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CTA Design – The One Little Detail That Makes A Big Difference

You brainstorm a great idea. You have the perfect design for it. And your ad manages to attract the attention of the right customers. But they see it and scrolls past without clicking the ad. Would you like it? Obviously not! But what made your customer ignore the ad? Was it the color palette or the copy? You might think of so many reasons. But did you scrutinize the CTA design? Probably not. That’s perhaps the last thing you examine but ideally, it should be the first! 

Yes, you do not want the perfect ad to get wasted simply because of a poorly designed or weak CTA. In fact, you cannot even call it a “perfect ad” if the CTA does not fulfill the purpose. 

But what’s in a CTA right? A simple “click here” or “learn more” is all you see most of the time. We hear you. But, believe it or not, everything from the position of that CTA button to the colors you choose, the copy you use, and the font style in it can directly or indirectly influence its impact on the viewer. Curious much? Get ready then. We are going to talk all about CTA design today. 

CTA design – so, why does it matter? 

A call-to-action or CTA has to be the high point in your ad. Let’s look at some of the reasons why CTAs turn out to be the most critical components in most marketing graphics. 

1. CTA makes your ad objective clear 

To define a CTA you need to know what the objective of your ad is. For example, for all your campaigns on various platforms, you don’t expect customers to visit your website homepage. For some of these ads, you want customers to download your app. Some should take them to a lead capture page so that you can gather their contact details for future lead-nurturing efforts. And others might have to take customers to a sale page or a product page so as to help them add the item to the cart and make the purchase as quickly as possible. 

So, your CTA helps direct traffic in the intended direction based on the objectives you set for the campaign, the particular ad, or marketing design. 

2. Help customers make decisions 

Customers know what they are looking for but believe it or not most consumers appreciate a little help in making their purchase decision. Most ads, landing pages, and other marketing designs have one or two CTAs. On emails, you might have more than one when it’s about a set of product categories or a shopping guide email. Either way, adding the CTA(s) ensures that customers overcome decision fatigue and proceed to the next step more confidently. 

3. Help improve conversions 

Sometimes, customers do not proceed to the next step in your lead funnel simply because they do not know where to go next. Adding a CTA makes it easier for them to understand that. 

Let’s take an example to understand this better. The below slider appears on the Apple website. 

Okay, so what about Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues? Why are customers seeing this on the Apple website? Perhaps the Apple TV logo at the bottom tells that this documentary is available on Apple TV. But so what? If not for the CTA “Stream Now”, most of the above answers would have gone unanswered. Confused customers might have just scrolled past it. But because of the CTA button, visitors know that clicking it will take them to the streaming page on Apple TV without any hassle. This motivates them to click the slider. There, a conversion just happened! 

That’s an example of how the most straightforward way to make conversion happen is to add a clear and understandable CTA. 

Having established the fact that CTAs are important in design, let’s now talk about some CTA design tips. 

CTA design: tips to make it click-worthy 

Your CTA should be an evidently distinguishable detail in your design. But at the same time, it should not distract customers away from the essential information that precedes it. Your visuals, copy and the CTA together should clearly present the message and tell customers why they should click the CTA and what happens when they do. For all this to happen, here are some tips to make your CTA work in favor of your design. 

1. A little tweak to your copy goes a long way 

You should know that 90% of users who read the headline in the ad or web page also read the CTA copy. So, yes, the copy does matter. 

In the below CTA, a simple “Download” CTA would have been sufficient. But adding the word “free” reassures customers that they are not paying anything at the moment but they can still download the content. 

Personalized CTAs are estimated to perform 202% better than simple CTAs. So, spend enough time on the copy. Identify the best words that sound the most convincing, and the most relevant for the context. 

Personalized CTAs are fuss-free ways to let customers know what happens when they click the button. In the below email, for example, costumes instantly understand that clicking the “Reserve your spot” button takes them to the reservation page. So, they would click that only if they are genuinely interested to make a reservation or find out more about it. 

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Email design by Kimp 

Therefore, if you have a personalized CTA you can be sure that only genuinely interested leads move further down the funnel. These are the kind of leads most likely to convert. And if they don’t you know that they are the kind of leads to retarget. 

Kimp Tip: For your CTA copy to make the most impact, choose a simple and legible font. Stay away from fancy fonts and decorative styles. A call-to-action should be easy to read. 

Combining the right fonts without using too many typefaces feels like an overwhelming task? Let professional designers take care of it. 

2. Make your CTA look like a button 

If the call-to-action looks like the rest of the copy, how will customers know that they can click there to move on to the next step? So, make your CTA look different from the rest of the copy. 

Something as simple as making the CTA look like a button can significantly improve the clicks by 45%. Of course, depending on the visual style of the rest of the design and your brand’s visual identity you can always use a flat button or a skeuomorphic (three-dimensional) one as required. But as long as it is easy to perceive as a button, there are better chances of visitors clicking it. 

