how to write a call to action

Click & Convert: How to Write Effective Calls to Action

Right now, you are one click away from making a profitable sale.

A call to action is, perhaps, one of the most important areas of your website. It doesn’t matter if you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into your website content, if a user reaches your call to action but doesn’t feel compelled to click, it will have all been for nothing.

Writing a call to action that connects with an everyday user’s digital impulse is no easy feat, but there is a foundation of considerations to remember to give you the optimal chance of doing so.

Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about writing these effective calls to action, allowing you to maximise your sales and conversions rates.

Note the Benefit

The first and the most important, element you need to consider in your call to action is the benefit that the user is going to get from clicking on your CTA. For example, when signing up for Netflix, the red CTA simply reads;

“JOIN FREE FOR A MONTH”

This is a powerful call to action because the user knows exactly what they’re getting and why they should be clicking it, ensuring high conversion rates.

Start with a Power Verb

The very first word in your call to action needs to be powerful and directive for the maximum effect. In the Netflix example, the word is ‘join’, suggesting that you’re becoming part of a community of watchers.

Other words could be anything you choose, but for some ideas, you could use words like;

  • Enhance (your marketing plan)
  • Meet (the very best)
  • Sign-up (today)
  • Be (the best)
  • Start (your journey)

Keep Things Short & Sweet

Another important factor to consider is the length of your call to action. Of course, if you’ve got a lot of information to say, by all means, say it, but a call to action is most effective when it’s short and powerful.

“Keeping things short and sweet maximizes the impact it has on the reader (especially since your call to action will stand out from the rest of the page) and the content is, therefore, easily digestible,” shares Jennifer Goodson, a content writer for Paper Fellows.

Writing the Perfects Calls to Action

Since many calls to action will only include a brief amount of text, a couple of sentences at most, the chance that a mistake or error will stand out is high, damaging the credibility of your website and business. Thankfully, there are many online tools you can use to ensure quality;

Be Direct

When a reader reads your CTA, they should know exactly what they’re doing by clicking on the button. There shouldn’t be any questions or doubt in their minds. In some cases, if your website has a lot of content, the user may not be sure what the button does, therefore potentially losing you a sale.

Instead, the reader should know exactly what the next step of their journey is and what clicking your call to action will achieve.

Implement Urgency

Another effective CTA tactic is invoking a sense of urgency in the reader, making them want to click now, rather than thinking about it and coming back at a later date.

For example, if you run an online clothing store and you’re running a sale, asking the user to ‘Click here before the sale ends’ is a great way to tempt the reader into taking action now.

Expanding Your Brand Presence

5 Ways to Further Your Reach

Web Acronyms

Top 6 Web Acronyms Explained

Get to Know these Web Acronyms

Acronyms acronyms acronyms! Today it seems we’re drowning in a sea of acronyms. Everybody uses them in business. Some people use them for good, for example, to explain perhaps an otherwise complicated thing that requires some simplification. Others use them for bad, as a smokescreen to keep clients in the dark. Most of us, however, just misuse them because we take for granted that, when we engage in tech-speak, not everyone knows what we’re talking about. To the average “Joe,” this stuff is not innate knowledge.

This article is inspired by a recent WordPress training session we had with a client. After several months of working very closely with this client on their new Go Media Designer Site, they asked, “What’s a CMS? And do we have one?” A perfectly normal question to ask under any other circumstance. But with it being nine months into the project, it was a major red flag. It was at that moment when we realized that we hadn’t done a good job explaining things to them early in the process. We vowed to do something about it.

Go Media believes that the process of creating beautiful and intuitive, fully responsive websites should be presented in a manner that is easy to understand. Any self-respecting web design and web development team worth its salt sees the value in explaining “tech speak” to their clients.

