What’s the difference between a window shopper and a customer?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s the same thing that separates a scroll-by from a click-through. Or an anonymous lurker from a known lead.
The one thing that all your leads, clickthroughs, and customers have in common is that they’ve taken action. More specifically, they responded to a call to action (CTA) on your landing page, website, or ad and actively made a choice to advance through your sales funnel.
If you want to inspire more of your target audience to convert (which, of course, you do), then you need to step up your call to action game. With the right copy, design, and placement, you can create landing pages with powerful CTAs that motivate website visitors to make a move.
A call to action is exactly what it sounds like: you’re literally calling on your audience to take a specific action. This might be clicking a “buy now” button on a sales page or filling out a lead gen form to “download your free copy.”
The Psychology Behind Effective Calls to Action
Knowing the elements that make for a truly compelling offer (and understanding why they work) is the first step to crafting the perfect CTAs for just about every use case.
So, what makes a CTA effective? Let’s start by looking at some of the hard-and-fast rules for creating irresistible calls to action.
1. Grab the Audience’s Attention
Before a visitor can be persuaded to do anything, they need to first notice the call to action. Use a combination of font, design, and placement on the page to ensure your CTA button or form jumps out from the rest of the content—even during a quick skim.
2. Make a Single, Specific Request
Your CTA is not the place to play hard to get. Instead, tell readers exactly what you want them to do. Though there are various ways to use calls to action, the general rule is that it should align with a single conversion goal at the center of your campaign.
3. Present a Clear Path Forward
Use plain language to set expectations and tell users exactly what they’ll get from clicking. People are less likely to click on a link if they don’t know where it’s taking them, so be clear on what the next step will be—whether it’s a pricing page to “compare phone plans,” an account creation page to “start [their] free trial,” or a registration form to “join [your] community.”
4. Motivate Readers to Click
Use action-oriented language that focuses on results. The basic approach is to use action verbs (like “get,” “download,” “start,” “reserve,” and “grab”) to build momentum. You can also experiment with first-person point-of-view (“Give me my deal”), positive affirmations (“Yes, I want to 10X my ROI”), and creating a sense of urgency (“In limited supply. Claim yours today!”).
5. Optimize and Test
Sometimes the best approach to writing calls to action is to test out several variations. When it comes to optimizing copy, a call to action is one of the easiest things to swap out (and even small changes can make a big impact on your conversions). Smart Traffic uses AI to analyze your visitors and automatically display the most effective CTA to each person.
Where Do CTAs Fit into Your Marketing Campaigns?
Your landing page or marketing campaign is most effective when it’s built around a single conversion goal. That conversion goal is represented on the page as a call to action. This might take the form of a single button (click-through page) or a form (lead generation).
There are several different types of CTAs you might leverage at different points of your marketing funnel. Everything from your campaign goal to your audience awareness should influence how you write calls to action for your sales pages, landing pages, and lead generation forms.
These are the most common types of calls to action marketers need to master.
- Lead Generation: A lead generation call to action helps identify viable leads. Whether the prompt is to download a piece of gated content, register for an upcoming event or webinar, or request a quote from the sales team, lead generation CTAs nudge leads to raise their hand and share details that help qualify them.
- Click-through CTAs: In many cases, lead nurturing campaigns feature call to action buttons designed specifically to get viewers to click. This could be part of an email campaign, a social media ad, or a landing page, but the aim is always to boost product awareness (“Get a sneak peek at our upcoming release”) and aid discovery (“Click to learn more about this awesome gadget!”).
- Sales and Signups: In the right place at the right time, calls to action can fuel sales and convert leads into customers. That means targeting leads who are ready to “buy now”—like those who click through to your sales landing page—and using action-oriented language. This applies to account creation (perhaps for a trial, paid account, or freemium version of the service) and ecommerce checkout pages. (Want to learn more about how ecommerce brands are using landing pages to drive sales? Check out 27 Ecommerce Landing Page Examples to Maximize Sales in 2020.)
- Click-to-Call Buttons: Rather than filling out a form or collecting data about leads, a click-to-call button gives prospects a direct line to reach your team. Not only is this convenient, but click-to-call CTAs can be combined with A/B testing and call tracking to boost lead generation. (For an example of just how well this can work, check out how clever call tracking helped this agency get 219% more leads.)
- Social Engagement: Brands that successfully promote their products and services on social media use calls to action to drive engagement. By asking viewers to follow, share, like, comment, or smash that subscribe button, you can broaden your reach, increase your following, and build relationships with potential customers.
Next, we’ll explore the most popular use cases using real-world call to action examples from Unbounce customers. – Read more