In our first post offering Tips for Creating Effective Calls to Action, we introduced the basics about Calls to Action. In our second post about Calls to Action, we continued with some down-and-dirty details about where Calls to Action can be effectively placed for optimal exposure. Now, we’re going to look at how to optimize the effectiveness of your Calls to Action!
What follows is a 8-point checklist that will help create compelling and relevant Calls to Action to ensure that they are as effective as possible. Small changes can sometimes make big differences. Here are some tips that should help maximize your success.
How to Create Compelling, Relevant, and Effective Calls to Action
- Make your offer as clear as day! If you are giving away an report about how to make egg sandwiches, your Call to Action should say something like “Download the Free report on How to Make the Best Egg Sandwich!” Silliness aside, Calls to Action should specifically align directly with your offer, in an encouraging way.
- Contrast! That’s right! If your Calls to Action blend into your page, and don’t stand out enough to be noticeable in a glance, your click-thru-rate will be lousy. Consider size and color first. Contrasting colors and large, but not overly so, Calls to Action work best.
- Be Actionable! People frequently need to be told exactly what to do. Don’t require them to make a decision or “figure it out”. Start Calls to Action with verbs – “Download”, “Register”, and “Start” are good examples. Be sure to add an element of urgency or strength – “Download Now!”, “Register Here Today!”, and “Start Your Free Trial Now!” are all good examples.
- Keep it “above the fold”! This is actually a publishing term but in Internet-land it refers to the portion of the user’s screen that they see without scrolling down or
right. You want your Calls to Action to be located such that they see it easily, without having to scroll to come upon it. The user’s eye should come to your Calls to Action quickly. Depending on the flow and design of your site, this is typically the top left area or the top right area of the page. Keep in mind that all users do NOT have the same size screen or resolution as you do (or your developer does) so try to keep that in mind when locating your Calls to Action.
- Maintain Alignment! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your Calls to Action should align with the page on which they are located and the landing pages to which they redirect. This is partially a matter of integrity and partially and matter of ensuring that your visitor doesn’t become confused and, as a result, skeptic. A skeptic visitor rarely returns. That’s bad. Align your Calls to Action. For example, you make have a Call to Action for a free “Top 10 SEO Tricks” report embedded within a blog post offering an explanation of what SEO is and why it’s important. Similarly, the landing page (where you arrive after clicking through the Call to Action, for the purpose of collecting information about your visitor, prior to providing the report, etc) should be specific to the offer at hand; in this case, the Top 10 SEO Tricks.
- Touch up your Landing Page! We eluded to this in the last point, of course, but your landing page plays a significant role in the success of your “Call to Action to Click Through to Lead Collection” process. As mentioned, your landing page must align with your Calls to Action. Your landing page should also be tweaked based on layout, images, copy (wording), length and so on. Surely there are an infinite number of landing page “combinations”. You need to tweak in order to find that perfect (most effective) landing page.
- Say it again, Sam! Everyone that visits your web site is not there for the first time. You can’t treat everyone as if they’re the same person or customer. Different people are looking for different things in different ways and you have to try to find a way to accommodate the newbie visitor as well as the visitor experienced in your industry and perhaps even experienced with your work! Of course, you can’t do this with a single Call to Action. That’s why you need to have various Calls to Action reiterating your offer in different ways from different places on your site.
- Test and Test and Test Again! Success doesn’t typically happen the first time around. You may have to create many Calls to Action over time, tweak landing pages time and again, and then revisit periodically to ensure that you maintain and/or increase traffic to your landing pages. Test different messaging, colors, and placement on your pages, and see if you can get more page views on your landing pages. It’s not a perfect science and your audience may be fickle. This is why this is so exciting!
At every step, as you create your Calls to Action, understand that constant tweaking and testing will help you optimize your offer!
Believe it or not, there is probably more information about Calls to Action that I can tell you, based on my research. It’s all so exciting! So stay tuned for the next chapter! I look forward to sharing!
Best to you!
PS: If you like this type of marketing training, you’ll want to check out this marketing training arsenal! Believe it or not, Calls to Action are just the tip of the iceberg!