No matter what your goals for your brand are in 2021, a strong call to action (CTA) provides results. Your CTA either results in higher conversion rates or shows little results. Fortunately, making small changes often results in big successes when it comes to engagement on your site.
If you’re like most brands, you spend quite a bit of time and money driving people to your site. Once you get them there, you should do everything you can to move them forward through your conversion funnel. Focus on improving your CTA’s, and you’ll also see your revenue rise.
1. Use Strong Verbs
One study showed CTAs are almost always action verbs with nearly 94 percent including words such as “learn” or “start.” Think about the goal of the CTA and what step you’d like users to take next. How does that translate into a verb? If you want users to sign up for your newsletter in exchange for a free guide, then you might use words such as “get my free guide” or “download free e-book.”
Try to choose verbs that are short but also not overused. Use words such as “read” versus “peruse.” The more commonly understood a word is, the faster the reader processes the word and makes a decision about whether to accept your offer.
Rich Dad utilizes CTAs with powerful verbs, explaining what happens when the user clicks on a particular CTA button. For a livestream event, the CTA reads “Register Now! FREE.” For the CTA to work with a private coach, the button reads “Try It Free.” Each CTA speaks to the audience most likely to click on the link and uses strong words with clear actions attached.
2. Create Urgency
Another tactic used by website owners is creating urgency to complete the offer. If something is offered for a limited time or in limited quantity, then users feel the principle of scarcity and believe they better act now before the offer goes away. People don’t want to feel left out so creating a sense of urgency types into the psychology behind why people sign up for offers.
Make sure any offers are sincere. You shouldn’t tell users they can only download the free guide for the next 48 hours and then offer the same guide for free again in two weeks. If you plan to limit the time the guide is available for free, you’ll need to come up with a new offer or risk looking inauthentic to site visitors.
3. Offer Something of Value
Figure out your target audience and what their wants and needs are. Once you understand your audience fully, you’ll better understand what they value and be able to offer them something worth their effort. So, if you run an HVAC business, perhaps your typical customer desires information on how to save money on growing energy costs. You could offer a free webinar on reducing energy usage in the home in exchange for their emails.
Figure out what is valuable to your typical user and then offer it to them, so they sign up for your mailing list and see you as their go-to source for information in your industry.
Spectrum Pest Control offers a free estimate to people interested in their services. They provide a simple form with the invitation to “Get My Free Estimate” or a couple of other CTA options, including getting a free “Speedy Fast Quote” or a link to call them, which works well with customers browsing via smartphone.
4. Avoid Friction Words
The Internet is full of scams and people trying to get your information and sell it to others. Regular sales calls interrupt dinner and every moment of our lives. It’s natural for people to feel a bit reluctant about parting with their personal information. Some words trigger the desire to go into a protective shell and not give up information such as an email address or phone number.
Avoid words such as “submit” or “buy.” These words indicate you’re asking for something from the user instead of offering them something of value. Users are much less likely to share their information with some trigger words than others.
5. Use Personal Language
In one study of more than 330,000 CTAs, the researcher found that personalized wording resulted in 202 percent higher conversions. Going with first- or second-person phrasing creates a more personalized experience, and users are more likely to click on your buttons.
Beachway Therapy Center does a good job of personalizing their CTA on their overview of the program. The CTA button reads “Does my insurance cover this?” The user knows when they click on the link that they’ll get an answer to their question about what is and isn’t covered and what the program might cost them.
6. Use Arrows
Some pages require more than one CTA and users may feel uncertain about which step to take next. In cases where you have multiple buyer personas landing on the same page, consider which is the largest segment of users and gear the page toward them. Use elements such as arrows and other icons to point toward the next step(s).
Other elements on the page may serve different segments, and that’s fine, but the majority of people should move toward the next step in the buyer’s journey by clicking on the CTA with an arrow pointing the way. You can also utilize words such as “next” or “this way” as directional cues.
7. Point Users to the Future
Another effective but rarely used tactic for grabbing interest involves pointing users to the future. If you have upcoming workshops or new products coming out, users might sign up for your mailing list for regular updates. Users love brands that provide ongoing value and content they can share and absorb.
Crazy Egg’s blog pop-up talks about the upcoming webinars in their lineup and then invite the user to “Check out upcoming sessions.” This throws out a carrot, promising future rewards if you stick with them through the journey. By showing them you have more material coming soon, you provide them with future value from ongoing content.
8. Choose the Right Placement
Where on your page should you place your CTA button? Many sites put a CTA near the top of the page as well as under the basic information about their unique value proposition (UVP). If a user comes to the page intending to take action, they click on the link at the top of the page. First-time visitors may need more information, so offering a second button further down the page allows them to absorb the content before taking the next step in the conversion process.
9. Add Video
About 73 percent of B2B marketers report good ROI from adding video in some form to their campaigns. CTAs tied into a video perform better and see more engagement. Add a video to your landing page or place your CTA at the end of the video itself for better results. You can also create a CTA that invites users to watch a video for more detailed information.
Purple Mattress offers an opportunity for users to get in-depth information about the mattress. The CTA button links to a YouTube video where they test the beds and some of the features highlighted. They end the video by merely saying “Purple” and then inviting people to visit the website.
Test Your CTAs
Following best practices helps your CTAs become more effective, but if you want to increase your conversions you must test your CTAs with your specific audience. Try different word combinations and placement to see which ones convert best for you. The actions you urge users to take on your site shouldn’t be static buttons created once and left forever. CTAs must be a living invitation which changes over time as your brand and your audience grows.