How to Create Exceptional Calls to Action on Your Startup Landing Page


How do you get site visitors to take the final step towards making a purchase, downloading your eBook or signing up to your newsletter? For most marketers, CMOs and startup founders, that’s one question they never stop asking, and that’s for a good reason. 

You see, driving traffic to landing pages and offerings is not a problem for most marketers, the challenge, however, is getting these visits to convert.

Why you need conversion optimization 

When you consider that only 22 percent of businesses say they are satisfied with their conversion rates, plus the damning data that shows average conversion rate across industries to be no more than 3 percent, you begin to see just why conversion is a big issue for many marketers.

It is not all gloomy, however. Thankfully, there are a couple of changes you can make on your landing page to improve its conversion rate.

Understanding user journey

For example, users don’t usually go from landing on a page to clicking the call to action at once; most times, they would read the content before deciding whether to proceed or hit the back button.

This gap between landing on the page and clicking on the CTA presents a unique opportunity to persuade users to take the desired action. To do this, however, the copy on your site must be engaging, compelling, and of course, personalized.

Optimizing form fields to boost conversion

Also, consider testing the number of form users is required to fill to see what works for your business. Though reducing the form fields from 11 to 4 can result in a 120 percent increase in conversions.

But regardless of the sophisticated landing page creator, you used to design your page, the changes and optimization you make to different elements on the site if the call to action is weak, or worse not included, users will still not convert.  

So, how do you create an effective call to action?

Use action words

 The words you use in your CTA can make all the difference between a high converting copy or one that is ignored. Action words trigger emotions and subtly persuade users towards the desired direction.

 While you may have only a couple of characters to get your point across, choosing the right words can have a significant impact on the overall conversion rate of your landing page.

Here are things to keep in mind when writing your CTA copy:

  • Start the CTA with an action word – depending on your niche words like ‘Buy’, ‘Download’, ‘Register’, ‘Signup’, ‘Add to Cart’ are known to improve conversion.
  • Where possible use time-based words to increase urgency. Words like ‘now’ and ‘today’ works fine here. For example, instead of “Download eBook” use “Download eBook Now!”
  • Switch from second-person to first-person terms to increase conversion. In a test run by Michael Aagaard, Unbounce’s Senior Conversion Optimizer, he found that changing the CTA copy from the second person to the first person resulted in a 90 percent increase in click-through rate.
  • Use trigger words or phrases to get users to click on the button. This, however, depends on your understanding of what visitors are looking for. For instance, if users are looking for “plans” or “pricing” when they land on your page, using “plans” or “pricing” in your CTA copy will provide the gentle nudge they need to click on it. 
  • Communicate expectations clearly with your CTA copy. Users want to know what to expect at the other end after clicking on the button, so make the copy as clear as possible. “Start 30-day free trial” and “Yes, Send Me the eBook” are clear and tells the user what to expect when they click on the button.

Placement and Design

While the CTA copy has its place in the conversion optimization process, the design and placement of the call to action all play a crucial role in how well the page converts. 

So, where is the best place to put your CTA? Above the fold, in the middle or at the bottom of the fold?

In an A/B test to see which placement converts better, Unbounce Director of Marketing Gia found that by moving the CTA above the pricing grid, the click-through rate on the test page went up by 41 percent more than the control page.

Does it mean, placing the CTA above the fold converts better? The answer depends on your audience and type of business. You will need to run an A/B test to see what works for your business.

Use white space to draw attention to the CTA

The design of your CTA button is critical to draw attention. Use negative white space and contrast to distinguish the button from surrounding elements. 

The size and shape of the CTA button can and does impact conversion rate, so you may also want to pay attention to them. When designing for the web, the size of an element shows its importance relative to other surrounding elements – the larger the element, the more important it is. 

Making the CTA button larger than surrounding elements is an effective way to draw attention to it and ultimately increase the conversion rate. 

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