Sign Up. Join Now. Submit. You might have shown these call to action buttons at some different places in your store, emails, Facebook, etc. to ask your visitors to enter their email in exchange for something. You thought you would get many clicks.
Unfortunately, only a few people clicked, and you had no idea why that happened. After several days of thinking, you tried to change your call to action (CTA) button’s color, copy, and location with the hope of getting some emails. Again, you failed.
Let us tell you this: you did nothing wrong. In fact, these elements are important, and you shouldn’t ignore them. But they are NOT everything.
This list of the high-converting call to action button tactics grouped into three strategies is written for you. You’ll learn 18 ways to level up your CTA within minutes. If used correctly, you’ll see the number of your subscribers and conversion going up.
Want to jump immediately into the strategy you want? Use this:
It’s time to dive in!
Strategy 1: Get your call to action button to stand out
With this strategy, you’ll learn how to tune up the appearance of your CTA button, which can help draw a lot of customers’ attention.
#1. Make sure it’s clickable
When it comes to CTA buttons, the first and foremost thing is they must be clickable. Almost all actions that your customers will ever take on your site are embedded inside these buttons. So, if your customers don’t realize they’re able to click on your CTAs, your buttons may be lost.
When you go to a store and see a button, what makes you believe it’s clickable? What prompted you to click? Most of the time, clickable CTA buttons have the following features:
- Text and background colors are clean and contrasting.
- Short and clear button text.
- Have whitespace surrounding them.
- Rectangular shape with sharp or rounded corners.
Here is a good example of a call to action button with all of the above characteristics:
Source: Rue La La
- It’s OK to choose a different shape for your CTA. Just make it visually obvious that your button is clickable.
- Using shadows, highlights, or other subtle effects can be good. While doing so, your call to action button will have a slightly 3D appearance, which makes it look salient. However, don’t overuse them because too much effect can backfire.
#2. Make it leap off the page
Before writing this article, we reviewed many stores for SiteKit customers and went through a lot of other websites. There is a very big issue we saw on the popups and opt-in forms we checked: our eyes didn’t immediately click the CTA buttons when they appeared.
Why? They are so boring, making themselves unnoticed.
In case you miss: the average attention span of humans is 8 seconds. That’s why your CTA should be one of the first things your customers notice when they enter your site or see your popup. This means your button shouldn’t look like this:
Instead, you can blow your customers’ minds by using bright colors, which highlights the actions that you want them to be taken. Check out how Concrete Minerals does this with their CTA:
#3. Make it big
Choosing a bigger size for your call to action button is a good way to make it stand out. If your button is so small, it can blend in with the form or the page, meaning it’s hard for your visitors to see and click.
So, what’s the most popular size for a CTA button? On average, the CTA button is about 47.9 pixels tall, with the smallest at 20 pixels tall. If you want to optimize your opt-in form on mobile, Apple also suggests any touch point should be at least 44 pixels tall.
Note: Keep your call to action button not too large. Otherwise, your CTA looks odd and spoil visual elements and hierarchy of the form.
#4. Add visuals
Visuals contents grab attention. Hence, don’t forget to use it to give your call to action button a good boost. For example, you can use visual cues like an icon or small illustration as below:
Source: Public Desire
An up arrow and a down arrow for uploads and downloads, a shopping cart or basket for purchases are ideal choices. Just ensure you include enough white space between any text or other elements and the edges of the button so it doesn’t look overcrowded.
#5. Level up your call to action button with animation
If used correctly, animation can help increase the level of interest and engagement. Look at the CTA below. Do you want to enter your email and slide the button? It is easy to say YES, right?
Note: Be careful when using animation. Too much effect and excessive use of animation will have a negative impact on visitors, distract them, and lead them to leave the form.
#6. Place it at a good position
Where you place your CTA button will determine how many clicks it’ll get from visitors. Normally, the best place for CTAs is above the fold where your visitors look first without having to scroll down. That will usually be at or near the top of the page.
However, this depends mostly on your page layout. Industries differ, as do landing pages. There’s no right or wrong to position your button on the site. The best advice is to do many tests before making the final decision.
Strategy 2: Write a must-click call to action button copy
This strategy is all about creating a convincing CTA copy that makes it hard for your visitors to refuse.
#7. Change your CTA copy
Your CTA copy is what convinces visitors to click, or not. It’s one of the game changers on your CTA’s conversion rates.
Be specific about what you want your visitors to do after they click your CTA. In other words, create value for them by explaining exactly what’s going to happen or what they’re going to get once they take action. Gone are the days when Sign up or Submit worked. Now your CTA should get to the point from the beginning.
Source: Shwood Eyewear
Don’t create a generic copy since it can cause your customers not to understand what they can get after signing up.
Never do this, unless you don’t want to grow your email list!
#8. Keep it short and sweet
If you use a 20-word CTA, people won’t possibly click. Seriously, no one wants to read a full-of-text CTA. It’s better to keep your CTA copy no longer than 5 words.
Source: Au Lit Fine Linens
Tip: If you want to add more explanation about your offer, consider showing extra information underneath the button.
Source: Master Class
#9. Use the first person
In an article, Outbounce shared their interesting discovery on how to design a call to action button that converts. They tried to change the possessive determiner in their CTA copy “Start your free 30-day trial” from “your” to “my” and test this for three weeks. Eventually, “Start my free 30-day trial” had increased CTR by 90%.
