An effective call-to-action strategy is the only guaranteed path to success in internet marketing. After all, without it you’re not a marketer, you’re a blogger.
The most successful way to build a successful call-to-action strategy is to look at what the top internet marketing companies are doing. For the purpose of learning effective CTAs, let’s look at the 4 most successful CTA campaigns, from Jetsetter, Intuit, Yapta and GoDaddy.
Jetsetter, an invitation-only, exclusive travel-deal site, is at the top of their CTA game.
Their Claim the Fame: bad-ass, actionable phrasing. Their eloquently put CTA, “Plan a trip like this”, stimulates their web surfers’ creativity, despite leaving nothing to the imagination in terms of what happens when you click the button. With this phrasing they leverage the emotions stirred in their users from their graphic traveling content to turn surfers into customers. Unsurprisingly, they use this CTA on every page. Jetsetter’s phrasing inspires the user to take action, but in a non-committal and exciting form. The less-subtle, “buy this trip” wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
How Can I Do It?
Create a site-wide CTA that stimulates the creativity and desire of your users, in a non-committal way. Then gently glide them through the sales cycle, taking them gently through one step at a time (but getting their contact info first, so even if they don’t complete the action you can add them to your email list and nurture the lead).
This B2B and B2C financial software company is another CTA hall of famer.
Their Claim to Fame: Effective language, a stand-out button color and a free-trial offer. The Inuit CTA combines three strong elements to earn its effectiveness. Its CTA is bright orange, a color that has long proven effective at getting attention (orange provides high contrast and mentally signifies a cheap or good deal—hence why many generic no-name food labels and grocery stores use orange as their primary color). It also expands on the language used throughout the site (headlines, footers and text body) to promote their free trial, so there is a solid sense of transition. Finally, they offer something non-committal and free—a free product trial.
How Can I Do It?
Simple: use a stand-out button color that signifies your offer: orange for low-cost, purple for quality, red for…uhh…traffic violations?. Also use a non-commital CTA; think “try now”, instead of “buy now”.
This flight and hotel price-tracking website assists their users in getting refunds—a strategy almost as brilliant as how they get their users to click-through their CTAs.
Their Claim to Fame: Threading their copy and CTA buttons seamlessly. Yapta’s ability to move the user from page to page, then CTA to conversion is nothing short of marketing genius. By using CTAs directly related to specific page content they make the transition from reading to action seamless—so seamless in fact that if it weren’t for their clear headlines and images users wouldn’t even notice their progression.
How Can I Do It?
If you want to leverage their strategy you need to make sure that your CTA buttons, copy, headlines and images are all in-line with each other in terms of language and content. You also need to create unique CTAs for different types of content and pages.
GoDaddy is a web- and email-hosting company that also sells domain names and other online services—not that I need to tell you, because just about everyone in North America knows who GoDaddy is.
Their Claim to Fame: GoDaddy has reached the top of their game by using highly-effective CTAs. Their CTAs are highly-visible due to their high-contrast, easy-to-spot buttons that follow the reader down the page. They use an attention-grabbing and actionable title “Continue to Registration” for their buttons. That phrasing alone would be effective—but let’s face it, people click the button because it follows them around the page. People are much likelier to click a button if it is always front and center.
Another bring-it-home point wit GoDaddy is that there is zero confusion with their CTAs; they tell you exactly what will happen if you click the CTA button. Another brilliant marketing ploy is that if you continue through their registration they expose you to several up-selling and cross-selling opportunities as well.
How Can I Do It?
Design a CTA that follows them around the page. Failing that put CTAs at the top, bottom and sidebar of your pages. Make sure that your CTA button text tells the user exactly what happens if they click it.
These 4 CTAs are all proven highly effective, but all very different from each other, meaning that you have to pick one. Figure out which strategy is best-suited to your business and give it a try. Use your analytic tools to determine if it is indeed right for your business. If it isn’t, try another.