“What do you want your subscribers to do, and why should they do it?”
A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to take an "action."
The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing -- on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.
Although a call-to-action is one of the most important factors driving conversion, many email marketers don’t give nearly enough attention to theirs
A Checklist for an Effective CTA
When you’re creating your first call-to-action, it’s easy to get all turned around and end up making something that people won’t click on. To save you time and effort, here’s a quick checklist for the essential elements of a quality CTA.
- Eye-Catching Design: For someone to click on your CTA, they have to first notice its existence. This is pretty much the one time you can veer off course from your branding guidelines: Your CTAs’ colors should contrast with your website design, yet also appear large enough to be noticed (we’ve seen them perform best around 225px wide and 45px high).
- Copy That Makes People Want to Act: It's not enough to say "Submit" as your CTA's copy -- you need a concise, jargon-free phrase that uses actionable verbs to catch people's attention. If you want more CTA copywriting tips, check out this blog post.
- A Clear Proposition: People should know exactly what will happen when they click on a CTA. Are they expecting to download an ebook or a PowerPoint template? Get a product demo or sign up for your weekly newsletter? Make sure the CTA explicitly tells them what they’re getting in exchange for their click.
- Show them the Value: Answer the “what’s in it for me” question- How can they benefit from taking that online “action”
- A Specific Page (Ideally a Landing Page) Aligned With One Stage in the Sales Cycle: A CTA is most effective if people are taken to a dedicated landing page after clicking it, rather than a random page on your website. For example, a CTA is still a CTA if it points to a “contact us” page (which isn’t a landing page), but it won’t be as effective driving leads and customers as a specific, focused landing page for a free ebook download. Also, CTAs should be created with a specific stage in the sales cycle in mind. For example, you wouldn't include a product demo CTA on a blog post created for brand new visitors -- your clickthrough rate would plummet.
- Add a sense of urgency. (When and where is appropriate) provide a sense of urgency - Make the offer available for a limited time only, for example, or include an incentive for the first 50 respondents. This type of incentive helps motivate a more immediate response. If subscribers leave the email message in their mailbox to return later, there’s a good chance they won’t.
What’s Your Click-Through Rate?
The click-through rate — the percentage of recipients who click on a certain URL in your email — is a good measure of the effectiveness of your calls to action. As you implement improvements to your email campaigns’ calls to action, you’ll want to test and monitor the click-through rates to see what works best with your specific target audience.
Here are 10 tips to help you increase your click-through rates and ultimately drive conversions: