Good calls to action equal good conversion rates - it really is as simple as that. Below are the eight crucial things you need to know when creating yours. A brief introduction first -this assumes you understand the basics of a call to action. This means not using boring and uninspiring words like "Submit" and "Sign Up." You need more descriptive and motivating text, and you need to use buttons to attract attention to that part of the page. So long as you have these basics in place, you can make improvement.
1. You Have to Test
You can spend hours researching button colors, text, and everything else that impacts on a call to action, but most of that time will be wasted. The only way you will really know what works on your website with your audience and in your industry is to test.
And here is the secret - everyone does it. You know those blue buttons you see on Google's product pages? Google tested 50 variations of blue to find the shade that converted best. You have to adopt a similar approach.
That means testing the text, the color of the button, the size of the button, the design around the button, and the position of the call to action. You don't have to go into as many variations as Google or the other big sites do, but you should still test.
Also, test every assumption. It doesn't matter what any expert tells you; you will only know for sure if it works on your website if you test. For example, most people will tell you that you should include your calls to action above the fold on your website so that visitors can see them before they scroll. Are you sure? Test to find out, as you might discover that placing calls to action below the fold actually works better.
2. It's Psychology
Calls to action are all about psychology. You don't necessarily have to go into much detail with this, as it is a huge topic, but you can use some knowledge to try out different styles. For example, you can appeal to your visitors' sense of belonging by writing a call to action that makes them want to be part of something that lots of people already use.
Even reverse psychology can work in some situations, for example, having button text that says "Don't click unless you want to get huge savings." It might not work, but it could be worth a try.
3. It Should Be One Choice Only
People hate making decisions, so offering options and making people choose will almost certainly lower your conversion rates. The best calls to action offer a choice that is as simple as possible - take what is being offered by clicking on this button or don't.
One thing to note about this tip is that it applies per call to action. You can still offer multiple options more generally on your website. For example, you might have a premium product that you sell on your website with a call to action. If someone goes to leave your website without buying that product, you can then show them a pop-up offering them something free if they sign up for your newsletter. That is two offerings on your website, but each call to action is giving just one choice.
4. It Has to Stand Out
People expect to see a call to action, so don't worry about annoying anyone. In fact, you should make it stand out on the page as much as possible. You can do this by the call to action position, color, and size. The color in particular should contrast with the rest of the page. You can also add effects, like making it 3D or adding design.
5. Writing in the First Person Works
Calls to action written in the first person can often dramatically improve conversion rates. Here is an example of three calls to action:
a. "Free Trial" - This is a generic call to action and is quite weak.
b. "Get Your Free Trial" - This is written in the second person and is a considerable improvement on the first example. In the vast majority of situations, conversion rates will improve with this type of call to action.
c. "I Want a Free Trial" - This is written in the first person and is usually the best way to maximize conversions.
Therefore, try starting your calls to action with "I want..."
6. Reduce Anxiety
You should also try reducing anxiety with your call to action. For example, you can include text close to the button that explains no credit card is needed or that there is a money back guarantee. Adding social proof can also work - testimonials or stats showing how many other people use the product.
7. Benefit Oriented
The text close to your call to action is important, and it should be benefit oriented. Don't just list features. You can even try first discussing the problem before showing you have a solution. This is more of that sales psychology that was mentioned earlier, but it can work.
8. Urgency Sells
Urgency works in all forms of advertising and marketing, and the calls to action on your website are no different. If you can make your offer sound scarce or time limited, you will increase the rate that people click on it. Make sure the urgency is authentic, though, as forced or fake urgency won't work.
Calls to action can almost always be improved, so even when you get your conversion rates to a point you are happy with, go back over this list to see if further tweaks can be made.