Digital marketing is a tad like speed dating. There’s the first blush (a subject line, display ad or meta description in an organic search), the courting stage (images and text on the website) and then the proposal (the call to action). And it won’t mean a thing if it ain’t got a ring to it. In other words, steer clear of phrases like “learn more” and “join now.” They’re overused, ambiguous, and don’t make the best CTAs.
On average, CTAs or functional language (phrases and words that directly prompt a specific action, language, response or process) comprise about 40-50% of the difference in performance for websites. They need to stand out. To help you put a ring on it, Persado Solutions Consultant Grace Fisher scoured the Internet for the best call to action examples.
CTA: Find Food
What makes it great: In this call to action example, the language is aligned with a common customer goal: Find food. It’s to-the-point, actionable and relatable to boot: If you’re hungry, you quite simply just want to know where the heck to eat. Plus, it’s a casual ask. “Seamless’ call to action isn’t trying to get you to sign up right away,” Fisher said. “Instead, it’s leading you down the purchase funnel.” And once you’ve identified the food that you want, you’re much more likely to create an account to satisfy your craving.
CTAs: “Women” or “Men” and “Take Your Style Quiz”
What makes it great: Stitch fix makes Fisher’s best CTA list for its customer experience and creativity. “The ‘Women’ or ‘Men’ options help the customer hone in on more personalization right away,” she said. “Take Your Style Quiz” not only makes the experience more personal, it also engages the customer and is action oriented. The button colors in these call to action examples pop while remaining consistent with the brand, giving users a subtle nudge to click. Like Seamless, Stitch fix is low-pressure: The calls to action have nothing to do with buying and everything to do with getting to know the customer. One tweak: “After you’ve clicked on the ‘Women’ or ‘Men’ button, the CTA is ‘get started,’ which is a bit too common,” Fisher said. “‘Find your style’ or something else fun and relevant for the visitor could increase engagement.”
CTA: View Photos
What makes it great (or at the very least effective): This popular dating website went bold. “Match is an interesting call to action example because the visitor presumably has the goal of finding a long term relationship by coming to the site, but the CTA appeals to our immediate (and perhaps more honest) interest in checking out who is available by saying ‘view photos,’” Fisher said. Users also need to give a little bit of information (their zip codes) in order to see the photos. This is a known psychological principle commonly referred to as the foot-in-the-door technique. “Match asks for something small and innocuous, like a zip code, that users are likely to give” Fisher said. “This initial investment and act of compliance means that the visitor has a higher propensity to follow through on a bigger ask later on, such as signing up for the service to be able to communicate with the people in the photos.”