Creating effective calls-to-action for your emails, blogs, landing pages and web pages is about skillfully blending art and science.
There's no one, perfect formula to success. And thats' because what motivates someone to click and another to ignore is really a case study in human behavior, which is to say it's highly complicated and, sometimes, maddeningly unpredictable.
While there is no secret recipe hidden away in a vault somewhere there are best practices that can improve your results quickly and enable you to build a roadmap for sustained success.
Here are 3 best practices that will help make your CTAs more impactful:
- Action Plus Benefits. You need to use language that impels action. And you need to combine that with language that hints at why clicking is a great idea. Your goal is to get a viewer to do, to click, to take the next step. What the most effective action word-benefit language combination is depends on the nature of the content, the type of offer you are presenting, and even more importantly, where a viewer/prospect is in the sales funnel. The important point is to use action-focused words plus benefit-laden language to inspire a click.
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- Make It Stand Out. The person reading your email, blog, landing page or website content does not have much time. They want to get the info the need and move on. If your button is not positioned properly or is designed poorly, even the greatest language in the world won't matter. Here are some considerations for getting your button to stand out:
- Right Size It. You can't make it so huge it overwhelms the page and it can't be so tiny you need a magnifying glass to see it. This sounds obvious, but it takes some practice and artfulness to find out what will work best for your audience.
- Use Contrast to Your Advantage. Look at the overall design of your blog, email, landing page or web page and design your button so that it pops on the page. Again, it should not be completely out-of-whack with the design, but using brighter, contrasting colors will draw the eye where you want it to go.
- Use Whitespace as a Magnet. Give your button a little room to breathe. Add a few extra spaces from the end of your copy to the the button and a few after before the next section of the page begins. By using contrast and white space to your advantage you can maximize that well-phrased, action-benefit oriented copy you've developed.
- Consider Positioning. This is difficult to pin down given the different uses and structures of blogs, emails and landing and web pages. Positioning depends on a number of factors. The only tip here is to be thoughtful of the user-experience when positioning your CTAs. Should you have multiple button placements for a long blog? How is your web page structured to lead the viewer's eye and attention? There is no single answer other than to be strategic and aware of a marketing vehicle's functionality.
- Test. Test. And Test Some More. This is where the science comes in. Not everything will work. And some will be tremendous. The key is to track what works and what does not and use this knowledge to continually improve your artfulness, i.e. what words you employ, how you design and position your call-to-action and when each approach might be most effective.
Like we mentioned earlier, CTAs are complicated just like the people they are trying to entice.
What works for one industry might not work for another. What worked for your business in a certain market environment might not succeed in the current one.
While there is no single, perfect, unassailable recipe for success, there are certainly practical and measurable best practices that can improve your performance quickly and help you build a plan for future, sustainable CTA success.