component to any webpage, call to actions have become so commonplace that it’s easy to overlook key considerations that elevate them from good to great. Follow these guidelines to ensure your call to actions are effective.

All content, no matter what kind, needs to evoke something in the reader. At its most passive that something could be a feeling, but as a content marketer it’s important that this feeling fuels an action. There are four broad types of actions; sharing, downloading, subscribing or shopping and while each have different outcomes, these guidelines will apply to all of them.

Location, location, location
While a CTA must be visible and prominent on a web page, it’s important that its placement makes sense to the user experience and page navigation. Make sure you don’t prompt users to sign up or shop now when they haven’t gone through the content to know exactly what they are getting into! The lower half of a page makes sense then, but if you want to keep it visible as users scroll you could also pin it to stay on top of the page. A pop-up CTA is also an option, but this could easily irritate a user if they are not ready to take that next step in their UX. Some brands opt to make the entire visual or section a CTA, allowing a user to click anywhere.

Use active verbs with a positive spin and a clear idea of what exactly you will get when you click. Instead of the dull and ineffective ‘click here’, rather use ‘start my free trial’, ‘shop now’ or ‘join us’. All of these denote an immediacy, and who doesn’t love instant gratification? Using first person phrases like ‘my’ and ‘us’ is also more effective than ‘your’. There’s not a lot of space so keep your wording short and sharp, you can feature supporting words around the CTA but only if necessary to keep the space around it clean for greater visibility.

Square, rectangle or circle? Is there a science to shape or colour? Rectangular CTAs are by far the most popular because words fit better. According to email marketing agency Emma’s Why we click: the simple psychology behind a great call-to-action, our brains seek to avoid pointy corners so you should round the corners of your rectangular buttons. In terms of colour, everyone knows that green means go so it’s a natural colour to use when prompting action. Red connotes urgency while orange is a colour associated with value or discounts. Blue is associated with trustworthiness and authority, which is why many brands use the colour in their corporate identity.

Things CTAs should NOT do:

  • Trick customers or be counterintuitive
  • Be too passive or vague, making customers unsure of what to do
  • Be too flashy or difficult on the eye
  • Be pushy and aggressive

Whatever your content needs are, we can help. Get in touch with us for advice on your content marketing strategy.

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