12 tips to turn an effective CTA into a click machine

by bold-lichterman

A call to action, or call-to-action (CTA) should entice the visitor to convert (newsletter subscription, download a resource, buy it now, request a demo, etc.). It must be attractive, fair and must enrich the user experience. In this article, I’ll give you 12 tips to turn an effective CTA into a real click machine.

What is an effective CTA made of?

We tend to limit the CTA to the action button. In reality, a well-functioning CTA is the result of combining at least 3 things.

  1. A catchphrase: it should inspire the visitor. Why should he click?
  2. A visual (optional): it is an essential element. It catches the eye of your visitors and supports your message.
  3. An action button: This is the final touch that will determine whether or not your visitor will convert.

In fact, you don’t need to go through a complete overhaul of your pages to increase your conversions. We even recommend that our customers start with simple tests. As we have already seen with some of our customers, significant conversion differences can come from trivial changes. In the beginning, you can focus on “details” such as CTAs. Union Loan was able to experience this by testing 3 different colors on a CTA.


A trivial A / B test can reveal large variations.

We can obviously add other elements to strengthen the click potential of a CTA:

  • Reinsurance message: number of downloads of a resource, number of newsletter subscribers, etc.
  • Emergency message: number of places remaining for a concert, or the number of rooms available in a hotel.

Who should CTA contact?

A CTA is a promise you make to the visitor. This promise must respond to a need or a known problem among the visitor in order to invite them to click. This being the case, it is still necessary to know who you are talking to in order to succeed in this exercise.

Tip # 1: find out who your visitors are


You need to know your visitors and find out what they are looking for when they browse your site. What is their surfing behavior? What terminals do they use? How many of your visitors use a mobile? Where are they located when they browse your site? By associating this data, you can create a fine segmentation of your audience.

Tip 2: segment your audience

Using a customization solution, you can indeed identify the different visitor segments of your audience. This is the starting point for any personalization strategy.

It is interesting to address your visitors differently depending on their life cycle. For example, when a new visitor arrives on the site kameleoon.com, the first CTA he sees invites him to download our A / B testing white paper. Once this white paper is downloaded, CTA offers a second resource. The goal is to always have a speech – and therefore a CTA – consistent with the visitor’s life cycle.


What is the message to get across?

Tip 3: define your message

According to Hubspot, an optimized CTA generates 42% more leads than a traditional CTA.

We identify 4 objectives (which also correspond to the classic evolution of a customer in the conversion tunnel).

  • Recruit

  • Convert

  • Retain

  • Reactivate

Example: we can optimize a CTA so that it offers a first visitor to create an account. Once the account is created, this same CTA will invite the visitor to log in on the next visit. This type of attention in favor of the user experience helps to create an emotional bond between the visitor and your brand. It’s often the little details that make the difference.

Avoid them generic words: “Learn more“,”Click here“,” Voir“,”Buy“, Etc. If these terms correspond to the expected action of the visitor, they are also used en masse on the web. Stand out and opt for wording that is out of the ordinary, like Playstation:


Although we notice a literal translation of “Show me the games”, this CTA has the merit of addressing the number 1 problem of players: to play

Tip # 4: keep your word

Whatever your CTA’s promise, you need to honor it. Otherwise the visitor will feel cheated and risk making you pay by not returning to your site. In the worst case scenario, you might even be the epicenter of a bad buzz on social networks (here is a good example over 15 million views).

Tip # 5: go for the right design

This is a (very) important element. If you want your CTA to attract clicks, your visitors need to see it, understand it and appreciate it.


Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. If it is difficult to understand the CTA, it is unlikely to be clicked.

Use the data you have about your visitors. You could subject your CTA to an A / B test to find out which variant works best.

Tip n ° 6: “think out of your box”

Not everyone necessarily shares your opinion. And then, it is well known, the tastes and the colors are not discussed. Color is also a criterion to be handled with care in a international environment where the meaning may vary from country to country.

Where to display a CTA?

