CTAButtonClickedYou could be offering the most revolutionary product or service under the sun, but if no one sees it, no one can benefit from it. Clearly, marketing is essential. While marketing automation platforms like Pardot can help streamline and optimize your online marketing campaigns, one of the most effective elements you can include in your marketing campaigns is a strong call to action (CTA).

Sending brilliantly designed and personalized emails to well segmented, clean lists or creating slick landing pages with progressive profiling fields are great accomplishments but they will only get you so far without a strong CTA. The CTA is the one thing that should jump off a page to a prospect and make them want to take the desired action (whether it’s clicking a link, submitting a form, etc.).

Most marketers are already aware of the importance of a CTA but sometimes struggle with creating concise and powerful calls that will get results. One of the best ways to hone and refine your CTA creation skills is by thinking back on all the times you took action based upon a promotional email or web page. What prompted you to click further and sign up? If you’re like most people, these are some of the key CTA elements you responded to:

Compelling Text

One of the most important elements of a call to action is compelling copy. From the headline to the first couple of sentences, if it doesn’t have impact viewers will click away rather than continuing meaningful interaction with your company. An irresistible question, a cryptically compelling statement, or a high-value offer can all provide the impact your page needs to engage users and entice them into becoming customers.

As an example, a call to action like “Download our ebook” tends to evoke less interest than “Get the 5 secrets of awesome calls to action”.

Sleek and To the Point

It can be very tempting to overload a page with every reason under the sun to take the next step with your brand, but you should resist this temptation. Some of the most compelling and effective calls to action are on pages that are almost minimalist in nature, with a message to match. Make effective use of white space, choose fonts carefully and sparingly, and make sure all text and graphics serve a purpose.

For example, a call to action like “Get the 5 secrets of awesome calls to action” will get much further than “Learn and explore the 5 secrets of awesome calls to action and how to create your own”.

A Comprehensive Approach

While sleek and simple can bring loads of impact to CTAs, they shouldn’t be too skimpy, either. An effective call to action that has a higher chance of resonating with readers should have the following key components:

Numerous clear ways to take action. Your “sign up now” button should be front and center and/or repeated multiple times on a longer page. Readers should not have to search for even one second for the way to move to the next level with your business.

A free ride. OK, of course you’re in business to generate revenue, but for leads who are still too green to take the leap, there should be a way for them to take action in a low-risk manner. Offering a free e-book or trial package in exchange for their email address starts the ball rolling toward another paying customer.

Evidence that you are trustworthy. If you belong to the Better Business Bureau or have had any high-profile customers or press coverage, ask permission to use their logos for inclusion on your website. Affiliation with trusted brands boosts your own credibility; even including the MasterCard and Visa logos can be seen positively in the eyes of viewers and help inspire trust.

Marketing elements like emails and landing pages should take advantage of every set of eyes that comes across them and effective CTAs make this happen. Using the above tips to create an effective CTA will boost your clicks, conversions and prospect engagement with your marketing materials, getting marketers their desired results.