Calls to action (CTAs) are crucial elements of successful digital marketing campaigns. Whatever industry your business sits in, your marketing content and web pages need to carry clear, relevant and click-worthy CTAs. Optimising calls to action is a multi-layered process, which requires psychological research, as well as strategic tactics and testing.
Enchant discusses how to skyrocket your conversion rates with optimised calls to action:
Size and shape
The size and shape of call to action buttons can have a major influence on the effectiveness of your content. You CTAs should be compelling, welcoming and visually magnetic. Many retail brands – in particular brash retail giants like Sports Direct – go for big and bold rectangular CTA buttons which are impossible to miss. That fits the loud and disruptive approach of Sports Direct’s messaging and discount-driven marketing.
Other businesses, such as Spotify, are more inclined to use buttons with rounded edges, which evoke a softer and less pushy tone. Circular CTA buttons, to sign up for a service or subscription-based content perhaps, can feel like a badge which represents the idea of becoming a member of a club.
Obviously not all CTAs need to be placed within buttons, as they can take the form of hyperlinked text within content or tagged images, but your primary calls to action should be in clear buttons.
What most people think when they hear “call to action” is the idea of a route to purchase, that includes a generic message, such as “click here” and “buy now”. However, when optimising CTAs you should consider using more meaningful text. Whether it's hyperlinked calls to action or CTA buttons, avoid using generic wording.
Although calls to action should be action orientated – making it clear what the purpose of the CTA is – consider using keywords that relate to your content. This helps to maximise SEO, keep continuity and consistency, and assures customers that what they're clicking through to is relevant to them. Don’t be vague or misleading.
Impact of colour
Colour plays a significant part in driving click-throughs and conversions, as it can help CTA buttons stand out from text (and white space) in blogs, email templates and web pages. When optimising your calls to action, consider your brand colours and other colours within your content. Extensive research has been carried out to understand the psychology behind colours and how they affect consumer perception and behaviour. UX designers are particularly interested in these considerations, when looking to maximise the impact of their creative, and marketers should utilise the findings for optimising CTAs
Green, for example, is often used in retail for CTAs at the purchasing stage. Green represents “go” – as in green lights – and “correct”. When filling out online forms you will often see green ticks indicating correctly submitted details. So, it's natural for retail brands to primarily use green for calls to action related to sales, such as adding products to shopping baskets or confirming a purchase. This infographic from Kissmetrics about the psychology behind different colours in commerce is a good go-to reference.
We've seen Sports Direct and Spotify's use of green CTA buttons, here is another from Moneysupermarket.com:
There are commonplace positioning tactics for content and CTAs that most marketers will be aware of, like keeping your prime content and call to action above the fold and the F-shaped structure of content that relates to eye-tracking research. But recent neuromarketing and heat-map research has shown there are more intriguing findings that deserve marketers’ attention for optimisation and UX purposes.
This blog by Frankly Digital on neuromarketing in web design is worth a read and you may want to employ neuromarketing technology to refine your CTA positioning optimisation.
However, positioning of CTAs depends on the type of content. For example, with product-driven web pages you ideally want to have your primary CTA button above the fold, so visitors don’t miss it when arriving on the page, as they may not scroll down on that page. Whereas, specific CTAs in blog content should be placed at the bottom of blog posts, with more general CTAs buttons appearing in the sidebar.
If your blog is a long-read article, you might want to insert relevant CTAs within your blog content to catch the eye of visitors who may not have time to read to the end.
Check out the following blog snapshot from a post by Litmus. They've cleverly placed calls to action within relevant sections of their article, such as a CTA for accessing their email templates and one allowing readers to click their Twitter follow button from the blog post.
Tools such as Realtime Email by Liveclicker deliver time-related content for marketing purposes, particularly email marketing, to encourage customers to convert and purchase products and offers by leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out) persuasion tactics. Consider countdown clocks and real-time tracking information (for hotel rooms and flight seats), which are hugely effective in ecommerce.
This dynamic content can really impact conversion rates, as customers see things change before their eyes, encouraging them to take actions. FOMO is a key psychological trait utilised by retailers.
See ODEON's countdown clock below, encouraging users to book cinemas tickets for new releases:
CRO (conversion rate optimisation) is primary focus of calls to action and is an essential part of every marketer’s job. Carry out A/B testing for each of the elements, so you refine you CTA formula for success. If your business dedicates time and resources to optimising each of the elements that come together to make effective calls to action, you'll be rewarded with big impact. Watch your conversion rates skyrocket!
Want to discover more tactics and brands examples to help you improve your calls to action? Download our free Persuasive Digital Marketing Copy and CTAs guide and start optimising your marketing campaigns!
Enchant Agency is a leading UK digital marketing agency, specialising in email marketing, CRM and paid social advertising. Our proven marketing strategies focus on the customer lifecycle and we help brands to reach their full potential. Get in touch with our marketing consultants and see how we can supercharge your performance!