In an effort to clear the smoke and mirrors, as well as the hocus pocus behind the business of web design and web development, we give you our Top 6 Web Development Acronyms explained:

CMS:
Once again, this is the acronym that inspired this very article. CMS is short for Content Management System. A Content Management System is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content (i.e., all the stuff that goes on your company’s website). A CMS is the very thing (i.e., application) on which your website is built. Here at Go Media, we’re big believers in WordPress for Web Design and Development. It’s our personal favorite. Just sayin’.

UX:
Short for User Experience, UX literally refers to the more palatable, emotional response we have toward the devices, gadgets, systems, and platforms we interact with on a daily basis. When it comes to building the perfect website (one that possesses beauty and functionality in spades), UX is HUGE! Providing a comfortable, rewarding UX experience through beautiful, fully responsive web design (see Go Media Designer Sites) that’s fun to use is what we strive for.

UI:
Short for User Interface, this rather beautiful, perfectly contoured little acronym kind of looks like the very thing it refers to. User interface can be a thing of beauty. At its core, it concerns the way in which people interact with your website and just how user-friendly your website is. The quality of a website’s UI is really determined by how well the site is designed.

User Interface can also be very compelling, because, in order to fully understand it, you start getting into the emotional and physical responses that individuals have to your website. For our purposes, however, we’ll cut to the chase. Translation: Your website should feel intuitive and easy to use, and it should look good too. Seek out the Web Designer who possesses the skill to create a dashing website that is beautiful with a satisfying user interface. Beware the web designer who neglects to tell you exactly what UI means.

GUI:
Pronounced like “gooey”, the GUI, or Graphical User Interface is UI’s kid brother. Graphical User interface refers to the overall look and feel of your website and all the little things [represented as graphic elements] that visitors to your website can click on to access information: icons, menus, buttons, images & video, etc.

At Go Media, we take GUI very seriously (despite the fact that it kinda reminds us of salt water taffy, which we love by the way). In addition to being talented Cleveland Web Developers, we’re also accomplished graphic designers. The two go together like hand and glove. GUI is what happens when we put our heads together. The overall look and feel of your website plays a major factor in the success of your business. Seek out the Web Design firm who understand the importance of getting GUI right!

SEO:
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the search rankings of your website through a series of metrics and procedures such as keyword analysis, code optimization, onsite optimization, and link building. Confused? You’re not alone.

At its most basic, SEO is simply a matter of taking the right steps to improve your website’s global profile. In terms of marketing your business these days, SEO is THE hot property. More and more businesses see the value in it. The process of “getting optimized” as we like to call it is necessary in managing an effective online strategy for your business.

CTA:
Short for Call to Action – a CTA is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action, such as ‘Read More’, ‘Contact Us’, or ‘Buy Now’. The CTA generally takes the form of a button or what is known as a hyperlink (i.e., a special link that visitors to your website can either click, tap, or hover over to access other parts of your website).

So there you have it. Hopefully we debunked some of the mysteries behind these common but confusing acronyms. Heck, if you found this article helpful (and we hope you did), print it out and take it with you the next time you’re in the market for a new website. To paraphrase the great Sy Syms, “An educated consumer is the best customer.”

Plan on building a website for your business? Don’t get lost in a sea of acronyms. Drop us a line. We’ll remove the guesswork.

How CTAs Boost Your Revenue and Increase Business

The Importance of Calls to Action

An effective call to action, or CTA, can have a resounding impact on revenue while also expanding customer reach.

CTAs are common throughout the web, from social media to blog posts, but the most successful speak for themselves with profitable results.

CTAs also possess an enjoyable versatility, both in regard to platform usage and actual content, that makes their usage recommended for business in all niches. When digging deeper into why and how successful calls to action work, while also looking at examples of poor calls to action, several things become clear:

1. CTAs Can Exist Anywhere

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The early age of the internet saw a fairly limited number of areas ripe for calls to action. Since CTAs can exist anywhere content can, today presents a wider range of opportunities than ever for businesses to take full advantage of CTAs. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other platforms all present ample opportunity for calls to action, whether in the form of conventional text or even a video or photo making the call to action. As the example above shows, platforms like Instagram even provide accessible call to action options.

