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Buy Now! Subscribe! Enter Here! How to Cross the CTA Minefield

Finding the right CTA for different types of content is not an easy task by all means. Start with our comprehensive guide

Lauren Dowdle
November 06 2018

All of your work and campaigns are (hopefully) leading up to earning you the thing all marketers dream about: conversions. One important component that will give your leads the nudge they need to convert is an enticing call to action (CTA) — whether that’s on your landing page, newsletter or ecommerce site.

A good call to action (CTA) can be the difference between increasing your conversion rate or giving an unintentional boost to your bounce rate. To get the best results, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach with your CTAs across all of your materials. Your buttons need to be designed with the specific content and goal in mind because you can’t afford to miss out on the benefits of a solid CTA.

Why your CTA matters

There are the obvious pros to using CTAs: They help get your audience to engage with you and maybe even take the next step in the sales funnel. Here are some of the numbers that prove just how important CTAs can be for your brand:

  • Personalized CTAs convert 42 percent more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs
  • CTAs on your Facebook page can increase the click-through rate by 285 percent
  • When added to a video, they can get 380 percent more clicks than normal sidebar CTAs

To ensure your CTA is effective, craft each one to fit the content and optimize your results. Here are five examples of different content and CTA pairings.

Emails

Emails with one CTA increased clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1,617 percent. To see results like these, your CTA needs to clearly tell subscribers what you want them to do. That could mean urging them to subscribe to your blog, sign up for a contest, visit their abandoned cart or download your latest whitepaper.

Use a button at the bottom of the body text or use an image with your CTA text on it. Or do both like in this email from charity: water.

(Source)

Blogs

Common CTAs for your blogs include ones to encourage blog or email subscriptions, along with asking them to download a related whitepaper. The important part is to make sure the CTA fits with the content, instead of using the same generic one across all of your pages.

Add a CTA to the bottom of your blog post to show them the next step to take when they finish reading the content. You can also use a pop-up CTA that appears when they scroll down a certain amount — either directly in the middle or off to the side like on this HubSpot blog:

(Source)

For a personalized experience, create a smart CTA that displays customized information based on the data you have on that visitor. That data can be based on where they’re located, device being used, where they are in the sales cycle or other factor.

Landing page

CTAs and landing pages go together like my money and Starbucks. This page is designed specifically to get conversions, so make sure all of the different elements — from the headline and forms to the CTA button — mesh together seamlessly. You can use the standard CTA button at the bottom of the form or an image of whatever they’ll get if they convert (ex. cover of your guide) with your text.

There are several options for placement and design when it comes to a landing page CTA. One way to make sure you’re maximizing your results is by performing A/B testing. You don’t want to leave conversions on the table because users aren’t responding well to a font, color or placement you chose.

To improve their below-average landing page conversion rate, CanaDream RV Rentals & Sales tested various versions of their persistent CTA. They tweaked different elements in each CTA option, including increasing the headline prominence, matching the CTA button copy to match the form headline and aligning input fields. The experiment CTA pages outperformed the control page, and with the new design, they saw an uptick of 106 percent in its conversion rate.

Ecommerce site

Another venue where your customers can convert is through your ecommerce pages. Some of the popular CTA text options for these sites are “Buy Now,” “Add to Bag,” “Shop Now,” “Add to Wishlist” and “Purchase.” Whatever text works best for your site, be sure to put it above the fold to keep viewers from having to scroll to find it.

Beyond the placement, the CTA’s color also matters. Simply changing the “Add To Basket” button from black to blue reduced abandoned carts by up to 50 percent for Andreas Carter Sports. That just goes back to A/B testing to figure out what resonates best with your audience.

Homepage

There’s no hard and fast rule that you can only have one CTA (although a single CTA is typically best for emails). You just need to make sure the ones you use don’t compete for their attention and overwhelm them with options. Take this page from Lyft as an example:

(Source)

They’re obviously making “Apply to Drive” their main CTA, using a large button to encourage potential drivers to sign up. However, they don’t forget about their other audience base who are looking for a ride, showcasing a less prominent CTA next to the main one. They even have a different homepage that will appear if someone clicks the “Sign Up to Ride” text, personalizing the entire user experience to meet their needs.

(Source)

Don’t be afraid to mix up your wording on your homepage. While there might not be anything wrong with the typical CTA words — like “Subscribe,” “Free Download” and “Enter Now” — there surely are other more catchy ways to get users to make the click.

You want to tailor your CTAs as much as possible to your audience and what will happen if they hit the button. For example, be specific with your text like with these buttons on influencer Neil Patel’s homepage:

(Source)

That prevents any confusion and clearly states what will happen if they click the button. For as small as CTAs are — they’re just a button or link of text — they really can make a huge difference with your conversion rate and overall marketing success. So, make sure they are a good fit for whatever type of content you’re creating.

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