Coming from a computer and marketing background, I would quite often get asked by many of my friends and colleagues about how to build a website or to start a business, to which I would often give the same advice.
I remember standing around a BBQ one sunny afternoon with a good friend of mine telling me about his business. A key problem he was having was actually making sales; A problem, which most people tend to have when starting out.
My solution is generally the same and often starts with one question…
“Are you telling your visitors to do what you would like them to do?”
A very simple question that often results in confusion and bemusement.
With every established business, there is generally one key stat that is constantly measured and tracked. And that is ‘Conversions’. As business owners, we’re aware of the difficulties in converting prospects into fans or buyers, and often spend a tremendous amount of hours and resources in getting the best results.
We eventually discover that the key to achieving all of the above is to ensure you have a great call to action. Taking this a stage further, we then realise that testing your buttons is just as (if not, more) important than just inserting buttons to a page because you understand that changing a single element could result in even more clicks and potential sales. All from just a simple change that could have taken you just a few seconds to implement.
If you’re a beginner just starting out and are wondering what makes a good call to action, or you have a business that you’re working hard to get off the ground, then continue reading…
In this article, we will briefly discuss what a call to action is and the best practices to follow, which will help ensure that you get the best out of our tools and allow you to create your own.
What is a call to action?
In simple terms, a call to action (CTA) is any button or link you place on a page that will encourage visitors and prospects to click.
This is an example taken directly from our main homepage; instructing visitors to click to purchase the product.
Here’s another from Pat Flynn’s ‘Smart Passive Income Blog’ instructing visitors to click and subscribe.
A CTA has many uses, which we’ll briefly list a bit later in the article. But in general, in order to get our visitors to do anything, we must think of compelling ways to get them to commit.
A CTA can be used to get:
- The click
- Make contact
- Small commitment (read a blog post, donate, leave a comment etc…)
- Get a sale
- Submit a form (enter your personal details.)
- Gather data
Of course, there are many strategies and tactics taught in marketing in order to achieve this purpose. But to begin with, we must first understand the best practices and guidelines to help ensure that we’re going in the right direction.
1. Make The Buttons Visually Striking
It’s generally a good idea to have it stand out from the rest of your page. This could be as simple as making sure that the button colour used is different from the colours used to make up the theme of your website.
Large buttons, large fonts and strategically placing it on your page that is most likely to grab the user’s attention without being too forceful.
In the above example, notice the button colour is using a different one to the main theme of the website, which uses red, grey and yellow.
Another perfect example of the opt-in button being a different colour to the overall tone of the theme.
2. Include Compelling Copy
To get the best out of your CTAs, it’s generally a good idea to know who your target audience is, what their age group is and what language they use.
Spend some time on the forums or Facebook groups identifying who they are and to get a feel for their lingo and language style. This will better help communicate your message and to get through to their pain points and desires.
Here’s a great example from Derek Halpern’s ‘Social Triggers’ who communicates in a very informal manner. Using slang and tongue in cheek language, which is great for connecting with his audience.
Here’s another example of Csaba Zajdo’s ‘Optimonk’. This is a great illustration of using highlighting, underlining keywords and the use of social proof. Plus, testimonials to increase trust and authority with the prospect.
3. Make Them Easy To Find
It’s important to place your CTAs in places that are clear and obvious. Most website designers suggest placing your most important elements ‘above the fold’ or at the top half of your page where your visitors will first see it when landing on your website.
Other notable places include:
Overlays, pop-ups, fade-ins, slide-ins, welcome mats – whatever you choose to call them, or however they function on your site, they usually annoy people. That said…they work! They still collect leads that wouldn’t have opt-ins via other forms.
Mini Case Study – Spotify
Here’s another great example taken from the Spotify website with a clear CTA as the main element on the page.
Elements to take note:
Bold Font – Font is big and bold to help make it clear and to stand out from the page.
Striking Colours – Spotify uses a strong colour palette to help capture the attention of their visitors and to guide them to where they want them to focus on.
Purple CTA Button – Uses a Purple CTA button, again to help separate the button from the main website content.
4. Easy To Understand & Clear.
The CTA should be straightforward and easy to understand. Again, this will be easy to do if you understand your target market, which will help you better communicate problems and provide better solutions.
In this great example by ‘Marie Forleo’, she understands that her market is interested in:
- Living life on their terms
- Perhaps quitting their day job
- Living life on their dreams.
You can see that communicating the exact needs of your customer would better allow for the action being taken and encouraging your prospects to do what you want.
Now that we understand the general practices of what makes a great CTA. Let’s now look at the four main uses that you’ll most likely build on your website.
1. Acquiring Leads
Building an email list of prospects will allow you to communicate with your customers directly.
Sending daily emails will allow you to build a strong relationship. If you don’t send daily emails then stay consistent with a weekly email going out to your list. The key with email is consistency. Be consistent and your subscribers will get to know you and begin to trust you.
2. Social Sharing
When first establishing your brand, very few people will know it exists. Social sharing is great for encouraging shares and building word of mouth and viral traffic back to your website.
This is because it gets people to see how reputable and trustworthy you are by getting a direct testimonial from others. It’s the most powerful form of marketing as it instantly establishes you as the ‘go-to’ person for help and information.
This is a great example of a social sharing widget that was added to the bottom of a blog post. Notice the arrow on the right side with the call to action, telling readers what to do next.
3. Event Promos
If your business actively hosts events, crafting CTAs for promoting them will be a great way to generate sales or build a buzz before your event has started.
Here’s a nice example of Digital Marketer’s famous ‘Traffic & Conversion Summit’ sales page, with a clear big green button telling people to join the waiting list.
4. Closing The Sale
Finally, the main crux of your business will ultimately be to make a sale and generate profits. Just as important as generating leads. The more CTAs you build to promote offers to your products and services, the more opportunities you will create in getting your customers to take the desired action.
Your Bonus CTA Button Template
As part of the OptimizePress family, we have worked hard to make it as easy as possible for customers to create stylistic buttons and doing so in a way that’s striking and creative. One of our most popular developments is the ‘Overlay Optimizer’, which you can learn more about here.
You might remember our last article where we created 100+ CTA Button Template, go and download it. This time we have gone another step further and made a set of buttons that include the OverlayOptimizer!
Watch this short video showing the buttons and where to download.
All you have to do is download the template from the Members Hub > Extra Downloads > Scroll down to CTA Button Template.
Go to create new page and install it:
Install it on your site as shown in the video and start using the buttons.
When you want to use a button simply open the page, create a new row, drag and drop the button and copy the row: