Have you ever wondered what made you sign up to a newsletter or a free trial for a software product? You were not actively seeking the respective subscription but then you happened upon the landing page and the call to action was too strong to resist it.
We have already written on the anatomy of the perfect call to action button, but today we will broaden the approach. What makes a call to action effective and irresistible? How does it influence a casual viewer’s behaviour? How does it turn the initial reservation into enthusiasm and excitement to try a product or join a list of subscribers?
There are many psychological triggers at work in the best call to actions we have seen around the internet. However, for the sake of practicality, we will stop at the five most effective types of call to actions which really make the offer proposition irresistible and impossible to ignore.
- Tell People How Simple It Is to Follow Through
“One Click to Become a Member”, “Sign Up in 60 Seconds” – what do these call to actions have in common? They allay the potential subscriber’s worry that they need to spend a lot of time with a complex sign-up form until they finally get access to whatever is promised (a download, access to gated content, etc.).
One of the best ways to make people click on a CTA button is to tell them it takes only a little effort, insignificant in comparison to the benefits the subscribers will gain. These calls to action work best on newsletter subscriptions or ebook downloads. The overall benefit does not have a large monetary value so, unless it is something easy and simple to get, the people will not bother.
- Prominent Premium Access vs. Regular Free Access CTA
Many online services and tools currently offer their users free and premium subscription plans. Of course, what the owners of these services ultimately want is to attract as many paying subscribers as possible. And, in order to do so, they use a simple visual trick: a coloured, bold and dominant looking button for the premium subscription, versus a simple free access CTA button, which blends into the general design of the page.
There is no reason why you should not go for the free option first, your logical side says. But your emotional side will say that the brightly coloured, flashy button will bring you more benefits and satisfaction, albeit for a price. Just as embellished packaging sells renowned brands better than private labels, the aspect of the CTA button attracts more clicks.
- The Promise of Membership in an Exclusive Group
Everyone wants to feel special. It is in our nature. And clever calls to action do just that: make people believe that once they click on it, they will gain special status through access to content which is barred and denied to others. “Get Exclusive Access”, “Sign Up for Premium Content” – all these calls to action appeal to the vanity inside of us. And, for this reason, they work.
- Make It a Personal Experience
“Start My Trial Period” has proven more effective in A/B tests than “Start Your Trial Period”. A simple pronoun makes all the difference in the world. People are very self-centred. They care about themselves, about solving their problems and satisfying their needs. A vague “your” is impersonal – it could be addressing anyone looking at the web page at that moment. But “my” is suddenly directed at only one person in the world: the person looking at the landing page right now. It is a personal approach and no one resists such up-close and preferential treatment.
- Use Reverse Psychology
Some CTA buttons get a lot of clicks by telling people to do the opposite. In a classic example, a web design agency tells its potential not to launch the signup form if they are not prepared for excellence, innovation and amazing customer experience. That will definitely get a prospect clicking on the button, ready to challenge the assumption.
Reverse psychology is tricky, though. If it is not in line with your brand image and your tone of voice it will backfire, so use with lots of caution.