Creating Better Calls to Action

A call to action is something that draws users to the next step that you want them to take – whether it is contacting you, purchasing a product, or even sharing something on one of their social networks.

If you’ve ever watched The Shopping Channel, you’ll see how effectively they have mastered calls to action. Most notably, they are always creating an urgency to purchase a product through the use of words like “now” and “limited time.” This works really well because it makes viewers feel like they will be missing out on an opportunity if they don’t act immediately.

While a website is a different medium than The Shopping Channel, a lot of the principles of successful calls to action are the same. Here are five additional tips on how you can create effective calls to action.

Five Tips for More Effective Calls to Action

  • Be clear and concise. Use easy to understand language that they can grasp really quickly and that will resonate with the most people possible.
  • Use action words. Action words are words that prompt your users to do something – such as “Search,” “Download” or “Buy.”
  • Use calls to action sparingly. While I would recommend at least one call to action on each page, you want to avoid placing too many that would compete with each other. You want each call to action to stand out as something important for the user to do – providing too many takes away importance from all others, and confuses the user about which one to click on.
  • Place the call to action in a logical place on the page. Whether it’s at the end of the page, in a sidebar, or in a location users expect to see it, placing it in a logical location will help users take the step that you want.
  • Use contrast. You want your call to action button to stand out, so be sure to place more emphasis on it. For example, use more white space around the call to action than around other elements. This can help draw attention to the call to action. Also, use text that is larger than your body copy – this makes it easy to skim for users.