Getting Customers to Act – Effective Calls to Action are Key
By Andrea Parker, Brand Journalist, Infusionsoft
As a Brand Journalist at Infusionsoft, Andrea Parker helps small businesses succeed by creating original content for and managing the Big Ideas Blog, as well as creating e-books for small business consumption. Andrea is an award-winning writer and former professional steeple chaser with a penchant for reading, tutoring and baked goods. You can follow Andrea on the Big Ideas Blog and on Twitter @BigIdeasBlog.
Bringing prospects to your website is one thing, but getting them to convert from leads to sales is quite another. You can have a carefully crafted SEO strategy and a brilliant social media campaign and still not meet your conversion goals. That’s where a well written, effectively designed, truly transparent call to action (CTA) program can help.
We all know what a CTA is – something that asks your potential customer to do something after, or while, reviewing your website. But do we know how to use them effectively in a way that makes those unresponsive leads warm up? Maybe not. Let’s take a look at specific tactics to support a strategic CTA program.
The Forgotten Ask and When to Ask It
A good CTA captures a lead’s attention and gives them a reason to click. Sadly, this crucial part of a solid online presence – asking your potential customer to take action on your website – is often forgotten. The best CTAs are not authoritative, boastful or very specific. Succinct, slightly vague, CTAs such as “Click here,” “Download now,” or “Read more” are powerful in helping to remove the “potential” part from “potential customer.”
If remembering to ask your customer to take action is the first goal, the initial step to ensure they do is to place a CTA at a critical point of your content that allows you to capture your lead’s name and contact information. You want to give leads a good look at what your small business has to offer, but without solid placement of your CTA, you’re giving away the proverbial cow with the milk.
Location, Location, Location
Placement of one or more CTAs on your webpage can make or break your ability to convert prospects to sales. First and foremost, make sure your CTA always lives above the fold and is one of the first things potential customers see. Additionally, place a CTA next to or around valuable snippets of content so your prospects understand that you want them to request further information about that content. And, if you are using multiple CTA’s, make sure that the primary one is larger than the secondary, in order to draw attention to the action you’d most like prospects to take.
Design with Intention
The benefit of a highly effective CTA can be entirely lost if it’s designed in a way that repels customers instead of attracting them. For instance, one, two or even three strategically placed CTAs ensure that a prospect never has to go searching for their next step. But five or six will bombard your lead, giving them a reason to leave your website without viewing the calls to action or providing their contact information for follow up.
To draw additional attention and improve click through rates, try giving your CTA the appearance of floating on top of the other graphics on the page or apply a pop of bright color on a neutral background. And don’t be afraid to embrace non-traditional shapes, which, when combined with these other design suggestions, will really steer your potential customer towards your CTA.
Also, remember that your CTA buttons should be the largest draw on any given page, even if this means making it bigger than your logo. Remember, the logo is there for branding purposes only at this point, so if your logo and the CTA button are near one another, plan to make the CTA button 20 percent larger to really draw attention. Also, use contrasting colors for second-tier CTA buttons so they can compete with the more prominent ones without overwhelming your customer or the design itself.
The copy in your CTA matters as much as the design or location of it. Remember to craft a concise, yet instructional message and avoid ‘scare tactics’ such as offers that are available only for a limited number of buyers. Instead, write your message by noting a time-based incentive based on price rather than spooking them with comments about limited quantities.
Equally important is to encourage prospects forward with your CTA by noting how your small business can help them solve a problem. And lastly, be transparent about what is required of prospects by clicking on your CTA. It’s a given that you’ll ask for name and contact information, but not that credit card numbers may be required. If this is the case, tell them in the CTA body copy rather than surprising them when they click on the link.
In order to convert prospects to sales, we have to ask them to take action, which is where a well-crafted, nicely designed CTA can help. By taking a bit of time up front to understand the design, placement and copy requirements of a highly effective CTA, you can start converting more leads almost immediately.
For more information on effective CTAs, you can download this free e-book from Infusionsoft.