Call to Action is a critical component to your website design. I’m going to break down what this term means and provide you with a quick check list to see if your website is using Call to Actions like it should.
First, Call to Action (CTA) elements are nothing new to marketing. Print advertising and television commercials have always utlized callouts such as “Call today!” or “Come in for 40% off now through Friday!” A CTA is the specific behavior you want your audience to take when they are viewing your marketing.
When it comes to websites and the way people consume websites, CTA’s have to be slightly different than what we use in traditional marketing methods. If a potential customer is viewing your business or organization on your website, huge surprise, but they are ONLINE and most likely prefer to learn more about you and contact you ONLINE. You website CTA’s must be geared towards gently guiding your website visitor to continue the relationship – not jumping off to another site.
For example, let’s say you have a landscape company. If you have splashed boldy across the top of your website to “CALL TODAY FOR A FREE QUOTE,” an online visitor is more than likely not going to call because they prefer to do their browsing online (hence why they’re on your website to begin with!). A phone call would be too personal right now, or it might be after business hours and the website visitor knows it wouldn’t get an answer and just moves on from your website.
A better online CTA for this landscape company would be “RECEIVE A FREE QUOTE” which would link to a fillable form that gets sent to the business owner. This form would capture the website visitor’s contact information, plus a few additional pieces of information about their project. Now the business owner has details from the website visitor to develop the relationship and hopefully earn a sale. The website vistitor, who we’ve established prefers online communication right now, is happy to fill out some quick info through the website form since this is more inline with how they want to communicate with the business right now.
Website CTA’s must lead your audience to further online behavior, but must involve earning some type of information so you can keep developing the relationship even outside of your website.
Some example of great website CTA’s include:
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive 10% off your next order (you receive their email address)
- Learn more about our new service (takes them deeper into your website – keeps them engaged)
- Sign up for free (if you have a membership website or VIP group, you could offer a trial period)
- Get Started (take them to a form to fill out information)
- Get a Free Quote (take them to a form to fill out about their project)
- Send me sale alerts (capture their email to send them future promotions)
- Get in Touch (takes them to contact page that must include an online form to contact you)
- Donate Now to Change Lives (takes them to an online donation page where their payment is submitted all online)
- Download Free Checklist (they leave their email and get sent a checklist about something relevant in your industry)
There are so many more ways to do this depending on what your business or organization is all about.
Is your website using CTA’s like it should?
Here are some key items to consider to make sure your website is using CTA’s effectively:
- Is there a CTA on every page? This might seem redundent, but each page on your website should have a CTA. You don’t know what page your website visitor will be on when they decide to act, and they won’t navigate around to find out where to go, so you must have a CTA on every page.
- Is your CTA easy to understand? Should be one single action for the website visitor – leave your email, fill out this quick form, subscribe to newsletter, etc.
- Does it stand out from the rest of your website design? The CTA must be in a contrasting color to your overall design, or maybe even appear in a pop-up window to ensure it grabs attention.
- If your CTA is signing up for updates or filling out a form, be sure you have an autoresponder set up that emails the visitor back right away. Even if the autoresponder says you will follow up in 48 hours, the instant feedback from when the action was taken is crucial in establishing trust with your website visitor.
I hope this information can help you improve your website and win more customers from your website browsers. Let me know what questions you have.
And of course, this post ends with a CTA…check out mine below…