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How To Create an Optimized CTA Button

Last updated on May 30, 2017

The inherent purpose of every landing page – regardless of funnel position, audience segment or marketing channel is to get visitors to take action. The Call to Action button, as its name appropriately suggests is the element that gets you that action.

Every visitor coming on a landing page has one decision to make – to act or not to act.
It’s the duty of the CTA button to get them to do the former.

An effective CTA button has the power to:

  • Get visitors to focus on the right spot
  • Allow them to take the desired action
  • Increase your conversion rates

So, what makes a CTA button effective, optimizing Call to Action buttons revolves around the following four things:

  1. copy
  2. size
  3. color
  4. placement

Call to Action Button Copy

The CTA button copy should be written in a similar way as the body copy i.e. it should be relevant to the page offer and talk about the visitor.

The secret to writing effective CTA button copy lies in using ‘possessive determiners’.

A possessive determiner is a type of function word that is used in front of a noun to express possession or belonging (as in ‘my phone’).

So, when you use ‘my’, ‘you’ and ‘your’ on your CTA buttons you essentially speak to the visitor, making them feel at ease and persuading them to click the call to action button. When you add the right pronouns to your buttons, what you’re doing is personalizing the button for the visitor.

The Intercom landing page uses a personalized CTA button:

Intercom Landing Page Example

Personalized CTA button copy such as the one used on the Intercom page not only lets the visitor know what they are going to get after they click the button, but, also helps them visualize the action they’re about to take.

The key to writing effective button copy lies in never using these two kinds of words:

  • Friction inducing words
  • Generic words

Words that portray to visitors that they need to give up something in order to get the landing page offer cause conversion friction, the thing they could be giving up could include their time, money, or energy. Generic CTA words such as “Submit,” “Buy,” “Sign Up,” and “Download” are high friction words when used by themselves. These words imply that the visitor has to do work to get your offer.

When you personalize your button copy and avoid using any friction and generic words you make the visitor feel at ease and get to know what’s in it for them when they click the CTA button.

Call to Action Button Size

It’s reasonable to think that a bigger thing which catch your eye more than a smaller thing, in fact Fitt’s law confirms this phenomenon too. The law dictates, ‘larger and closer a target, the faster and easier it is to select that target.’

Which translates into, the bigger your CTA button, the easier it is for your visitors to take notice and eventually click it.

The important thing to remember here is that the CTA size is not absolute, but relative to the rest of the landing page elements. The CTA button shouldn’t be insanely large, it just needs to ‘bigger’ than the other landing page, so that it is prominent.

You can also use a visual cue to point toward the CTA button and guide visitor attention to it. Visual cues can be in the form of an arrow or a human’s line of sight.

PostcardMania uses an arrow as a visual cue to point toward their appropriately sized CTA button:

PostcardMania CTA Button Example

Another element that makes CTA button more prominent is white space. When you surround the button with ample white, you essentially isolate it from the other elements which in turn makes it more noticeable.

The CTA button should look clickable,because if the button blends in with the rest of the copy visitors won’t be able to see it, which of course means they can’t click it.

Call to action buttons should be noticeable as soon as the visitor comes on the page, this can be done by increasing their size and using a visual cue to point to them.

Call to Action Button Color

A button that’s not instantly visible to visitors has failed to fulfill its goal.

To ensure that your buttons are visible, make sure they are:

  • Contrasting in color
  • Clickable
  • Surrounded by ample white space
  • Have visual cues (arrows, hand pointing, or eye sight) pointing to it

A color contrasting button stands out from the background and other landing page elements, like Upwork’s webinar landing page CTA:

Upwork Webinar Landing Page Cta Example

When choosing button color, don’t simply focus on which color is appropriate for the buyer persona you’re targeting, or the color that commands the most attention – because there is no one supreme button color.

It’s not really about an orange CTA button converting better than a blue CTA button, it’s all in the color contrast. For your CTA button to stand out from the other landing page elements, the button color should contrast with the page background.

You can read more about color contrast in the third chapter.

Call to Action Button Placement

The page fold is extremely important to marketers, it is wrongly assumed that only the elements that are placed above the fold get visitor attention and the rest are ignored.

However, this can’t be further from the truth.

Where you place your button shouldn’t be dependent on the page fold, it should be contingent on the landing page offer, and the type of page you’re creating. Your CTA should only become visible to your visitors once they have sufficient information about your offer, when you place a button prematurely, you risk losing conversions.

On longer sales pages, CTA buttons aren’t placed until the visitor is well acquainted with the offer.

Visitors don’t mind scrolling for your CTA button if they are interested in the offer; you just need to make your button visible and contrasting, that’s what UserTesting does with their CTA button.

Usertesting Landing Page Cta Example

Having two CTA buttons also works on long form pages, you can place one button above the fold after the main headline and sub-head and put the other one at the end of the page.

Where the CTA button is placed on a landing page is dependent on every individual page, not on the page fold – don’t place the button above the fold just because you believe it is a landing page best practice.

Secondary Call to Action Buttons

A secondary CTA button provides an alternative conversion opportunity or action to visitors. If you have more than one CTA button – the second and third buttons don’t automatically become secondary CTA buttons. They only become secondary buttons when they lead the visitor to a different conversion action.

Secondary CTAs come in handy to promote intermediate level offers to visitors who aren’t ready yet to sign up for your product. The secondary CTAs then act as a gateway of sorts to secondary conversion goals that take the visitor down the marketing funnel.

Every landing page doesn’t require a secondary CTA button. In fact, we recommended you A/B test if the secondary button is valuable and getting you conversions — instead of diverting your visitors’ attention from the primary conversion goal.

The trick with including a secondary CTA button is to make sure you’re not taking away focus from your primary CTA button. If you choose to include a secondary CTA button, it should always complement the primary button and not act as a competitor.

The best type of landing page for a secondary CTA button is a sign-up page for your service. A secondary button can help you offer hesitant visitors to download a resource like an ebook or a whitepaper and follow up with them further down the funnel if they aren’t ready to sign-up yet. You can also showcase other reasons why your service is right for them by explaining other product features.

Optimizing the landing page CTA button ensures that you convince visitors to perform the conversion action you want.