3. Choose the right color for your CTA 

Did you know that simply changing the color of your CTA design can drastically alter the appearance and effectiveness of the CTA? In fact, SAP noticed that an orange CTA button increased their conversion by 32.5%

Of course, some other colors might work better for your brand. You can figure this out by doing A/B testing. One way to do that will be to create two different versions of the same design retaining everything but the CTA. Use different colors of CTA design in both these designs and see which one converts better. If you are testing the idea on a webpage, you can also use heat maps and other tracking tools to understand visitor behavior and make further tweaks to your design. 

Once you have chosen the color, ensure that your CTA stands out from the background. You cannot use the same color for the CTA and the background. There should be a good amount of contrast between the color of the CTA design and the background color and the overall color palette. Even the best-looking CTA design with the best copy will be of no use if the CTA is not easy to recognize. 

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Web banner design by Kimp 

In the above example, the red CTA stands out from the dark-colored background. So, there’s no risk of users not noticing the CTA. 

Kimp Tip: Colors and color contrasts work in tricky ways. Sometimes colors with the maximum contrast might cause a lot of visual strain when placed together. To know more about color schemes and how to choose contrasting colors, check out our blog on the color wheel and color schemes

4. Be careful about the opacity of the CTA design 

One other reason why your CTA design is not easy to recognize could be because of the background pattern and the opacity of your CTA design. A transparent or translucent CTA might get lost in a crowded background. In such cases, an opaque button makes the CTA pop. Or you can also add subtle details like the highlight around the CTA in the design below. Details like these further enhance the appearance of the CTA and draw attention to it. 

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Web banner design by Kimp 

Want to create such catchy banners for your digital campaigns? Get in touch with the Kimp team today. 

5. Use negative space to your advantage 

Adding negative space around your CTA can increase conversion by about 230%. That’s because the effective use of negative space cuts all the clutter around the CTA and directs attention toward it. 

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Landing page design by Kimp 

In the above landing page, all the space below the CTA makes the CTA easily noticeable.CTAs that catch your eye are the ones that are most likely to be clicked. So, to ensure that customers do not leave because they did not notice a CTA present on the page, add an ample amount of negative space around it. 

6. Don’t add too many CTAs

Ideally, you should clearly define a single direction for your marketing design. Targeting and provision of options come at an early stage. You need to have clearly defined lead categories and your ads should be targeted accurately. When your ads are segregated, defining your CTA becomes easier. We’ll give you a few examples. 

  • If you are targeting prospective leads, you might have content that introduces your brand or convinces them to check out your website. In such cases, the CTA is most likely to take them to the website or your social media page to gather more information. 
  • Leads you land on your website or social media page have shown the first level of interest. Next comes convincing them with the right strategies. Here you might be using lead magnets with a download button or a lead capture page with a subscribe button. 
  • For existing customers, when you send out relevant offers on items in their wishlist or items they have been browsing, your CTA will take them to the product page.
  • And if it’s an email addressing cart abandonment, the CTA takes customers to their shopping cart to proceed with placing the order. 

You need to understand a buyer’s journey better to know what they are looking for and where they should be directed next. In all these cases, having a single CTA makes the most sense. 

For a lead in the early stage of the lead funnel, too many choices might cause confusion and confused leads might not make a decision. 

7. But when there are multiple directions, maintain consistency 

For a simple marketing design, a single CTA avoids confusion and increases conversion. But there are some places where you need multiple CTAs to make the most impact. This is in the case of long-format designs like landing pages and some emails. 

When the content runs long, having frequent breaks and adding a CTA in each section will be much better than hoping for customers to read all the way to the bottom of the page and finding the CTA there. 

Or if the landing page or the email is in the format of a shopping guide where customers see a set of product options to purchase, a different CTA for each option will make the most sense. 

In all these cases where you have multiple CTAs, establish a visual consistency between them. If each CTA design looks different from the other it can make the overall design look clumsy. A few things to retain will be:

  • CTA button shape and color 
  • Fonts used in the CTA copy 
  • Alignment of the CTA copy within the button 
  • Orientation of the CTA buttons 

The below landing page has different CTAs for each section but the CTA designs all look consistent. It makes the page look more organized. And from the usability point of view, once customers see a couple of these CTAs, wherever they see a similar green button on the website they know that it’s a clickable link to another step. 

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Landing page design by Kimp  

Create click-worthy CTA designs with Kimp 

CTAs make most marketing designs feel complete by taking customers in the intended direction. So, don’t forget to add one to your emails, landing pages, banner ads, and every other marketing design where a CTA feels relevant. CTAs also appear in print ads and here they are mostly going to be the website address or the business’s contact information. But still, they need to stand out from the rest of the design so that customers take the action you want them to. If adding a CTA without messing with the structure of the design or if understanding where to use CTAs and how seems to confuse you, leave it to your designers. Choose a Kimp subscription. Register now for a free trial.