Day 8: Perfect Your CTA
Here’s What You’ll Learn in Week 2
Over the next 7 days, you’re going to improve each and every website element. We’ll have you perfect your CTAs, revise your copy, organize customer testimonials, and collect media mentions. These are all concepts that we walked you through last week. We’re going to treat week 2 as an opportunity to make you sit down and do it.
By day 14, you’ll be ready to launch your A/B tests using the software that you chose on Day 7 last week.
The days of “click here” are gone. You need to do more — much more — to convince buyers to do business with you.
The problem with “click here” is that it’s generic, impersonal, and disconnected from what people are actually doing online. When people are doing business with you or learning about your company, they are doing more than just clicking. They are learning about your products, trying out your demo, and buying your products.
Guiding your users through your company’s conversion funnel means helping them anticipate next steps. Your CTA maintains this human interest and 1:1 customer connection.
Tips for Writing Great CTA Copy
Start with an action verb — these energize your audiences
Be specific — instead of staying “start now,” say “start using product x” (example below)
Be explicit about the conversion event — so users know what you want them to do
Make the value readily apparent — so users have an incentive to move forward
Communicate simplicity and ease — so buyers don’t feel like they have to do extra work
Make it about your customers — get inside their heads by using words like “you” and “me” directly in the CTA
Make it short and simple — so buyers can make a decision instantaneously
Be transparent — a lot of shady stuff can result from a click; give customers a strong understand of what’s about to happen
Tips for High-Performing CTA Design
CTAs need more than great copy to perform effectively. You need to make sure you’re leveraging the right design techniques as well. Here are some best practices that you should follow:
Every landing page should have exactly one CTA:
If users have too many options, they’ll get confused. Every landing page should support exactly one conversion goal. It’s okay if you repeat the CTA twice on a page — just make sure that it’s the same conversion goal in both instances.
The CTA should be visually prominent on your landing page:
Don’t expect people to be reading your landing page line-by-line. As we explained last week, less copy is typically more effective. Make sure that your CTA is a big button that readily stands out from everything else on the page.
The CTA should be a bold color, different from any other element on the page:
As we explained in #2, users are most likely going to be scanning your webpage. They don’t have the time or attention span to read everything line by line, so make sure that you use color to make the CTAs really, really obvious.
The CTA should be towards the top of the page:
Don’t make your users scroll. It’s not necessary to keep your CTA above the fold, but don’t make your users spend a lot of time scrolling. And by a lot of time, we mean just a few seconds. Keep your CTAs as high up on your landing pages as possible.
Here is an example of a great landing page from UserTesting.com:
Prioritize Cross-Device Experiences
It’s an understatement to say that people are glued to their mobile devices. Expect users to be visiting your website from smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Make your CTAs easy to click and understand from all three platforms. Mobile optimization is another reason why your CTA should be featured as close to the top of your landing pages as possible.
People don’t want to scroll — especially on their phones.
For today’s homework assignment, you’re going to perfect your landing page’s CTA. Here are the steps you’re going to take:
Start your CTA copy with an action verb
Communicate exactly what your buyer is going to get after clicking
Choose a bold button color that contrasts with every other element on your landing page
Make sure the CTA is as big as you can possibly make it — without looking tacky or ridiculous
Ensure that it’s placed as prominently as possible on your homepage
Don’t beat your users over the head — make sure the CTA is repeated a maximum of twice
Day 9: Revise Your Copy, Messaging & Headings
Writing great copy is tougher than it seems. Most people write too much or too little — or they talk about the wrong things entirely. It’s really important that you devote the time to getting your messaging right — it’s the most direct way to forge bonds with users online. Pay attention to the following best practices:
Steps for Revising Your Messaging
Keep your copy short:
Avoid paragraphs. Write what you have to say, cut it in half, and cut it in half again. We live in a cross-device world where audiences have limited attention spans. Say what you have to say in as little space as possible. Before you write any copy, remember that brevity is your goal.
Make your text easy to scan:
Use sub-headings wherever you go into detail. A user should be able to understand your messaging by scanning subheadings only.
Focus your value proposition:
Create a short and to-the-point elevator pitch for why people should do business with your company. This should be the focal point for your landing page.
Use action verbs:
This subtle technique will energize your audience and keep them engaged with your landing page.
Help your readers feel something.
They spend enough time thinking. Emotions will keep them captivated.
Define your company’s tone, voice, and style up-front in styleguide that you can deploy across marketing initiatives.
Create a Brand Persona, Message Architecture, and Styleguide
A message architecture and brand styleguide will unify your marketing messaging across platforms and channels. This process is especially important for multi-marketer teams. You want one, central document to communicate with your users.
Here are the steps that Speak2Leads went through in crafting their message architecture:
You now need to translate these abstract concepts into a concrete set of requirements for your company’s communication goals. Get started by completing the following simple styleguide:
Objective: The goals for your company communication
Audience: The people to whom you’re speaking
Tone: The style in which you speak to your audience
Notes: Any other guidelines that you want to communicate to your team
Keep your styleguide as short and to-the-point as possible, as you will be distributing the information across multiple teams and departments. Make the process of creating these centralized resources as collaborative as possible. Don’t feel that you need to outsource the responsibility to just one team member. Have one person take the lead, but make sure that the dialogue is collaborative.
Today’s homework assignment is about refining your brand communications — once and for all. We want to make sure that you have a reliable and dedicated resource to inform communication best practices across your different marketing mediums.
Brainstorm a big list of the qualities that you and your team believe that your brand should embody. No need to organize anything yet — just make sure that your thoughts are on paper and that you’ve gathered input from your entire team.
Quit the brainstorming and start organizing. Take the list you generated in 1., and group similar words/concepts together.
Take the groupings you put together, and organize this list into a message hierarchy — similar to the example that we showed you earlier.
Create your messaging styleguide to standardize your tone/voice across marketing communications and channels.
Follow these steps, and your copy will be awesome.