13 Steps to Create an Effective Call to Action

13 Steps to Create an Effective Call to Action(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Every website and every blog should have multiple Calls to Action, to guide visitors towards actions the owner desires. However, getting visitors to click the Call to Action (CTA) is not an easy task. The visitor should feel compelled to do so, without being annoyed. How does one achieve this?

1. Determine Your CTA Objectives

Be clear about what you want from your visitor. Do you want the visitor to complete a form? Do you want them to sign up for your email newsletter? Make your objective clear in your CTA button, and in the one-line CTA description below the button.

2. Communicate the Benefits of Responding To Your CTA

What do you expect your visitor to get out of responding to your CTA? Mention the benefits right above your CTA, so your visitor knows exactly what to expect.

3. Sweeten the Deal

In order to encourage your visitors to click your CTA, you might have to add a little extra to the deal. Think in terms of a free gift, a product discount, a coupon or similar.

4. Limit the Number of CTAs on Your Site

Have too many CTAs and you’ll cause confusion and irritation. Present minimum but very focused CTAs. Reduce the amount of mental effort your visitor has to put in, without compromising on your objectives. Also make sure each CTA is distinct from the other to prevent confusion.

5. Use the Active Voice

Use active and strong verbs to convey what you want the visitor to do. Suitable active verbs are: Call, Buy, Subscribe, Register, Donate, Discover, Explore, Click, and Learn, Download and so on. Avoid more than 2 words in a CTA button. Do not use passive verbs or passive tone of voice.

6. Convey Urgency

Make the visitor feel that they simply have to act now, or lose something that would be greatly beneficial to them. Convey urgency using phrases such as: Offer valid till <date), Products available only till stocks last, Only a few left, Buy now and receive a free gift and so on.

7. Position Your CTA Correctly

Position your CTA prominently on your page. The ideal placements are in within the central column and towards the top of the page, above the fold. Again, the placement depends on your site and its layout. It’s best to test your CTA placement and move it till you get the maximum conversion in test results.

8. Allow For White Space

Make sure that there’s plenty of white space around your CTA, so that the CTA itself is highly visible. Avoid placing copy, Ads, navigation links or graphics too close to the CTA. Evaluate the exact amount of white space needed by testing various placements and surrounding copy, text and graphics.

9. Draw Attention Using Colour and Size

Your CTA must be designed in a bold colour that stands out from the rest of your on-page copy. For example, if the rest of your site is designed in blue, maroon and gold, use a bright green for your CTA button. The colour alone won’t help, especially with colour-blind visitors. Make sure your CTA is done in a large font size, so that it pops out at the visitor.

10. Make Sure the CTA Follows Through

Work through your entire CTA process so that when your visitor clicks it, what happens next meets the visitor’s expectations. This requires some careful planning and testing. Everything should meet your visitor’s expectations on your landing page, click here for further ideas.

11. Less is more

When you are using CTA links, use few but powerful words to convey your intent. Make sure your audience is able to understand your CTA copy. Avoid long words, adjectives, adverbs technical terms, acronyms and so on. Use targeted keywords in your CTA link and statement to guide visitors directly to your CTA.

12. Back Your CTA Up With Relevant Stats

For example, when you put up a CTA for email newsletter signup, place a statement below it with your email subscription stats. Your statement can boast a little about your emails and their content, and indicate how much members have signed up so far.

13. Test Your CTA

Make an effort to understand your audience thoroughly. Then create various versions of your CTA and copy. Test several combinations of your CTA button size, colour, copy, placement, CTA landing page and its content before deciding on the best versions to use. You need to test and retest your data until you come out with a winner. It still doesn’t end there. You have to constantly monitor conversions and revise your CTA elements every now and then to maximize conversions. Based on your industry, some action verbs will convert better than others. Your task is to discover the ones that work best for your industry, product and audience, and test them all.