Web Speak: What’s a CTA?
A Call to Action, otherwise known as a CTA, is a clear and concise prompt on a website designed to inspire the target audience to take immediate action.
The action might be signing up for an email newsletter, buying a service or product, or giving contact information in trade for a download.
Types of Calls to Action
When placing a CTA on a web page, consider where your visitor is in their customer journey.
Are they new to your brand and learning about your offerings? Or, are they familiar with your brand and eager to engage?
Thinking about the customer journey can help you determine what type of CTA to use in different places on your website.
The Soft CTA
We use a soft call to action to lead visitors through the website content.
In the customer journey, this is the “Awareness” phase, where the person is becoming familiar with your product or organization.
Rather than overwhelming the reader with everything about a topic at once, this is a way to give them some content and an offer to soft CTA like “Read more” or “Learn more,” which will take them to more dense content.
This method is called progressive disclosure and is a key component of successful website usability.
The Direct CTA
The direct call to action is designed to produce an immediate conversion. Direct CTAs are good for single-purpose landing pages, email sign-ups, registering users, getting donations, and other conversion actions.
A direct CTA should be used when the user is further into the user’s journey. They are familiar with your product or organization (they have passed through the “Awareness” phase).
In the “Consideration” phase, the customer is thinking about engaging with your product or organization. These CTAs are useful because they are asking for a small commitment. The customer isn’t making a purchase or committing time; rather, they are interested enough to connect with your organization, though.
Consider these as “Soft direct” calls to action:
• Sign up
In the “Decision” phase, the user is ready to commit. At this point, don’t drag them through any more clicks or decision points. They’re prepared to push the button, so let them!
Try these direct CTAs:
• Buy Now
Stay tuned! In Part 2, we’ll share Merge Studio’s best practices for creating CTAs that will inspire action and get the conversions you desire. And for more info on conversions, check out our post 8 Tips for Increasing Website Conversions.
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