November 28, 2017 Jonathan Keller

How to Design CTAs for a Maximum CTR

Our 5 rules for how to design calls-to-action that get clicks, every time.

We’re inundated with digital display ads these days. But how many times has one of those little ads made you click?

What grabs a person’s interest as they’re browsing through the latest political Buzzfeed article or pulls them away from another HuffPo Top 10 Most Adorable Puppy Moments?

Instinctively we know (and the data supports this) that relevant, actionable copy and supreme clickability are the 2 keys to CTA performance. But what does that really mean in terms of design? At Consensus there are a few guidelines and best practices we follow when we design CTAs in order to make the biggest impact and get audiences clicking.

1. Prop it Up
Adding an enticing line of text to your CTA button will get users interested in what you’re offering. Messages like ‘Get the Guide’ or ‘ Take the test’ give users a sense of instant gratification and are more likely to trigger a curious click.

2. Less is More
Making your message punchy and concise can get your audiences excited. And having a brief CTA is more likely to make a memorable impression. Similar to taglines, shorter and catchy is better. C’mon, ‘Just Do It’.

3. Large and In Charge
All caps? A bit bold? Whatever your flavor, your CTA should stand out and be super easy to read. Tiny text only leads to tinier conversions.

4. Can’t Miss It
Contrasting colors are your friend. Figure out what works with your brand and and make your CTA button the center of attention by putting it in a bold color that sets it apart from the rest of your display ad. An uncommon color might stand out well among a sea of other ads, but research shows that red outperforms green by 21%.

5. Testing… testing
The last and probably most important rule of designing CTAs that get clicks: test your CTA’s. A/B testing can help you figure out what works and what falls flat when designing CTA’s. Even if you follow all of these steps, it’s subtle differences that can make a big impact.


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