Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action

Posted by Hannah Hudson

Feb 27

A call-to-action is a must have when attempting to draw customers in.  Let’s face it, just getting a visitor to your website does not increase sales or ultimately grow your business.  A call-to-action is used to provide focus to your website, a way to measure a sites success and ultimately to provide direction to your users.  It is used to keep customers engaged and gives certainty as to what the next steps are.  In other words, a call-to-action is a useful and presentable sales pitch that provides a benefit to the customer and works towards a goal for the company.

What is a call-to-action?

Now let’s get into the specifics… A call to action is not simply just a button but much more. It is sometimes in the form of an image or clickable text. It is a creative eye catching hyperlink text that we use to provide an offer to the customers. The button itself must be distinct yet provide clear direction for the visitor. The button should be placed so to ensure the visitor is sure of their next steps and it should provide contrast so it is easy to see. The button’s included text should include a verb or action word or phrase. This word or phrase makes the action we want the visitor to take to be clear and concise. An example would be ‘Download Now’, ‘Try for free today’, or ‘Sign Me Up!’ to name just a limited few. For example, your call-to-action for a clothing store might offer free shipping for signing up for the email list.

The call-to-action should take the customer to a landing page. This landing page can be used to track and monitor the traffic and to capture the visitor’s demographics. The landing page itself should be aligned to give the specifics of the offer that the call-to-action promotes. The details should be concise and easy to follow. 

Take a moment and look at these 31 Call-to-Action examples.  ( Do you see any you like?

Social Media and Calls-To-Action

An emerging area for growth in the use of calls-to-action is within social media platforms.  Social media sites like Facebook are becoming one-stop-shops for entertainment, events, shopping, networking and more, which has only increased the need for effective calls-to action.  A quick glance at Facebook will show you that the site is constantly asking users to “check out what your friends are selling”, “let your friend know you are attending their event”, “let the world know you are watching the ball game” and much more.  This use is not always pushing users to give information or create a lead of any type, but more often is encouraging users to utilize new and expanding features of the site in order to promote spending more time on the website.

Snapchat is another platform that is expanding its use of calls-to-action.  The app was once just a new way of communicating with friends through pictures, but now it is looking to be a hub for news and information for its users.  The app now features links with short videos or pictures from news outlets like CNN or entertainment sources like E!.  These short videos give a preview of a story that is available as a type of teaser to get users to click through and watch the full video or story.  This is another example of a site attempting to increase the use of its features in order to keep users on their site longer.  This less traditional use of calls-to-action will likely only grow as social media sites battle for the attention of users.

Next Steps…

Now that you know what a call-to-action is and when to use one you can go out and create one yourself.  Where do you go to a create a call-to-action you ask?  Calls-to-action can easily be created with your basic Microsoft office package using PowerPoint, or Microsoft Word.  In addition, they can be created by using pre-made images or by outsourcing.  Once your call-to-action has been created ensure that you are following the above advice when writing content, placing images and displaying your calls-to-action.  Always remember to engage your customer and work to drive a specific goal your company is looking to achieve. Now go on and encourage others to ‘Act Now!’

Ok, here is the Call-to-Action to get you to look at the Inbound Information Technology MBA offering! Will you click on it and explore IIT???

 Learn More About Inbound Information Technology!

Topics: social media

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