Um, no thanks, I’m not really a submissive person.
Wait…I have to read more than what I’ve already read? I don’t need this product that bad.
…You need me to buy RIGHT NOW? I’m a little nervous about that. Maybe I should reconsider.
CTAs are big opportunities in tiny, little button format. They are the gatekeepers that allow your users to access those magical parts of your website where the conversions happen. But they’re sensitive little things—if you miss the mark with appearance, language or positioning, you’re essentially waving those conversions goodbye.
Since CTAs are so important , you have to treat them as more than just a simple button. You should consider how your buttons should look, what they should say, and where they should be placed so that they’ll appeal to as many users as possible.
In order for your visitors to convert, they’ll have to interact with at least one CTA on your site. And in order for visitors to interact with a CTA, it has to be visually noticeable. That’s why appearance-based considerations like color, shape and size are really important when designing your call to action buttons:
Color is probably your biggest opportunity to make your CTA stand out.
There are two approaches you can take to choosing a color – the complementary color approach, or the color psychology approach
Using Complementary colors (colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel) is a great way to make sure your CTA stands out, but still fits in with your website. Complementary colors contrast enough to stand apart from each other, but they still work well as a pair.
Choose a complementary color that contrasts from the rest of the page for your CTA. That way, it pops out from the rest of the elements and is the first thing your users will see.
Let’s say, for instance, that your site is designed in shades of blue. If you look directly across the color wheel from the two blue shades, you’ll see two orange shades. Orange is blue’s complementary color; therefore, warm orange is the best color to contrast (but not conflict) with your cool blue layout.
Obviously, there are more shades than the 12 shown in this color wheel. If you’re looking to match a specific color hue, check out ColorSchemeDesigner.com, which shows you color combinations that work well together. Just choose the main color of your website, and this software will find your perfect match.
Or, if you’d rather appeal to the mind over the eyes, consider incorporating color psychology (Full disclosure: link goes to infographic on my site).
Research has found different colors can create different emotional responses in viewers. You can use colors that create the positive emotional responses you want associated with your brand. By enabling these experiences, you’re increasing the chances that visitors will positively perceive your brand and convert.
If your company has a logo/brand color palette, chances are your colors were already strategically chosen to portray certain brand characteristics. You can never go wrong using one of your brand’s colors for your CTAs, as long as it effectively stands out on the page.
If your brand doesn’t have a logo or color scheme yet, don’t worry. You can use your website and your CTAs as a chance to start that color association with your customers.
First, take some time to identify the ideal experience you’d like your customers to have with your brand. How do you want people to feel when they’re on your site? What words do you want them to use when describing your brand? How would you describe the benefits that your company can offer its customers?
Maybe you’re a bank or law firm, looking to provide security. Or maybe you sell a line of organic food products, designed to provide a healthy snack while still sustaining the environment. Whatever your brand’s selling point, there’s a color to convey it:
The color red is capable of evoking strong emotions in its viewers, and is most known for its passion and intensity. It’s also been found that red increases heart rate and stimulates appetite. The energy of red is often used to create urgency, often seen in clearance sales, and is very effective for impulsive shoppers.
Verizon effectively establishes urgency for this “online exclusive” offer by incorporating red elements, like the “Get the iPhone 4s” CTA.
Shades of orange can reflect excitement and enthusiasm. Orange represents a friendly, confident brand, although orange can sometimes signify aggression.
Payless Shoe Source incorporates orange in a fun way as a highlight feature for its CTAs, where users can scroll over a white CTA and see it turn orange before they click on it. The orange is bold and exciting, and works well to get viewers excited for new shoes.
Yellow is the happy color. Yellow is known to increase cheerfulness and optimism, and it stimulates our mental and nervous system processes. Yellow encourages communication and is often used to grab attention.