8 Tips for Designing a Unique Call to Action

What’s your most creative tip for designing a CTA that stands out?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Focus on CTA Button Copy

The call-to-action button helps decide if traffic bounces or converts. At some point, a user is going to ask, “Why should I click that big (choice of color) button?” When the question is asked, the copy on your button should help answer that question. What’s better, “Submit” or “Start my free trial”? Run tests to figure out what copy works best for you.
- Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company


2. Make Your Buttons Accessible

I’ve run into the problem, time and again, that a site will invest a huge number of resources into optimizing its landing pages and CTAs, but won’t ensure that any user who relies on assistive technology can click the “buy” button. Make sure your buttons are useful to anyone who responds to your CTA, no matter what tools they use to access your website.
- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting


3. Add a Label

One way to make a call-to-action pop is to add a label over it. For example, if you are offering a free download, put a “Free” sticker or banner over one corner. This adds dimension to the graphic and makes whatever benefit you’re advertising seem even better. The same principle works for flat design as long as you use contrasting colors.
- Phil Laboon, Clear Sky SEO


4. Make it Pop

Although the term “make it pop” is such a cliché, it’s true. Pay attention to the CTAs that grab your attention, and you’ll understand why. Usually the colors stand out significantly from everything on the page, and more importantly, there’s an element of color symbology. The text is also short and straight to the point. For instance, the color red helps stimulate quick decisions.
- Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee


5. Make it Benefit-Oriented

CTA’s need to be specific to the product or service you’re selling, and they should emphasize a benefit of that product or service. “Sign up” might be concise, but signing up for something isn’t nearly as appealing as the amount of time or money they’re about to save as a result of signing up. Always reinforce customer buying decisions by emphasizing benefits.
- Taylor Mingos, Shoeboxed.com


6. Explain the What and Why

The CTA needs to explain to the user what you want them to do, but only if you’ve established a good case for “why.” Make sure you showcase benefits or eliminate objections with your design and copy around the CTA. People need assurance that taking the action is what they actually want to do.
- Russ Oja, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC


7. Optimize CTA for Device

CTAs should work to both you and your visitors’ advantage. If customers are on their phones, a CTA shouldn’t lead them to fill out a long form. A perfect example is Yelp, which gives advertisers the choice to show a different CTA for desktop and mobile users. A click-to-call button at the top of a page is way more useful to mobile users on the go.
- Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals


8. A/B Test

A/B test tons of different variants to figure out what works best. Data trumps all.
- Josh Weiss, Bluegala

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