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Include a clear, motivating call to action

After the headline, your call-to-action (CTA) is the second most important element in your marketing communications because without it the opportunity to engage with the potential customer is lost.

But you can’t just stick “Click Here!” on a neon button and expect it to pull in hundreds of leads. Instead, use the checklist below to understand what has proven to be best practice.  Use this advice to get more of your target audience to take the action you want.

Your checklist - 10 points

  1. Use actionable language

    Use action-oriented verbs, such as discover, sign up, increase or download. They work because they are concise, direct and empower your reader to act.

    Firmly and directly asked for a response/an order/your required action.

  2. Include a clear value proposition

    Make it crystal clear how the reader will benefit by clicking on your CTA.

    Use self-interest. Repeat the benefit/reason for buying. For example:

    • 'Learn more about (this product)'
    • 'Buy the camera now. Limited quantities available'
    • 'Look at the floor-plan of this flat'
    • 'Compare our prices with those in the High Street'
    • 'Join our mailing list to take advantage of our weekly offers'

  3. Tell them to do it now

    People are much more likely to do it ‘now’ or ‘today’ if you ask them.

  4. Use contrasting colours

    To check that your CTA is eye-catching, add it to the page and half close your eyes. If it doesn’t stand out then it’s not doing its job.

  5. Make the button look like it’s clickable

    Make your CTA button easy to find by adding a recognisable ‘click’ icon. Also add shadows and borders to suggest that it’s a 3D button.

  6. Send them to a tailormade landing page

    Use a lead-capture form on your landing page to capture each visitor's contact information.

  7. Check that your CTA is prominently positioned

    Put it where it will be noticed, and ideally in two positions. Place it above the fold (where it will get more clicks and conversions) and/or below the fold (where you should get higher quality of leads converting).

  8. Avoid clever copy

    Don't tease. Tell them precisely what you want them to do.

  9. Give them options on how to reply

    For example they might call, post, tweet, e-mail, like, scan, become a fan.

  10. A/B test your CTA to find what is most effective

    By testing simple changes to copy, design, sizing, or placement you can increase your response rate by 30, 40 or even 50 percent.