An effective call-to-action (CTA) is vital for improving conversion rates of any communication. Too often, CTAs are rendered ineffective by providing a multitude of options, using vague text, and poor design. CTAs should visually stand out, clearly state the desired action, and communicate the next step.
In digital commerce, CTAs have generally taken the form of a button element, with linked text also used. To make CTAs more effective, consider these five guidelines:
- Display one primary CTA per page. Don't make users choose between a number of different options. Present a single primary option, with up to one alternative call-to-action for visitors not quite ready to take primary action.
- Position the CTA above the fold The CTA should be clear upon first glance. Make it clear the purpose of the communication and show the desired outcome at the outset to set proper expectations.
- Repeat CTA visible at bottom of long page When the content is long, don't make visitors go back to the top to take action. Either use a sticky CTA or repeat it at the bottom to both remind users and provide convenience.
- Design with a visually contrasting color The CTA must not blend into the rest of the page. It should be clear immediately and use colors that make it obvious to anyone that it's a button that can be clicked.
- Write with action words Make it clear to users what will happen when the click the button. Consider CTAs like 'add to cart', 'download free guide', 'start trial', etc.
There are other considerations for improving CTAs for specific cases. This list should serve as a good guide. The CTA is a great place to consider running a/b split tests as well, with tests on text, colors, and positioning.