Creating Effective Call To Actions
Part of a great website is its interactivity – this is where and how users can use links and buttons to create a reaction. Whether it is making an element move or navigating from one page to another, this process of engagement should be taken into close consideration.
The most common interactivity websites have are ‘CTA’s or Call To Actions, these are ways to call the audience to do something. There are many actions a viewer can make – including; subscribing, signing up, making an enquiry, buying an item, etc.
The way we call the users to make an action is very important and the way we go about it is usually the difference between them proceeding or not. So, how can we make an effective CTA?
Colour: Ensure the colours used for your CTA contrast with the rest of your website. It needs to stand out on the page to draw attention to taking this action so consider using complimentary colours.
Here is an online tool you can use to find different combinations of colours – change the settings at the top for different contrasts: http://colorschemedesigner.com/
Size: Depending on the page and action, the size may vary to be appropriate, although generally large CTAs draw more attention and actions than a smaller one that may get lost on the page. As you can see in the example below, the CTA is still visible but its size gives the focus to the text above it.
Provide brief, specific (but descriptive), provocative wording to make a user want to make an action. As you can see in the example below, the CTA has a short phrase (‘No obligation, no credit card required’) that gives a potential customer an extra incentive to sign up.
Consider using provocative language such as; ‘see what’s next’, ‘why not?’, ‘I know you want to’. Something different than the boring old ‘read more’ can be fresh to a viewer and directly impact their decision.
Don’t give away all the information before you get to whatever your action returns. To entice users, use open-ended statements to leave them in suspense and hungry for more. For example, use statements such as; ‘Ever wanted the best website in the world? See how you can make it a reality by clicking here’.
As you can see below, the Mailchimp website does this well. They give you a short description on what you’re signing up for with the CTA in clear space next to it.
Positioning is vital for your CTAs. Ensure they are in a space that isn’t cluttered so the attention can be drawn to them – this means don’t over do it with text, images and other CTAs. If we have too many CTAs in one place, we can confuse a viewer, which can lead to them not making a choice.
Give the CTA plenty of breathing room and as long as it’s well designed, it’ll do its job.
As we saw in the Microsoft Surface screenshot before, the CTA gets lost amongst the other text on the page, drawing the attention away from it – this is what we need to avoid.
In the image below, we see a similar layout to the Surface image, but this time the CTA is more prominent and gives a clear message of what it does – this is a winner.
To create successful CTAs, ensure they include the following:
- Good design/structure,
- Contrasting colours,
- Clear, urgent message,
- Big enough to draw attention,
- Not cluttered by other elements.
Here is an infographic by Website Magazine on some research related to CTAs.
Below are some great articles on CTAs that you can sift through. Good luck!