Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are among the most powerful tools in your arsenal. A CTA button serves to guide your customers, users and readers to participate, engage, and communicate. But CTA buttons go much further than that, they are tools that allow you as an eCommerce merchant to encourage these actions in ways that benefit you directly.

Let’s take a look at how eCommerce businesses can get the most out of the CTA button below.

Characteristics of A High-Converting CTA Button

1. Call-To-Action Is Compelling

compelling verbiage

An example of clean, simple and engaging CTA button that can catch the attention of your audience.

Content is king, and copy is a fundamental component of website content. Considering the size of a call to action button, the words you use in the button are of utmost importance to conversions, whether they are to make a purchase, subscribe, or make any other decisive move.

The copy that appears in such a small space must compel the reader to make a decisive action to click on it. Make sure to appeal to your audience’s self-interest, by answering the question in their heads: “Why did I come here in the first place?”

This is not the place to mislead, either. In not too many words, state exactly what your visitor will get (or at least see) if they click on the CTA button.

2. Color Contrast Is Striking

Color Contrast CTA button

This page from The Oyster Bed is a great example of color contrast done well.

As you may be trying to start your ecommerce website, color is undeniably important for its branding and identity. Color is important for your CTA buttons as well, and following a few considerations will do you good. To ensure maximum visibility, there should be plenty of contrast with the background color.

For example, for a blue background, a yellow or orange button would stand out well, and vice versa. A red or magenta background complements a green button very well. As a rule, look at a typical color wheel, and choose colors that are diametrically opposed. That way, they will fit with the overall color palette without clashing with the overall look and feel.

3. Close Proximity To Previous Actions

proximity to previous actions

You want your users to convert, don’t you?

By placing CTA buttons right in the path of the user’s scrolling habits, you make it as easy as possible for them to do what you want them to do. Websites use parallax scrolling nowadays, which means foreground content moves more quickly than the background. Websites have sections that have discrete and specific actions. Your visitors should be able to find your CTA button right away, simply by scrolling to it once they’ve completed the previous action.

4. Placement is Logical

CTA button placement

Fitt’s Law states that a button should be placed in the user’s reading path. As well, eager users tend to seek out the buttons that make things happen. Use this knowledge to your advantage and logically place your CTA buttons directly in line with where they are reading.

This requires some anticipation on your part—to predict where your visitors are going to look next. Due to cultural differences between audiences, reading from left to right may not always apply. But scrolling usually happens from top to bottom.

To keep things simple, you could always place the button in the center of the page, and below any lists, contact forms, or images. Directional cues such as arrows and other shapes can contribute to giving you more flexibility with the placement of the button, although it’s best not to go overboard.

5. Regularly Tested and Optimized

A/B Testing CTA buttons

Numbers don’t lie, and a good conversion rate is one that is always getting better.

Put your CTA buttons to the test on a regular basis. From time to time, change the color, size, placement, and even the copy to see what works. A/B testing of your call-to-action buttons is especially good for mailing lists, since many email apps allow you to be able to track their performance as you go.

6. Action-Oriented Words

CTA Action Words

Without getting bogged down in grammar, the CTA button should begin with action verbs. Words like “Get” “Buy” “Go,” “Reserve” or “Open” are considered trigger words—they make the reader do just what the button says to do. Words like “Submit” or “Enter” might be overly aggressive, depending on your audience, and the type of action you’re trying to elicit.

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If you’re having a hard time coming up with the copy, ask yourself or a partner this question:

If you asked your user what they wanted to do, what would be their reply?

If the reply would be “I want to see similar items,” then your CTA button should read “See Similar Items.”

7. Written In The First Person

Written in the first person

In the past, the second person, or even the imperative voice was conventionally used in CTA buttons. However, recent trends have shown that click-through rates are even better when using the first person.

Consider the following comparisons:

    • “Get your free gifts” vs. “Get my free gifts”
    • “Start your free 7 day trial” vs. “Start my free 7 day trial”

By taking on the point of view of the user, the actions that they’re taking feel more voluntary, autonomous and comfortable for them to do. They’re taking action because they said so, not because you’ve told them to. After all, it’s their decision, right?

8. Create Urgency

CTA buttons with a sense of urgency

It’s human nature to want what we can’t have, and to place higher value on things that will soon become unavailable to us. These are simply the psychological effects of supply and demand, and they have been governing human behavior for as long as we’ve been around. Implementing the principle of supply and demand in your CTA’s can work wonders for your conversion rate.

Using words like “Ends Tomorrow” can be easily discredited, so a subtle way of creating a sense of urgency is by adding the word “now” to your CTA button.  There’s a world of difference between “Begin Shopping” and “Begin Shopping Now.”

Secrets of the Best Converting CTA Buttons

Having reviewed some characteristics of a high converting CTA button above, let’s dive deeper and see a few of the secrets that make for the best converting CTA buttons.

1. Short and To The Point

Short and to the point

In addition to what we’ve discussed above, the less wordy your CTA button, the better the result. Two or three words on a single line, and definitely no more than two lines if necessary would get the job done.

2. Eye Catching Shapes

CTA Buttons with Eye Catching Shapes

Unconventional shapes, can make your CTA button stand out even more against the background, so long as they fit with the overall design, branding, look and feel. They have the potential to grab your customers’ attention, enhance the user experience, and give your website more impact.

3. Make Use of Animation

Animated CTA button

Our eyes are naturally attracted to motion, and you can use this to your advantage. Color-blind viewers simply may not be able to discern contrasting elements, so animation may be your best bet for them. Again, it’s imperative to keep your audience in mind.

Using effects like Hover can make the call-to-action button more captivating for your users. Buttons with changing colors or blinking animation lets them know that they are ready and available, eager to be clicked upon.

Last Words

By ensuring that your CTA buttons are easily identified and encourage the discrete specific action, you can be sure to see an increase in conversions.

What are your strategies for designing call-to-action buttons? Let us know by leaving a comment below.