Marketing: Read this to improve your web calls-to-action
Here are a few tips to make your website’s content work harder for you by developing and using effective calls-to-action (CTA).
Forget about pretty design
If you have a really great design team, your calls-to-action are probably rock stars, generating new leads and cross-selling or u-selling current leads. Unfortunately, not every designer is going to make your calls-to-action stand out. Being designers, they will often design your CTAs with the design and color scheme of your website in mind so it looks good. The problem with that is your CTAs are designed so well that visitors can have a very hard time finding them.
No one wants to spend half an hour searching for your call-to-action. You probably don’t want to make your CTAs so small that you need a magnifying glass to see them. Consider making them bigger. The text within your CTA doesn’t need to be huge; it just needs to be big enough so people can actually read it. Think of your call-to-action on your website like a violator on a package. Use day-glow colors if you need to so your call-to-action really stands out.
Don’t be vague
You don’t need to talk to people like they are children, but you need to effectively get your message across. Give your viewers some direction. Tell them what they are supposed to do next. If you don’t tell them to register here, click to download, subscribe, get your guide, or to sign up, it is likely that your web visitors will leave without taking any action at all.
Your visitors are busy. They have other things to do. Your calls-to-action should tell visitors exactly what you want them to know and do, using strong, active language.
Use actionable words like:
“Download,” “View,” “Visit,” “Request,” “Apply” and “Click here to order!”
Another important thing to remember: Don’t just make those words really small and put them near the bottom of the CTA. Make them big and place them toward the top. Most people will only glance at the large headline copy of your call-to-action. You don’t want to leave prospects and leads confused, wondering what action they’re supposed to take.
Don’t be too wordy
No one likes to read meandering sentences that never get to the point. The objective of your call-to-action is to promote your marketing offers and send them to your landing page or your shopping cart.
More often than not, the copy of your call-to-action is too wordy. Some old school copy writers might say too many words are better than not enough. But those extra words can become confusing and unnecessary, especially with the attention span of your audience only being somewhere short of 15 seconds. The quicker you get to the point, the better your click through rates will be.
Use secondary calls-to-action
Don’t just include one CTA on every page; consider adding one or two secondary CTAs. A secondary CTA provides an alternative conversion opportunity or action for your visitors, prospects or leads to take. Generally, secondary calls-to-action are featured less prominently. They often work when a prospect is on the border but it takes another nudge to get them to respond.
Secondary CTAs include:
• Subscribing to blog
• Inline text within an email that links to another page or offer
• Subscribe to receive mails about FREE marketing resources
Use similar language in CTAs and landing pages
Have you ever clicked on a CTA because the copy provided a solution to one of your problems and when you got to their landing page, it had nothing to do with the offer they were promoting? They probably didn’t direct the CTA to the correct landing page. But you will confuse your prospects and leads if you don’t send them to the landing page or page of your website they are most interested in.
Confusion develops when the copy in your call-to-action says something totally different than the copy on your landing page. When writing the copy for your landing page, make sure that it’s action- and value-oriented, and utilizes keywords that attract your visitors. Write in the second person, and make sure your copy is clear.
Applying these easy tips should make your calls-to-action more effective so you can sell or educate more, with less effort.
About the author: Scott Francis is president of Topline Development LLC, a strategic marketing consulting group that provides new product identification, advertising plan development, go to market strategies and sales support programs and interim CMO/CEO services. To learn more about Topline Development LLC, visit their website at ToplineDevelopment.com or contact Scott directly at [email protected].