Ecommerce businesses contribute content online for a variety of reasons, and they work hard at it. Blogs are used to warm up potential prospects, Tweets link brands to trends in a bid for relevancy, and offers are often extended in the form of content for lead generation purposes. Content is the online face of an entire business strategy, and good content can propel your business to the next level.
A compelling call to action (CTA) is a critical tool in ecommerce marketing. Publishing content without including a call to action is like sending a greeting card through the post office without a stamp—well intended, but completely ineffective.
What exactly is a CTA? For those of you who aren’t familiar, a call to action is exactly what it sounds like. It is a phrase or sentence used to call upon the audience experiencing the content to take a particular action. To put it another way, using CTAs in your ecommerce marketing efforts says to your audience effectively “You know that content you just experienced? We encourage you to do “this” in response to it.” The action may be to become a member, submit a suggestion or connect with sales for a demo. Good content and an effectively-produced call to action can make an online visitor take the next step.
Boost or Bust? How CTAs Impact Content Performance
Content performance is measured by the number of clicks, likes, leads and shares it generates. An apparel retailer with a compelling CTA to great content, such as a fabric-dyeing process can drive readers to subscribe, view or even buy. But, even if the content is great, but the CTA is lackluster or isn’t optimized in design, it can fail to entice the reader in the right direction. Ecommerce merchandising content that is missing a CTA altogether fails at the very fact that audience reaction to it is unmeasurable, and the reader is left hanging.
What Do the Most Effective CTAs Have in Common?
Through A/B testing (online marketing’s version of good old trial and error), CTA best practices have emerged that, when implemented, can change content performance dramatically. These best practices not only include what words are more likely to evoke the desired response, what colors attract and detract attention to a call to action link or button and where on a page a call to action will be best placed.
According to e-commerce marketing guru, e-consultancy, these are the most important elements of a CTA to consider:
Wording: a simple phrase, beginning with a verb, that implies a sense of urgency. A/B testing for online stores is a helpful process for narrowing in on the most effective CTA.
Color: one that differentiates the call to action from the rest of the page. Don’t camouflage it among similar or more striking colors and choose from a color palette that is complimentary to the rest of the site.
Placement: best practices varies based on the goal of the landing page, the complexity of the offer and audience intent
Size: proportionate to the rest of the page so that it grabs a visitor’s attention from the very first glance
Use of white space: enough to bring visual notice to the CTA. Also used to avoid clutter of adjacent content that could lead a user to link on the wrong page and detract from the user experience.
For some great sample visuals on good CTA design, “clickworthy” content and the best way to balance multiple CTAs on one page, you might also read this from Hubspot, an industry-known content specialist providing leading software solutions for inbound marketing efforts: 17 Call-to-Action Examples You Can't Help But Click.
A call to action is effectively the content endgame, the last push… final, firm instructions for steering visitors in a purposeful direction across a dynamic e-commerce landscape. Make it useful. Make it relative. Make it purposeful. But indeed most important of all, make it happen.
Find out how Strands Retail can help improve your ecommerce marketing through custom, segmented personalization.