“Act now, and save 30% off your order!” Click here.
This is just one example of a simple “Call to Action.” This straightforward marketing tactic appears on website homepages, inside stores, in company newsletters, social media, and even spam emails. A “Call-to-Action” or better known as a CTA is just simply that: a call for you, the consumer or viewer to immediately act upon something that is being offered to you, with the prospect of reaping some immediate benefit. You see them all the time on websites across the internet. Here are just a few common CTA’s that you could use on your website:
- Click Here
- Learn More
- Call Today
- Take a Tour
- Sign Up
- Try (INSERT COMPANY NAME)
- Join (INSERT SERVICE)
- Get Started
- Give (INSERT COMPANY NAME) a Try
- Contact Us
- Send Me (INSERT DEAL)
- Claim Offer
- Watch Video
- Click Here To Get Started
- Let’s Start
- Play Free
- Give a Gift
- Find Out More
- Search (If you’re a mainly search website)
- Download The eBook (INSERT TITLE OF EBOOK HERE)
- Read More
And this is still not a comprehensive list!
Although some CTAs can appear as simple links, you or your designer need to find a way to catch the users’ attention almost immediately upon arrival to your website. Do your best to make it big, obvious, colorful, and have the understanding that if people aren’t clicking on it, it needs to change! Here are a few examples of CTAs that we have found to be effective:
The above homepage is taken from a startup SAAS company called due.com. They are revolutionizing the way we integrate invoices with a simple, easy-to-use platform. Their business model is successful when a user goes onto the website and tries the software out, getting a good feel for the website and ultimately using the product to send an invoice. No matter what page you go to, you will see a call to action that says “Try Due for Free” or “Get Started.” This is important because it catches the user’s eyes multiple times as they decide whether they’re interested, asking them the question at multiple steps of the marketing funnel. When creating a CTA for your own SAAS company, it’s important that no matter where your CTAs are, they are prominent on the website. It must be easy for the users to sign up for whatever it is that you’re selling.
When the socially-conscious shoe company Tom’s first started their incredible journey to fame and success, they were just a normal shoe company. When Tom’s founder Blake Mycoskie first traveled to Argentina, he was obsessed with helping those who were not fortunate enough to have shoes. He traveled for months to determine how he can solve this problem. Throughout the entire trip he documented the whole thing by taking pictures so one day he could share the story of Tom’s.
When he came back to the United States, he sat down with a group of friends and showed everyone the shoes that he’d like to create. When he just showed the shoe itself, no one really cared. They passed the shoe around the table, with little to no enthusiasm. But the minute that he took out the photos that he took during his journey, his group of friends were immediately “bought in.”
The call to action “Watch Video” allows your users to be “bought in” to learn your why. As you know, storytelling is important. Due to the engagement power of video, it’s essential to not only incorporate it but to use it to explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.
See the “Visit Site” button? That’s an example of a call to action, and it’s displayed on the home page of Nintendo’s website. They’re advertising the recently released purchasable downloadable game content (“DLC”) for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and as an avid gamer myself, I’m interested in finding out more about the new content that was added to the game. Nintendo made it easy to click the button to learn more about what was included.
“Visit Site” is a simple yet effective CTA to drive potential customers forward through the purchasing process while they want to learn more information.
For non-profits, it’s essential to not only share your story but to also raise awareness about your cause. For this website in particular, the “Donate Today” or “Donate Now” buttons are highlighted with a heart to differentiate each navigation item on the website. As you hover over the call to action with a mouse, it also animates slightly to give the user that extra feel of responsiveness to move forward in clicking “donate.”
By adding the highlighting and animation onto the website, they have seen an increase in donations of 30% within the first week of launch!
If you’re a small business or organization that is dependent on leads/sales, it’s important to make it crystal clear how your customer can get in touch with you. This insurance organization relies heavily on getting calls and quotes. This design was created to give the user options to do what is needed for them in that moment. The phone number call to action gives the user one click to reach a sales rep. With the Get a Quote call to action, it takes the user 2 clicks to obtain a quote.
Creating less friction allows the potential customer to submit a quote with ease and gives them fewer opportunities to leave the process once they’ve followed the call to action. Professional web design and conversion rate optimization services can ensure that a website reduces these friction points as much as possible.
Calls to action are essential to a business’s success particularly if that organization is investing in digital marketing. It’s important to have a call to action featured prominently on your website or landing page. It’s also critically important to reduce amount of friction to convert the users.
As stated in this article, there are different types of CTAs. Use them wisely, think about what it is you want your customers to do, tell a story and make sure your copy is well thought out.
About the Author
Johnathan Grzybowski is the co-founder of Penji, a dependable on-demand design service that helps marketing teams receive custom design at an affordable monthly cost. Johnathan also runs a podcast that helps entrepreneurs who may be temporarily blind in business to become profitable. Check out a recent episode of The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast for posts every Monday.