Calls to Action are something that every marketer needs to understand. Whatever the method of promoting a product, without a call to action it is unlikely a sale will be made.
Knowing how to create a call to action that is effective is vitally important towards the success of any type of business. Be it an online or offline business, an effective call to action is definitely required.
Whether selling your own product or promoting products of another business, it is necessary to clearly indicate the item is for sale. But how do you do that without scaring visitors away from your site because of demanding, or pushing calls to action
Planning for Success is a Good Way to Start
Before starting to write a new article, planning the purpose and structure plus the expected outcome is of utmost importance. Without recognition of what is to be gained from this new piece of content it is similar to setting off on a journey in unknown territory without a road map.
It is wise to remember that when visitors are on your website, they are there because something has attracted them. Something caught their eye. Among the millions of websites online your site attracted the visitor. They’re on your site for a reason. Make sure you treat them respectfully by not placing demanding or flashy banners or images on your page.
Build trust with your visitors and they will return again. They may return several times before they click on a call to action that leads to you reaping the benefit of a sale, or commission.
Admittedly, there are some people who enjoy the enticement of flashing images, but they are in the minority.
So, What is a Call to Action
On websites, a CTA as it is often referred to is something specifically produced to catch the attention of visitors to the site.
Calls to Action are not only used on websites. Every day of our lives, thousands of calls to action appear before us. People are so immune to advertisements with strong calls to action that ninety per cent of the time we don’t notice them.
- Advertising on Television has powerful Calls to Action.
- Weekly or monthly magazines contain advertisements with strong calls to action.
- In cities and suburbs bill-boards promote a wide range of products, services and activities such as Live Theatre, Films and more.
- Even hard covered books of well-written literature often contain calls to action.
Calls to action are everywhere to be seen.
Some calls to action are gentle, some are enticing, and some scream loudly that without this item in your life, well…! I’m sure you’ve seen those types of Calls to action.
How to Create a Call to Action on a Website
Having highlighted some places where Calls to action are found, let’s return to how we need to deal with these on our website.
Although making a sale is the intent of a marketing website, I don’t believe we should be screaming at our visitors in the manner that many of the aforementioned do.
It is said that promoting a sense of urgency is an effective way of attracting sales.
I’m sure you have seen the call to action that says – ‘Only X number of hours and this offer will be gone forever’.
Another sense of urgency is ‘Buy Now – Only X number left in stock’.
Promoting urgency is not my favorite style of attracting sales. This method might work with inexperienced purchasers, but it won’t work with the experienced purchaser. This world is stocked with millions of items. I prefer to take a gentle approach that gives the purchaser confidence enough to take their credit card out of their wallet, so to speak.
Methods or Design of Calls to Action
Calls to Action in a website are often contained within a banner.
Some calls to action appear on a button especially designed for the purpose of attracting the eye of the reader.
Calls to Action can be as simple as a few words to click on, such as: Click Here for More Information
Of more recent times, calls to action are included in images relevant to the product being promoted.
Larger commercial companies employ technical and design staff to produce calls to action specific to their product. Many of the designs are magnificent and no doubt encourage visitors to explore more about the features and cost of the product.
Unless you are a graphic designer, calls to action of this caliber will not be easy to produce. However, it is possible to outsource design work by employing the service of an outsourcing company. There are many to be found by performing a Google search.
For those who are still developing their website and concentrating on gaining traffic, I certainly do not recommend spending a budget on outsourcing for call to action design.
Some excellent designs can be produced by using free software available on the internet. Canva.com and Ribbet.com and my two favorite sources for design. Of course many more are available. Microsoft Paint and Paint.net are favorites of some, but I do not use these for design so I’m unable to recommend them.
This ‘sign up now’ is one I produced on the free program – DaButtonFactory
And, a free program by the name of Imagefu is where I was able to produce this ‘Badge’
Those are two elementary examples which I’m sure you could get better results than I achieved.
Where to Place Calls to Action Within a Page
In recent years it has been considered preferable to place just one call to action on a page. The recommendation is that the call to action be inserted near the end of the content.
This is very different practice to earlier times when calls to action were placed several times within the content on a page. It was common practice that the first CTA would be above the fold. This meant the CTA would be seen before scrolling down a page where others would be placed.
Too many calls to action can turn a reader away. The reader can clearly see that they are meant to produce their credit card and make a purchase. And that’s not the reason they are on the site!
However, is one call to action near the foot of a page going to be effective? Not every visitor reads the entire content of a website page.
Testing Calls to Action On Your Website
The way to find out where best to place calls to action in your content is to set up a test. The test needs to run for at least 30 days with a younger site receiving minimal traffic. Even a more mature site could benefit from 30 days testing.
Tests can be done using Heat Maps. These can be expensive but a free Heat Map is available from the free version of Sumo.com. Only one page at a time can be tested using the free version of Sumo.
Another method of testing results from calls to action is setting up an A/B testing in Google Analytics. If you are familiar with the process you could use it on several pages at the same time.
Whatever method you use to test, do be certain to check results. Without knowledge of the best calls to action for your page you could be missing out on growth within your business.
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