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Have you ever signed up for something like Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, or Dropbox? How about subscribed to a company’s newsletter to get a discount or a magazine to receive your first free issue?  If you have ever signed up for anything, you did so because the company presented you with a compelling call-to-action, and it worked! Thus, you have personally experienced how persuasive calls-to-action can be, and this is precisely why you should be implementing them as part of your marketing strategy.

What Are Calls-to-Action?

Calls-to-action can be found everywhere. You can spot them on websites, on ads, and most recently, they have been added as an option for Facebook business pages. In any case, the objective of a call-to-action button is to let your visitors know what it is that you are wanting them to do and enabling them to perform this task with the greatest of ease. Otherwise, your visitors will read your content and then leave if the next step they should take is not made clear. Did you know that 70% of businesses don’t display clear calls-to-action on their home pages? If you are one of these businesses, your customers are wandering around your site without direction on what they should do next, and you are losing the opportunity to give them something that they are on your website looking for.

Calls-to-Action Are Used to:

  • Subscribe to Email Newsletters
  • Receive Special Discounts
  • Download How-To Guides
  • View Demos and Videos
  • Begin E-Commerce Shopping
  • Contact Companies
  • Access Games
  • Use Apps
  • Set-Up Reservations
  • And more!

A Few Benefits of a Call-to-Action

  • Generates leads- Your visitors are giving you their information because they are interested in something you have to offer. Therefore, you now have their contact information to follow up with them on other products or services they might be interested in.
  • Closing a sale- By making sure your call-to-action is inviting and compelling, you can get your visitor to contact a sales representative of your company through a click of a button to get started right away.
  • Social sharing – Instead of getting your followers to download, subscribe, or sign up, you are asking them to share your information with their friends via a social media icon.

What Makes a Call-to-Action Effective?

  • Easy to Find. Simply put, your visitors won’t go looking for something they don’t know is there. Since your call-to-action will be generating you leads, you want it somewhere that first-time visitors will certainly see it. You could put it high on your page and centered so that it can’t be missed, or you could try putting it in the bottom right corner of your landing page so consumers will naturally move their focus directly to your call-to-action.
  • Visual Appeal. If your call-to-action is cluttered with text that is ten sizes too small, not enough white space surrounding it, or the colors blend in with the rest of your page, customers won’t be bothered to try to read it. You are on their time, not the other way around. So, make sure that your text is enlarged so that it is easy to read, there is plenty of white space to separate it from the busyness of your page, and that your colors are contrasting enough to stand out and grab the visitor’s attention.
  • Compelling Action Word. By using terms such as Subscribe Now, Sign Up, Contact Us, Shop Now, etc. You are encouraging your visitor to do something (to act), as well as providing familiarity with words and actions they have taken on sites before yours.
  • Clear and Concise. As a customer, you wouldn’t want to “Submit Now” if you didn’t know what exactly you are submitting information for. If you don’t make the process as clear and easy as possible, your visitor will assume that it is untrustworthy, too much of a hassle, or too confusing and won’t complete the process.
  • Reason to Act. Before your visitor provides any information about themselves to your company, they are going to ask, “what’s in it for me?” Therefore, your visitor may need a little extra push to get them to act. For example, many companies use their call-to-action to offer a free trial or free consultation.  Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” is an excellent example of persuading customers to subscribe to buying a product. In return, they receive a discount on future purchases of that product that other buyers buying it one time don’t receive.
  • Requires Timely Response. You can successfully motivate your visitors to “Act Now” if you inform them that your offer will only be good for a limited time or that your coupon will expire on a specific date. While it sounds more customer/business-friendly to always keep the offer on the table, it gives the customer time to think and talk themselves out of acting on your offer. Whereas stating that your proposal will only be available for so long, excites them to commit before they miss out.
  • Uncomplicated Process. The smoother the entire process is from start to finish, the higher the rate of completion you will have. For example, the more fields that you require to be filled in by your visitor may overwhelm and frustrate them to the point that they will quit and leave your site before submitting it. Let whatever possible require completely voluntary information to fill in and give to your company. Subsequently, your visitor will be more likely to do business with a company that doesn’t force them to do anything that they don’t want to.

Think of your call-to-action as directions for your customer. When you have had a hard time reaching a business location to get what you want, your experience is not as pleasant as it could have been. Unburden your customers by doing the work for them upfront and giving them instructions on what and how they should go about their next step in getting what they need from you. The more natural and more compelling your call-to-action is, the wider your customer funnel will be.

For further review, check out these superb 21 Call-to-Action Examples.