Engagements are the main measure of our success at Katch. The more engagements we can drive, the more money we should in theory obtain. But how do we magically make people click or call or fill out forms? We have to persuade, convince, and nudge. Sometimes, I think we have to act like Sherpas and lead our potential customers through the mountains of online advertising to find the advertiser they need.
But what makes certain sites see better consumer engagement than others? Why do some Sherpas lead more users to the top of the mountain than others?
Sadly, there is no standard that will truly work across user, time, particular media, or brand. For example, let’s look at the color red. Usually designers avoid the color for call to actions (CTAs) because studies have shown that users see red and then stop -like a traffic sign. But another commonality about CTA buttons is that they match a company’s brand. So what do red companies do? And what about color blind users? Many cannot tell the difference between red and green. There are so many factors to consider with each detail of your site or ad, there is no perfect rule to go by; you will just have to test what works best for your site.
But with that said, here are a few tests that we’ve found high success with that you can run on your page or widget with confidence:
1) Prioritize everything on your page
- Decide what is most important, and second and third most important. Quite often if everything has the same amount of importance, people will get confused and drop off
- You can increase importance to an object by making it bigger, adding white space around it, or giving it a different color or style from everything else on the page
- Make less important objects smaller and use a less contrasting color to the background. For example, use grey text on a white background, or light blue text on a darker blue background.
2) Remove distractions
- If you are building a site for user exploration, put as many links as you can onto your site. If you want a user to make a specific engagement, remove as much as you can except for that engagement, including the header and footer navigation
- If a widget, a paragraph of text, a testimonial, a badge, or whatever else does not serve to propel a user to engage, remove it
3) Shepherd the eye to your goal
- It’s natural to follow a person’s line of sight, so make photos point to your engagement
- Use arrows to point users to where they should start
- Users read from left to right, so putting a form on the right hand side allows them to read why they should engage
4) Make your designs emotional
- People react more when they feel for the action: have a photo of a cute dog or child, have a scary person, use an inspirational photo, etc.
- Allow people to think their dreams can come true with what you are selling
- Let them have fun when filling out your form with animations, jokes, illustrations, etc.
5) Give context to your button, ad, or form
- It is common to hear that you need your CTAs above the fold. That means that a user should be able to see your button right at page load without having to scroll down the page. It does help to have your users immediately see what they are suppose to do on your page; however, it is more important to convince them to act in the first place. Add imagery, language, benefits, testimonials, etc. to give the user emotional and logical reasons why they should engage with you. That could mean that you have to put your CTA at the bottom of a long page. That could mean you put your CTA next to one quote at the top of the page.
6) Make CTAs actionable.
- Use verbs in your titles and buttons
- Explain what will happen when you click the button. Avoid using ‘Click here’ or ‘Submit.’ Instead, write ‘See Results,’ ‘Start Saving,’ ‘Get Matched,’ etc.
7) User Feedback
- Continually congratulate users for doing things right. Give them a progress bar, green checkmarks, a funny animation, a gold star. People like rewards.
- Gently correct them when they do something wrong