Best Practices For Effective Call To Action Buttons

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What Is A Call To Action Button?

Call To Action

What Is A Call-To-Action Button?

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the buttons that you will use within your website and on your landing pages. They are there to guide users towards your conversion goals. It’s the part of your landing page that the user will need to click in order to take the specific action that you want them to take. CTA buttons can differ in style and size depending on your goal conversion and the style of your website. Some of the more common call-to-action buttons are:


  • Add to cart buttons
  • Free trial sign-up buttons
  • Download here buttons
  • Click here buttons

CTA buttons have a very clear cut goal: To be able to get your website visitor clicking and completing a conversion. We will be discussing many call-to-action button best practices. These 17 points are going to help you get a higher CTR and more conversions out of your great looking buttons.

Use Action-Packed Text 

Use Action Packed Buttons


Call to action buttons need to emphasize fascinating, action-oriented text. You should substitute uninteresting words like “submit” and “enter” with words that are more action packed like “get,” “reserve,” and “try.” Your action words will need to go along with your specific text relating to your offer like:

  • Try Our Free Trial
  • Reserve Your Spot
  • Download E-book

Colors. Colors. And More Colors

The color of your button matters. It actually matters quite a bit. In fact, if you are only going to take one very small piece of advice from this post, it would be to give thorough consideration to your button colors.

Colors. Colors. And More Colors

Color Collage

In general, green and orange buttons are believed to perform the best. Ultimately though, it’s going to depend on your specific website design since contrasting colors will work best to make eye-catching buttons that stand out. For example, you would not want to use a green CTA button on a green background.

If you’re not sure what looks best, you can run the super scientific squint test and see what proves to be the most appealing. However, if you really want to know what color CTA button is going to work best on your web page, examination and testing is the only way to go.

When you get a chance, check out this cool blog from Kissmetrics called; How do colors affect purchases?  It’s a very interesting study on how different colors can and will inspire different emotions.

Slick Button Shapes

Need Slick Button Shapes

Multiple Button Shapes

The shape of the button can also play a big part when trying to build and develop the perfect CTA button. You will need to decide whether you want to go with a more rounded button shape or with a button with square edges. It’s difficult to say what actually works better since both styles are common and both can perform very well in different settings. Ultimately you will have to test different shapes and see what works best for your business.

Large and Legible Text

The text on your button should be large enough to read easily, but not so large that it looks annoying or intimidating. You want to avoid knocking people out of their chair.

The text on your button should be large enough to read easily and short.

Click Here Button

And while it may seem crazy to think that large text could make people feel anxious or uncomfortable, but many users do experience subconscious displeasure for threateningly large lettering. Your button text needs to be big enough to their draw attention, but not so big that it completely overpowers the rest of your content.

Button Text Should Not Be Long Winded

Earlier I talked about how it’s a good idea to use specific action-oriented button text. With that being considered, you might be tempted to stretch out your button text, but that would not be a good move. Ideally, you age going to want to limit that button text to two or five words.

Use 1st Person Speech

There are studies in which it has been discovered that changing button text from second person (“get your free sample”) to the first person (“get my free sample”) can result in up to a 90% increase in clicks. Explore how changing your CTA buttons to 1st person by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, will affect your CTR, click through rate.

Create a Sense Of Urgency

Create A Sense Of Urgency

Examples of CTA Buttons

Building a sense of urgency into your call to action buttons can result in some impressive click-through rates. For example, you possibly could use button text like:

  • Sign Up and Receive 50% Off Today Only!
  • Download the Marketing E-Course for $30 Save $10!

And by just adding “now” can build a subtle sense of urgency for users:

  • Register For The Ultimate Social Media Webinar Now!

Keep Your CTA Above the Fold

You will always want to keep your call to action button above the fold so that the visitor will not miss it. Landing page best practices dictate that the important vital information should always be kept above the fold. Any additional extra info should stay below the fold, where it will remain assessable, but is not distracting.

Natural Web Page Ranking

Sometimes you are going to have other buttons on your web page that are not your primary call-to-action conversion buttons. Those buttons need to be less attention-grabbing than your primary CTA button. For your non-CTA buttons, you can try using gray scale buttons or single color buttons. Your main call-to-action button should always be the bigger and brighter.

