Are you finding it difficult to get enrollment prospects to do what you want them to do? Are you concerned that your school website may not be performing as well as it should with regard to hitting your target numbers for blog reads, event signups, or ebook downloads? The solution to these challenges could be simple and straightforward as working to create more effective Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons.
But then again, it may not be as simple or as straightforward as it sounds. Call-To-Action marketing has several components that affect its performance. Even if your school website or marketing campaign contains inspired content and innovative design, it can still fall flat of your expectations because of a poorly-created CTA.
What Are CTAs Again?
CTAs are your visual guides designed to prompt your prospects to do what you want them to. CTAs lead your website visitors through your school marketing funnel, hopefully turning them into your leads, or even better, convert them into school enrollees. It is an essential part of lead generation to get your prospect to take the next step. This is the reason why every page needs a prominent and relevant CTA.
If you don’t have CTAs, visitors will lack the roadmap they need to be able to take the next desired step. You want them to sign up for your newsletter or register to watch your newest webinar, but without a guide, they can’t even make it to that page. And you won’t achieve your target conversion numbers.
What can you do to design a more effective CTA?
A Call-To-Action serves two main purposes: to tell a prospect what they should do and to give them the motivation to do so. With that in mind, you’ll need to present your prospects with an offer they can’t refuse. Your CTA should grab their attention and entice them to click on it.
Here are three questions to consider to help you create an effective Call-To-Action:
1. Does Your CTA Copy Grab Attention?
The copy on your CTA is what convinces your prospects to take the action you want them to take. It should grab their attention and tell them what they will gain from clicking on it. If the copy fails to explain why they should take the action, then your copy is ineffective.
Following these methods can guarantee that your copy will be clear and straightforward for your prospects:
Write copy that is consistent.
Your CTA should support the content that came before it. If your visitor read a blog post about “5 Reasons Why Christian Private Schools Attract Great Teachers”, then your accompanying CTA should be along the lines of “Register for our school open house and meet our teachers”. This will then resonate well with your prospect, who can continue their journey with your content.
Write copy that is concise.
You only have a limited time to capture your website visitor’s attention, so you need to choose the best words that will get your point across. Since CTAs occupy a small area, you can only fit in a few words, make them count.
Adopt a persuasive tone.
Choose words that will engage your prospects. Use the word “you” to convey that they are being directly addressed.
You can also incorporate the following words which are among the most persuasive words in the English language:
Let Them In On A Secret
You can always count on people’s curiosity about secret information to coax them into exchanging something to find out about it. For instance, if you present them with “Find Out What Private School Leaders Admire in Their Teachers”, that will surely pique their interest.
You can then ask for something in return for this confidential information such as their email address or other contact details.
Talk In A Conversational Manner
Start a conversation with your prospects. A normal conversation is an exchange of relevant information. As you ask them questions, they provide answers, and so on. Create an engagement that feels natural for them.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Even if you present an offer to your prospects, they can still hesitate and may have second thoughts about taking you up on your offer. Don’t let this happen. Force them to make a quick decision by stressing the need to act on it immediately.
For example: “Only 15 Days Left Until Our Summer Enrichment Program Commences. Sign Up Now!”
These are other words and phrases you can use to evoke urgency:
· Only X days left
· Closing soon
· Last chance
Apply “Loss Aversion”
Also known as the “Fear of Missing Out” (FoMO), this acronym simply states how people are afraid to be left out. This is an offshoot of “creating a sense of urgency”.
Loss aversion is a motivator that focuses on what your prospects will miss out on by not participating in your offer. It is usually tied in with the money or the time that can be lost by not partaking in the offer. You can emphasize that such an opportunity may end soon and may never be available again.
Always Use Action Verbs
Your CTAs can be optimized by using action verbs. Use strong command verbs that clearly state the action that you want your prospect to perform as well as what they will receive in return.
For example, these are typically used action verbs for CTAs:
· Get Started.
· Join Us.
· Sign up.
· Learn more.
You can take this a step further by being more descriptive. These will not only sound more appealing to your prospects but can also provide more details on what they should do next.
These “action-oriented” words also specifically declare what is included in the offer, emphasizing that your prospect is receiving something in return.
· Stay Connected.
· Let’s Talk.
· Show Me More.
· Get My eBook.
· Watch The Webinar Right Now.
2. Is Your CTA Visually Attractive?
Remember: your Call-To-Action is a button. It is a piece of text that is usually combined with an image. The overall design, the visual aspect, of your CTA, helps to emphasize the message that you want to convey.
Your school website’s visual identity is composed of layout, colors, and typography. These all combine as visual patterns to capture your visitor’s attention. The same holds true for your Call-To-Action buttons.
You want your visitors to navigate around your school’s website easily. This creates a positive experience in reading your content. Your design should focus on this principle.
Direct your prospect’s eyes straight to your CTA. Their attention should be drawn to the CTA. You can achieve this through the following methods:
Use colors that make it stand out.
CTA buttons should be assigned a color. Don’t use white, gray, or black. You need a color that will make it stand out, but also remember that it should not clash with the background.
Popular button colors are red, green, blue, and orange. Use white, gray, or black to surround the button and make it stand out.
Your decision on what colors to use should be based on your school’s color scheme.
Keep it simple.
As previously mentioned, use the highest performing colors for your buttons: red, green, blue, or orange. However, white stands out on top of these colors, so using it on your font can definitely make it stand out.
Apply contrast in size, boldness, space or position. For example, place your CTA on a contrasting background and set the title font to bold.
Use White Space.
Make your CTA more prominent by leaving more space around it. Separate it from the rest of the page so it grabs attention.
Make sure it’s the right size.
As a best practice, use common sense when creating a CTA button. Take note that bigger is not always better. Your goal in creating a button is to make people click on it. Make it easy for them to do so by not making it too big or too small.
As many prospects will view these on mobile devices, button sizes should be tested on which looks and fits better on a CTA.
Your button must be clickable.
Train your users to distinguish what a clickable button looks like. Buttons are typically rectangular, highlighted by contrast, and are at a strategic position. Be sure that your buttons have clear borders, as well.
3. Where Is Your CTA Located?
Another important component in leading your prospect’s eyes on your CTA is its location. Your CTA should be located at the right place for when your prospect decides to take an action. You can lose an opportunity if it’s not there when they need or expect it.
As an example, blog articles usually have CTAs at the end of their conclusion.
Consider a prospect or a lead’s current stage in their buyer’s journey. Depending on where they are, you should be able to determine whether or not they’ll click on your CTA offering. If not, transfer your CTA to another location. Avoid exposing your leads or prospects to irrelevant CTAs.
You should pick a proper time when your prospects can see the value in your offer. This will also apply for your landing pages. There is a proper time and location for them to pop-up.
The only way to determine the best location for your CTAs is for you to test and retest it yourself.
Creating a well-performing Calls-To-Action requires a lot of components. From the copy, design, and placement, all these will affect how well your CTA’s can generate leads and conversions.
As you delve into creating CTA’s that follow ‘best practices’, be sure to always test what works best for each CTA. It is also better to consider how your prospects and leads will react to your offerings. This is the foundation of your campaigns, after all.