Think about all the times you’ve signed up for things in your life. Did you once download Evernote? Dropbox? Spotify? Maybe you’ve even taken a class on General Assembly. All of these “sign ups” are the result of an effective call-to-action. What if you hadn’t been guided so eloquently through your sign-up process? You might have a lot fewer daily apps and sites you use.
It’s really important to guide your visitors through the buying journey using effective calls-to-action (CTAs). To help you identify what’s effective and what’s not, I’ve listed out the following 17 examples of CTAs that totally rock. These stellar call-to-action examples are broken out into three categories: simple and effective design, click-worthy copy, and balancing multiple CTAs on one page.
Full disclosure: We’re don’t have data to know if these are all scientifically successful, but these examples all follow our best practices. If you decide to recreate these CTAs on your site, please remember to test to see if they work for your audience.
Simple and Effective Design
Want to remember everything? Sign up for Evernote. I can immediately understand that message the moment I land on this page. Evernote uses design to make it so simple to see quick benefits of using the app and how to actually sign up to use it. The green color of the CTA button is the same green as the headline and the Evernote logo, which all jump out on a white page.
I think Dropbox truly has the simplest homepage out there. Even the graphics on the page are subtle and barely noticeable. The best part about this page? It’s so simple and uses so much whitespace that the blue “Sign up” button stands out above everything else. Since the CTA and the Dropbox logo are the same color and go hand-in-hand, the viewer subconsciously reads this CTA as “Sign up for Dropbox.” I’d say that’s one effective call-to-action!
It’s usually pretty easy to lose sight of a call-to-action when it’s placed over a busy image. On this page, Spotify showcases their target personas and a few albums, which can be tough competition against a CTA. However, Spotify‘s still wins out. They included a lime green button with a simple, centered layout, and repeated the same CTA in the top right corner of the navigation bar. This contrast and repetition ensures that a viewer will see the CTA no matter what.
To achieve effective CTA design, you need to consider more than just the button itself. It’s also extremely important to consider elements such as the background color, surrounding images, and surrounding text. Being mindful of these additional design components, Square (in a single image) showcases the simplicity of using their product, where the hovering “Get Started” CTA awaits your click. The color of the credit card in the image and the color of the CTA button match, which helps the viewer connect the dots of what they’ll get when they click.
I absolutely love Firefox’s call-to-action for downloading their web browser. Although it’s a relatively busy CTA, they place it on a page that’s extremely simple so it stands out above everything else. When you click this CTA, you know exactly what you’re getting: a download of the Firefox browser (in American English). Even the subtle download arrow adds to this design and avoids any confusion.
Oyster is essentially the Netflix of books. Their homepage copy explains this by saying, “Read unlimited books, anytime, anywhere.” Sounds like a great deal, right? I want in! But how much does it cost? Oyster’s blue “Start For Free” CTA gives visitors a rough answer to this question. Of course this is just a free trial, but it’s nice to know you can start using the product immediately for free.
See those six dots at the bottom of the Uber site? Each of those shows a different black and white scenario where you might use Uber. As the scenarios scroll through, the one thing that never changes is the blue “Sign Up For Uber” call-to-action. I love this copy because it makes it clear that you are signing up for the Uber service as soon as you click that blue button — no surprises.
CTAs can feel really pushy and salesy if the wrong language is used. I like IMPACT’s educational approach, where they challenge visitors to learn what the company does and why someone should choose them over a competitor. These calls-to-action are especially intriguing to me because they don’t even use action verbs but still manage to entice people to click.
“Start Meeting?” It’s that simple? Wow! This call-to-action really highlights GoToMeeting’s new ‘free’ product and how simple it is to actually get started — no strings attached. This CTA really only needed two words: “Start Meeting,” not “Start For Free” or “Start a Meeting For Free” because the word “free” is already emphasized in the copy above the CTA. And GoToMeeting did just that.
This website has a very unique call-to-action with copy that showcases the real value you’ll get after clicking. Not only does this button relay that you’ll get unlimited access for $89 (a $149 value), but also the supporting “join the club now” copy makes you feel like you’re missing out on something. This CTA also gets bonus points for having the arrow pointing to the CTA — it’s a perfect example of a proper directional cue.
OKCupid’s CTA doesn’t seem that impressive at first glance, but its brilliance is in the small details. The call-to-action button, which is dark blue and stands out well on a light gray background, says, “Continue,” which give hope that the signup process is short and does not take long. To me, this CTA feels more like I’m playing a fun game than filling out a boring form — pretty much all due to the copy.
If you want more best practices on how to craft clickable CTA copy, download this free guide. Now, we’ll talk about what happens when you have multiple CTAs with multiple goals that you need to balance on one page.
Balancing Multiple Calls-to-Action
Treehouse helps people learn how to code — but you may or may not have heard of it. If you have, there’s a large green button that suggests a visitor should start a free trial. If you have no idea what Treehouse is, but want to learn more, there is a secondary CTA to help you learn more. Although this CTA is the same size, you can tell it’s secondary because it is a more subtle color.
Want to sign up for Pinterest? You have a couple options — either sign up via Facebook or via email. If you have a Facebook account, Pinterest wants you to do that first. How do I know? Aesthetically, I know because the blue Facebook CTA comes first and is much more prominent, colorful, and recognizable due to the branded logo and color. Logically, I know because if you log in through Facebook, Pinterest can pull in Facebook’s API data and get more information about you than if you log in through your email address. Additionally, you can see a very subtle link to “log in now” if you already have Pinterest account — this homepage is just optimized to bring in new members.
Since Instagram is a mainly mobile app, the main CTAs here are different from that of the Pinterest homepage. At the bottom of the page, you see two black CTAs of equal size: one to download Instagram in Apple’s App Store, and another to download it on Google Play. The reason these CTAs are of equal caliber is because it doesn’t matter if someone downloads the app in the App Store or on Google Play … a download is a download, which is exactly what Instagram is optimizing for. If you already have Instagram, you can also click the CTA to “Log In” if you’d prefer that option, too.
15) General Assembly
As you scroll through the General Assembly website, you see CTAs for various courses you might want to sign up for. As you’re scrolling, a secondary CTA pops up at the footer, suggesting that you subscribe to email updates. Although this feels like a secondary CTA due to its location and manner, I actually think they try to sneak this in to become more of a primary CTA — this one is much more colorful and noticeable than the CTAs for individual classes.
16) charity: water
charity: water’s main goal is to get people to donate money for clean water — but they can’t assume that everyone wants to pay the same way. The CTAs featured on their homepage take a really unique approach to offering up different payment methods, pre-filling $35.00 into a single line form and including two equally important CTAs to pay via credit card or PayPal. Notice how both CTAs are the same size and design — this is because charity: water likely doesn’t care how you donate as long as you’re donating.
When you land on the Hipmunk site, you have two main options: “Search Flights” or “Search Hotels” as you can see in the two white boxes below. When you place your cursor over one of these options, the white box expands so you can fill out more information. To be 100% sure you know what you’re searching for, Hipmunk placed a bright orange CTA at the bottom of the form. On this CTA, you’ll see a recognizable icon of a plane and the word “Search,” so you know for sure that you’re searching for flights, not hotels.
There you have it! See how important little CTA tweaks can be? To learn more best practices about effective call-to-action design, clickable copy, creative conversion flow, or balancing multiple CTAs, download our new free guide: How to Write & Design Compelling Calls-to-Action.
What other CTAs should be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments!