Calls to Action

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Calls to Action An early consideration for any website is determining the calls to action that will be required for the website to achieve its goals (which we discussed in the previous section). While site goals are extremely important, you have to put a plan in place on how to achieve them. You should have a minimum of one call to action for every single website goal that you have.

It is an easy mistake to assume people will intuitively know what you want them to do upon arriving at your website. For example, one of your secondary goals may be to get website visitors to sign up for your newsletter, but if you only plan on including a newsletter subscription link in the very footer of your website, you aren’t going to convert many visitors to subscribers. Instead, you’ve got to plan out how to effectively prompt a visitor to complete one of your website goals.

In physical world interactions you see calls to action all the time; a cashier asking for your email address, a server asking you to follow them to your table, a salesperson picking an item off the shelf and asking you to have a look.

Assuming a visitor will passively and on their own perform actions and goals you want is a mistake and will never achieve the results of a compelling call to action. By providing guidance you will greatly increase your conversion rates.

Calls to action do not need to come off as pushy or off-putting. Your business offers something that your current customers find valuable. Your visitors have expressed interest in your products or services as they are actively engaging with your website. A call to action guides the potential customer to the next step in the sales funnel, whether that’s getting them on the email list so you can begin targeted promotion, asking for the sale or having them to speak with a sales representative.

It will be up to you to determine how much of the sales process is performed on the website. At the very least you should try to get their contact information so you can pursue a warm lead. At the other end, a fully automated ecommerce store may guide a user all the way through to pulling out their credit card and submitting an order.

How to Properly Word a Call to Action

A call to action works best when it involves action words (“Buy Now”, “Sign Up”, “Contact Us”, etc) and avoids vague phrases (“click here to read more”). The vaguer a call to action is, the less likely someone will be to complete it. You want to be as clear and precise as possible.

So what are some really good calls to action?

  • Sign up now to receive our free newsletter
  • Buy in the next hour and save 10% at checkout
  • Fill out our survey for a chance to win
  • Call us today for your free consultation

If you’re still unsure how to phrase a call to action, take some research time and watch the shopping channel or some infomercials. These have perfected the call to action, and even include some extra incentives to prompt speedy reactions. Take, “only 20 left – order now!” for example. This is very action oriented, and also plays on a person’s fear of missing out.

What If My Calls to Action Aren’t Working?

After time you may decide to change your calls to action. Perhaps the sales process is too complicated, or perhaps you are missing out on the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell. Tinkering with the wording is an excellent and highly recommended way to refine how many of your visitors successfully perform the actions you have identified as being important to the success of your business.