Use Button Copy for Your Value Proposition

Use Your Button For Your Value Proposition

Get Your Credit Score Button

You might notice that many buttons will include the word “free,” as in, “Get My Free Credit Score.” “Free” is a very tempting word, and using that word in button copy will emphasize your offer’s value proposition. Consider your offer’s value proposition and how it can be best be shown in your call-to-action button.

Be Fancy With Your Button Graphics

In some cases, graphics and small arrows on your CTA button can and will positively affect your click-through-rates. However, if you’re going to use graphics, be sure that your icons explain or clarify rather than confuse the offer for users.

Bonus Button Text

Use Bonus Buttons

Example Of Bonus Button

There are some circumstances in call to action marketing where you might want to look at the addition of an extra line of information within your button text. This method is common with free trial buttons. For example, a free trial button might say “7 day free trial, no credit card” in smaller text beneath your actual main “Start Your Free Trial” button text. This can be valuable information that will inspire your users to click through to begin their trial. This isn’t always going to be necessary with all buttons. However, when it applies, this additional information can help CTR quite a bit.

Alternatively, you can also put that extra information below or beside a button. These elements are referred to as click triggers.” Some examples of click triggers may include:

  • Customer Testimonials
  • Doubt Suppressing Info such as “No credit card required”
  • Product Key Benefits
Cart / Purchase Call To Action Buttons

Example Of Add To Cart Button

Cart/Purchase Call-To-Actions

E-commerce sites will want to spend the more time doing A/B testing of their cart/purchase buttons. Even the smallest adjustment in cart buttons can dramatically affect your conversion rates. Also, make sure to offer buttons for other payment options, such as PayPal. Having a PayPal button on your website can be a huge incentive and benefit. There have been many times when ordering an online product where I’ve been too lazy to search out a credit card and was able to quickly make the purchase using PayPal.

Less Is More When It Comes To Choices

Us humans tend to suffer from the choice paradox. As humans, we enjoy making the choice between an apple or an orange. However, offer us the choice of apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, grapes, tangerines, pears, or mangoes, and our heads may almost explode with the indecision.

Keep your users happy by giving them the choice of fewer buttons. If you do want to have multiple button choices, give importance to one choice over the others. This will help direct users towards a specific path. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what path they are guided to. Your users just want to be guided.

Follow The Natural Reading Flow

Follow the Natural Reading Flow

We Read Left to Right and From Top to Bottom

In Western culture, we read from left to right and top to bottom. Keeping this natural reading flow in mind will help determine smart button placement. Call-to-action buttons that are positioned towards the bottom and/or to the right of the content will often out performs different placements.

Most importantly, don’t ever force users to backtrack in order to click a button. CTA buttons need to appear in the proper places that align with your user’s experience. For example, you want to put a “sign up now” button in a location where a user would find it after reading about your offer or product, not before. If placed before the offer, it wouldn’t make sense for a user to sign up for that offer that they know nothing about.

Expand The White Space

Your CTA buttons should always have a large portion of white space surrounding them. White space will help direct the users’ attention to your button and will helps it to stand out.

The testing of your CTA buttons is absolutely crucial to your online business.

A/B Button Test – Red Vs. Green

Test Buttons. Stir. And Then Test Again

The testing of your CTA buttons is absolutely crucial to your online business. Even if you haven’t done much A/B testing before, the call-to-action buttons are a great place to start. Even small, easy-to-make changes, can have a powerful effect. You should test the placement, the color, the style, and the text. If you can think of it, then you should test it.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

CTAs may have evolved and changed over the years. However, the ultimate goal has not changed. You need to place the right message in front of the right people at the right time. It’s crucial that you are able to learn to do this very well. And, of course, there is no better way to learn this than to consistently test your CTAs.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post Best Practices For Effective Call To Action Buttons. I hope it provided the information you were looking for and that it helped you in some way. You are welcome to share it with someone that can use the info. If you have Comments or Questions, please feel free to leave them below. Take care.

Best Regards,



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