I'm working on touching up (as much as I'm allowed) some of the design elements for a website. One client requirement is to draw more attention to the "buy tickets" link as this action is one that users take frequently. There are already a lot of other competing actions in this header area and we currently have three possible options for making "buy tickets" more visually prominent (see examples below).
This is a film festival organization. Personally I think their primary action is, ultimately, selling tickets, so I believe "buy tickets" should be the most prominent element (but there are differing opinions on the client-side). Which option is most usable (i.e., accomplishes the goal of making "buy tickets" more prominent but is balanced with the other functionalities of the header which accommodates the main navigation, newsletter signup, site title, and special global links)?
1. Include in Main Menu
+ first item in main menu is first things users see (in the menu)
+ larger size (compared to existing) also increases noticeability
- confuses navigation (all main menu items are sections, not individual page links)
- perhaps not enough contrast (this action could be considered more important in the hierarchy than the main menu items)
2. Replace Newsletter Signup Button
+ easy to see (moderate contrast)
+ special visual style makes it unique and important
- removes newsletter functionality which client finds useful
3. Special Button Style for Existing Link
+ easy to see (high contrast)
+ prominent position (for most western cultures)
- dominates visual hierarchy (could be distracting being so high contrast)
- might be departing from established design guides?
Are there other possibilities that I'm overlooking, or does one of these options clearly accomplish the client's goal without taking away from the other header elements?