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The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Compelling Call to Action

call to action

A call to action is one of the most important pieces of a landing page design

A call-to-action serves to encourage a visitor to take an action desired action. CTAs can be the filling of a lead generation form, subscribing to an email, or the purchase of a product or service.

Calls to action are important because they act as the final step in the process of turning a visitor into a lead or a customer. Many business owners think the prospect should be sold on the merit of what you’re offering and, of course, the sterling copy that you put up. And yet, research shows that calls to action make a huge difference to lead acquisition and also sales. It’s like the old sales story:

Sales manager: “Did you make the sale”.

Salesman: “No, everything went right. The customer loved the product and how I presented it”.

Sales Manager: “But did you ask for the sale?”

Salesman: :”No”

Calls to action are a means to guide the action. After all, the deal doesn’t move forward till the visitor acts. For example, a “Buy Now” button is signal for an interested prospect to act. Here are some examples of effective calls to action.

Here are 8 steps to creating an effective CTA.

  1. The call to action should be crisp and direct. It should use the active voice. It should leave no doubt as to what the call is. It could be a call to download an eBook, a call to register for a webinar, or anything else. Ensure clarity in a few words, preferably in no more than five words.
  2. Research shows that CTA placed above the fold tend to perform better than those that have the visitor scrolling down to arrive at them. Create copy and mold the design with this in mind. Your campaign will benefit from a higher click-through rate if you do.
  3. Your call to action does not have to be drab in order to be to the point. You can be as creative as you like, so long as you can deliver the message succinctly. Split test a couple different CTAs to determine which works best for a particular message.
  4. The CTA has to stand out against the rest of the page. This is the thinking behind the garish neon arrows on some landing pages. Those don’t achieve much except blinding the visitor in one eye. Focus on contrast but stay classy. Font size, font color, and background are the elements that you can play around with to create contrast between the copy and call to action.
  5. The call to action is only as good as the copy that precedes it. The copy has to be relevant to the offer, contain the correct keywords, and lead the visitor into executing the call to action.
  6. If you plan on having CTAs on your home page, then come up with at least three, so that you are cover buyers in different stages of the buying cycle. You can send a fresh prospect to download a free ebook and a more targeted lead to perhaps a free trial.
  7. Design your layout such that your CTA is easily spotted. Along with being above the fold, it should also exist in uncluttered surroundings. White spaces around the call to action improve its visibility.
  8. The size, design, and placement of the call to action will vary with the objective – lead gathering, lead nurturing, social sharing, sale, or event promotion.

Whatever your goal is, the Call-To-Action is an integral but often overlooked part of the marketing process. They can be the difference between profit and loss or success and failure. As stated, they consist of just a few words. Choose them wisely and good fortune will follow.

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