Foto de Le Buss Studio

Think of the number of times you have registered or subscribed to anything in your life, such as courses, newsletters, music and video platforms, etc. Well, behind each of those registrations there was probably a call to action with a very well thought-out design: an attractive component with eloquent texts and nice images that catch your attention, probably accompanied by something reassuring…

On any website, making it easy for visitors to act immediately with a one-click call-to-action can significantly increase the number of leads and customers. Let’s see what CTAs are, their advantages and how we can create them.

Definition of Call to Action (CTA)

A call to action or CTA is an invitation on a website that asks users to take a quick action such as signing up for an online course or an upcoming event, subscribing to a newsletter, joining a community on a certain topic, trying out software for free, or receiving additional information about a product.

This call can appear as a clickable button or as text with a link, and it is often presented in different formats:

  • popups or sliding content,
  • purchase pages or payment pages,
  • ads,
  • at the end of a post,
  • specific landing pages,
  • side panes, or
  • page banners.
Emporio Armani newsletter subscription popup
Example of an Emporio Armani CTA in a pop-up requesting the subscription to their newsletter.

Advantages of CTAs

A CTA is an important aspect of any web page. CTA links and buttons act as signals telling users what to do next. Without a clear CTA, users may have a hard time seeing what the next step is to get to buy a product or learn more about the service you offer.

The advantages of a compelling call to action are:

  • Direct your audience to browse your website: simple calls to action indicate where to go, what to do next, and greatly simplify the journey through your website.
  • Help decision making: well formulated questions and understandable answers with a quick execution can solve doubts about what decision to make. With calls to action that simplify life, you will make your visitors want to know more about the services you offer.
  • Improve conversions: the more people you convince to follow your CTAs, the more leads and customers you get.

Something as simple as a button labeled “Download report” can be enough to move a customer to the next stage in the conversion funnel or their buying journey.

Create Engaging CTAs

To achieve the goal of a CTA, it must be fantastic and irresistible to your target audience. To do this, start by determining the goal or intent of the CTA. Is it to drive conversions, increase signups, capture emails, or direct viewers to other content on your website? Then define CTAs that can be used for whatever stage of the conversion funnel your potential buyers are in, and target them by thinking about what might interest them at that particular moment:

  • “More information” with related content when they are in the awareness stage,
  • “Download the eBook” or “Subscribe” at the consideration or evaluation stage,
  • “Buy now” for the decision or purchase stage.

From there, write and design your CTA following these tips:

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Keep it Short

Use short sentences that quickly get to the point. All you need is 2-5 words to say what you need to say effectively. In some cases, only when you need to add extra value, like “Buy now and get 30% off” can you write slightly longer sentences, using up to 5-7 words.

Use Action Words and Phrases

The goal of a CTA is to make the visitor perform an immediate action. Make it clear what action will be performed by clicking on the button or link: “Download this guide”, “Listen to our podcast”, “Create an account”, etc.

If you need examples of phrases that increase conversion, here is a list of 100 phrases.

Add a Sense of Urgency or Scarcity

If you want the action to be immediate, add a sense of urgency or scarcity. You can get this by adding keywords like “now”, “only!”, etc, showing a deadline for a promotion, or presenting something as Limited Edition. In this way the user will know that he or she must respond immediately not to miss that opportunity.

Emphasizes “No Obligation” and “Low Risk”

To click a button, you need to have the peace of mind that it will not involve a cost, commitment or any other type of unwanted obligation. Emphasize the low risk with phrases like “Get a free trial with no obligation” or by making it clear that you will not give the email to third parties and will only use it for what is being requested.

Create a Design that Grabs Attention

If you want the user to easily see the action to be taken, it is better to use eye-catching text colors or buttons to attract their attention. Place the CTA on the page so that they are clearly visible in a side panel or at the end of a post. To give it more visibility, you can also wrap it on an area with a background with the opposite color to the one you show on the page to make it stand out more.

CTA displayed at the bottom of the FastSpring page
CTA displayed at the bottom of the FastSpring page.

Optimize CTAs through A/B Tests

Even if you follow the previous tips, how do you make sure that your CTAs are efficient among your visitors? The best way to optimize them is to A/B test them.

An A/B test of a CTA consists of having one or more variants of a CTA to which you have made changes with respect to the original version (the design, the text, the colors or whatever). The traffic coming to your website is split so that each visitor only sees one of the variants. This allows you to compare how your site visitors interact with the CTA based on your changes. After the period of time in which you obtain significant results, you can permanently change the CTA to the successful variation with the click of a button and in this way optimize the CTAs of your website.

What types of A/B tests of CTAs should you try on your website?

CTA Appearance and Colors

One of the most common ways to A/B test a CTA is to change the background color. Simply changing the color of your CTA to a contrasting color so it stands out on the page can dramatically increase click-through rate.

For example, for our Nelio Content page, we ran an A/B test to test the different colors of the action button that invited visitors to try the product.

You do not need to use only the colors of the brand or the website. When we talk about CTAs, we want them to stand out from the rest of the content on the web. So take the risk to try much more eye-catching and contrasting CTAs.

Location of the CTAs

We have already discussed that a CTA can be displayed in different locations. Try creating a banner at the top or bottom of the page, on the sides, use floating elements… whatever works best for your website. If you are not sure, remember that heatmaps are a good tool to better understand how visitors interact with the different elements displayed on the web. Use them together with A/B tests to position CTAs efficiently.

Text

We have already mentioned that texts should be short, invite action and also add a sense of urgency or scarcity. With these requirements you already have a set of text alternatives to try: longer or shorter, changing the action verbs, adding words of urgency, or even accompanying them with icons…

Remember that the purpose of a CTA is not to explain the benefits of your products but to ensure that the user takes an action. Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and think about what texts would make you to take action.

Summarizing

No matter how much advice you read about what calls to action should be, if you want to make sure that they are the ones that convert the best, don’t hesitate and test them with A/B tests. To create tests easily and without writing a single line of code, you can use a plugin like ours: Nelio A/B Testing.

Featured image from Le Buzz Studio on Unsplash.

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