Here’s a question. What is something every digital ad or landing page has in common that’s incredibly important to marketers and consumers, but often overlooked by both? Here’s the answer: A CTA button!
In the marketing industry, the acronym “CTA” stands for “call to action.” Marketers use this term to describe a short sentence or command within a website or advertisement that encourages the audience to do something. Your CTA is the “Click Here For More Information” or “Buy Now!” instruction that takes consumers to the next step in your sales process.
Without a CTA, mobile users are less likely to engage with your content. Think about it. Let’s say someone reads your ad, gets excited about your product or service, and wants to know more or make a purchase…but they’re not sure how to do it. Your call to action needs to clearly show them the way to convert. That’s why your CTA buttons have to be designed and placed to be intuitive, obvious, and effective.
Here are some of RAIN’s best tips for highly converting CTA buttons:
1. Use bright colors
If you’re glancing at a digital ad, which is more likely to catch you attention — a bright red button that contrasts with the background or a bland button that’s basically the same color as the page? Bright colors are simply more likely to grab your users’ attention. While you should always stay on-brand with the colors you use in your ads and buttons, try to avoid white and black buttons if at all possible, but choose colors that don’t clash with your background. Here’s another tip: white letters on a bright colored button will stand out much better than black typeface.
2. Use action words on your button
Remember — your button is a call to ACTION, so your words have to include an action verb. Learn More! Call Now! Apply Today! Subscribe! Of course, you won’t always include exclamation points, but with the right action verbs and punctuation your user will feel an urgency to do something. To choose your CTA’s words, think about the main goal of your campaign and exactly what it is you want users to do when they land on your site. Don’t be afraid to test multiple variations to help you determine which CTA language performs best for you.
3. Keep your button as simple as possible
To ensure great results, your CTA button should be a simple, rectangular shape. Why? Because rectangles or elongated ovals have been used for CTAs for ages, and they’re what consumers have become accustomed to looking for when they’re ready to take action. Research has actually concluded that a rectangular shape with rounded corners is the optimal shape for a CTA. This is because a rectangle with sharp edges, says professor Jürg Nänni, “takes indeed a little bit more cognitive visible effort than for example an ellipse of the same size.”’ Good to know!
4. Not too big, but not too small
Even though there are no solid rules on what size should your CTA should be, the button should fit well with the information and imagery surrounding it. A bigger button is not always better. It may look unnatural. Likewise, a smaller button might be easily ignored. We recommend a balanced ad or landing page for best conversion results. And for goodness’ sake, please be sure your CTA text fits within your button without spilling over the margins!
5. Your CTA button should appear “clickable”
It should be completely obvious to consumers that they can click on your CTA button, even if your design is relatively flat. To enhance your button’s “clickability,” use visual cues like shadows and strokes. Drop shadows, especially, make a button stand out against the background and appear somewhat raised up, which makes it easy to identify as a tappable object.
Creating CTA buttons is not an exact science. Even though these tips will help you increase your conversion rate, we highly recommend you A/B test multiple options to find the best performing button and action statement. Every brand and every user is different, so spending some time to find out what works best for you is a must!