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Crafting Compelling Calls to Action that Convert

In the last blog, we looked at what makes a great landing page and saw that the call to action is
an essential part of the recipe. But we left the question of ‘what makes a great call to action?’ till
now. So let’s examine calls to action: What are they? What purpose do they serve? And how
can you write a great one?

The Crowning Glory

The call to action is the peak of your sales pitch. If the copy on your landing page is the
warm-up, the call to action is the winning goal.

No matter what action you’re calling your readers to take – from downloading an app or
subscribing to a mailing list to buying your latest widget – the principles are the same. You’ve
toyed with your readers, you’ve made them promises, you’ve informed them; now you need a
short burst of persuasive power to get them to take the plunge.

Persuasion and buttons

The call to action is the text that accompanies the button you want your readers to press. It may
just be a couple of words – Buy Now! – or it may be longer. Generally, it’s short, but the important
thing isn’t its size but its persuasiveness. A call to action needs to sum up your offer in a way
that tempts readers to press the button.

As such, a great call to action can (and often does!) make the difference between a successful
website, and a mediocre one.

So it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Here are some tips to help.

1. Make sure your call to action button stands out clearly so readers realize it is a
call to action – and that they’re meant to press it.

The first is very obvious – the call to action button needs to be clearly seen. So use contrasting
colors rather than blending it in with the background.

And try using some effects that highlight the button, like a large arrow pointing down at it which
makes it obvious even to the least observant reader that they’re meant to click. Or have the
mouse turn the button a different color when it hovers.

Anything that makes it stand out will do.

2. Use the call to action to stress the benefits of pressing the button rather than
making it sound like a command.

People don’t like being told what to do, but they do like getting something valuable. So rather
than ‘Click here to sign up’ try wording it in a more positive way – ‘Get your free e-book by
clicking here.’

3. Consider using the first person for the copy.

That means phrasing it as though your reader is actually saying it. So, even better than ‘Get
your free e-book by clicking here’ would be a button that says ‘I want my free e-book’.

This powerful technique can help readers identify with the aim of the button, and often increases

4. Keep it simple.

A call to action should appeal to the reader’s most basic self-interest. A complicated or clever
message will just confuse people at a time when you don’t want them to think, you just want
them to act.

5. Help the reader with a last-minute boost.

Converting is frequently a spur of the moment decision, and small positive messages added to
the call to action can be effective in overcoming last second doubts.

Don’t overdo it – just one or two short phrases like ‘Full money back guarantee’ or ‘Complete
privacy guaranteed’ can help, as can short testimonial quotes or ratings from a trusted source.

The point of these boosts are to overcome any residual reluctance or fears the reader might be
experiencing, and give just that little extra help to get them to cross the line.

Don’t forget to test!

Here’s a bonus tip – and it’s an extremely important one.

Crafting successful calls to action takes effort, application and imagination. As with everything in
conversion optimization, the best way to succeed is to keep testing new ideas. Only by testing
can you tell what works for your audience.

Meantime, if you need professional advice on any aspect of conversion optimization, our
experts are always here to help.


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