December 2, 2021 | 9 min reading time

We’re all surrounded by call to action buttons pretty much everywhere we go on the internet. From the classic “sign-in” to the “shocker, buy now”-kind-of-buttons, there’s a treasure trove of internet buttons meant to catch our eye (and make us buy). Every single element of a call to action button is carefully chosen to get us to the final frontier -- the purchase. 

What is a call to action? 

“Buy now”, “call us”, “purchase”, “try it now”, “reserve”, etc. are common words you might see on a call to action button or hyperlink on a website. A call to action (CTA) is essentially a prompt to get users to take the desired action. In email campaigns, CTAs often take the form of a link to a website where users can get more information and take another desired action. 

Call to action colors help draw the user’s eye to the CTA button enticing them to click on it and interact with your brand. The colors you choose could impact a buyer’s motivation to click. 

Why is a call to action important?

Simply put, a call to action tells a user what you want them to do next. If you don’t have a call to action, they could be meandering around your website accomplishing nothing for them or you. 

The right call to action with the most impactful call to action colors will get users into your sales funnel at just the right place so you can begin monitoring the customer journey. 

Color Psychology & Call to Action Colors: How It Works 

Psychology of color

Colors bring our emotions to the surface, and customers tend to act based on their emotions. Have you ever noticed that waiting rooms in doctor’s offices are painted in soft neutrals or blues? That’s because those colors have a calming effect on you. Green makes you think of good health and organic substances.

Without a doubt, color is powerful. The call to action colors you choose and the right colors and color combinations can give your sales a boost. 

How Does it Work? 

The glaring question is how do colors impact conversion optimization? How can you leverage them to convert sales? 

Competition is tough, and marketers have to pull out all the stops to increase conversions. A well-designed website that factors the perfect call to action colors prompts users to continue engaging with your site. 

Call to Action Colors

A well-designed website captures the user’s eye and guides it through a series of actions that naturally and organically takes them to the products or services that led them to your site. Some actions are more impactful than others and call to action colors make such actions striking so they get noticed. 

popular call to action colors for landing pages

Here are some color examples that tend to be very popular:

Blue

When customers see blue, they think about words like creativity, trust, genuine, and smart – all the things you want your software programs to be. For these reasons, it’s common for software companies to choose shades of blue for call to action colors. 

Yellow

Color theorists suggest that yellow also speaks to creativity. As a sunny, friendly color, yellow also resonates with optimism. Shades of yellow are a great call to action colors for email marketing.  

Red

Red is one of those call to action colors that screams, “Look at me!” It’s not the best color for every application but used in the right fashion, it will stop customers in their tracks and motivate them to learn more. 

Call to Action Button Colors & Industries: Do They Relate?

It’s important to post engaging content on your website, and when you’ve got users’ attention, they’ll be looking for a way to interact with your brand more directly. Your call to action button is a great place to optimize your site and make a statement. Call to action colors that match your industry give them another connection that resonates with your brand. 

Color psychology behind CTA buttons

Color psychology works on our brains without us realizing it, and it has a distinct effect on buying behavior. It can hype you up, drag you down, or have a calming effect. What emotion are you trying to evoke in your customers?

Industry-specific and website-specific CTA button colors

You may have heard people say that restaurants choose red as a branding color because it stimulates hunger (think Burger King and McDonald’s). Have you noticed that medical organizations usually use white call to action colors with green or blue text? These combinations speak of purity, strength, and peace. 

Before you decide on a final color combo, make sure it works with your brand colors and web design. Beyond that, just make sure it pops!

Don't Forget About the Context

Context comes down to how well you know your target audience. Are they baby boomers or Gen Z? Male or female? Do they have a particular cultural background or speak a different language? 

Men are generally more drawn to bright colors and shades while women connect better with soft colors and tints. Regardless of who your audience is, you can never go wrong with blue. 

Tips to Help You Nail Converting Call to Action Buttons

  1. Use actionable call to action word(s). What do you want users to do? Whittle phrases down until you get them down to a word or two. Just say what you want them to do. Don’t beat around to the bush! Good choices for e-commerce sites are “buy”, “order”, “shop”, etc. Want to send them more information? Try “click here” or “find out”. Do you have a great download? How about “download now” or “subscribe here”? 
  1. Choose words that arouse emotion or spark enthusiasm. Whether it's "Fear of Missing Out", a beautiful emotion or sheer excitement, your words need to resonate in people and make them take the action you want them to take (clicking, buying, or simply signing up, for example).
  1. Help users see the value right upfront. Reveal what they get out of it. Will your products make their lives better, easier, or more enjoyable? How? Highlight your unique selling point by tying it directly to your call to action button. If you need some examples, try these:
  • Get yours today! 
  • Call us today! 
  • Free Consultation! 

The formula is “action + reason they should take it = conversions”.

  1. Customize your call to action based on the device. Not only do your customers have smartphones and tablets, but they’re also using them to explore websites and make purchases. About 3.5% of consumers use mobile phones for conversions, which is just 0.4% lower than desktop users. As the screen sizes are similar for smartphones and tablets, consumers use them in similar ways, and Google views tablet and smartphone users the same. Whether people are sitting in front of the TV or they’re out and about, it’s easy enough to grab a mobile device and check out products they like.

Consumers generally have different buying behavior habits depending on which device they’re using. 

When consumers use smartphones, their user behavior and search intent change compared with using desktops and tablets. For that reason, it’s wise to tailor your call to action colors and text to the type of device. Users that explore your site on their desktops and tablets are taking the time to do a little research, and they’re not quite ready to pull the trigger on a sale. By contrast, consumers who are searching for products on their mobile phones are in the mood to make a sale right at the moment.  

how to nail high converting call to action buttons

When In Doubt, A/B Test Your CTAs

Expert marketers understand the importance of A/B testing for PPC ad campaigns, and testing is no less important for testing your call to action colors. A/B testing is also called split testing. It provides you with a way to compare two versions of a page on your website, an app, or any other component you want to compare to see what changes get the best results. 

The beauty of A/B testing is that it allows you to test one variable at a time to understand how changes affect performance. The data is priceless! It gives you valuable information on how your customers are responding to each component of your call to action. More importantly, A/B testing is highly reliable. 

If you’re looking for an easy place to start A/B testing, why not start with an email campaign? Trying different call-to-action colors and color combinations will tell you a lot about what works and what doesn’t. The size of your call to action button can also make a difference in your results, and that gives you one more thing to do A/B testing on. 

Another way to assess call to action colors is to check out the websites of other e-commerce sites that are highly successful. What works for them will surely work for you. The key is using contrast to your advantage and tying the colors into the overall look and feel of your web pages. 

Paying attention to the call to action button is an area that website designers and marketers often overlook. Yet, it’s the finer details that often improve your SEO practices. At ClickGUARD, we have a wealth of hot tips and trendy information to help you improve conversions, so keep an eye out on us! 😉

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.