Lead Generation

Think back to all the times you’ve downloaded an app, subscribed for a service or filled out a contact form online. What prompted you to take action? You may not realize it, but a well-placed, carefully thought out call-to-action button could be the reason you started playing Candy Crush.


What’s a call-to-action button?

First things first, what on earth is a call-to-action button? As you probably already know, but we’ll review for funzies, a call-to-action (CTA) button is used in emails, landing pages, blogs and all types of content to get the ball rolling and convince your website visitors, readers, prospects and customers to take a desired action.

Whether that desired action is to learn more about your products or services, register for an information-packed webinar or download your guide on surviving the zombie apocalypse (I’ve seen way too many episodes of The Walking Dead), your CTA should be compelling and enticing enough to convince an individual to click and commit.

If you’re dealing with lackluster conversion rates, we sympathize and want to lend a helping hand. Here are 5 variables you should test to improve the effectiveness of your CTAs:

1) Button Size/Shape

While the size and shape of your CTA may seem inconsequential, this element can make or break your conversion rates. If your button is too small, no one will notice it. If it’s too big, it will scream desperation and ruin user experience. The goal here is for your button to get noticed and not to take up half the page with an obnoxiously large CTA.

Play around with the size and shape of your CTA. Take some risks and change that rectangle CTA button to a round button! After all, you only live once. Why not go a little crazy with your CTAs and experiment?

Only test one element at a time, whether that’s the shape or the size. If you change both at once, you’ll have no way of knowing which change resulted in an increase or decrease in conversions.

2) Color

You wouldn’t repaint your bedroom without considering if the paint color matches the curtains, furniture and rug and how it will impact your mood. It’s the same case for your CTAs, except minus all the annoying painter’s tape.

Color is a crucial element of each and every CTA. Make sure your CTA button color not only works with your branding colors, but is appealing. Never, and we mean NEVER, use neon or garish colors for your CTAs.

Don’t forget to consider the psychology of color. Research has shown that certain colors influence buying behaviors. Make sure your button stands out and isn't lost among the text and images. Try out different colors and color combinations to find out what works best for your website and content.

3) Text

Make every word in your CTA count. You don’t have much room to work with for your CTA, so each word should be relevant to the page the CTA is on, your industry and your target audience. Keep the language consistent with the rest of the page and speak to your potential customers’ wants and needs. Use action-packed words that push them to take the next step.

If you’re seeing low conversion rates for a CTA, try replacing a word and see if it does better or worse. For example, if your CTA button says, “Download Your Guide,” you could try saying, “Get Your Guide” instead.

4) Special Effects

Make your CTAs even more noticeable with features like rounded edges, beveled edges, drop shadow, gradient pattern, arrows and hover color. These design elements can add some much-needed oomph to your button and create the attention-grabbing, not-to-be-missed CTA that you’ve always wanted. Get creative and see if one of these design options boosts your conversions.

5) Placement

You could design the best call-to-action possible, pull out all the stops and still see disappointing conversion rates if your CTA is at the wrong spot or on the wrong page. One of the most, if not the most important, elements of CTA buttons is their placement and positioning in content and on your website. CTA buttons are typically placed above the fold, so website visitors can't miss them. However, this isn’t always the best practice, as a CTA button’s position can depend on the page or piece of content.

On your blog, you may want to include a CTA at the end of your blog post, prompting readers to explore the blog topic further or contact a sales rep if you believe they’re ready and open to making a buying decision. Before you decide on a spot for your CTA, think about its purpose and where it makes most sense to place it. If you see poor performance for your CTAs, think about shifting them around on the page to see if that helps.

It may take some time and effort, but testing your call-to-action buttons through trial and error will have a serious impact on your click-through rates. Testing one or all of these variables will help you create CTAs your prospects and customers can’t help but click. Happy testing!

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Topics:   Lead Generation

Courtney Feairheller

Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.

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