August 14, 2015

Creating Effective Calls to Action

Calls to action (commonly referred to as CTAs) are a deceptively simple concept. In its most basic definition, a CTA is an image or line of text that drives the user to perform a certain action, like downloading an ebook, filling out a contact form or signing up for a service. CTAs come in all shapes and sizes and can serve a wide variety of purposes, from generating leads to encouraging social sharing. Because CTAs are so ubiquitous throughout the internet, people often don’t even realize they’re there. The “search” button on Google’s homepage, for instance? That’s a CTA. The “see more” link on Amazon’s product list? Also a CTA. Despite their pervasiveness, CTAs remain one of the trickiest–but most important–tools in online marketing.

While anybody can throw the words “Click here!” on a big yellow button and call it a day, most marketers know that crafting a strategic, highly-effective CTA takes a little more effort. There are a number of factors that contribute to a CTA’s success, and they’ll vary based on your unique objectives, but all good CTAs should follow a few general guidelines:

  • Use clear and concise language – Users need to be able to quickly and easily understand exactly what it is you’re offering in your CTA, so be succinct and specific. Generic language like “Download Now” or “Request Information” doesn’t tell the user what it is they’re downloading or what they’ll be getting information about, making them less likely to click.
  • Be action-oriented – Including an action component in your call to action seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often it’s neglected. Choose strong, clear verbs that relate to your specific offer, and avoid vague terms that don’t let the user know what to expect when they click. Consider playing around with different wording and running A/B tests to determine what verbs work best for your website’s audience.
  • Stand out visually – The design of your CTA is as important as the text. Make sure the button, image or hyperlink doesn’t blend in with the rest of the page and get lost. Utilize bold, contrasting colors and visuals (that are still within your brand standards) that catch the eye but are still easy to read.
  • Stay above the fold – On the same note, even the best CTA won’t be effective if it’s buried at the very bottom of your site. Always place CTAs “above the fold” or throughout the page so users don’t have to scroll to find them, and make sure the layout and content of the page encourages the eye to flow naturally to your CTA’s location.

Creating effective CTAs and measuring their success can be one of the most critical steps in your marketing efforts or sales journey. One of the benefits of using WordPress for your content management system is its extensive plugin library, which allows you to easily embed and track CTAs from a number of different third-party programs, including CRM (customer relationship management) software like Hubspot or Salesforce.

Contact us to learn more about creating effective CTAs and making the most out of WordPress’ CRM integration.

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