Here’s how to create attention-grabbing CTAs

Your call-to-action is claimed to be the make-or-break point of your content. And to some, that’s surprising considering it’s usually just a word or two at the end of your message. There are many things to consider when crafting the perfect CTA — color, placement, copy. And to understand what your audience best responds to, a lot of testing needs to be performed. And keep in mind: A/B testing as a process, not a destination.

Which variables should you test?

Variables primarily depend on the context of your CTA. For different mediums (think: email, web banners, blogs, and social media), you will test different variables. For example, testing color would not be a good fit for a social media post, as that is only text. Here are some ideas of where to start:

1. Size: By testing different sizes, you can get a feel for what the sweet spot is with your audience. How big is too big, where it feels aggressive? But how small can it be before it gets overlooked? Be sure to find the right size that drives an impact on both desktop and mobile.

2. Color: It’s known that colors can subconsciously drive feelings and actions. Mailup says,warm colors (yellow, orange) generate optimism, cold colors (blue) serenity and confidence, green relaxation and freshness.” Experiment with colors that work with your brand (but don’t wander too far from your color palette!) and audience.  

Mailup also advises selecting a color that contrasts (while also compliments) the rest of your email, blog, or content’s colors so that the button stands out.

3. Copy: Always be clear with what action you want readers to take. If you’re promoting an event, try “Sign up.” If you want them to click over to your blog, try “Read here” or “Learn more.” If you are misleading with the action, it will negatively impact your bounce and conversion rates.

Test both direct and soft versions of your CTA. Mailup gives the example of trying both “Buy now” and “Add to cart.” While the former is clear and concise, the latter is a gentler approach.

4. Position: There are several approaches you can take here. You could test having one CTA before the user has to scroll, and one after your message towards the bottom. You could also test its placement on the page by putting it on the left or right (think: vertical banner).

5. Design: Play around with the design of your image. This can mean shape, shadowing, font, etc. Take note of what catches your audience’s eye while still staying true to your brand.

Interested in more tips on optimizing your content?

Check out our blog on using thumbnail preview images on your website.

Start building your tests

The whole point of doing A/B testing is to run a few CTAs at once to compare all of your options. Once you’ve determined which variable to start with, next you have to build them and present them to your audience. For example, if you’re testing size, perhaps create a small, medium, and large CTA button to send to your audience. And bonus, if you’re running A/B tests with your Facebook ads you can edit each CTA for your different placements on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s finally the fun part: Measure your results

Determine what data you’re going to use to identify a successful CTA – is it your click-through or conversation rate? Once your tests wrap up, take time to sit down and compare your results. 

Once you’ve identified a few winners, start using them and pay attention to their results to see if they’re consistently reaching your goals and driving conversions.

Best practices to follow to maximize your results

Test one variable at a time. By comparing different variables at once, you will muddle your results. We know you’re excited to get going with your A/B tests, but it’s beneficial only to test one variable at a time to be sure that your response rate is due to one specific change. This way, you have a clear conclusion of which variables are impacting your results and should continue to use moving forward.

Don’t make mid-test changes. For example, if you’re running a social media ad or a banner ad, do not change your targeting preferences during the test. This could also muddle your results, as you won’t know if the change in your back-end settings impacted your results, or if it was the CTA itself.

Be consistent. For reliable results, try to make your tests as consistent as possible. This includes the time of day, duration of the test, and your audience. If you send one email out in the morning, don’t send the next one out in the evening, which could impact your results. And hey, time of day could be another A/B test for your team to run in the future!

Be patient. You may not see overwhelming results with your first test — or second, or third, or fourth. And not every variable will make too much of a difference. Don’t give up if your findings aren’t what you expected; you never know which variable will shake things up!

Whether it’s with CTAs, graphics, posting times, or more, there’s always room for improvement. And while you may find the perfect option for your marketing efforts today, it could change tomorrow. Always be on the hunt for the next best way to resonate with your audience.

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