This is a good tactic to try. By setting your CTA copy to the first person, you probably make your visitors feel as if they already possess the freebie. Below is a good example from CandyStore.com:
#10. Use social proof
Most of the time your customers need social proof to enter an email or make a purchase. They want to know what if there are any other people who have already done that before.
See the example below. Do you want to sign up for Paul Jarvis’s newsletter when you know he already has 29,773 subscribers? We bet you do!
Source: Growth Supply Blog
Apart from including social proof in your CTA copy, you can use it near the button to get more clicks.
#11. Provoke emotion
Using power words wisely in your CTA can help grow subscribers and conversions. Research reveals that a single word makes all the difference, and it can influence the decision-making process dramatically.
You, Free, Because, Instantly, and New are the most persuasive words in the English language. Besides, words like Discover, Increase, Create, and Inspires are widely used in CTA buttons, headlines, and email subject lines.
Source: Start a Mom
#12. Add “free” to your CTA copy
A lot of people find “FREE” intoxicating, and the truth is the free effect does exist. This is one of the easiest psychological strategies to level up your CTA copy.
For example, if you’re offering something (especially the high-value offers) for free, tell people it’s free, like this:
Source: Nerd Fitness
In case you’re not giving something for free, do it now and you’ll see a boost in your CTA’s conversion.
#13. Use leading lines
Researchers show that as humans, we automatically follow leading lines, like arrows or images of a person facing toward the CTA. We tend to look for directional cues as to where we put our eyes. We are irresistible to them.
A lot of store owners (like On Blast Blog below) have already applied this technique, and the result they got was unexpected.
There is an arrow pointing to the box to enter email, and another is for CTA button. Hence, if visitors go to the On Blast Blog, they’re more likely to pay much attention to the opt-in form.
#14. Start a conversation
Your visitors are so familiar with CTAs like Sign Up or Submit that they can easily get annoyed whenever they see them. However, if the tone is friendly and welcoming, they can change their mind and want to connect with you.
To do this, try using casual, conversational invitations like “Let’s talk!” or “Join in!”, as in the example below. By doing so, you can create a personal interest in the people you’re hoping to interact with on your site.
Source: Orbit Media
Strategy 3: Turn No Thanks button into your advantage
The No Thanks button isn’t always bad if you know how to use them to your advantage. This strategy will show you how to do this.
#15. Make your opt-out button NOT stand out
Colors on buttons signal a call to action. Meanwhile, a No Thanks button isn’t a call to action button since there is no change to your email list or conversion after it’s clicked. If you’re still using the same color (or two different bright colors) for your CTA and No Thanks buttons, they’re competing for attention. Your customers will more likely ponder each action longer, and they can eventually click “No, thanks”.
The best advice is you should never emphasize your No Thanks button with a bright color. Instead, give it a neutral color, and at the same time, make your CTA brighter and bolder. Here is a good example from FTD:
It’s as simple as that. Your CTA button should jump off the page. But your No Thanks button shouldn’t.
#16. Use anchor text for No Thanks button
There are three things you may already (or may not) know:
- When it comes to CTA, many people usually think of it in the form of a button.
- Buttons are not the only style of CTA.
- CTAs in the form of buttons perform much better than other types of CTAs, for example, anchor text CTAs.
Based on these, here is a great suggestion for you: creating a button for main CTA while using anchor text for your No Thanks. This way, you can draw more attention to your button CTA, meaning it’ll get more clicks.
Source: Central Market Wine & Spirit
There is another great tip to leverage this tactic. Take a look at Taylor Stitch’s opt-in form:
To discourage visitors from refusing to opt in, Taylor Stitch doesn’t create a No Thanks button, but a clickable text (“No thanks, just let me shop”). They even remove the underline below the link, so the black CTA button pops more.
#17. Make your customers feel the pain if they refuse
Normally, your visitors have to take some time to enter their email and then confirm it. That’s why they can quickly click “No, thanks” without a second thought. To solve the problem, you have to make your visitors feel the pain or guilty of saying no. This is an effective tactic, which is often called “confirm shaming”.
Think about this: what are your visitors losing by clicking the no option rather than the CTA? Pura Vida already figured out the answer, and they did it well with their popup:
On the win wheel popup, Pura Vida tunes up the copy for their no button. Instead of something like “No, thanks”, they use the words/phrases “I”, “don’t”, “save money” to trigger the negative feelings in their visitor. “Who doesn’t want to save their money?”. Perhaps, no one!
Once visitors spin the wheel, Pura Vida continues to highlight the “I don’t want to save money” option to make them harder to refuse.
By doing so, this tactic helps Pura Vida make their CTA button more compelling than “No Thanks” option and increase clicks they’ll get. You should follow suit.
Tip: You can use SiteKit to create a win wheel popup. Everything can be done in a matter of seconds.
#18. Take advantage of urgency
You may hear this several times: a sense of urgency in marketing can boost conversions. This is true.
The same also applies to your CTA copy. By adding some urgency, you can instill the feeling of FOMO (a.k.a a fear of missing out) and encourage your visitors to type their email quickly.
There are some ways to apply this tactic. For example, you can use time-sensitive words like “now” or “today” in your CTA copy like the example below. Or, include a countdown timer in your opt-in form.
Source: Kaufmann Mercantile
Over to you
If this article has inspired you to take a fresh look at your own CTA buttons and maybe change them up a bit, check out SiteKit to create compelling opt-in forms and experiment with the tactics above.
As always, feel free to sound off below if you have any other ideas about call to action buttons. We’d love to hear about them.