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You may have set up your website, handed out flyers and other print materials and may have also spread the word to your friends and family about your new business. Spreading the word is one important major step to take as a means of advertising, however there is one more crucial step that you must take to help convert your advertising and marketing campaigns to actual sales. In order to truly grab people’s attention, your marketing pieces should have a well written call to action that will drive people to want to contact you for business. We will look at what makes a good call to action as well as how to implement them on your website.
A Call to Action must have compelling words that create action.
Take a look at the graphic above; this graphic is attempting a creating a call to action that would tell customers to request a free consultation for a service. But there is one word in here that is attempting to grab a consumer’s interest: free. People love to hear or see the word “FREE” as it means they can get something easy without having to pay for it. Would you have still clicked on this button if it simply said “Request a Consultation”? You may start wandering over whether or not you have to pay for the consultation and many people will simply give it a pass. The word “free” is the driving word here that will cause people to want to click on your button; you may not be getting paid for the service the button is promoting, however that free consultation is a great way to get personal with a possible customer to show them why your product or service will work for them. Without using the word “free”, you can expect to get less phone calls from possible leads asking to set up the consultation.
Some examples of phrases using action words include “Save Money Today”, “Today Only! 50% off” & “Risk Free. Try Us Today!”
We found a full list of action words that you can include in your call to action at WebSavvy; check out the list here.
Make your call to action stand out.
A call to action must be both visually appealing with colors that will catch the eye the moment it is seen. Above is another form of the free consultation promotion, however this one uses larger sized words with brighter colors. Without even looking directly at this graphic, the red background will most likely catch your eye while looking at surrounding elements on a page. Red is the most eye catching color that you can use, which is why it is often used on things like warning signs and warning lights on top of tall towers and buildings (to prevent planes from crashing into them). Remember that when used properly, red or a similar color will help catch the eye of your readers. Additionally, keep font sizes in mind too as you will want to have your most important words stand out larger than other words on your call to action. In the graphic above, the words “FREE CONSULTATION” are in large block letters simply because those are the words that will compel people to click. If you remove the words “click here for a”, then the button will still work because the item it is promoting are still there and in a large size that nobody can miss.
Ensure that your call to action has prominence on your website.
Your call to action can be extremely useful, but if no one can find it or it is in a place where it can get overlooked then it will not be able to do its job. Take a look at the top of the Art Institutes’ website, pictured above. How many call to action elements can you spot on the top of the page alone? If you said 3, then you are correct! The Application Deadline area is highlighted in red and large because it gives people a sense of urgency to start applying for the school if they are interested. Directly above it is the “Get Brochure” button which uses a parallelogram shape as a means of highlighting it, but does not use bright colors as a means to lower its sense of urgency but still catch the attention of the reader. Lastly, the “Request a Brochure” section is implemented in the header area as a means to drive people to request information quickly rather than having them search the site. The header area of your website is the best place to showcase your most important information that you want your readers to see because they may only spend 15 seconds or less on your website before clicking the back button.
If possible, use a testimonial next to your call to action.
Nothing helps people feel more comfortable choosing your products and services than seeing actual proof of satisfaction from your customers. If you have a “Free Consultation” or “Learn More” button that you are using for your call to action, why not include a testimonial from a past client directly next to it or above it. Take a look at this past login page for LinkedIn pictured above, it has a client who is happy because LinkedIn eliminated her need to make cold calls. Directly beside her testimonial is the registration form to create a new account; basically the layout here gives both someone a reason to trust LinkedIn and the form to join immediately after gaining that trust. One way LinkedIn could have made this call to action better would have been to change the “Get started- it’s free” headline to “Build your business team and say goodbye to cold calling like Kendra with LinkedIn. It’s Free!”
Address your customers’ needs with your call to action.
Your call to action should include a few words pointing out what exactly your services will provide for them or a phrase hinting towards their needs. The example above asks “Are you looking to generate more leads online?” Here they use bold text with a larger font size to highlight the reader’s need, which is to generate more leads online; then, they use orange to highlight that the guide the button is promoting is free. The reader was most likely researching tips on business lead generation and came across a blog post written by an expert; included in their website was a call to action addressing the needs of the reader with a free resource to help them.
Are you having trouble creating a good call to action for your website or advertising? We would love to hear about your ideas and thoughts and we would love to help you polish your company website to ensure that is a money-generating tool for your business. Remember, you can have the nicest looking website in the world, but if you do not showcase some sort of benefit for or offer something to your targeted audience with an effective call to action then your website is as useful as a broken TV.
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