Are you in a situation where you’ve done all you can to improve the layout and functionality of your website, but you’re still not getting as many sales as expected? You went through the motions of making each page on your site mobile-responsive and made each part of the website clear for visitors to see. What could be missing?
While it might seem like you have all the right ingredients in place, there is one major element you’re missing which could have the biggest impact on how many people you’re able to convert. Behold the call-to-action statement. A call-to-action, or CTA, as described in the digital marketing world is exactly like it sounds. It’s a way to get more people interested in buying your products and services. Sure, it looks straightforward on the surface, but there’s a lot more to creating the perfect call-to-actions each time.
In this guide, we’ll not only show you how call-to-actions work, but we’ll also show you several techniques for writing them too. You’ll never have to spend an eternity trying to come up with memorable call-to-actions yourself.
What is an Example of a Call-to-Action?
Before you can start writing better call-to-actions in your website and landing page, you must first understand the basics. Imagine yourself as a car salesman, and you want to persuade someone to take a test drive in one of the vehicles you have on offer. What could you say to a potential customer that would make them want to buy your vehicle here?
You could mention how the car gets more mileage without using as much gasoline. There’s one compelling benefit that may motivate the prospective buyer into taking action, but there’s a little bit more you’ll need before closing the deal. You could say “Buy My Car Now,” but you’re not going to make such a lasting impression on the buyer. Something like this sounds generic and boring, and you’re likely to give the customer a less than favorable impression of your business this way.
Instead of blatantly telling someone to buy your car at that moment, you retool your statement so it emphasizes the main reason why someone might want to buy the car. Instead of “Buy My Car Now,” the statement now becomes “Make a Purchase and Save Big Fuel Mileage.” Now, this sounds a lot more convincing and specific to what the buyer of your car is looking for.
What you saw above is a perfect example of a call-to-action statement. Instead of selling cars, your business may have a completely different focus which is entirely okay. The example was to show you what a difference a call-to-action could have on someone checking out your business for the first time.
Your website must accomplish the same objectives as you were selling a product or service in real life. On the site, your website copy would succinctly describe what your product or service will do for a customer and go into ways it stands apart from the competition.
Then, you would include a call-to-action either at the beginning or end of the page to remind people to buy from your website or take similar action. That’s the gist of how you would go about creating a call-to-action on your site.
Why Are Call-to-Actions (CTAs) So Effective?
People have a habit of remembering certain phrases that are repeated and emphasized throughout ads and other media they consume. It’s one of the reasons why the HeadOn ads were so popular years ago. They were incredibly annoying to many who watched them, but the marketing pros behind those ads understood how to drive a specific point home, even if it was done most obnoxiously. You can watch the ad below or continue reading if you want to spare yourself the headache.
With call-to-actions, you don’t need to be so annoying to get the point across. However, you do need to understand that you have to grab someone’s attention and cement a vision of your product into the psyche of your target audience.
When someone visits a web page, they scan the page first to get a gist of what it’s about. To help them quickly decipher the meaning of your page, they will look for phrases that prompt them to take action. Call-to-actions help a lot when your pages are dense and have a lot of content on them. They help to break up what could be long paragraphs that your customers might skip over.
Furthermore, a call-to-action is like a reminder to the visitor to do something if they liked what you had to offer. With several of these reminders, the user is keen to click on a button or link, even if they didn’t have the intention to. In many ways, call-to-actions stimulate the subconscious part of the human brain and provide additional reassurance that you’ll convince someone to buy your product.
Best Practices in Preparing Call-to-Action Statements and Buttons
So you know how and why call-to-actions work so well. Now it’s time to delve into some of the best practices in creating call-to-action statements and buttons. The first thing you should always remember as you’re creating call-to-actions for your landing pages and website is to come in with the intention to experiment.
In digital marketing, you do a lot of experimentation and testing, and call-to-actions are one of the most heavily focused parts. Even the smallest change in a call-to-action like the verbiage or color of the button could have drastic effects on your conversion rates whether you’re running a PPC campaign or implementing a long-term SEO strategy.
In testing, you’ll compare multiple versions of a page you created coupled with some call-to-actions. When running your digital marketing campaigns, you see which version of your landing page performed the best and analyze why the others failed.
It’s always best to leave aside any assumptions you might have and go by historical data and trends, and how your audience responds. Keyword research and gathering information from your competitors is an excellent starting point.
Also, it will take some trial and error before you stumble onto call-to-actions that perform well. It certainly helps to examine your competition, but also take web psychology into account.
Call-to-Action Copywriting Techniques to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Testing is key to creating fantastic call-to-action statements, but how do you know which style of call-to-action to use?
Well, all the best call-to-actions share these characteristics in common:
• Eye-Catching, Vibrant Colors
• Appeal to Emotion
• Persuade People to Want to Do Something
• Straightforward and Easy to Follow
• Sense of Urgency
To summarize it, call-to-actions are there to create curiosity in the reader and make it clear what they’ll get if they click on a button or link on your website. By following the basic principles above, you can create more exciting and creative call-to-actions like these:
• Free and No Risk for 90 Days
• Buy Today, Get Your Free Gift Instantly
• Become a Partner and Make a Difference
• Sign Up and Download Your New, Ultimate Ebook Now
All of these call-to-actions clearly describe what benefits your customers are getting. There’s no ambiguity as to what will happen, which is often the reason many call-to-actions fail in digital marketing. Some of the call-to-actions use descriptive terms to make the product appear unique and different.
These aren’t the only ways to create call-to-actions though. Sometimes, the simpler, the better. When you can’t think of anything else, it doesn’t hurt to go with more conventional, straightforward call-to-actions like your standard “Sign Up Now” or “Create an Account.” These call-to-actions get the job done and leave no questions about what the user is supposed to do on your page.
Other Ways to Strengthen Call-to-Action Statements
When written and designed well, call-to-action statements will increase the conversion rate on your site. Now, it would help if you thought about using call-to-actions and connecting them with your brand.
One way you can create even more motivation in your call-to-actions is to combine them with storytelling. People always appreciate a genuine story of how your business came to be. Stories create a more personal connection from the user to your products, making the call-to-actions stand out more.
By the time a user has gone through your stories, and they see testimonials from others who have massively benefited from your products and services, they’ll want to join in on the action too.
Call-to-Actions in Real Life
One of the best uses of call-to-actions we’ve seen can be found on the Coca-Cola website. When you go to the home page, there are call-to-action statements and buttons. The landing page itself is very clean, simple, and easy-to-read.
Each headline is crafted to fit the branding and personality of the Coke brand. The call-to-action buttons reinforce the strong messaging that appeals to those who are thirsty and need a crisp, refreshing, and tasty drink.
Be as simple and clear as Coke did with their website, branding, and call-to-actions. Appeal to your audience’s emotions, wants, and desires and you will create better call-to-actions with time and practice.
Call-to-actions give you a ton of room to be as creative as you want. There are no strict boundaries as to what will work, but there are several principles you can follow to maximize success. Be experimental and always keep testing to see how your audience responds.
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