Any time we begin working with a new client, one of the very first things we do is an analysis of their current online presence. This includes looking at the website – sometimes websites – as well as the company’s social media and relevant review sites. We identify what’s working well, what needs improvement, and what’s missing entirely. More often than not, strong calls-to-action are in the ‘missing entirely’ category.
A Call-To-Action is instruction you provide in order to encourage your customer to take a specific action. The most common example of a call-to-action is the “Buy Now!” button, but calls don’t have to be promotional in nature. Calls-to-Action can be used to prompt customers to view more products, select a color or size, sign up for email newsletters, watch a video, and more.
Calls-To-Action can take many forms, from simple text through clickable buttons, chat window messages, and people delivering them in person via livestream video. Generally, calls are short, direct and to the point: many are less than 5 words long.
Why Calls-To-Action Are Important
The digital marketing industry has learned that customers will not spend their time searching for information within a website; if they cannot find what they’re looking for almost immediately, they will abandon their quest. Calls-To-Action serve as signposts, directing customers to potential next steps they will want to explore. Calls-To-Action can introduce possibilities customers didn’t even know existed, such as color options or design variations. Calls can also be used to direct customers to engage in fun activities, which increases the amount of time they spend on your website or social media, strengthening the bond between individual and brand and elegantly easing the customer further into the sales funnel.
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What Makes a Call-To-Action Strong?
There are four critical components to a strong call-to-action. They are design, placement, relevance, and destination. Design is straightforward: calls-to-action work best when they’re visually distinct yet reflective of your company branding. Placement can vary with the type of call to action: the two most common options are near the top of a webpage or immediately after the text, either on a web page or social media post. Relevance means that the offer must make sense and be appealing to that customer in that moment: if you’ve just presented information about great deals on snow shovels, for example, your call to action shouldn’t invite shoppers to browse your beach towels! Finally, destination matters. Have your calls-to-action lead to a destination that allows your customer to complete their desired action immediately – don’t just send them to your home page in the hopes that’s close enough. It’s not. A Call-to-Action should lead to a specific shopping cart, download page, reservation form, video, or other action point that makes sense.