by anthony on 02/21/11 at 2:58 pm
Your buttons may call users to act, but do they compel users to act? Buttons come in different shapes and forms, but it isn’t effective if it doesn’t compel users to act. The more clicks your button gets, the higher chance you’ll convert users into customers. There are best practices that can help turn your call to action buttons into compel to action buttons.
Make it look real
The more real your buttons look the more users will click it. Gradients, drop shadows and rounded corners can make your button look 3D. Users press physical buttons all the time. When they see a realistic button on your site, they’ll know what to do.
Use high contrast colors
Colors play an important role in grabbing user attention. A compelling call to action button is a one that users can spot instantly. The key to making it easy to spot is to use high contrast colors. Your button color should contrast with the text color of your label.
Make it big, but not too big
Color isn’t the only thing matters, size matters too. The bigger your button is, the easier it is to spot. When you increase the size of your button, you increase the label size as well. This will make your button easier to read. Avoid making the button too big. If it overshadows content could distract users from their task.
Use words that create a sense urgency
Words that create a sense of urgency and immediacy are more likely to compel users to act. Adding words like “now”, “today”, “instant” or “quick” to your button label can increase conversion rate. This creates tension and excitement in the user. Emotions play an important role in getting users to act fast.
Soften your action words
If users don’t know much about your product, it’s unlikely they’ll buy it without trying it. Many sites ask users to buy their product on the home page before users see what the product is about. This is a sure way to get users to avoid your button. Don’t put all your chips in one basket right away. Soften your action words and allow users to try a demo or browse features before you ask them to buy.
Title case with 1-2 words, sentence case with 3+ words
Most people don’t pay much attention to title capitalization on their buttons. This small difference can affect conversion rate. When your call to action is 1-2 words, title case can make your button label feel like a command. When your call to action is 3 words or more, sentence case can make your button text feel like a dialogue. When your button label is in the right case, you make users more comfortable to click.
Add an affordance arrow or icon to it
There are a couple of icons you can add to your buttons to make it more compelling. One is an affordance arrow that signals to users the button will take them to where they want to go. Another is to use an icon that describes the button action. This will make users feel like they’ll get what they want.
Add a hover effect to it
A visual change when the user hovers their mouse over a button can compel users to click it. Changing the color brightness of the gradient is a good approach. The mouse cursor should also change from the arrow pointer to the pointing hand.
Place it above and below the fold
If users have to scroll your page, it’s good to have your call to action button above and below the fold. Users will spend most of their time above the fold, but will end below the fold. Having a call to action button below the fold leads them to act when they finish the page.
Compel to Action Button
A button that calls users to act is easy to design. But a button that compels them to act is one that requires careful thought and design. These best practices will steer you in the right direction. If you want to know what more you can do, test different button versions on your users.