Calls to action (CTAs) are vital components of any marketing strategy. As the name suggests, a CTA is a direct request for your audience to perform a specific action. A CTA could encourage a user to join your mailing list, follow you on social media, interact with your content, or complete a sale. CTAs may seem simple enough, but it’s not uncommon for CTAs to fail in their intended purposes. If you have constructed CTAs that you think are underperforming, you may have unintentionally made one of the most common errors many marketers make when they develop CTAs.
The following is a list of five of the most common reasons why CTAs fail to accomplish their intended purposes. Start constructing stronger, more efficient CTAs with this list.
One: Your CTA Is Hard to Find
A CTA should be easily recognizable within the content on a page. If you develop a landing page intended to drive visitors toward signing up for your mailing list, the CTA on the page should be clearly recognizable as the place for the visitor to accomplish this. One of the most common errors marketers make when it comes to CTAs is making them hard to find.
A good CTA should be obvious without being garish, easily interactive, and make its intended purpose entirely clear to visitors on the page. Make your CTA obvious from the moment a user clicks to a landing page, but not so obtrusive as to detract from the overall experience you want the user to have on your site.
Two: Your CTA Is Confusing and/or Too Complicated
CTAs should be direct and simple. Some of the best CTAs are just boldly colored buttons with one or two words, such as “Contact Us,” “Sign Up,” or “Purchase Now.” If your CTA seems to be failing, it may be because visitors to your site don’t realize its intended purpose. Review the CTAs you have arranged on your various landing pages and think of ways to simplify them. For example, if you have a whole paragraph of text set up as a CTA, visitors to your site may be interpreting it as just bold or differently colored text; they may not recognize it as interactive or pushing them toward completing a specific action.
When it comes to CTAs, remember that less is more. Keep your CTAs to-the-point and obvious as to their intended purpose and what you want visitors to do with them. A good practice is to give your CTAs a color that stands out from the rest of a page’s palette so visitors can easily recognize them as interactive points that accomplish specific actions.
Three: The Language of Your CTA Doesn’t Work for Your Audience
Do you have a firm understanding of your target audience? If you have taken the time to thoroughly develop your ideal customer profiles, you should be keenly aware of their preferences, lifestyles, habits, interests, and needs. You need to make sure your CTAs align with your audience and encourage them to take the action you desire. For example, a flashy and obtrusive CTA won’t work for a more mature, professional audience, and a muted, subtle CTA probably won’t grab the attention of a younger audience.
Conducting extensive audience research is one of the best ways to ensure your CTAs align with your audience’s needs and interests. If you fulfill a specific desire or need for a target consumer demographic, your CTA should quickly and accurately convey your ability to fulfill that need or desire.
Four: Your CTA Is Asking for Too Much
Remember to keep your CTAs simple. Does your current failing CTA include multiple directions or oddly specific terminology? Its intended purpose may not be immediately obvious to visitors on your site. If your CTA is asking for too much, visitors may not be able to tell what the CTA will help them accomplish. If a CTA offers too many variables, it may instill uncertainty in visitors and cause them to click away rather than committing to something with uncertain terms.
Modern internet users are incredibly discerning, so your intent needs to be obvious and direct with every CTA. While offering choice is often important, offering too much choice all at once can be overwhelming, especially to a visitor who may still be on the fence as to whether or not to convert to your brand. If your CTA asks a user for information, only ask for the bare essentials. Some users will be wary of a CTA that asks for more than what is usually necessary to complete an action. For example, if you want users to sign up for an email list, the CTA should only ask them to input an email address.
Five: Your Colors Aren’t Working for Your CTA
Color is incredibly important to digital marketing and content development, so it is also an important consideration for your CTAs. It’s good practice to use a color palette of two to three colors on your website; any more and you create visual confusion that will probably turn users off from your brand more than it will inspire users to engage further.
When constructing your CTAs, try to use colors that are slightly bolder versions of the color palette you already use on your website. For example, if your main colors are black and white and you use a pastel pink for accent colors, consider making your CTA buttons a bolder pink that flows with your existing color palette while standing out enough to be easily recognized as an interactive CTA. Your CTA buttons should contrast with the page background, so they don’t become lost in all the other elements on the page.
If you can overcome these five common CTA mistakes, you should notice a significant uptick in the amount of engagement your CTAs generate. There are countless tools you can use to track your CTA performance over time, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different CTA designs and formats to find the right configuration for your target audience.