How to Vary Your Calls-To-Action: 5 Considerations

How to Vary Your Calls-To-Action: 5 Considerations

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are critical to convert potential leads into paying clients. But not all calls-to-action are equal—multiple factors determine their success. These include everything from the wording you choose, the color of the button, and even the size. If you’re bored of generic “send” and “submit” CTAs, read on. It’s time to switch them up! Read on to learn how to vary your CTAs for better results.

Test for Success

Before diving into elements you can vary to improve CTA performance, it’s essential to note there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. The only way to discover what works for you is to constantly test your CTAs, refining different parameters and testing anew until you find the perfect combination.

Consideration 1: Wording

By definition, an effective call-to-action forces your prospective buyers to take action. Use active verbs that are impactful and to the point. If you aren’t confident in your own offering, you can’t expect potential customers to trust you. Make the required action, and what will be received in return, as clear as possible.

For example, “download” is an action word, but makes a weak call-to-action. “Download your full report now” is better. It tells your prospect what to do, what they’re going to get, and ensures they don’t delay. Instead, they (hopefully) take your desired action immediately. Follow the “action-item-timing” format for CTAs that exude confidence.

Effective call-to-action phrases flow naturally from the content surrounding them.
Effective call-to-action phrases flow naturally from the content surrounding them.

Consideration 2: Context

Equally important to wording is the context within which it operates. Even the most convincing CTA will fail if it doesn’t align with the content surrounding it. Sometimes, context is obvious. For example, if you want someone to download a whitepaper, and you include a “download now” button within a blog post or landing page centered around said whitepaper.

Other times, it isn’t so clear—for example within more generic blog posts or pages on your website. In these cases, the same rules apply. Maintain logical consistency between your content and your call-to-action. Talking about a solution you offer that helps solve your prospect’s common problems? Encourage them to call you for more information. Introducing a new product and want people to enquire for more information? Ask them to email you now.

Consideration 3: Positioning

A level deeper than context, is positioning. For maximum irresistibility, position your CTAs strategically. The correct placement depends on your goal, and the content surrounding the CTA. For primary webpages and landing pages, for example, your call-to-action button should sit above the fold to catch your visitors’ attention immediately. Combine with catchy and compelling wording to get people clicking.

There are two instances, however, where positioning your call-to-action button below the fold can be effective. The first is when it’s nestled within a blog post, as you want prospects to read your article before acting. The second instance is when your landing page discusses a product or service that is new, complex, and unfamiliar. It’s better to provide information and pique interest before asking prospects to act on something they’re unsure of.

Consideration 4: Color

The psychology of colors within marketing is a hot topic online. Some suggest that CTAs should be green to prompt prospects to “go” forward. Others swear by red, the color of dominance, or blue, a calming color. A quick Google search uncovers hundreds of (often contradictory) studies supporting the effectiveness of one color over another.

The truth is that no one color is more effective than another. What matters is how your call-to-action button’s color contrasts with the elements surrounding it. Don’t determine this by sight and personal preference. To optimize your button’s effectiveness, conduct A/B tests comparing different colors to see which works best in terms of conversion. Leave discussions of color psychology to internet forums.

Instead of debating call-to-action colors, focus instead on how much they stand out against surrounding content.
Instead of debating call-to-action colors, focus instead on how much they stand out against surrounding content.

Consideration 5: Shape

It sounds obvious, but a CTA button should always look like a button, immediately identifiable as a clickable element. If it looks like anything else, your prospects will overlook it and fail to click. Buttons generally have a pre-defined shape or colored borders. Squares and rectangular shapes are best as other shapes tend to look like they’re designed to highlight text rather than be a clickable object.

Along with shape, call-to-actions can also be bold to differentiate from other text on-screen. The goal is to make these buttons stand out versus other elements that are within your customer’s field of view at any given time. Feel free to experiment—documenting results as you go—to find what works for you.

Jumpstart Your CTAs

Determine the perfect combination of CTA factors by conducting careful testing to find out what converts best. Of course, if your prospects are already interested in what you have to offer, then your CTAs won’t have to work so hard. Give yourself a head-start by talking to us today. We’re experts at helping B2B companies get quality, verified leads that are ready to buy.