In this opinion piece, Simon O’Day, vice president of global for Emma, an email marketing software and services company, delves into customer’s minds to tell us what the deal is behind clicking.
Many modern marketers share the same overarching goals: Connect with the audience and prompt its members to take meaningful action. In the digital world, meaningful action usually means a click of the mouse (or tap on the screen), which leads to a conversion. However, optimising the call-to-action (CTA) button is often overlooked.
For example, did you know that some buttons appear to our brains to be more clickable than others? For years, smart marketers have used basic brain science to develop campaigns that grab our attention — and CTA buttons are no different. Below are four tips on how the right button colour, copy, shape and placement can help skyrocket your click rates.
1. Choose a compelling colour
Colour matters, probably more than you realise: 85 percent of people say colour is the main reason they buy a product. There’s no magic colour that converts best, so for your CTA button, pick a colour that contrasts with your design to make it stand out (e.g orange on blue). Or, use a colour that promotes a certain feeling.
For example, orange is known to encourage immediate action. Consider orange for asking people to sign up, buy or join right away. It’s also the colour most associated with cheap or inexpensive things.
Green means “go,” which is pretty handy when it comes to CTAs. It’s also the easiest colour for the eyes to process, so it’s often used to relax the mind and promote growth.
2. Write clickable copy
The purpose of a CTA is primarily to move someone to take action right away. Therefore try to write a copy that’s irresistible to click. It should be specific and direct, like for example, “Download the guide” rather than “Click here” — and use active verbs like “start” and “get.” Passive words create lazy mouse-finger couch potatoes, so lead with an active, energetic verb to drive more clicks.
One recent study found a 90 percent better conversion rate using first-person language, e.g., “Start my free trial” vs. “Start your free trial.” Another easy trick is to simply add the word “now” to a CTA button. This three-letter word can boost conversions by creating a sense of extra urgency.
3. Consider shape and size
Rounded, big, tappable and tested: These four adjectives should describe every CTA button. Rectangular buttons are by far the most popular, but since our brains are programmed to avoid pointy things, make sure to round off the corners. Buttons should also be big enough to be easily tapped on a mobile phone.
4. Pick a prominent placement
CTA buttons shouldn’t be vying for attention. You should make clear at a glance what you want your audience to do. When you place buttons above the fold, your audience will see them even if they’re just scanning the email or page. Visitors spend almost 80 percent of their time above the fold, so you’ll catch those readers who are ready to act right away without forcing them to sift through content to get there.
Surrounding CTA buttons with white space also helps them stand out, so give CTAs plenty of room to pop, but not so much space that they don’t feel like part of the overall design. They should attract the eye, not look lost in the desert.
Every audience is different, so you’ll have to test colours, copy, shapes and placement to find the right combination that sends your conversion rates soaring. After all, A/B tests can improve conversion rates by as much as 49 percent.