CTA: What is It, Why do You Need It and How to Create One
More than 90% of users notice a call to action (CTA) when reading a headline. The right marketing content always includes a call to action that pushes a potential customer through the sales funnel. However, according to statistics, there's no CTA on 70% of websites of small B2B businesses. It's a drawback because even a selling description of your product won't make the user purchase immediately. A CTA facilitates a customer journey to conversion and explains what to do next.
Still, not all calls to action are equally effective. A CTA button works if it's simple and visible. In this piece, you will learn the rules of creating calls to action and view examples of successful ones.
What is a CTA
A call to action is a button, graphic or text element with a hyperlink that calls the user to action: purchase, subscription, registration, downloading materials, repost and so on.
A CTA is used on landing pages, in social media posts, in newsletters and other marketing materials. In most cases, a CTA is a button.
Different types of buttons collect user data for lead generation. For example, when downloading promo materials and lead magnets, a customer needs to enter their contact details into the form. When customers make a purchase, they usually leave an email address or a phone number to receive information about delivery. A company also receives contact details when a person makes a request for consultation or wants to get preliminary calculation. Each call to action serves a different function that pursues a goal of getting a lead.
Popular examples of CTA:
What is a CTA for
The main task of a CTA is to bring the user to the conversion and explain what is next. A call to action, to purchase should be in every advertising material in order to simplify a customer journey and push the user through the sales channel.
Example. All advantages of the product are described in detail on the landing page, but there is no CTA. Let's say that the user shows their interest and wants to make a purchase. When there's no button that redirects a person to the purchase, they don't know what to do: continue searching for the product on the website or try to find it in a search engine. When there's a call to action, conversion speeds up.
The importance of a CTA can be explained from a psychological point of view. When the user views the advertising material, they are subconsciously waiting for a call to action. It doesn't mean that this person is ready to make a purchase immediately, but past experience tells them that there should be a CTA button on the page. .
After clicking on a CTA button, a person receives a reward. When actions are repetitive, people get accustomed to them and understand that they can receive a bonus by clicking on a CTA button. Call to action buttons also stimulate curiosity. On the one hand, a person understands what will happen when they click on a button, on the other hand, they wonder what the bonus will be.
How to Create an Effective CTA
There's no fixed formula for creating call to action buttons, but there are some rules and principles that make CTA work effectively.
How to Create a CTA
Correctly determine at what stage of the sales funnel your customer is and what product features are. For example, don't place a CTA button «Buy» on the landing page of an expensive car or a country house because people aren't inclined to purchase such things spontaneously. Offer the visitors a consultation or a catalogue first.
Think over options for CTA buttons. When there are several versions of the product, different CTA buttons for each is a good solution.
Make a CTA clear and use a verb. The user should have an idea of what will happen if they click on the button: purchase, request, subscription and so on.
Let's imagine a bad CTA. We have a banner on the page of a travel agency. It promotes river cruises on the rivers of Russia. A CTA «You need this trip» tells the user absolutely nothing and leave them wondering what will happen after clicking on the button: a booking page will open, a request will be left, etc. In this case, it's better to use «Book a tour» or «Learn more».
How to Increase the Effectiveness of a CTA
Make a CTA visible. Just a link in the text may get lost. A small button won't bring any result either. Don't skimp on a good design and test different options of shape, colour, size, font, placement. Usually, A/B or multivariate testing is used.
Make people think that your product is limited or add a beneficial offer. Specify that there's a limited collection, a discount or a free period.
Explain what your CTA means. Briefly tell the user what's next, show them simplicity and speed.
Example. If the user is getting a subscription to the service, the «Sign up» button can scare him away. Judging by his experience, he assumes that he will have to nter card details and pay for the first month. If you specify that registration does not require a credit card, a person is more likely to click on the link.
The first person CTA. This method will add personalization. For example, replace «Subscribe» with «I'm in». A personalized CTA converts 42% more users than a neutral one.
Duplicate the buttons. If the landing page is long and there's a lot of information, it's better to duplicate CTA buttons. Also, add different CTA options: primary and secondary. The «Purchase» button can be used for hot leads who are ready to buy immediately. Such a CTA is usually the primary one. For users in doubt, a CTA offering a consultation or promotional materials is a good option.
Example of primary and secondary calls to action
Additional elements for motivation. The words «now», «bonus», «gift» on a CTA button call customers to action. Sometimes animation and tooltips are added to such buttons.
Don't lie to your customers. If your CTA button offers a free material, a request for consultation shouldn't appear in the form after the user will click on the button.
Motivate. Sometimes you will have to explain to the user why they need to perform a targeted action. When you offer a subscription, explain why the user needs it: to receive news and discount offers, view new products.
Test the buttons. Test how CTA buttons are displayed on different devices. For example, there is a possibility that the user won't see your button on the smartphone screen if the landing page is not adapted for mobile devices.
CTA in Email Marketing
A CTA is an important element in newsletters because emails are a means of communication with customers. With their help you can make customers purchase something, view new products and read your content. If your emails lack a CTA, you make a customer journey more difficult since your customer will have to go on the website and search for the offer from your email themselves. Also, CTA buttons simplify analytics: you know for sure whether your emails are effective or not. Although the rules mentioned above work for creating and improving the effectiveness of CTA buttons in email marketing, there are still some differences.
Peculiarities of a CTA in Email Newsletters:
Don't overload emails with CTA buttons. Email is not a landing page, that's why it's better not to duplicate buttons, so as not to be too intrusive. If you need different options of the buttons, change the text on them. For example, be more specific: not just «Sign up for a speaking club», but «Sign up for a speaking club on Wednesday».
Placement of CTA in the email header or at the end. Marketers' opinions on this differ, so both options are correct. Button placement depends on the context. If it's clear by the email subject that you are offering discounts, then it's okay to start your email with a CTA.
If you need to explain your offer and persuade your customer to perform a targeted action, then it's better to place a CTA button at the end.
Don't be dull. «Treat yourself» instead of the standard «Shop now» in the email of the clothing store is an example of personalization.
NB Test different button options (placement, design) to find effective ones.
CTA design in emails. Add some free space around the button to make it more visible. Such CTA buttons increase conversion by 232%. Highlight your CTA button in colour and don't overload the design of the email. If there are a lot of unnecessary details, it will be more difficult to notice the button.
A CTA (call to action) is a required element of marketing materials that leads the user to conversion and explains what will happen next.
CTA buttons offer to purchase a product, sign up for a consultation, download free material and so on. A correct call to action is easy to understand, contains a verb, corresponds with a stage of the sales funnel and sometimes is duplicated.
To improve the effectiveness, marketers sometimes personalize CTA buttons, make customers think that the product is limited and use interesting design to attract people. In email marketing, it is recommended not to overload emails with CTA buttons.
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