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Why CTAs Shouldn't Be Neglected

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Lexie Lu
A UX/UI designer with expertise in marketing, web design, and graphic design.
CTAs encourage people to do something specific to show interest in your company, product or service. Keep reading to learn why CTAs should always be thought of as extremely important, albeit small, sections of websites.

You may think because your call-to-action, or CTA, is just a snippet of text compared to the rest of the content on your site, it’s not very important. However that’s a foolish mindset to have, especially since CTAs encourage people to do something specific to show interest in your company, product or service. Keep reading to learn why CTAs should always be thought of as extremely important, albeit small, sections of websites.


They Encourage People to Keep Coming Back to Sites

A good CTA urges people to take immediate action during their visits. However, a great one makes them want to come back periodically to see what’s new. Ideally, you’ll structure your CTA so it makes individuals feel like you’re giving them the scoop on exclusive information.


Look at how Musician’s Friend does that below by using the “Get It First” tagline on the right side of the screen:


The language used within the tagline and below it leads people to think if they provide their email addresses and countries of residence, they can access offers that wouldn’t otherwise be open to them. The “join now” phrase on the form’s submit button strengthens the initial impression that those who respond to the CTA are part of an elite group.


This particular CTA serves two purposes:

1. It allows the site’s managers to collect email addresses for marketing campaigns.

2. It increases chances people will return to the website frequently because they want to learn more about products advertised in emails.


Repeat visitors could boost your profits significantly because they spend an average of more than twice as long on websites as new visitors. Returning customers also look at more pages than people coming to the site for the first time, which makes it more likely they’ll find must-have items.


They Let You Show You’re Able to Meet Customers’ Needs

Throughout the year, there are certain seasonal trends that spur buying behaviors. In the fall, stores often advertise back-to-school sales, and in December, you’ll hear about end-of-the-year savings events. CTAs can also make it easy to show customers your company is in a great position to meet their needs, especially when it comes to certain holidays where gift giving is expected.


Statistics released just before the December holiday shopping season last year indicated nearly half of shoppers planned to buy things online, and 33 percent would likely do so from mobile devices. People are clearly on board with online shopping, and if your site sells things through the internet, why not emphasize how easy it is for customers to buy things with a few clicks instead of through the traditional way that is probably more time consuming?


Check out how Lush, a retailer and manufacturer of handmade bath, shower and makeup products features a CTA that leaves no doubt the website can take care of Mother’s Day shopping needs:


The “Shop for Mom” link is self explanatory, but the larger headline above it suggests what will happen people decide to spend money at Lush instead of at another store. The accompanying image cleverly displays products people can buy online, too. When you’re able to demonstrate how you’ve anticipated and catered for the things customers need, they’ll gratefully respond to your CTA and may become loyal purchasers.


They Help You Demonstrate Consistent Design Choices

The internet is full of badly designed websites with color schemes that are so jarring to the senses, they make you wonder why anyone would stay there to browse for more than five seconds. However, there are just as many — or more — websites that are visually appealing and have consistent colors used throughout the content.


It’s a good idea to use the same colors for the CTA as you do for the rest of your site. Furthermore, play with contrast as much as possible and get the kind of attractive results achieved by Semcor in the example below:


The white text on a bright orange background helps the CTA immediately get noticed. Also, if you look at the top portion of the website, you’ll see the same orange hue used in the company logo and the phone number. Semcor has both a cohesively designed website and bold CTA that won’t get overlooked.


It Lets You Promote Certain Ideals

You can also use your CTA to suggest the items you sell will help people work toward preferred lifestyles or other aspirations. This tactic works particularly well if you sell items that make individuals’ lives easier or more pleasant.


See how Kirkland’s, a home décor store, uses a simple “shop now” CTA. However, it depends on a supporting image to make people think if they decide to purchase things online immediately, they could look forward to laid-back summer days in a well-maintained outdoor setting soon:


This CTA also includes an element of urgency by mentioning that people can save 25 percent on select outdoor items. Individuals will hopefully be so enticed by the scene shown in the picture that they’ll decide to see what’s available without delay.


CTAs Help People Find Relevant Information Quickly

Rely on CTAs strategically if you have a very information-rich site and want to make sure people don’t get lost trying to find what they need. Analysts say it’s important to focus on dwell time, which is the duration a person spends on a website after clicking to open it in a browser. Dwell times of less than 30 seconds are poor, while anything over two minutes is fantastic. You can increase the time people spend on your website by using CTAs that help people swiftly learn what they’d like to know.


Examine how that’s done on the website for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, a gathering that sees tens of thousands of people flocking to a farm in Manchester, TN for a June getaway characterized by bands, craftspeople and comedians:


The purple block on the left shows a partial list of acts taking part in the festival. Then, the two CTAs on the right make it clear how visitors can explore more details about the event by perusing the schedule or purchasing tickets. The large CTA graphics almost completely eliminate the possibility people will get frustrated due to not finding essential facts. Even better, the complementing content should increase dwell time substantially.


These case studies and statistics should drive home the point that your CTA really is crucial. Refer back to the examples above to create CTAs that convert.

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