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How to Create Exceptional Calls to Action on Your Startup’s Landing Pages

While there are plenty of tactics you can use to increase the appeal of your landing page, few are more important than your call to action (CTA). A headline may be what grabs your audience’s attention, but the CTA is what will convince them to sign up for a free trial, download your eBook or make a purchase — and that’s where you get your actual customers.

So how do you create a truly exceptional CTA that your audience will be unable to resist? The following best practices will get you well on your way to increasing conversions and revenue.

The power of concise, personalized writing

Your text is the foundation for success with a CTA — after all, it’s how you let potential customers know which action you want them to take after visiting your landing page. It can be easy to overthink this section, but in reality, you don’t need to do much writing at all to craft an effective CTA.

In fact, most experts recommend that you try to limit your CTA to five words or less.

That doesn’t give you a lot of space to work with, but it’s still plenty of room for crafting a persuasive message that convinces customers to take a specific action. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your CTA. You just need to stick with some tried-and-true best practices.

You need to grab your readers’ attention right off the bat, which is why most successful CTAs start with urgent, persuasive verbs like “buy,” “register,” or “download.” This action-oriented language conveys a sense of urgency that motivates visitors to click.

Similarly, time-based words like “now” or “today” can also increase these emotionally-fueled decisions, especially when paired with an incentivized reward (anything “free” is always a win).

Interestingly, using first-person language (words like “my”) has also been found to have a big impact on conversion rates.

One study found that switching from second-person to first-person terms could increase click-thru rates by up to 90 percent.

Remember, the CTA isn’t where you provide all the information about your product or service — you have the rest of the landing page for that. A brief bullet point list highlighting your key features or product benefits that is placed to the side of your CTA button can alleviate customer concerns and make your CTA copy that much more persuasive. Keep the CTA itself short and to the point.



Placement and design

Clever wording isn’t the only thing that matters when trying to get potential customers to click on your CTA. Believe it or not, your design choices could have an equally significant impact on whether or not your CTA is actually effective.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a CTA that receives prominent placement on your landing page will receive more clicks. In general, research has found that placing a CTA button above the fold and on the right-hand side of the page will be more likely to generate clicks, simply due to the way we read web pages.

Unsurprisingly, the bigger your CTA, the easier it will be to grab readers’ attention.

Of course, even a well-placed CTA won’t generate many clicks if it doesn’t look clickable in the first place. This is why so many successful landing pages make their CTAs look like buttons — and the most effective buttons contrast with the color scheme used by the rest of the page so that they stand out better.

Even minor changes that increase the color contrast can improve click-thru rates by as much as 95 percent.

Though orange is an especially popular color choice for CTA buttons, other colors can also be effective if they provide the right level of contrast with the background. Increasing white space around the button can also help it better stand out from the rest of the landing page content.

While increasing white space is a great start at cutting down the clutter, you should also get rid of any other clickable links or secondary CTAs that might distract customers from your primary goal. Removing external navigation, social share buttons and other distractions will place the entire focus on your CTA — exactly where you want to draw your customers’ attention.


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Convincing your customers

Writing a powerful, highly-effective CTA isn’t easy. In fact, it will probably take a bit of trial and error before you’re able to find the best text and design choices for increasing your conversion rates.

But as you make your CTA one of your top priorities when designing your landing page, you’ll be far more likely to see the results you want.

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