In any business deal, the closer and call-to-action (CTA) makes the sale.
You can have a great presentation and stunning graphics, but without a good CTA, you’ll get nowhere. It is no different on the web. You need effective CTAs on your website so customers can take the next step.
Without it, it’s like doing your presentation and never asking for a sale.
However, there’s an art to crafting the right CTA for your site. While there are some general rules, you must consider your industry, purpose, and voice to craft a completely unique CTA. Here are some general rules of thumb to go by when crafting your CTA.
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1. Create a Personable Experience
To avoid salesy or pushy CTAs, the rest of your website should create a personable experience. You want your content to feel as if you were talking to a personal friend. Therefore, you need to get to know your audience. Unless they are primarily rocket scientists or college professors, it’s probably a good idea to avoid a lot of technical jargon.
As you’re telling your story, your CTA can flow very naturally. There’s no need to force it at that point. The goal is to be able to talk about the benefits of your product or service in a relatable way. Then, when they see the CTA, they already have a clear idea of how it will benefit them.
2. Keep It Simple
Customers in our day do not have much time or patience. When crafting your CTA, keep it simple. Give specific directions. Either you’re leading them to your purchasing page, asking them to call for a consultation, or offering a free trial. Whatever it is, there’s no need for the customer to guess what the next natural step should be to benefit from your product or service.
Since we’re looking for a short and sweet CTA, you may need to narrow it down a little. You want to convey value to your potential customers, but you only want one to two lines at most. One way to narrow it down is to think about the top two or three benefits your offer provides. List them in order. Pick the most critical benefit, and explain it in just a few words.
3. Create Value
The main question customers ask is, “What’s in it for me?” Therefore, another way to craft an attractive CTA is to add a bonus. This could be a free trial of your revolutionary vitamin mix after explaining all the benefits. If you have a blog, you could offer subscribers back-stage access to awesome content.
Another way to create value is to build credibility. Customers want services that they can verify satisfied other customers. Therefore, prominently display customer testimonials. Just like Facebook has likes and shares, customer testimonials on your site act as an independent endorsement encouraging potential customers to take the next step.
You can also create value by tying your CTA into a news story if possible. If the industry you’re in has recent events, tie them into your CTA. This can help create a natural flow. It adds value because you’ve automatically made it relevant to your readers.
They were reading a story that was relevant to them, and now they can partake in your company’s benefits. A good example would be a news story that shows health benefits of a particular food or vitamin. After reading, customers can take action by purchasing your vitamins.
4. Create Urgency
One of the easiest ways to lose customers is to allow them to put off their purchase. CTAs need to give them a reason to take immediate action. If they procrastinate, it could go to the bottom of their to-do lists. There are several ways to make a CTA urgent. Offer seasonal discounts, limited-time offers, or even a subtle reminder that every day without action is a lost opportunity.
Part of creating urgency is creating confident language. Your customers need to know how you can help them. Therefore, weak language must be eliminated. Cut words like “I think,” “I hope,” “really,” “very,” and “stuff.” Instead, direct them immediately to the benefit: “Click here today to receive your free trial.” This shows readers the benefit, tells them how to receive it, and creates the urgency that they need to buy today.
5. Creating a CTA look
Readers like to quickly scan and skim content, so the visual appeal and size of your CTA definitely matters. Try playing around with font size and color. You can also have a different font altogether to stand out. If your page is all one color, you may try putting your CTA in a separate box in a contrasting color.
Lastly, you may play around with the placement of your CTA. Place it high up on the page to attract more clicks. Even if it’s not at the very top, aim for a spot above the fold. This way, when scanning your content, a reader will not miss the CTA.