4 Design Tips for More Effective CTAs

November 4, 2015

2012/03/22 Tracey
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are everywhere—homepages, webpages, blog posts, emails, landing pages, etc. There’s a lot of things to consider for what you thought was just a simple little button, as the impact design has on a CTA’s performance is huge. Here are some tips to optimize the effectiveness of your CTAs:
There’s no one color that converts better than others—instead the best results come from colors that contrast with the background or surrounding colors or promote a certain feeling.

  • Orange encourages immediate action. Consider using orange if you want people to sign up, join, or buy a product or service right away. (Keep in mind, though—orange is also the color most associated with inexpensive things.)
  • Red increases energy and a sense of urgency. Use red if you’re running a sale or limited-time offer.
  • Yellow grabs attention and creates low-level anxiety. It promotes both positive feelings and just enough anxiety to move people to action without stopping them in their tracks.
  • Blue builds trust and security. As the most popular color in world, blue is an ideal choice for making customers feel safe.
  • Green promotes growth and relaxation. Green universally means ‘go’, which is pretty handy when it comes to CTAs. It’s also the easiest color for the eyes to process.

The whole point of a CTA is to move someone to take action right away, so write copy that’s irresistible to click.

  • Use active verbs such as “Download,” “Get,” and “Start” to get people clicking.
  • Be specific—help your audience understand exactly what you want them to do and what will happen when they click.
  • Keep it short. CTAs should be easy to read and understand at a glance.
  • Use a 1st person point-of-view. “Start my free trial” converts better than “Start your free trial.”
  • Create Urgency. Simply adding “Now” to your CTA can boost conversions.

Rectangle shapes are the most popular, but other shapes and sizes may work if they fit your design.

  • Round the corners of rectangular buttons—our brains seek to avoid pointy corners.
  • Make it big. Your CTA should stand out (but not be so obnoxious that it ruins your design).
  • Make it clickable—your CTA should be large enough to be easily clickable on mobile phones.

Your CTA shouldn’t compete with other buttons or content—it should be clear a glance what you want visitors to do.

  • Place it above “the fold”—this is the most logical place on the page where people will expect to see it, and ensures your audience will see it even if they’re just scanning.
  • Choose images of people looking in the direction of your CTA to help draw attention.
  • Surround it with white space. Give your CTA plenty of room to make it pop, but not so much that it doesn’t feel like part of the overall design.
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