Call to Action Marketing Basics

 In Conversion Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies are very important to any digital marketing strategy. CRO is a method of increasing the number of website visitors who convert into customers.  It also applies to visitors who take any specific action that you want them to take.  For instance, you might want them to sign up for an email newsletter or to download your ebook.  Utilizing effective call to action marketing is a fantastic strategy for increasing your conversion rate.

Call to action marketing, often referred to as a CTA, is a common method is digital marketing strategy.  Basically, a CTA is a digital design tool that is intended to prompt website visitors into performing a specific action.  The reason that a CTA is a conversion optimization rate must should be obvious.  By prompting your leads to take a specific action, you increase the likelihood of converting them into sales.

Generally, a CTA will either be a button followed by a form or just a form.  A call to action marketing button redirects the lead to another page and then requests more information.  Usually, the call to action redirects the user to a landing page designed to entice the lead into taking further action by filling out a form. The form asks the user to fill in some basic personal information in order to complete the call to action and get the offer.  There are a lot of options for the specific type of action.  Your call to action could be as simple as a “Download This Now” or “Sign Up For This Now”.  You could also just skip the CTA button and have users go directly to filling out the form by using a pop up window or placing the form on the web page.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the basic factors to consider when implementing call to action as part of your conversion rate optimization strategy.

How To Make a Call To Action Button Easy to Identify

The Design

The design of a call to action will be the first thing a website visitor will notice.  The key is to draw a visitor’s attention to the CTA button.  A well designed call to action marketing button has three basic elements.

The first is color.  Use a distinctive color that sets the button apart from the rest of the webpage.  While the color should contrast the color scheme of the webpage, it should still be a complimentary color.

The second element is white space.  You don’t want the call to action marketing button to be cluttered together with other content.  By having enough white (or empty) space around the CTA, the viewer’s eyes are more likely to be drawn to the button.

Finally, the third element of an effective CTA is the positioning.  Clearly placed CTA buttons hve the highest conversion rate.  Placing them towards the top center of the webpage is more likely to get a conversion than placing it lower down and off to the side.

The Wording

The wording of an effective call to action button is almost as important as the design.  You want to use action verbs.  Here are some good examples of action words and why each word is a good bet.

  • Learn-Humans are naturally inquisitive, so something that offers knowledge is often effective. Be specific though.  A generic “Click Here to Learn More” will be less effective than “Learn More About {product or service} Now”.
  • Stop-This particular action verb implies the prevention of something negative as well as a solution to a potential problem. “Stop Losing Money Now” is pretty enticing for anyone.
  • Get-This one should be obvious. If the user clicks on the button, they are receiving something.  “Get the coupon now”, “Get your free trial now”, and “Get a free demo” are all good examples of this.

 The Offer

You’ve likely realized by now that your call to action needs to offer your website visitor something worthwhile.  Offering something free is almost always appealing.  It implies that you’re confident enough in your product or service to let people try it out before buying.  Additionally, creating a sense of urgency with your offer can entice someone to act more quickly.  For instance, you could offer a limited time discount, or you could offer a limited supply (think “Get {product} while supplies last!”)

Use Just a Form

Pop up forms are another excellent call to action marketing method.  A user lands on your web page and is subsequently presented with an offer.  The offer is contingent on the person providing some information such as an email address.  Just like with a CTA button, the design of a form is also important.  You can include more information about the offer on the form than on a CTA button, but you should still keep it minimal. While the button might just say “Get the Discount”, your form can describe the offer in more detail.  For instance, you can say that your discount is specifically 20% off of the product or service.

Additionally, there are a few other good rules to follow when using a web form.

Minimal Number of Fields

People simply aren’t going to take the time to fill out a long form with a lot of information, so keep it short.  Just ask for an email address or a name and email address.  The less fields the user has to type information into, the more likely they are to type in the information.

 Mobile Responsiveness

More and more, people are accessing websites through mobile devices.  That means that it’s paramount that your calls to action be mobile responsive.  Obviously, your CTA buttons, forms, and landing pages should look great on a desktop, but if it doesn’t load correctly on mobile devices, then you’re losing a lot of potential leads.

 Don’t Be Annoying

Timing of CTA forms is really important.  You need to figure out at what point a user is most likely to fill out the form.  If you have the form pop up immediately before the user has had a chance to browse your website, then they aren’t as likely to fill out the form.  However, if you wait too long, then the user might leave the website before seeing the form.  Additionally, don’t have your CTA forms pop up too often.  That can interrupt the user’s experience, making them more likely to leave your website before converting into a lead or a sale.  Basically, offer the user an opportunity to convert into a lead, but don’t annoy them.

Use Split Testing

Not sure which type of call to action would work best for your website?  You can try split testing to see which one is more effective.  Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method of measuring different types of marketing strategies in a random and controlled manner.  Basically, you create two variants of the same content.  Then you use one variant for fifty percent of your visitors and the other variant for the other fifty percent.  This works really well for calls to action because you can test if your CTA buttons or your CTA forms get more conversions.  Split testing is a great method of refining your conversion rate optimization strategy.  By testing a series of variations, you can narrow down what works to increase your conversion rate.

Plan the Test

First, you need to decide what you want to test.  You want to select two variations of some element of your call to action strategy.  Once you decide what to test, you’ll need to create two different landing pages, one for each variant.  The landing pages need to be well designed, so that you can get a clear picture of what’s working.  This means that you’ll need to develop content and design elements for both landing pages.

What to Test

For calls to action specifically, you could test a bunch of different variants.  For instance, you could test just the placement of a CTA button.  You could also test design elements of the CTA button such as color, size, and wording.  The same thing goes for testing a web form.  You could test design elements and number of fields used.  Testing a CTA button against a pop up form can also be really helpful.  Once you figure out which one works better, then you can just focus on the elements of that specific type of call to action.

 Don’t Test More Than One Thing

It’s best to only test one element at a time.  Testing multiple elements makes it difficult to figure out what’s getting results.  For example, let’s say you want to test design elements of a call to action button.  If your call to action marketing button has different colors and different locations on the two variations of the landing pages, you won’t know if it’s the color or the positioning of the CTA button that’s affecting the results.  The same goes for testing a web form against a CTA button.  The only difference should be having a button and having a form.  All other content should be the same.

To conclude, calls to action marketing is great for conversion rate optimization strategies.  While they are relatively easy to implement and test, the process can be tedious and time consuming, so you definitely need to develop a step by step plan before you get started.  Hopefully, these basics for effective calls to action will help you get up and running. However if you still have trouble, contact a trusted agency, Web Full Circle for conversion rate optimization services in Charlotte.