Developing an Effective ‘Call to Action’.

Call-To-Action Buttons (CTA) are simply a button that tells viewers what they should do next. This lets you direct them to an external source or another page of the site. The main point of them is to bridge the page of content the viewer is on, to another interest or an offer of higher value.

The most important attribute of a CTA button is that it stands out against your web background. You want the colour to compliment your websites theme but to still have a high enough contrast to stand out to the eye. If your websites overall theme is blue and white, instead of going with a plain blue or grey button go for a high contrast colour that stands out and draws attention to it. You can experiment by making several different button colours and styles and then hand it to a few friends and record which button had the best interaction rates. You also want your font to be easily readable and stand out against this bright colour, a nice san serif white font works perfectly here. A great way to make a button look clickable is by having a different texture to other elements, e.g. if your sign up box is a low opacity rectangle over an image, have the sign up button a solid colour so the viewer can tell it is important.

The key to making these buttons encouraging to press is by keeping it simple. Try to have a maximum of 3 words on the button and always keep the text inviting. Rather than “View what’s in your cart” keeping it simple with “View my cart” this also makes the button seem more personal. They also help to breakdown steps, if you had a customer survey, step by step questions with buttons are much easier to consume compared to a huge page with lots of input fields. You can also be a bit creative with your wording, if you have someone on a page where they are given the chance “sign up for this offer” or the button “decline offer” it could come down to a 50/50 choice, but if you change the wording to “collect special offer” and “No, I’d rather pay more” it adds a negative connotation and makes the viewer contemplate what they are missing out on.

To draw more attention to the button you can add a small image or graphic that gives context to what clicking the button will achieve. Another way to make the button more inviting is with hover effects e.g. a change in colour/gradient or an outline forming around the button. You can integrate this with the illustration e.g. a “place delivery button” with an image of a truck has the truck driving away when hovering over it. This adds to the personal feel you want your site to give off and make interacting with it more inviting. The shape is also a key part of an effective CTA. you want the size and design to fit in with your theme and not stand out like a sore thumb. You want to find the right balance between being noticeable without looking ugly and unappealing with the rest of the site. If a lot of your imagery is cropped in a circle and your illustrations/logos have rounded edges, don’t have a sharp rectangular box. You want to have a coherent style but still make the button look clickable and inviting to interact with.

Sometimes the most subtle changes can have the biggest impact. A simple change up of style, colour, and wording can make a huge difference in someone’s decision to click it or not. This makes using your website a truly personal experience where the viewer feels important and that their decisions actually matter. So give your call to action buttons the purpose they deserve and watch your interactions grow.


Latch Team