This versatility aids in increased revenue because it allows for more creative opportunities. Audiences vary between the platforms. Viewers of a blog, for instance, are fully expecting to digest content, making lengthier calls to action appropriate. Meanwhile, viewers of Instagram are more in the mode of quick digestion. In this case, a quick video or photo with a concise call to action seems more appropriate.

Using the versatility of CTAs, while analyzing which CTAs are a fit for the particular medium, can result in a business seeing extreme increases in revenue. Reaching out to the entire user base via blogs and social media can ensure a wider net is cast than ever before.

2. They Serve as the Finishing Touch

One could convey a brilliant marketing pitch and be faultless in their delivery and content delivery, yet still fail to capture business if they don’t finish well. Summarizing all the benefits of joining a service or purchasing an item at the end of the pitch is integral to closing things up. Calls to action have the power to do this.

Aligning CTAs correctly is part of the art. Ideally, for a blog post, successful CTAs are placed at the end, with the preceding content leading into it and the CTA summarizing the beneficial points. A question like, “So what are you waiting for?” or “Ready to join?” is commonly included.

Prematurely placing a CTA can cause readers to forget to undertake the action entirely. They may get so swept up in your beautiful content that the CTA can be forgotten. That’s why placing it at the end is a better strategy — it can leave a more resounding impact and result in more conversions.

3. CTAs Can Reinforce Established Expertise

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Users are unlikely to respond to a call to action if they’re skeptical about you or what you’re offering. As a result, great calls to action are preceded by content that establishes a legitimate reputation and knowledge on the topic. For example, this guide to better landing pages from Hubspot includes eleven great tips. By the article’s conclusion, there is no question as to whether Hubspot is an expert on the subject.

At the article’s conclusion, they ask users: “What other landing page tips would you share with marketers taking an interest in landing page optimization?” This causes users to stop and think, reflecting on what they’ve read so far. With many at a loss for what to respond with, Hubspot cleverly includes right below that a very effective CTA: “Want more lead generation tips and tricks? Download your copy of The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas today.”

Asking readers a concluding question and then following that question up with a relevant call to action can work wonders in terms of increasing revenue and grabbing a reader’s attention. It’s generally a three-step process that entails capturing the reader’s interest, immersing their newly learned knowledge with an applicable question and using that question within the CTA.

4. Non-Specific CTAs Can Work, When Incorporated Intelligently

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Content-tailored calls to action can work wonderfully, though the power of CTAs is also evident in their ability to be placed anywhere regardless of topic. An entirely irrelevant CTA won’t work well, such as pitching an eBook about aviation in an article about pest control, but more general CTA tasks — like subscribing to the entire site’s newsletter or following them on social media — can be pushed regardless of the topic being presented in the blog or social media post.

Hubspot does this well, too, placing a call to action box at the bottom of many blog articles that give viewers an option to subscribe to their newsletter. After some time on their page, a pop-up also appears with the option to “Get expert marketing tips straight to your inbox, and become a better marketer” above a box where you can enter your email address.

The box only pops up after a minute or two on a page, with the site assuming you’re reading and interested enough in the content to consider subscribing. Using time-based pop-ups like these, as opposed to just popping up immediately, can be the difference between being perceived as a nuisance and a helpful suggestion.

5. Harness the Power of Testimonials

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In addition to strong content, testimonials can be a difference-maker when people are wondering whether to go through with a presented CTA. LinkedIn knows this well, dedicating an entire page to endorsements and testimonials from respectable figures. On their various product pages, where CTAs are used to get people to sign up, these testimonials are visible on the page.

This is a particularly wise method for businesses not as dependent on substantive blog content. If users aren’t going to gain good judgment of your reputability or success from content alone, have others reinforce that notion. CopyBlogger uses endorsements nicely in their call to action, with various endorsement quotes evident right below their “Take the Tour” CTA.

