Image of call to action buttons and hyperlink

Call-To-Action (CTA)

Definition:

A call-to-action is a button, text-link, image or some other kind of asset with a link to encourage visitors to take action. This is normally the next step (e.g. add to basket on a product page) in your conversion journey and is the link between your default content and a page with a more high value offer on it.

Some common best practices for CTAs include:

  • Use a button rather than a link as buttons are visually more prominent and are designed to look more clickable.
  • Have a single CTA on the page to avoid what psychologists call choice overload.
  • Locate your CTA in an obvious position on the page so that it easy to find.
  • Use contrasting colours, preferably the button should use a colour that is not already present on the page, to make the CTA stand-out on the page.
  • Make your CTA large and easy to see from a distance.
  • Use compelling copy on the CTA so that the benefit of clicking on the CTA is clearly communicated.
  • Be brief and to the point with your copy – no more than 5 words.
  • Use action oriented verbs such “Get”, “Join” or “Open”.
  • Write in the first person as A/B tests show that “Get my free account” tends to perform better than “Get your free account”
  • Use the power of the word “free” as psychologists have discovered the word “free” is a strongly persuasive word as we are loss averse and dislike feeling regret when we miss out on a good offer.
  • Create a sense of urgency by displaying a limited time availability on any offer you are using to acquire new customers.
  • Consider including extra information to help set expectations or to reduce anxiety about clicking on the CTA. This type of information includes:
  • Risk reducers (e.g. “No credit card required”)
  • Guarantees such as money back offers
  • Key benefits (e.g. free packing and delivery)
  • Testimonials, reviews or customer ratings

Finally, A/B test different CTA designs and copy to discover what works best on your site.

Resources:

Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.

Digital Marketing toolbox – Over 300 resources.

A/B testing tools – Which A/B testing tool should you choose?

Digital Marketing and Insight