1. Overselling and Under-Delivering
Some marketers can’t resist the temptation to oversell a promotion to ensure they capture a click. When this happens and they fail to deliver, they lose the trust of visitors. Bait and switch never creates loyal followers!
2. Lack of Consistency between a Call to Action and the Landing Page
When there isn’t a clear and concise consistency between your call to action and the landing page it leads to, visitors think they have been given the bait and switch when they haven’t. This results in few filling out your landing page form because it doesn’t seem to match what was promised in the call to action.
3. Playing Hide and Seek
Your call-to-action must be big enough to be clearly seen. If not, visitors will be forced to hunt for that button or more likely, give up the search before even beginning. Also remember that a large, attractive call-to-action link is practically useless if it is placed below the fold (where visitors have to scroll down on the page to see it). Test different browsers and email clients before sending the email to ensure the Call to Action appears above the fold for everyone.
4. Not making it Obvious
Whether you’re using a text or visual Call to Action, be sure it “jumps” out at you. With text that means using a different color for hyperlinks so it’s plain to readers that the text is clickable. For visuals, this means using a color that starkly contrasts the rest of your page.
5. Using Passive Language
Visitors to your site don’t have time to read through vague language and figure out what you want them to do. It’s up to you to tell them exactly what you want them to do by using strong, active language.
6. Too Wordy
The quicker you can get to the point, the better your click-through rate will be. The ideal length of a headline to get people clicking is between 90 and 150 characters. Remove irrelevant words from your copy that don’t help clarify meaning or convey value for your visitors.
7. Not Conveying Value
It isn’t always easy to identify and convey the value of an offer. If you can’t explain to your visitors why your offer is going to help them in some way, why should they click through to redeem it?
8. Competing Calls to Action on Landing Pages
When it comes to Calls to Action, more is not always better. While they are important, having more than one on your landing page will cause serious distractions and harm your landing page conversion rates.
9. No Secondary Calls to Action
This doesn’t mean you can’t have some secondary calls-to-action in other parts of your marketing! Visitors might not be ready to click your primary CTA and fill out a form but they may be ready to subscribe to your blog, like you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter.
10. No Testing
There is one thing every marketer knows - the proof is in the numbers. Therefore you should make it a common practice to test the design, placement, and copy of your calls to action to find what combination performs best for you. The tips in this post are all best practices that dictate how most practices find success with their CTAs. But there are always exceptions to the rule! See what tweaks you can make to your own calls to action that will improve your click-through rate, even if those changes break the rules.