Tip # 7: Communicate in the right place

Several locations are to be considered :

  • Display in page: the CTA is an integral part of your page.
  • Display on the page: the CTA appears on the content via a pop-in. The advantage of this technique is that it makes your message almost unmissable. However, it interrupts the browsing experience. We were also explaining a few weeks ago how create a pop-in who converts without disturbing.
  • Via email: email is far from dead. It is a privileged tool to keep in touch with your customers and prospects outside your sphere ofowned media. Did you know? According to WordStream, an email that contains a call-to-action generates 371% more clicks.

Here is a very enriching “email” use case:


The visual on the left is from an email I received a few weeks ago from a brand that you probably recognize. It is difficult to isolate a clear message in this email.

The eye-catcher is lightly drowned in the rest of the design (black on gray, surrounded by explosive colors) and I can’t fix my gaze on a particular element.

On the right, an email received very recently. This time around, the message is clear. The mixture of color does not interfere with the reading or understanding of the message. It’s a CTA that objectively makes you want to click.

When to display the CTA?


If you have something to share, you might as well make sure there are people around to listen to you, right? The same. With. Your. CTAs.

Tip # 8: Take your time!

You want your visitors to convert and do it as quickly as possible. And this is completely normal! In fact, one of the most common mistakes is pushing a CTA when the visitor is not mature enough to understand its value. The consequence is severe: little or no conversion.

This is an experiment carried out by the Routard.com teams. The goal was to increase basement by stimulating subscriptions to the newsletter.


2 types of pop-in have been set up:

  • the variant A: the pop-in is displayed on the first visit, after consulting a page only.

  • the variant B: the pop-in is displayed after viewing 3 pages (once the visitor has shown an interest in the content).

The result: variant B won with a 76% increase in subscriptions. This is proof that it is easier to convert a visitor when their level of maturity vis-à-vis your offer is more important.

Tip n ° 9: be on time!

Before the hour, it is not the hour and after the hour… it is no longer the hour! Your visitors will appreciate being offered different services & products depending on the weather or the time of day. This is a crucial point and perfectly mastered by Spotify. I logged in to the platform at around 4:30 p.m.:


Everything is there:

  • An appropriate eye-catcher.

  • A soothing image that breathes autumn.

  • A quality CTA (icon Play)

  • Bonus: reinsurance message (60,319 subscribers).
  • Result: I click.

Tip # 10: repeat, repeat, repeat, answer …

For a message to be “printed” by your audience, it must be repeated. For example, if we can sometimes find ourselves stupid because we have forgotten the name of a key character from Game of Thrones [no spoiler], we just can’t forget Hodor’s one: he spends his time repeating it!

Distinguish between two types of repetition:

  • Repetition over time: Just because a visitor hasn’t downloaded your resource this morning doesn’t mean they won’t do it tomorrow. You can calibrate your marketing pressure in order to repeat your message so that it appeals to this visitor without annoying them.
  • The repetition in the page: without fall into abuse, you can disperse your CTA on a page, maximizing the chances of conversion if the offer interests your visitors.

It is an application that can be found at Canal +.


Tip 11: learn from the best

We are regularly snapped up by services / products because CTA is (very) good. They often meet all the conditions mentioned above in the article. Here are a few examples:



The +: reminder of several advantages (without obligation and free of charge for the first month).

Club Med


The +: creation of a sense of urgency with the countdown.



The +: quick registration via Facebook.



The +: the simplicity

Tip # 12: continuously optimize

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from optimizing user experience, it’s thatnothing remains stable indefinitely. Just because your CTA is working today doesn’t mean it will be tomorrow. Ideally, you will progress little by little by resorting to a A / B testing solution efficient.

Dacia regularly optimizes its website to improve the experience of its users. The brand carried out a test on the CTAs on the home page. 3 variants were in competition:


Result: the mosaic variant (variant C) turned out to be the one generating the most clicks (+ 116%).

Now you have everything you need to create an effective CTA. To achieve this, you must first perform a fine segmentation of your audience. Beyond that, your rigor will be put to the test.

Article originally published on the kameleoon blog


Clement René is a content marketer at Kameleoon, Clément analyzes all the feedback from our clients and consultants and shares best practices in A / B testing and personalization.