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Strategy & Insights: Up Close

Heed the Call: Best Practices for Effective Call To Action Buttons

Call to action buttons, or CTAs, are one of the most useful tools marketers have at their disposal. These big buttons in emails, web pages, or social media posts direct people where to go down the marketing funnel. Whether you are looking for website visits, sales, or some other type of conversion and optimization, CTAs are enormously helpful to brands everywhere, especially in the pet industry.

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to slap a “buy now” button on the bottom of your emails or your website. Your CTA buttons need to be eye-catching without being over the top. They need to call for the user’s attention without obnoxiously begging for it. How can you walk this fine line without over-doing it?

Enter: Brand color palette and consumer behavior.

As discussed in our previous article about using color in branding, color psychology plays an extremely important role in branding and marketing efforts. From meaning to scheme, color can make or break your pet brand’s marketing efforts.

So, how can you best use color psychology to boost the effectiveness of your CTA buttons?

A/B Testing with Color as a Variable

Visually optimizing your CTA to best catch people’s eyes is an incredibly effective way to increase your clicks and conversions. In a real-world web page test conducted by HubSpot, it was found that the color red performed 21% better than green. This is a surprising difference as green is associated with nature and the environment and "go" in traffic lights, while red has connotations of passion, blood, warning, and "stop" for traffic lights and signs. Green is also typically more commonly used as a button color than red, which makes this performance data even more interesting, as 21% is a sizeable difference when talking about page efficiency.

The CTA button should not only stand out against the background behind it and the rest of the page, but the copy inside the button should also stand out.

However, this is just one A/B test result and results will likely vary. The most important takeaway is that you should be testing your own CTA buttons and looking for these types of simple but significant performance improvements. Try making it a color (preferably one of your brand’s colors) that stands out against the background color of the page and making the copy inside the button contrast against the chosen button color. Then try an alternate color to see which performs better in a head-to-head test without changing any other variables.

Design Approach

While color is perhaps the most important thing to consider when creating appealing CTA buttons, there are a few other techniques to consider. First off, while this may seem obvious and might go with the color psychology, make sure your CTA button looks like a button. You don’t want people to skim over it because it looks like a blob with words on it in the corner of the page. From design to placement to coloring, make sure people know it’s something meant to click. That’s your goal, after all.

Before we get to some ReelPaws CTA examples, which words should you be using for your CTA button’s copy?

Consumers respond more to ads that make them consider what they will be gaining instead of ads that remind them they will be losing something (money). People don’t want to think about spending money on a product.

We want to think about obtaining the product and what it will do for us.

Because of this, your CTA should focus more on words such as “get,” “view,” and “see” rather than words like “buy,” “order,” and “register.” Emphasize the addition to the consumer’s life over the subtraction. Using “get” instead of “order” on a CTA button may not seem like a big difference, but the former outperformed the latter by 14.79% in a case study comparing the two.

Writing your CTA button from the reader’s point of view is a very successful way to increase conversions, as it makes the reader feel they are being spoken to directly. In fact, in some cases, this was the single most successful way to increase CTA button clicks. In one instance, changing the CTA from “start your free trial” to “start my free trial” saw a 90% increase in CTR over a three-week period, an astronomical increase in success for such a small change. A more personal message makes your CTA easier and more appealing to click on.


Here at ReelPaws, we have plenty of experience in making CTA buttons for clients. Using elements of color psychology, a contrasting aesthetic, and proper diction, we manage to optimize our conversions for pet marketing. Here are a few examples of our work:

1. The Missing Link® Smartmouth™ Dental Chews

Smartmouth superhero dog dental treat

The image shown here is taken from some of our branding work for Smartmouth dental chews. This CTA works great by using colors in a consistent and eye-popping way. The product packaging has the accessory colors of the dog’s superhero outfit, red and teal. The cape establishes red as a secondary color in the image, making the red CTA button feel very natural, yet it still pops against the white background around it. The white copy inside the button feels easy to read, as much of the image is white.

A few other factors work together to make this a very strong CTA button. Red, as we discussed, is one of the primary colors of the image. It is also the color of youth, which is a great choice for a product such as dental treats; people want to keep their pets young. When you also factor in red buttons being very successful at drawing clicks (again, only if it works with the rest of the page, like it does here), everything comes together to create a very appealing CTA button.

2. Catwalk©

Catwalk flavors of Cattitude

When creating Catwalk’s website, we wanted to keep things simple. There are only two colors on the page: a dark salmon color and white. The CTA follows suit, only using the same two colors. The button is white, standing out from the background around it, while the copy inside the button matches that background. “Shop now” are the only two words on the page that are not white, so they stand out both within the button and against the rest of the page. If you want to keep things sleek and simple on your website, email, etc., something like this could be a great example to follow.

CTA Button Application

As discussed in our previous article about color in branding, consumer behavior and your brand’s colors are extremely important to crafting effective CTA buttons. While some colors find more success than others in research studies, it’s all about finding which colors work best for your consumers and brand. Using your brand’s colors is always a great way to go, but don’t be afraid to be bold in finding a CTA color scheme that works well for you. Once your CTA pops out on the page, figure out the right text to include on your button and watch your click rate start to increase.

A/B tests are an incredibly useful practice in the entirety of the marketing world, but especially with CTA buttons. It is very easy to change the color or words of your CTA and compare results from version to version. Once you figure out which version of your CTA works the best, stick with it and enjoy the success.

Our team at ReelPaws considers everything discussed in this article when creating CTAs for our clients, as seen in the given examples. We know how competitive pet marketing can be and recognize the importance of making CTA buttons that draw consumers’ eyes. From newsletters to front pages of websites to product pages, our team pulls all this knowledge together in ways that will best serve both the brands we are working with and the consumers we are trying to reach. We understand how to use color psychology, color for branding, and language to draw a consumer’s eyes to CTAs and obtain clicks.

Now, let's get started!


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