“Put that coffee down. Coffee’s for closers only.”
In Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin nails it. That line above captures the essence of successful sales and marketing. No matter how popular your campaign or your content is, how well you rank in search engines or how much traffic you get, it all comes down to one thing – are you getting results or not?
In business, getting results means getting your prospects respond to your call to action (CTA) – whether it’s sales, signups or downloads. That makes your CTA easily the most important element of conversions as it represents the point where you either close or lose that customer. And you don’t want the latter, so here’s how to get your CTAs right.
A-B-C: Always Be Closing
ABC is one of the golden rules of sales and marketing. However, it doesn’t mean your copy should sound like a used car salesman, pushing for sale on every occasion.In the online world, ‘closing’ means guiding your prospects towards the very next physical action step required to move forward.
And that’s what CTA is. It’s providing your prospects with that clear action step towards the next stage of your sales funnel.
So make sure every page in your site is converting your visitors towards the next step, as soon as they’re ready to make that step, whether it’s getting more information on a product, providing an email address or other demographic information.
So what are CTAs, really?
A CTA is an instruction to the audience that provokes an immediate response, such as “learn more”, “call now”, “download eBook”, etc. You will most often find CTAs in the form of a button like the “create ad” below.
95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. When making those decisions, our brain looks for familiar cues. If there’s no cue, the routine simply won’t execute. Thus, when it comes to designing your CTAs make sure it’s immediately noticeable and easily clickable.
Size, Color and Design: Make Your CTAs Stand Out
High converting CTAs have one thing in common – they stand out. They stand out in size, color and design. In other words, the bigger and more visible the better the conversion rate. Since there are no golden rules when it comes to which color, size or design performs the best, it’s important to conduct your own analysis and A/B test to determine what works for your audience.
However, there are some best practices. As stated before, A CTA should look, feel and behave like a button. It should stand out in the copy by having a contrasting color. While most CTAs are orange, some studies show that red color converts better, so red may be the best one to start with.
Layout: Respect the Fitts’s Law
Fitt’s Law comes from the field of human-computer interaction and ergonomics. It states that “the closer and larger a target, the faster it is to click on that target.”
It not only dictates the way you should design your CTAs, it has many implications for layout and placement of your CTAs as well. For example, a button must be placed in the eye path of a user and in the most logical way.
If your website or application reads top to bottom, the most logical placement for your CTAs is immediately after the sales copy at the bottom of the page. Your goal is to put it where the user is going to look next after you’ve delivered your sales pitch. It should be the very last relevant element in your layout.
Microcopy: Kill Their Fears and Make Them Act
Even though the design and layout are the key components of highly effective CTAs, their soul purpose is to support the actual call to action. It’s how you phrase it that makes the most difference. The more relevant and specific you are the better the CTA. A great CTA copy should also contain a sense of urgency and address any concerns your prospects would typically have.
You convey urgency when using words like “Now” or “Today.” You can even put a time limit on the offer to make it more powerful. Typical buyer’s concerns are fear for privacy, money and time. In the microcopy, you want to alleviate whatever the most relevant fear for that particular CTA is.
Focus: Eliminate Choice Paralysis
Sometimes providing multiple options will result in visitors declining to make a choice at all. As a marketer, this something you definitely want to avoid. To make your CTAs work, make sure they don’t compete with any other options. There should only be one end of the funnel leading towards the next step in the conversion process. Thus, your buttons must stand out alone, surrounded by a white space leaving no other way out of the funnel.
Make it Personal: Use Targeted CTAs
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all customer profile, there are no solutions that meet everyone’s needs. You can overcome this hurdle by segmenting your traffic and leads. Doing so allows you to create powerful, targeted CTAs that appeal to each of the customer segments.
For example, if your main objective is to generate leads, some customer segments may better respond to a free whitepaper, while others will prefer a webinar. Same goes for design, copy and CTA placement.
- A-B-C: Always Be Closing
- Always lead your prospects with a clear action step towards the next stage of your conversion process.
- It works best when your CTA looks, feels and behaves like a button.
- The bigger and more visible the better.
- Make your CTAs stand out through contrasting colors and design.
- Place your CTAs in the eye path of a user, in the most logical way.
- It all comes down to what is says – make your CTAs relevant and specific.
- Use microcopy to alleviate fears and stress the urgency to act.
- Don’t lose conversions by making your CTAs compete with other options.
- Segment your customers for personalized and targeted CTAs.
- Conduct your own research (A/B testing, surveys, etc.) and keep improving.