Any good leader knows that in order to rally people to your cause, you need to inspire them. Excellent use of the written and spoken word can give you the persuasive power to attract, engage, delight, and motivate people who may otherwise have ignored your message. This time-tested marketing strategy is none other than the Call To Action (CTA). 

In the marketing world, a CTA is an invitation for a buyer to take a specific action. They can be images, buttons, text lines, and other things, but the CTA’s purpose is to inspire the consumer to the next step of a sales process. 

CTAs are not only relevant but extremely influential, possibly the most powerful feature of any marketing campaign: Emails with a single call-to-action increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617% for improved conversion rates. Now that’s inspiring. 

Here is everything you need to know about the importance of CTAs for digital marketing and how to create effective ones that will inspire new leads to become devoted customers.

Types of CTAs

CTAs can come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and still be just as effective. Here are five of the most common places you could place your own CTAs:

Buttons appear as a clickable image or text block that’s separate from the main part of your body and branded with short, actionable text that directs readers to click. Button-based CTAs improved click-through rates by 127%. Often, they are preceded by web copy that leads the reader’s eyes down directly to the CTA. CTAs don’t have a maximum or minimum on word length, but they absolutely must be concise.

These CTAs consist of things like popups, slide-in boxes, floating bars, and more. The copy of these CTAs is key: It needs to be short, catchy, and persuasive, but also powerful. Many of your site’s visitors won’t take the time to read every word; they’ll browse the spots that catch their attention the most. Make your CTA one of those spots.

Inline CTAs can exist in any copy. They have two parts:

  • A clickable link that redirects users to another page with the offer
  • The whole sentence is technically the whole CTA 

Though not as flashy as buttons, inline CTAs can significantly help improve user experience with your media. Use them to invite your readers to read related posts, follow you on social media, and more. 

Emails are a strong place for CTAs because you are not limited to just one CTA. But this doesn’t mean you should include more. We’ve found that emails with fewer CTA’s generally see higher click-through rates. However, for a complex offer, you may want two CTAs. The main action you want customers to take is called the primary CTA, such as suggesting your customer to buy your product. These CTAs are usually at the end of the email. However, sliding the same link in as an inline CTA earlier in the email may catch any eager customers. 

The secondary CTA is a different link leading to a different page than the primary CTA but is similar enough that it can be helpful to further direct prospects toward a successful original conversion for the primary CTA. Secondary and primary CTAs can complement each other or contrast, but both should work towards the same end goal: offering them an actionable next step

You’ve probably seen these cluttering your news feed on Instagram. With so much competition on these networks, make the call to action in your social media post incredibly clear, focused, and attention-grabbing. Help readers understand what the next step is to reach whatever problem you’re helping them solve.

Creating the CTA

Now that you have seen some good examples of CTAs for your marketing campaign, here are some tried-and-true ways to make them:

Define The Action  

First, define the goal for your CTA. What action do you want your leads to take once they’ve opened your email? Make a purchase? Subscribe? Consider your value proposition.

With your goal in mind, start creating your CTA. The action needs to be clear, focused and easy to do. However, you also need to grab your audience’s attention. Always start with a commanding, imperative verb: “try, “get,” “join,” “subscribe,” “download,” are all good places to start.

Match With Motivation

Once your audience knows what action you want them to take, you need to give them a reason why. Depending on what the action is, you could take one of three approaches:

Urgency

Any good marketing content needs urgency, especially when prompt action is suggested or needed for your intended offer. Encourage leads to act now with words like “Today,” “Offer ends in”, “Now only,” “Last chance,” “Closing soon.” Build anticipation for the offer so they can’t refuse your CTA.

Value

If you have an incentive to offer your customers, personalization is a good route. Hubspot reports that personalized CTAs convert 202% more visitors into leads than basic CTAs. You need to make your proposal valuable to your visitors — this offer has to be something they can’t go without. 

Using specific numbers, like for pricing and discounts, helps to build value, but personal pronouns are stronger. They help create a closer connection to your product or service. According to recent studies, first-person pronouns, such as I and my, beat second person pronouns you and your by 24% in marketing content. 

Conversation 

When you’re looking to start a dialogue or want feedback, your content should feel like a conversation with your consumers. You want them to feel like you care about them and how your services impact them. One good way to start a conversation is by asking them to leave feedback or contact you; it’s a good step in building a closer relationship. Try words like: “reply,” “submit,” “request,” “share,” and “comment.”

Design

Design is just as important as the words used in a CTA; if it’s not noticeable, no one will click on it. Marry your content and design together with these tips:

  • Color: It should contrast with the background so the eyes are naturally drawn towards it. HubSpot found that red CTAs boosted their conversion rate by 21% over green ones. This doesn’t mean you can only use red buttons, but make sure the color is eye-catching. 
  • Size and Shape: If it’s too small, no one will see it; too big, and they will be overwhelmed. Boxes and rounded bubbles are the most common, but if it fits with your brand, perhaps you can use a special shape.
  • Placement: The more complex your offer is, the more information your prospect will need to decide whether or not he or she is interested in it before they see the CTA (MaxTraffic). 
  • Configuration: ensure your content is viewable on both mobile and desktop, especially since most digital marketing engagement happens on phones. The last thing you want is a button CTA that’s perfect on a desktop but much too small on a phone screen.

Grow & Convert estimates these conversion rates for certain CTA locations on a page:

Sidebar 0.5 – 1.5%
Generic, end-of-post 0.5 – 1.5%
Pop-ups 1 – 8%
Sliders and bars 1 – 5%
Welcome gates 10 – 25%
Feature box 3 – 9%
Navigation bar Varies

Conclusion

A short but significant aspect of digital marketing, CTAs have the power to inspire prospects to become customers and dedicated followers to become brand evangelists. If you’d like more guidance on how to create the best CTAs, 829 Studios can help you craft CTAs, emails, and more for your brand that are sure to drive engagement. Contact us today to get started.

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