5 Tips for an Effective Call to Action

By Kelly Gerrish

Every email or website needs a call to action. Without one, you leave your recipients or visitors hanging. But some companies overlook them because they don’t realise the importance.

Put simply, a call to action (or CTA) is a line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.” It could be a banner, a button, a box or simply a line of bold text.

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So how do you create an effective call to action that yields results? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all button that you can paste into every communication. Every email or website is unique and their call to action should be too. But all successful CTAs share several common elements.

Check out our handy checklist below:

1. Clear and concise
An ideal CTA should be short and sweet, between two and five words. Just include the basics of what you want people to do – now isn’t the time to demonstrate your poetry skills. People should know exactly what they’ll get in return for their click so make sure your value proposition is clear.

2. Think urgent
What do you want the reader to do? Whatever the desired action, create a sense of urgency by using relevant language. Want them to make a purchase? ‘Buy Now.’ Want people to download a document? ‘Download your free whitepaper today.’ Avoid fluffy language – think actionable verbs to catch people’s attention.

3. Above the fold
The placement of your CTA is important to capture as many clicks as possible. Your recipients or visitors may not read your entire copy, so include your CTA ‘above the fold’ – that is, in the content visible without needing to scroll.

4. Eye-catching design
Design your content so your CTA really stands out. A brightly coloured button or box highlights the urgency and commands more attention than a normal line of text.

5. Make it easy
People are forced to make decisions all day long. Help your customers out by including one CTA per email or webpage. Make it blatantly obvious so they know exactly what you want them to do.

If you really sell the benefits of your product or service, your customer will have no choice but to ‘Act Now’.