Whether it’s the primary purpose or just an opportunistic afterthought, virtually every website you open is selling something to somebody (or trying to). How successful the solicitation pretty much comes down to one factor: the website’s call to action. If you can enhance your website’s call to action to its maximum efficiency, you’re going to see remunerative results. The difference is all in the marketing, which begins with the creativity and accuracy of your call to action choices. As an advertising agency with over ten years’ experience in viral marketing, Mad4Marketing has some tips to share about how to improve call to action on your website.
The trick lies in finding the perfect balance when addressing your demographic: you have to assume that they want to locate your call to action link as quickly as possible, without pandering to them by creating obtrusive, in-your-face buttons that may dissuade business.
As a graphic advertising business, we love the idea of having an icon accompany your call to action. The image may be humorous or subversive, or even a literal example of the button or banner’s path. For example, if you’re a retailer, a shopping cart icon is an easily recognizable image to help readers locate check-out in seconds. And of course it has to be mentioned that a universal image will go a long way on the Internet, where consumers come from a variety of language backgrounds.
On the subject of language, it has to be mentioned that the verbiage used to instigate the proverbial click is absolutely vital. While a phrase such as “Buy Now” or “Contact Us” may be recognizable, it’s also so ubiquitous that a reader may gloss over the invitation. Especially deterrent are the commonly used phrases “Click Here” and “Read More.” This is where creative copywriting comes in. Find a unique way to help your reader complete a basic transaction. A concise catchphrase will capture their attention and inspire sales. Just be careful that your call to action says exactly what it means to do, such as sign up for “Free Marketing Insights” with the Mad4Marketing newsletter. Grandiose claims—like “Triple Your Profits!”–might get some traffic and follow-through clicks, but we assure you, you’re not going to close the sale, much less generate long-term business.
And no, an exclamation point is not your solution. We don’t think we’re the only ones who are over exclamations. And we advise staying away from mass capitalization. No one will respond to a message screaming at them to LEARN MORE! or BUY TODAY! Your readers will appreciate not being ordered to act. You don’t want to yell at them, excite them, or add pressure to their visit. A call to action is about transforming a reader into a customer; it is about enticement and invitation. Treat them as a valued consumer, and they’re far more likely to respond as one.
Keeping the text on a button or banner short and sweet is paramount, but when your call to action is embedded in the text, experts recommend a seven- to fourteen-word link. This gives you more opportunity to explain exactly what clicking on your link is about to do for the reader. It will not only let you describe where your link will take them, and how it can benefit them. It will also ensure that the people who land on your action page are the people who want your services. Unlike website traffic in general, you don’t just want as many people as possible to find your call to action landing page; you want a concentration of dedicated users and consumers. Get people where they want to go, don’t just command them to go there. They won’t return to your website if it’s just a series of redirections and links to your sales page. They will if they get what they came for.
Remember, your consumers are smart. One of the most important lessons in online marketing is that if you pander to the lowest common denominator, than that is what you’ll get. When targeting your demographic, it’s vital to be sure your call to action acknowledges their awareness. Big, giant, neon buttons with arrows and blinking and sound tags insult your reader’s intelligence—and harm the integrity of your page. Your call to action can stand apart from the rest of the site’s design, but sometimes one that blends in with the body of your message is going to have the most profound, targeted effect. Choosing which option works best for your site is up to you, but remember to assume that you’re helping someone of your intelligence and experience locate something they’re already looking for in the most efficient way possible. When you look at your call to action not as a sales pitch, but as customer service, we know you’ll land on the most constructive way to get your readers to click their way into business with you.