How to create Call-to-Actions (CTAs) that convert

Written by
Matthew Nortje

What is a Call-to-Action (CTA)?

Simply put, a CTA is a piece of content intended to prompt a person to perform a specific act. This might be to register for an event, download a PDF, or subscribe to a newsletter.

CTAs normally take shape in the form of a "DOWNLOAD NOW" button, or a "RESERVE YOUR SEAT" header at the top of a registration form.

As a marketer looking at the click-through-rate of your campaign, putting time and effort into the design and wording of your CTA can have dramatic effects on your results.

How do you write a high converting CTA?

When writing your CTA, think about what your goal is. What is it exactly that you want the viewer to do? Firstly, start with an action word such as "Download", "Register", or "Subscribe". Secondly, add a word that either adds value to the action, or creates urgency.

For example, if you are offering a free PDF, your CTA could be "FREE DOWNLOAD", and if you are trying to get people to attend your event your CTA could be "REGISTER TODAY"

Try keep your CTA as direct as possible and as short as possible and never more than 3 words.

How should my CTA look?

In the intro we stated that we saw a 14% difference in conversion rate for the same CTA all because the colour of the one button was different. So I know what you are thinking, "What is the magic colour?!". Well, in short, there is no magic colour. What we have found though through our own testing, is that darker colours with bright contrasts between background and button text works the best. Our 14% difference came from one CTA with a white background and light green coloured button, vs the better performing version that had a navy background and a shocking pink button.

In short, it's important to A/B test your CTAs because there is no perfect formula. Create a few versions with small changes in colour and wording and see how they perform. This way you can start to see what type of CTA works for your brand and what stands out and attracts your customers.

Interested in learning more about how you can improve your digital marketing? 

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