5 Effective Calls to Action

Peter Engelhardt
September 15, 2010 — 1,396 views  
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For any website to convert potential customers into a sale or enquiry, it needs to have a distinct "call to action". This enticement should be aimed at engaging with your audience and encouraging them to leave their details, buy a product or spend more time discovering your website, hence, helping your business grow. This can be a call for debate or discussion, signing up to receive newsletters, taking part in a survey, or adding a widget from your site on their computer.

A "call to action" should be unique, simple, clear and compelling enough to persuade a potential customer to take some action. Structured properly it will help attract new clients and retain current ones. It plays on the simplest of marketing rules - "give the customer something for nothing". Although it is essentially an information-collecting tool it should leave the customer feeling good and feeling like they have began a real relationship with your company.

Bear in mind that a mere "Contact us" form on your website is not considered a "call to action". Today's audience is smart, and is unlikely to share contact information on a plain vanilla text form. This is not only unappealing, it also sets off an alarm in the audience's mind that all you want is contact information and nothing else.  A "call to action" is about building trust and relationships - and ultimately a stronger web conversion ratio on you site.

At Creative Brew we have studied the netizen's mindset and will customize a call to action for your website based on the kind of business you're in, what you sell, what your strong points are and what kind of audience you'd want to attract. In short, here are the 5 principles we follow to arrive at the best call to action for individual website:

1) The KISS formula

Keep It Simple - we can't say it loud enough! Do not over-embellish your call to action - statistics (and common sense) dictate that for a call to action to work, it has to be easy to act on and delivered immediately. Do not place your call to action as a final point after navigating your website, do not promise an elaborate reward upon completing it and for heaven's sake, do not get cute. If you sell cute stuff, it's a different story, but do not give off an impression of flippancy - it turns people off. Make your call to action a clear offer.

2) Highlight it

Make it the star of the site, position it on your Home Page. By placing it at the top or by highlighting it in a banner or in a different colour than that of your website's background, you're telling your audience that this is where they can connect with you. Let them know.

3) Throw in something extra

Don't forget this golden rule - everybody and their grandma loves a good bargain. Offer up one with your call to action. It doesn't have to be exorbitant; it just needs to be there. Study your competition and what they're offering. Understand what kind of a giveaway will complement your website - and hence, your product/service/business. Get inside the head of your target audience - they never lie.

4) Use the right words

Active language is the key. A single word that calls out to your audience to click on your call to action and get going is what your site requires. "Call", "Subscribe", "Register", Free" - these are some of the tried and tested active words. Use them.

5) Make it work

Give your audience what they think they should get from your site. For example, if you're a consulting group that provides expertise in manpower management, put together a document that includes a PDF of the services your company provides, a couple of case studies and a form for the HR manager to complete. Also include handy tips to reduce attrition, snippets from articles you have written and mistakes to avoid during hiring. Which HR team would not want a ready reckoner on employee retention? Since these "whitepapers" are downloadable, the visitor gets instant gratification and you would have high recall value in his mind the next time he needs help in this area. And with this positive experience, you're sure to get some positive word-of-mouth as well.


Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-tips-articles/5-effective-calls-to-action-3254829.html

About the AuthorPeter J Engelhardt is the founder of the highly respected marketing & design company Creative Brew. With over 20 years of branding experience Peter is now motivated by the exciting potential that new and social media has brought to the world of communications. His passion is embracing this technology to find new and better ways to help clients with their marketing challenges. He companies focus is based on merging traditional marketing practices with the emerging new media tools.

Peter Engelhardt

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