Do I have your attention?
If I do, it won’t be for long: According to Statisticbrain.com, the average person’s attention span is eight seconds and most of us read only 28 percent of the words on a webpage. As marketers, that makes it challenging to engage and convert readers.
This is where a strong call to action (CTA) comes in: These buttons or links—on websites, banner ads, emails—are compelling, persuasive statements that move your visitors to act, guiding them through the sales funnel: Maybe you want them to watch a video, schedule a demo, sign up for a subscription, or learn more about your product. The right CTA can help you make those connections.
Here are 10 tips to fine-tune your CTAs to help you get the desired response:
1. Be direct. Simple and effective is what you’re looking to accomplish, so craft your message using words that make it clear what you want the reader to do. (Five words or less is ideal)
2. Tell them “why.” Not only should you tell what you want them to do next—but why. What’s in it for them? (for example: Join Us. It’s Free!)
3. Make it engaging by using an approachable, conversational tone…instead of “call today” instead try “let’s talk.” Here’s a great example from onUp.com using a problem/solution pitch.
4. Use multiple CTAs strategically placed throughout your site or landing page to attract and convert visitors at all stages of the buyer journey. These should be relevant to the content on the page. For example, if the customer is on your About Us page (presumably, just getting to know you) it’s not the right time to ask them to “order now.”
5. Optimize for mobile. Remember that many of your readers will be accessing your website or email via their mobile devices, so not only do CTAs need to be brief, they also need to be formatted to make a visual impact on a mobile screen.
6. Keep design simple. By keeping graphics clean and uncluttered, your visitors will find your message easier. (Don’t make them search for it!) This example from Trello shows a vibrant, well-designed webpage with a CTA that stands out.
7. Offer a time-sensitive special. Most of us don’t want to miss out on a good deal or deep discount (FOMO). So, instead of directing your readers to check out your new product, consider adding a “deal of the day” pop-up CTA that prompts the reader to check out your special offer before it goes away.
8. Provide options. One way to get visitors to spend more time on your site is to offer multiple CTAs that lead them down different paths. Here is a great example from Humboldt County (source: Hubspot).
9. Make it low risk. A good CTA promotes a high value yet is low risk for your audience. This example from Netflix has a clear CTA and is coupled with information that alleviates any hesitation about getting locked into the service: you can cancel at any time before 12/21.
10. Test your CTA. A small change in your CTA can make a big difference. You might not expect higher click-through rates as a result of moving your call to action above the fold, or changing the color, or swapping the word “my” for “your” but those subtle changes can greatly affect your conversion rates. Test and then redeploy to keep your content fresh and effective.
I’m always on the lookout for examples of CTAs that work for me. Can you think of any that have caught your attention and prompted you to act? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.