Creating CTAs that work and people want to click on

How can I create CTAs that people want to click?

A Call To Action (CTA) is a button or link on your website pages or emails that takes visitors to another page or asset. This action aims to engage your audience to do something valuable to your sales and marketing process - like downloading a brochure, booking a demo or requesting a site visit with a sales person. CTAs enable your contacts to become more qualified as they move through the sales and marketing funnel, and are a valuable part of your inbound marketing strategy.

Their importance means marketing professionals spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect formula to get people clicking. At HubSpot, they've seen some relatively small changes to their CTAs yield 30% increases in conversion. But how do you create CTAs that people want to click?

Creating CTAs that work and people want to click on


The ultimate CTA

Encouraging people into taking action is the key battleground of the CTA. If your CTA doesn't do that, is it even a CTA?

If you're looking to make your CTAs more effective, the good news is that there are only 3 ways you can do that. You can affect:

  1. The way it looks
  2. The way it reads
  3. Where it is

According to a study by Adobe, Facebook posts with images resulted in 650% higher engagements than regular text posts. This is because images grab attention more than basic text posts. Retention is also greatly increased with effective visual communications. Only 20% of what viewers read actually sticks. But once that information is on an image, suddenly the percentage of information taking hold leaps up to 80%.

Despite visuals being so important, the wording on the CTA is also crucial to its success. A good CTA uses actionable language, and is best written in the second person. Using words like 'learn' and 'download' shortens the copy and tells the viewer the action they will be taking, so they are more likely to engage.

Where the CTA sits on your website or in your email is also really important to its success. You want it to be somewhere clearly visible, and in a place that compliments the other content on the page. If your CTA doesn't fit with the context of the surrounding content, it's less likely to generate results.

Creating great CTAs people want to click on


11 steps to creating an effective CTA

Let's run through 11 things you can do to improve the performance of your CTAs. Have a go at implementing these tips to see if you can increase conversions and get more leads!

1. Make your CTAs stand out

Rather than blend them into the background of your website, email or blog, make sure they stand out from the crowd with contrasting colours and graphics. They don't need to be too flashy, but ensure people can easily see where they need to go to take action.

2. Keep it simple

Don't overwhelm the viewer with CTA after CTA or too much copy. Given too much choice, viewers are more likely to switch-off to the sensory overloading and walk away. Ensure you're using minimal, well-placed CTAs.

3. Inspire action

Awareness isn't the objective of a CTA, action is. So make sure that you're getting people to DO something. Ensure you use action oriented words, keep copy as short as possible, and make it clear what users will be receiving or what they need to do once they've clicked.

4. Match the CTA to the content

Having a CTA that invites a customer to download a cleaning products guide on a page dedicated to car tyres is unlikely to get as good a conversion rate. Match the needs of the viewer with the offer in the CTA to get the best results. This includes understanding which stage of the funnel your readers will most likely be at, and tailoring the offer and CTA to that stage.

5. Be relevant

You might want the viewer to book a sales call, but is the user ready? Make sure the level of commitment you're asking the viewer to make is in-line with the level of readiness they have to take meaningful action.

6. Image blockers

When you're using CTAs in emails, it's be aware that some email providers hide images. Because of this, it's always good to have a back-up. Try using hyperlinked text within your email copy as a way to direct readers to take action, and ensure your CTA has appropriate ALT text so you don't leave readers confused.

7. Test your CTAs

Many CTA building programmes enable you to A/B test your CTAs. This means you build 2 versions of your CTA and the programme delivers those versions to different users. After a while you'll know which one did a better job of converting viewers. This is useful if you're not sure which type of design, words or placements will resonate with your viewers more, as it will give you greater insight into how they prefer to interact with offers on your site.

8. Analyse and optimise

Make sure you analyse the performance of your CTAs regularly, and tweak the design to improve conversion rates. Frequent visitors to your site will be able to ignore CTAs they see regularly, so change them out every few months, or even better, use smart CTAs to always show the freshest and most relevant content to your viewers.

9. Use dynamic CTAs

Within some platforms you're able to build CTAs that change based on information you hold about the user (gathered via forms or cookies). This could be country specific, device focused or based on any information a contact has previously given you. How about a CTA that changes based on someone's job title, or industry? You can get really creative with dynamic CTAs, and can experiment by showing different CTAs to users at various stages in their journey.

10. Link to a landing page

A CTA should link to a page that is purely focused on getting the visitor to do the thing the CTA is asking them to do! Don't just send them to a a generic web page - send them to a purpose-built landing page aimed at getting that person's details and delivering what was promised in the CTA.

11. Share your CTA far and wide

If a CTA is performing well, remember to share it in your emails, on your web pages, on your blog and anywhere that a visitor will find it. Make sure the offer aligns with the other content on that page, but otherwise make sure as many people as possible see that CTA!


CTAs aren't static  

CTAs are very powerful tools in marketing. They have the ability to convert website visitors into contacts, contacts into marketing qualified leads, to sales qualified leads, and potentially customers!

Without CTAs your CRM can struggle to grow. With the average database losing 20% of contacts a year due to hard bounces and general degradation, it's crucial that you have some mechanism for growing your contact list.

Doing so relies on the effectiveness of your content offers (the things your CTAs point to) - ensure these are mapped effectively with the viewer's journey and challenges in mind. To get a better picture of how relevant your content is to your audience and at which stage of their journey, download our free Content Mapping Guide.

Download the free content mapping guide


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