Call to Actions: The First Step in Lead Generation
Calls to Action (CTAs) serve a very specific purpose. CTAs should elicit a response from yourwebsite visitors. Whether you're asking them to to sign-up for a free eBook or subscribe to your newsletter, the CTA is there to capture visitor information and generate leads.
If your CTAs aren't getting attention or capturing responses, their existence is almost futile. Learn the 5 crucial steps of designing a beautiful call to action:
Step #1: Location is Everything.
The placement of your Call to Action is critical to it's success. Generally speaking, you want it in a prominent location and above the fold, which means website visitors don't need to scroll to find it. However, depending on it's purpose, optimal placement can vary. CTAs aren't just for landing pages, and sidebars, site navigation and blog content are all prime real estate. If you're trying to get blog subscribers, the right or sidebar is an ideal location. Contact forms are often located in the footer. Forgetting to include a CTA in every piece of business blog content is among the most devastating CTA mistakes. Consider what the objective of your CTA is before you begin design. This approach will allow you to select the best location and ultimately give you the best results.
In the image above, the invitation to "try Zendesk free" is placed in line with main site navigation.
Step #2: Size and Color Matter
If you're trying to bring attention to an extra-special offer, a large CTA might be what you need. Color and contrast are critical components of effective CTA design. The CTA needs to be the most visible aspect of a landing page. It should stand out from the page, and even the supporting text.
In the example shown above, the bright green color of the CTA button clearly contrasts with the dark blue background and white text. It's hard to look away from the CTA button in this example of effective color and contrast in action.
Step #3: I Just Need Some Space
One of the most effective ways to draw attention to a CTA button is to increase the surrounding space. Known as "negative space," emptiness is used throughout smart web design to draws the viewer's eye towards the CTA button. Sometimes, to dramatically increase lead conversion all you need is a little breathing room: Below is a great example of a moderately-sized CTA that effectively uses the negative space around it.
Step #4 - Can I Have Some Options, Please?
Instead of losing a website visitor who wants more information or isn’t quite ready to commit, provide a secondary option along with your Call to Action. Provide a link to a landing page with more information if your visitors aren't quite sure. MailChimp does a great job of this by adding a link with the question “Need convincing?” This provides MailChimp with the opportunity to not only continue to market, but additional opportunities for lead conversion.
It's important to remember that you shouldn't give website visitors too many options on a landing page. Most experts recommend removing options for navigation and social media buttons. One exception to this rule is providing a link to a second landing page that explains a little more about the offer.
Step #5: Give Them That Peaceful, Easy Feeling
In a world with countless types of internet scams, the last thing you want to do is give your viewer any thoughts that they've been drawn into a scheme or trap. Your landing page should be honest and about exactly what they're getting when they click the CTA button. In the example below, the CTA states that the sign up is free, and that you can pay when you want. This effectively increases the visitors' comfort level with their service:
Other ways to improve website visitors' trust include adding logos to the landing page of your big-name clients or images of any business associations you're a member of.
The most important part of CTA design is that you've got to test out the designs. A/B test single elements of your CTA buttons to see what is the most effective for lead capture and conversion. Using the five steps for beautiful CTA design is just the beginning. Test continually for the best possible results. While the 5 components of irresistable call to action design can boost your lead conversion rate, A/B testing will super charge your landing pages.
Image Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles