We all like to be told what to do sometimes, whether we realise it or not. It just depends on the way in which we are told...
For example, if someone walked in to a room and started barking orders at you, or began to shout before issuing an ultimatum, you probably wouldn't appreciate it, right? However, when you are completing a task, sometimes it helps to be given clear directions on how to reach the end.
If you run a business and have a website, you will have certain things you want your browser to do. Whether that's making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter or simply picking up the phone, you need to make it as simple and straightforward for them to do this. And that's where call-to-action design comes in...
The intention of a call to action is obvious enough. However, designing a call to action that actually accomplishes what it sets out to do is not so easy. If you want to increase your sales and boost your conversion rates, paying more attention to the craft of your calls to action is a good place to start. Here are our tips for creating CTA's that work;
- Get to the point – A call-to-action needs to be short and sweet. Your content is the time to let your readers know what you can offer – a call-to-action is where you tell them in clear terms what you want them to do next. Example: 'download', 'subscribe', 'sign up here'.
- Keep it simple – Getting your potential customer to where you want them to be should be as easy as 1,2,3. If you make the process too complicated, your call to action will fail. Use your call-to-action to reassure the customer – for example 'download for free now' or 'sign up in less than a minute'.
- Urgency is key – Use your call-to-action to convey to your audience that not signing up right away will result in a missed opportunity. For example, if a certain product is on offer for a limited period of time, the customer risks paying more if they delay their purchase. Words such as 'now', 'today' and 'immediately' help to communicate this urgency to your customers.
- Stand out from the crowd – Your website and branding should already convey your business' individuality, so your calls-to-action should follow suit. What makes this certain product or service special? Figure this out and incorporate it into your CTA's. For example, if you have the most years of experience within your sector, or are the only company to provide a certain service, then say so! No-one else will say it for you...
- Make it clever – Your call to action should grab the attention of your audience – if it doesn't then it will not succeed. Try to provoke an emotional response; make your audience laugh, or make them feel as though your product is a necessity. Include a play on words in your CTA, or solve a problem – make sure your call to action sticks in your customers' minds.
- Choice of words – The words you use are important too. Stay clear of weak words such as 'try', 'click' or 'see' – everyone uses these and they are not direct enough to inspire people to take action. Be more creative – for example 'discover the secrets of great web design' sounds more compelling than 'learn the secrets of web design'.
Some of the key places where calls-to-action will really help are:
- Home Page – Naturally, the home page is important here. Do not overwhelm your browser with call-to-action buttons and designs – a few here and there will work to get your user where you would like them to be.
- Product pages – Product pages are a good place to add calls to action. If your customer is viewing a product page, then chances are they are highly interested in the product. A little CTA at the end such as 'Order Today', 'Free Delivery' or 'Call Now For More Information' could be the little push that wins you that sale.
- Contact – For most businesses, the contact page is the most important. Make sure your contact details are displayed prominently – don't make your customers hunt for a phone number! Provide an email address, contact form, address and any other details that make it easier for potential clients to get in touch.
Creating a call-to-action that includes the above-mentioned points won't be easy. Designing a call to action that works takes a good deal of marketing know-how, and there will be a lot of trial and error before you find that perfect CTA. But giving up is not an option – calls to action are essential is you are looking to convert browsers into customers. Clear visitor paths are crucial for any website – they allow you to grab your customer by the hand and show them all the information they need, before bringing them to that end point that results in the action that you are seeking.