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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Time to Tune Up Your Calls-to-Action?

    Posted by Michael Dooley

    Call-to-Action Examples to Boost Your Page Performance

    Calls-to-action are an extremely valuable tool for websites, extending offers to your visitors to convert them into customers. Outdated or unremarkable calls-to-action will struggle to convert visitors and essentially become invisible to a trained Internet-browsing eye. These poor CTA’s are similar to roadside billboards, shouting at visitors “Buy This!” or “Click Here NOW!” Site visitors won’t be as trusting or encouraged by these CTAs and are far less likely to convert. When done properly, your CTAs will appeal to your visitor’s eye, display value, provide options, and guide the visitor through the conversion process. Compiled here are strategies for creating a call-to-action that will delight and convert your visitors.

    Show and Tell

    Simply using a text CTA with the words “Click Here” won’t provide much incentive or tangible reason for a visitor to click through. A basic way to improve your CTA is to include an image of the actual product or offer, providing a visual incentive. This practice is commonly used by mobile applications, showing screenshots of their app on a smartphone or tablet. Just like some people learn better visually, some also make purchasing decisions visually. These types of buyers might not fully understand the value of an offer by just reading text. Rather, the visual representation can be the tipping point to conversion.

    Prove Your Worth

    Trust is a big factor in a visitor’s decision to convert on a call-to-action. They won’t click through to something that they don’t trust. The easiest way to establish this trust is to decrease skepticism by providing social proof of the CTA’s worth. This is done by including social statistics in a CTA, such as the number of Facebook “likes,” LinkedIn “shares,” or blog subscribers. When a visitor sees that an offer has been promoted via social networks, it instantly validates that offer as legitimate and valuable to the visitor. Using these social numbers encourages conversion on offers to keep up with the trend and to not miss out on what others already know.

    Point Them in the Right Direction

    Calls-to-action are designed to direct a visitor to convert on an offer, but they need to be given a clear sense of direction to make that conversion. The CTA should be set up to guide the visitor toward the clickable action and give them an idea of what will happen next. There are a few ways to give your CTAs direction, a simple one being the use of arrows to point at important information. Arrows and symbols can be used to direct the visitor’s eye to where they must click, making the process clear and simple. Text can also be manipulated to point the visitors in a direction, by using language that encourages specific actions and results. For example, your text can tell the visitor “subscribe to our blog here and receive your free eBook,” setting clear expectations for the visitor’s action and what will follow.

    This or That

    One reason many calls-to-action fail is because the offer simply isn’t enticing enough or doesn’t fit the visitor’s needs. An average call-to-action is designed with a single offer, giving a single opportunity to convert for each visitor, and if that offer doesn’t align with the visitor, tough luck. An extraordinary CTA will provide multiple opportunities to convert, thus being able to convert a wider range of visitors. For example, your call-to-action could give options to sign up for a service or to watch a video to learn more. Giving your visitors options allows you to convert on customers that are in different stages of the buying cycle. One customer may be ready to do business immediately, while another needs just a little more information to be closed. The other great thing about using CTAs with multiple options is it creates another valuable trackable metric. Besides doing basic A/B testing with small design tweaks, you will be able to compare the success of each clickable option inside of the CTA. Having this information will help you develop and edit future CTAs to have the best combination of clickable options. 

    Calls-to-action should be fluid, requiring constant tracking, updating, and replacement. Marketers and brands have to design these calls-to-action with the perspective of the visitor in mind, focusing on how they will see it. Visitors almost instantly decide what is and is not valuable or clickable on a web page, and they will quickly ignore a mediocre call-to-action. The calls-to-action need to be just as remarkable as the other page content if they are going to be successful in converting visitors into happy customers.

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    photo credit: Kyle May via photopin cc

    Topics: Inbound Marketing