Follow the Light: 6 Call to Action Design Tips

Follow the Light: 6 Call to Action Design Tips

A marketer’s entire email campaign or product page is centered around the action they want recipients or visitors to take. Calls to action (CTAs) are one of the, if not most, essential components of inbound marketing. They can be anything from a button, text, graphic, or banner that entices a viewer to click on it.


Engagement matters more than the number of email recipients you send to and how many of them open the message. The more people we engage, the more leads we’ll create, and the more deals Sales will close, increasing ROI for everyone.


Follow these six CTA design tips to draw readers into your message and complete the desired action:


1. Use the Jedi Mind Trick: Like a moth to a flame, we want customers to have no choice, but to engage with the CTA. Follow this method of persuasion to draw their eyes to the interactive point with contrasting colors and simple language. Don’t write a CTA that’s too wordy and sounds passive, your language should be targeted and actionable with a high verb count. For example, use phrases like: “Start trial”, “Request demo”, “Like us”, and “Download now”.


2. Try A/B testing: Set up your email campaign as an A/B test (you’ll create one email with two separate bodies and the recipient list will be divided down the middle, half receiving email A and half receiving email B) with the only difference being your CTA.


Create an image as A’s CTA and a banner as B’s or a button for A and text for B. Whichever CTA brings back the highest click through rates can be implemented across the entirety of your next campaign.


3. Create a sense of urgency: OMG. This is incredibly important. Stress timing and upcoming deadlines when prompting your CTA. When readers feel like they’re under a time crunch, they will quickly take action. Urgency doesn’t have to mean customers or leads will miss out on an entire opportunity, but, rather, a special opportunity reserved just for them. For example, emphasize “early bird” event signups or “sneak peeks” to webinars or whitepapers for high value leads.


4. Repeat yourself (repeat yourself): Include multiple CTAs throughout your email. This increases your click-through rates and simplifies reader engagement by preventing unwanted scrolling and searching. Always include one in the top-right corner above the fold, as research suggests this is the first place an email reader notices. Others can be sprinkled throughout the email’s text — maybe even include a postscript at the bottom, linking to your CTA one last time.


5. Follow a clear, simple path: When a customer or lead clicks on a CTA that promises to take them to a recorded webinar, then it better take them straight to that recorded webinar. Don’t route them to your homepage or provide additional offers.


No one has the time or the attention span to go on a content scavenger hunt, and you will find a high abandonment rate in your web tracking software. Also, be sure that this path relates to your overall marketing goal and the lead’s placement in a nurture campaign.


6. Exit through the gift shop: If you want leads to explore other pages on your website, give them the chance after completing a call to action, not before. This doesn’t interrupt your CTA’s path since recipients have read your offer, clicked to engage and completed your desired action. Let’s say a lead clicked to download a webinar, once they’ve completed the action, and maybe even filled out a lead capture form, you can show them related assets or website pages.

Samantha Stallard


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