6. Establish Urgency! CTAs Love It!

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Effective calls to actions can vary in their content and tone, though they generally all do possess a relatively urgent quality. Creating the impression that something is limited or very timely can prompt users to make the action, as opposed to simply telling themselves “I’ll do it later” before forgetting about it entirely. The call to action on Leadpages’ weekly webinar is a great example of this, telling users to “Click Here to Claim Your Spot,” with a countdown timer below that. While the timer may be a bit much for some sites, it’s certainly an effective tool to tell potential leads “this won’t be here forever!”

CJ Pony Parts’ homepage CTA also successfully uses urgency. They offer a 10% off sale, while noting “this is your only chance all year to purchase select Cobb items on sale!”. Again, this informs users how much time they have can create a productive anxiety of sorts, with them opting to take care of it now before forgetting later.

Calls to action clearly possess a great ability to generate revenue and expand a business’ reach, as long as they show urgency, are implemented appropriately on a platform-specific basis and are uplifted by shrewd placement and copy. All businesses should be taking advantage of CTAs in our very social media and blog-active climate.

Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Have an eCommerce Site? Make Sure it has these 3 Key Elements:

You Asked, We Answered.

How Do I Improve My eCommerce Site? 

We all want to see more traffic and conversions on our ecommerce sites, right? Of course! This even includes all of us at Cleveland Design firm, Go Media.

With numerous tricks and tips swarming the web, knowing what, when, and how to make those improvements can be overwhelming.

Today, let’s start from square one and make sure we all have these three fool-proof elements, all of which can be accomplished this afternoon. Let’s get to it!

1. A Very Obvious & Enticing Email Sign-Up

Did you know that only 1 to 3% of people that land on your website will actually make a full and complete sale? Frightening, huh?

Panic not, dear friends. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In order to build trust and, in a sense, convince customers that your product is worth what you claim it is, add a simple email sign-up to your page.

Think of this simple email opt-in as a customer’s small commitment to you. A baby step if you will. The next step may be reading your email, the following step considering a purchase. Then, perhaps, after days, weeks, even months, a final sale. These are all very important baby steps in what will hopefully be a long and happy relationship between you and your customer.

Now, many of you have an email sign-up on your page – but today, let’s make it both:

  • Obvious and
  • Enticing

Offer up an incredibly irresistible reason for your visitor to want to enter their name into the “Enter your email address here” box. This could be a freebie of which dreams are made or an exclusive coupon.

We recommend using:

Retro-Supply-Co
Entice your audience and they’ll likely sign up for your newsletter. Shout-out Dustin Lee.

———————

2. A Clear Call to Action

Call to Action is another phrase for, “This is what the heck you are supposed to do here.” Or, as Wikipedia more eloquently states, a banner, button or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click on it…an essential part of marketing…that actively strives to convert a user into a lead and later into a customer.”

Here are some really effective Call to Action Examples >

Pencil by FiftyThree
The bright “Buy Now” button makes things crystal clear.
Square's "Get Started" button is plain and simple.
Square’s “Get Started” button leaves no doubt in the mind of the visitor.
Basecamp wipes away all the clutter and gets to the heart of the matter.
Basecamp wipes away all the clutter and gets to the heart of the matter.

Today, ensure that:

    1. You have a Call to Action to begin with
    2. Your Call to Action is dummy proof (People will undoubtedly click on it.)
    3. It is above the fold (ie. the portion of the site immediately visible when the page first loads).

To test that your call to action is working, use a heat map, through:

to make sure your visitors are really clicking that “big red button,” so to speak.

———————

3. Live Chat!

Interact with your customers live and in the flesh (well, almost) when you install live chat on your ecommerce website. Live chat serves as a great customer service tool, allowing you to know your customer and their needs on a more intimate level. Live chat also connects you with your customer so that they can view you as a real live human being, instead of a nameless, faceless entity. Once they know you and come to understand your product, they’re more likely to buy from you. It’s as simple as that.

We recommend:

Talk to the people!
Talk to the people!

What tips and tricks have you used to improve your eCommerce site? Please share your knowledge with me in the comments below!