Imagine reading through a really helpful article that’s answering all of the questions you have about a service or product you’re interested in, and then…
…it just stops.
Maybe you’d like more information on the product or you’d like to learn how to make a purchase, but the webpage has offered no clear path forward without sifting through the navigation bar at the top of the page.
What’s missing from the equation? A call to action — better known in our industry as a CTA. And, thankfully, CTAs are simple and easy for anyone to incorporate into their messaging by first understanding what a CTA is and how to use them.
If you want people to subscribe to a newsletter, sign up for a giveaway or submit information for a free quote, a CTA is your best friend.
CTAs are actionable bits of language that guide a potential lead’s journey through your webpages or marketing emails to get them closer to the end goal of becoming a customer. CTAs typically come in the form of a button on your webpage or in an email but can also be incorporated into the body copy of a blog or listicle.
As a brand, when you write any copy, you are speaking to the consumer and should use that second-person language (you, your) in your messaging. However, a 2017 study by VerticalResponse showed that using first-person language in CTA buttons (my, me, I) can actually increase your click-through-rate exponentially. The study said using a first-person POV puts your lead in control, making them feel like the decision to click through is theirs — not an order from you.
In a blog, CTAs are best placed at the end of an article. Peppering them throughout the body might come off too aggressively salesy, so give your lead the breathing room to take in all of the information and then present them with compelling CTA copy or a fixed button at the end to send them on to their next step in the consumer journey.
Another option is to use “fixed” or “sticky” CTA buttons that stay in situ on the page as the lead scrolls through the information. That way, if you hook them somewhere in the middle of your page, they won’t have to search for a way forward and possibly exit during that process.
CTA buttons aren’t as easy as “Read More!” copy. The buttons are intended to draw attention to themselves as well as give a user a reason to click on them. To craft a converting CTA button, follow of few of these best practices:
While brand style guidelines might dictate which color palette you can use, it’s important to use contrasting colors that complement each other to make your button stand out from the pack on your webpage. If you have multiple buttons, use a variety of tones to distinguish between actions.
You want to make sure your CTA stands out enough to act as a subtle nudge in the right direction — not a shove. Large text is best, but not too large. A button big enough to see is wise, just not too big. A delicate balance needs to be struck for your CTA to be effective, so play around with different versions.
Get to the Point.
You may have a lot you want to say in a short amount of space, but CTA buttons are too small to carry a lot of text. Instead of saying something like “Sign Up Now to Try One Month for Free,” try “Start My Free Trial!” A good rule of thumb is to keep all text at 2-5 words.
Words are Powerful.
When writing your CTA copy, use words that evoke a sense of FOMO like “today” and “now.” Also, grab action words like “start,” “find,” “sign up” or “take” to help your lead know what they are moving toward.
For non-button CTAs, use a final, short paragraph at the end of your blog to remind people of why they came to your page in the first place and provide them contact information and hyperlink options to take them directly where they need to be to close the deal.
We don’t want to leave consumers hanging or let them leave a brand’s site because they don’t know where to go next. The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to gain a loyal consumer. By following the simple steps above, that can happen with the click of a button.
Think you’ve got the hang of CTAs? Or have more questions or need help crafting one that’s just right? Let us know. At LEAP Amp, our copywriters and digital media experts will make sure that you and your consumer have everything you need to reach the finish line.