A call to action or a CTA is a part of almost every digital marketing strategy. CTA's can be found in emails, marketing texts, digital ads and throughout websites of all kinds. In its simplest form, a CTA is a clickable section of text, however, more commonly they can be found as buttons. Common phrases include "Shop Now" or "Get Started" and they help give users guidance on what action a user should take. So what can you do to create the most effective CTA possible
Depending on your business and your goals you may require a different action to be taken by customers. Some products may take a little more work to sell than others especially if they require a large investment. Others may be something users can decide to purchase almost immediately. Hence, here are some common calls to action:
Subscribing is a great way to help build your customer base and is perfect for businesses who are trying to sell a product that customers may need to first think about. Hence, if you don't think your product is something people will impulse buy then the best next thing you can do is establish a relationship with those customers. You may create a popup that offers users a coupon code if they subscribe or a free ebook to help educate them on a certain topic that relates to your service or product.
Accompanying a paragraph about what makes your product is special or some elegant product photos it might make sense to add a buy now button. This button should draw the users attention by having a colour that stands out and attracts the eye. However, it is important to acknowledge that a CTA does not stand alone and is heavily impacted by the content it complements. This is where analytics is important, you should ideally be tracking which CTA's are most effective in boosting your conversions. The aim of the game is to get the highest quality conversions for the lowest possible advertising cost.
For service-based businesses, the goal is of course is to generate leads. Those who make it to sending an enquiry are more likely to convert, ultimately, a CTA in this case is designed to capture the details of individuals who are interested in using your service. Once these leads are generated you have the option to follow up with them personally or on a larger scale add them to a marketing list and continue to market to them directly.
Increasingly popular way companies are helping boost conversion rates is through a less traditional CTA. These involve offering assistance to customers as you would in person but instead offering this assistance online. There are a few ways to do this, one is through live chat another is through one of our favourite Shopify apps. So how can this help? Live chat can help by improving individuals trust in your website, additionally, they are far more likely to take action if they can receive an immediate response as this functions as an immediate reward and as humans we are positioned to opt for immediate rewards rather than waiting for a later reward. The second is through a Shopify app called Octane.ai, which allows you to create interactive pop-ups or product quizzes that help guide your customers to the perfect products for their needs. In essence, both these CTAs help remove any friction that can stall the sales process and will inevitably result in a boosted conversion rate.
Learn more is usually a good call to action to have on the homepage of your website. As when a user lands on your homepage they are most likely not overly familiar with your brand or what you have to offer. Hence, create a homepage that functions almost like a map to your website. Place the most relevant destinations near the top and link them to pages with greater detail through the learn more button. Then you can take your users to the page that they are interested in, from here you can put yourself in the shoes of your customer and decide whether they will be ready to convert if you believe most will be ready to convert you will likely make most of your CTA's on this page, your final CTA. If however, you think they might need a little more information you may include a few CTA's that offer to provide users with more information whether it be through a video, a gallery or another page of information. Of course, above the fold, it is always important to offer a "Shop Now" or "Enquire Now" button for those users that are ready to convert. Essentially, the ultimate goal is to cater to all users who land on your website and ensure you tailor the user's journey to each of these users.
Where you should and shouldn't be using a CTA can sometimes be hard to decipher. When deciding whether or not a CTA is appropriate you should establish the purpose of a page. For example, on a product page, the only CTAs you should have are ones relating to the purchase of that product, you certainly do not want to confuse the customer and direct them off of the product page as this is counterproductive. The same goes for service-based businesses that have an enquire form, you do not want to confuse the message and hence the only CTA should be Submit or call us.
Of course, your users will expect to see clear CTAs in different sections of your homepage. As discussed above, the homepage and its CTAs should function as a map to your website. When creating CTAs on your website it is important to consider your users' journey, are you creating a logical progression from landing on your website to converting?
Do not underestimate your mailing list! These are relationships that you own with your customers and creating CTAs in these emails can help you subtly remind users to visit your website and browse your new products.
YOu may choose to leverage social media to help promote your business either organically or paid. Again the type of CTA you will likely choose to use in these ads will be strongly influenced by your product and the temperature of the audience you are targeting. If they are familiar with your product, you may be able to get away with a buy now CTA, otherwise, you might opt to encourage users to learn about your product.
Creating a truly powerful CTA can be difficult and often requires some degree of trial and error, a CTA should stand out and catch attention, but should look out of place or feel tacky. They should be persuasive without feeling pushy and ultimately they need to engage users to perform the desired action.
The first place any website should have a CTA is above the fold, often you might choose to have two different CTAs to address more individuals such as "learn more" and "shop now". For those who aren't quite ready to purchase they can begin to learn more, for those who are there to purchase you give them the option to begin shopping immediately. Hence, within your hero, your goal should be to create a CTA that applies to the largest possible portion of your website visitors whilst helping guide your visitor's journey to conversion.
The goal of any CTA is to invite customers to take the action. This means that it is essential that you are making the value the user will receive by clicking the CTA clear. Additionally, you should avoid CTAs that create pressure such as "commit" or "lock me in" and instead use words like "get started" or "I'm ready". These buttons clearly serve the same purpose, however, the first two frame it as a negative action whilst the second two frame it more as something that is exciting or inviting.
The best way to get some incredibly persuasive text for your website is by hiring an incredible copywriter. They spend every day creating engaging content for a website that is designed to sell. A part of being persuasive is providing your users with concise content designed to answer any burning questions that they might have. Another way you can be persuasive is by using pop-ups. There are a range of different ways you can use popups to offer greater value to customers, if a customer has spent 5 minutes on your website you might choose to encourage them to purchase by offering them a discount, alternatively, you may create a pop-up based on exit intent, hence, when your website perceives that a customer is about to leave your website you might choose to display them with a discount code.
If a user knows they can come back in a few days after thinking about your product before they need to purchase, they likely will. Many consumers like to contemplate purchases before committing. The greater the cost of your product the more likely they are to carefully consider the purchase. Hence, creating a sense of urgency with a sale or limited stock number can help boost conversions. When combined with a clear CTA you could see great improvements.
Your website visitors will begin to determine the value of your product from the moment they land on your website, a large factor determining the first impression they have is of course the user experience of your website. If you can implement subtle interactivity into your CTAs then you can often help encourage users to engage with them.
There is no right or wrong way to create a CTA, the most important step in achieving the best CTA possible is testing. Ensure you are gathering information about the performance of different CTAs and take note of what differentiates them, whether it is the content that accompanies them, the colour, the size, or the copy you have used. Each of these will have an impact on how users engage with your content and ultimately whether or not they take action.