The term Call To Action, or CTA, refers to a web feature constituting an incentive for users to engage in a certain action, usually relating to a sale, request for information, subscription or form submission. This incentive will most likely be presented as an interactive element, such as a button or link. The goal is to instil a sense of urgency that will encourage users to take action immediately.
A call to action should essentially be viewed as the engine that drives action (and eventually conversion) throughout your site. CTAs should be clear and snappy so users don’t really have to think/read too much before they click. Inasmuch as possible, CTAs have to appeal to users’ instincts. Their format (button, link, tile…), copy, colour and positioning are crucial to success and should be tested.
Because a call to action drives conversion, they deserve to be the centrepieces of any web page. As such, the content of any page should subtly revolve around CTAs, introducing and enhancing them in order to lead users to action. If you have multiple CTAs on a given page, you should also pay attention to the hierarchy between those CTAs; for example, in a scenario where you show submit and cancel buttons, you should probably display the cancel button to the left of the submit button as most visitors would expect it there.
Keep your call to action highly visible: above the fold, in a sticky bar upon scroll (especially on tablet/mobile), using colours that contrast with the rest of your site, with a clear message that drives immediate action.
Here are 3 examples of CTA positioning and colour. If you were a visitor on that site, which version do you think would be most likely to compel you to submit a query from the widget?
The assumption would be that the middle example would be the most likely based on what we understand about position and colour and their impact on a call to action, but of course we don’t need to assume as we can run a simple ABn test using Webtrends Optimize to ensure that our assumptions are correct, or not, and be sure any change we make to the existing CTA is the right change.
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