CTA This. The 10 Best Resources to Improve Your Call-To-Action

CTA's Out Of The Bag
Don’t underestimate the power of the CAT CTA (Image source)

Ahhh yes, the Call-To-Action, CTA for short.

What should it say? What color should it be? What size? Where do you place it? Above-the-fold? Or Below? Is it converting? What should you test? So. Many. Questions.

And let’s not forget, CTAs are everywhere – homepages, webpages, blog posts, emails, landing pages, etc, etc.

There are a lot of things to consider for what you thought was just a simple little button. But don’t worry, you want information on CTAs? We’ve got it. And not just some willy-nilly list – we’ve got 10 of the best posts from the top thought leaders in the industry. Read these 10 articles and you’ll be well on your way to CTA greatness.

1. High-impact Button Copy – How to write calls-to-action that convert

By Michael Aagaard on ContentVerve

Do you write button copy that converts? Even if you do, this video is worth a watch. Michael boils down 4 years of button copy experience into a 6-minute video with simple take-aways so you can be on your merry way to writing your own high-impact button copy. Yep. No reading required with this one. Videos FTW. Besides, Michael’s Danish accent is super awesome.

2. Where’s the Best Place to Put Your CTA? [Case Study]

Oli Gardner on Unbounce (Hey, what do ya know, that’s us)

Oh where, oh where should my CTA be? This post, inspired a Pearl Jam song, talks about the classic above-the-fold vs. below the fold directional battle and even ends off with a nice little case study on CTA positioning. Don’t you love when music inspires your day job? Great post Oli.

3. RADically Rethink Your CTAs

By Lance Jones on CopyHackers

Best practice tells you to always place your CTA above the fold, right? Wrong. This post will challenge the traditional way you looked at CTAs. Lance encourages you to RADically re-think your CTAs, RAD being an acronym for R (Require), A (Acquire), D (Desire). I’ll let Lance take it from here.

4. Are Your Calls to Action Missing These Proven Formulas?

By Mark Sherbin on Content Marketing Institute

The CTA is the critical part of your content marketing. It’s the trigger that leads your visitor to engage in a meaningful next step — but that step can be very different and vary depending on your goals or how warm your leads are. Your goal may be to get your visitor to buy your product or maybe you want to nurture the relationship by encouraging them to download your ebook. Misleading CTAs are a common mistake. This post introduces a three-tier approach when it comes to CTAs which categorizes the different types of CTA according to what they accomplish. Very interesting and informative article.

5. Why “The Fold” Is A Myth – And Where To Actually Put Your Calls To Action

By D Bnonn Tennant on KISSmetrics

What if calls to action below the fold work better? What if Certified Knowledge found the same thing: conversion rates went up with a call to action below the fold? What if the fold has nothing to do with it? Bnonn asks some crazy questions and will have you convinced why ‘the fold’ is a myth by the end of the post.

6. What to Call Your Call to Action

By Peep Laja on ConversionXL

This post focuses on one thing and one thing alone: CTA Copy. So forget about placement and color for now. Peep gives you 4 rules for naming your call to action buttons and links. I am going to pull a couple of awesome quotes from this article just for the hell of it. And because when I read this post, I thought they were brilliant and spot on.

  • Don’t be clever, don’t re-invent the wheel
  • Submit. Nobody wants to submit. Perhaps they want to subscribe to a newsletter, send a message or post a question – but definitely not ‘submit’. YES Peep! Spot on. Couldn’t agree more.
  • Don’t be verbose. Use terms people understand.

7. 6 Variables To Test On Your Call-To-Action Buttons

By Sherice Jacob on CrazyEgg

Button size, color (and more importantly contrast), text (otherwise known as button copy), special effects (like rounded corners, we love rounded corners), position and whitespace are all variables you need to think about when it comes to your CTA. This post is just proof that there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your Call-to-Action and serves as a nice little checklist with short tips on each variable. It dosen’t get as granular as some of these other articles, but that’s why we’re providing you with 9 other articles in case you want to dive into some serious details.

8. Improving Social & Subscription Calls to Action – Whiteboard Friday

By Rand Fishkin on SEOmoz

Whiteboard Fridays with Rand are the best! And it’s another video, so sit back, relax and take in all this CTA knowledge (no reading required). This whiteboard Friday, discusses how you can improve social and email CTAs specifically. Social CTAs are littered all over the web. You’ve seen it. The countless CTAs telling you to subscribe, follow, become a fan, like, etc, etc. ENOUGH. This is overwhelming. By reducing the number of CTAs, you can actually…wait for it…increase conversions. And we’ll let Rand take it from here and tell you how.

9. How to Pick the Perfect CTA for Every Blog Post

By Pamela Vaughan on HubSpot

Does your blog generate leads? Enough leads? Did you add a CTA at the bottom of the post or did you just sign off and let your reader wander off? Business blogs aim to educate; an educated customer or educated potential customer is one that will buy on value versus price. And an effective call to action is key to guide your visitor further down the sales funnel. You know your audience and you can train them with an effective CTA. A smart content strategy includes a CTA so learn how with this HubSpot post.

10. How to Make Call to Actions More Effective

By Thi Thumasathit on Search Engine Watch

This post highlights some very interesting analysis on how much traffic specific CTAs drive and how that traffic leads to conversions. The post provides some very eye-opening and insightful take-aways based on the analysis. I’ll list them here because they are THAT good:

  • When analyzing CTAs, CTR is not the end-all, be-all. CTR and conversion rate are equally important.
  • Test your own CTAs. YES! We can’t stress this enough.
  • CTAs can make an enormous difference to your campaign performance. The difference between a good CTA and a bad CTA can create as much as a hundred-fold difference in performance.

Have anymore quality articles on the Call-to-Action to add to the list? Don’t be shy. Share them in the comments below!

— Stefanie Grieser

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About Stefanie Grieser
As the 9th employee at Unbounce, Stefanie Grieser has gone from scrappy startup marketer to passionate, scale-up leader, heading up international markets, partnerships and events. She was named top 100 female marketers to follow and loves turning a good idea into an impactful, memorable experience. Find her on Twitter @smgrieser.
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