When you set up a website, you had specific goals in mind. It could be to sell a product, facilitate transactions, champion a cause, share information, grow your social media follows, increase your email subscribers or any combination of these. Backend processes such as file activity monitoring exist to ensure visitors to your website can take these actions.
But just because someone visited your site doesn’t mean they will take the desired action. They must be persuaded to do so. This is where the call to action (CTA) comes in. Don’t leave it up to chance as that’s how your visitors end up on competing websites. Not just any CTA will do though. Winning CTAs share certain characteristics. We look at these below.
Your CTA tells the visitor what you’d want them to do. It must be persuasive but without coming across as commanding or presumptuous. Therefore, to make your CTA compelling, use phrases that highlight the visitor’s self-interest and what’s in it for them.
The visitor didn’t land on your website by accident — they were likely looking for a solution or an answer. Appeal to this need by clearly stating what benefits they can expect when they take the desired action.
2. Clear and Unambiguous
Your visitor doesn’t have all day to read through the content of your website. That’s why your CTA should be coherent, concise, action-oriented and have a sharp focus on the specific thing you’d want them to do.
Leverage trigger phrases which are words that prompt users into taking action. Examples of trigger phrases include ‘Join now’, ‘Get instant access’, ‘Create your account free’ and ‘Grab a free quote’.
3. Use First Person
Most web content experts discourage writing in the first person. However, sales copy and CTAs are a notable exception to this rule. First person writing usually delivers a more effective CTA than second or third person speech.
That being said, the suitability of first-person speech will depend on what industry you are in and who is your target audience. You may want to run A/B tests just to be sure of what will work in your case.
4. Show Urgency
You have to instill urgency in your message if you want to drive conversions and boost sales. Numerous studies of human psychology have proven that people will be more drawn to things they perceive as difficult to have, in limited supply or soon to be unavailable. Conversely, visitors will tend to ignore items that seem to be available in abundance.
It doesn’t always have to be overt urgency — you can work in subtleties in the CTA language that convinces the visitor of the need to take action without delay. Remember though that your average customer can tell when a sense of urgency is false. A lack of authenticity is a conversion killer and the damage to your reputation could take a long time to repair.
Everything you do to make the text of your CTA effective would be pointless if people cannot locate the CTA in the first place. Visitors have to see it to click it. Make sure buttons are prominent and stand out from everything else on that page. Use strong colors (such as red, orange, yellow or green) that have a powerful eye-catching contrast.
The CTA should be impossible to miss. For long pages, place the CTA on multiple locations so the visitor has several opportunities to click on it as they scroll down the page.
6. Narrow Choice
The last thing you need around your CTA is an environment of confusion as this will only breed indecision. If you present visitors with too many choices on a page, you inadvertently create analysis paralysis. Since each CTA is persuasive, the visitor becomes unsure of just what option is best for them.
The fewer the options a user is presented with, the more confident they will be in picking one. Keep CTAs at a maximum of two on any given page.
Crafting a winning CTA isn’t too different from running a successful business. While the above tips can certainly help, you have to be flexible enough to figure out what specific strategies will work best for your website.