Emma nails the top question e-commerce marketers often have about the call to action button: What color should it be? Color is a big deal, psychologically. After all, "85 percent of people say color is the main reason they buy a product," according to the Nashville-based email marketing software and services provider.
That's why Emma launches right into the attributes about CTA buttons with the following colors: orange, red, yellow, blue and green.
"Why We Click: The Simple Psychology Behind a Great Call to Action" (opens as a PDF), a guide that Emma released on Monday, covers color, copy, shape and size, placement and testing for CTA buttons.
Here are the takeaways:
1. Color: Emma frustratingly says there's no magic color that converts, so pick one that contrasts well or conveys a feeling.
- Orange encourages immediate action, so use it to get consumers to sign up, join or buy forthwith. Emma cautions that orange also conveys "cheap."
- Red creates a sense of alarm. This is for emergencies, such as sales, limited-time offers and events that are about to sell out. [Editor's note: Gary Hennerberg calls this "FOMO," or fear of missing out.]
- Yellow is an attention-getting color that causes a low level of anxiety. Emma says it gets consumers moving "without stopping them in their tracks." [Editor's note: Do marketers have a mental image of the golden arches? Dashburst adds this thought in 2013: "McDonald's chooses high-energy colors like red and yellow which appeal to children, kindle appetites and create a sense of urgency. Of course, Ronald McDonald himself is popular with the kids, but he's also sure to agitate parents quickly. This facilitates faster customer turnover."]
- Blue connotes security and communicates trust. This is for marketers who want consumers to feel safe.
- Green promotes growth and relaxation. While the color relaxes the mind, it's most associated with the command to "go."
2. Copy: Keep it short and simple. Writing in the first-person creates 90 percent better conversion rates.
- Use active verbs, such as "get" and "start."
- Be specific about what consumers should do. For instance, say "Download the Report."
- Create urgency by, for example, adding the word "now."
3. Shape and Size: Maybe not every consumer has Shaquille O'Neal-sized fingers and texts the entire alphabet to friends all the time, as rapper Ludacris joked Monday night during "The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber." But Apple does suggest CTA buttons be 44x44 points.
As for shape, Emma says rectangles are the most popular, and:
- Round corners, because the amygdala's "fight-or-flight" response hates pointy edges.
- Test a lot of shapes to see which ones work best.
4. Placement: "Make it the star of the show," Emma advises. Don't make consumers look for it.
- Human nature is to follow faces and "look where they're looking," Emma says. Place a button where the faces are looking.
- Above the fold is where users spend 80 percent of their time.
- White space around the button helps it stand out.
5. Test: Then test again. Keep testing. Emma suggests repeatedly testing all elements of the button—color, copy, shape, size and placement. Emma says A/B testing can improve conversions as much as 49 percent.
What other CTA button tips would marketers like to share?
Please respond in the comments section below.