How to Make an Offer They Don’t Want to Refuse
A great call to action links your goals with the goals of your potential customer. Any time you ask your online reader for an immediate response (usually in the way of a click, form fill, or call), you are giving the reader a call to action.
“Get Free Samples!”
“Find out more…”
“Learn how today!”
These are all calls to action. They ask the reader to take some action – to push a button or fill out a form.
Whether you are looking to get readers to sign up for a mailing list, buy a product or even just request further information, you need a compelling call to action that grabs the reader’s attention, explains the value of taking action, and shows them a clear path to their goal. Here are 5 examples and tips to create a great call to action.
Use Action Words
No one wants to seem pushy but your call to action (CTA) needs to be direct. Overly polite or passive CTAs just don’t get the interest or the clicks. Be clear, unequivocal, and convey a sense of urgency. Using action words inspires the reader to take the next step and gives them a clear path forward.
Use words like get, create, finalize, confirm, read, buy, start, join, transform, and maximize. Avoid phrases like “could you” or “would you” and instead demand action with phrases like “confirm your spot” or “transform your wardrobe”.
Notice how PayPal doesn’t ask us if we need another way to pay. Instead it offers more choice and buying potential. Then the button drives it home with a clear and simple next step.
Be Clear and Specific
As in the PayPal example above, your audience needs to know exactly what they are going to get by clicking on the button. And they need to feel safe doing it – or at least well compensated for doing what you want.
Netflix tells us what we’re getting by taking action and soothes our commitment fears by including the “cancel anytime” language.
Match Your CTA to Your Brand Identity
Make sure your call to action is written in the same voice as the rest of your website, post, or email. If it stands out as different, or worse overbearing, it will create dissonance for your reader. Dissonance leads to distrust and distrust kills conversions.
Is your company voice one that’s fun and irreverent? Or professional and confident? Your call to action needs to sound like you, not a salesman.
In our redesign for a dentist Royal Oak Dental we chose “Request Appointment!” for the CTA, rather than “make an appointment” or “call today”. This wording, while still being direct and clear, conveys the gentle, spa-like feel that the office wants to convey.
Don’t be Afraid of Repetition
Repeating the call to action gives it more weight and gives the reader multiple opportunities to click. Don’t be obnoxious about it, but do provide multiple opportunities for click-through. You don’t know when that reader will decide to take you up on your offer and your CTA needs to be right there when they’re ready.
Amazon knows all about repetition and provides two places on the menu bar alone where you can sign up for their Prime service.
Keep your CTA short and drenched in value. Too many irrelevant words and your reader may tune out. Avoid using filler adjectives like great or awesome. Say clearly what they’ll get by clicking, but keep in mind that a CTA is not a product description.
A good call to action shouldn’t require more than a headline, brief statement, and an action. If you find yourself going too long or using too many words, you need to reconsider. If you need to explain the product more clearly, use a proper web page for that and setup a secondary link.
Apple uses a single word “Buy” for its primary button and includes a secondary link that offers further information if the reader is not yet ready to buy.
Your call to action will get results if you use action words, be clear and specific, match to your brand identity, use repetition effectively, and keep it brief. Simple, but not easy.
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