Writing Effective Calls to Action

Writing Effective Calls to Action

Posted: 20th September 2013

If you want to create a website that succeeds in achieving your targets or goals, then you need to provide an effective call to action. But what is that exactly, why is it important and how can you write effective calls to action that achieve the best results?

What is a call to action?

A call to action is something that motivates a visitor to your website to take a desired course of action. The call to action is normally targeted and written or presented in a certain way to appear attractive, eye-catching or enticing. It can be presented in the form of a graphic, banner, button or text. The user is encouraged to click on it which will direct them, usually, towards making a sale.

Why are they important?

Any type of call to action is important because it will lead to getting the customer to do what you want them to on your site. This might be generating a new lead, making a sale or obtaining contact details. When people visit your website, it’s vital that you can give them a clear indication of what they should do next. Without an effective CTA, you risk visitors clicking off your website before making any action.

What are the characteristics of effective calls to action?

Creating an effective call to action can be easy if you gain a little know-how. There are several rules and tips worth following to ensure you get it right.

Make It Eye-catching
It’s important to make your call to action stand out, so that it doesn’t get lost amongst endless amounts of text. If you’re writing text as a call to action, as opposed to using graphics, then introduce the call to action at the beginning of the text and again, in the summary. Place the call to action in a logical section so that it flows well.

Make it relevant
Make sure that whatever your call to action is, that it is relevant to your audience and the information you are presenting. Always deliver what you promise and don’t exaggerate features to encourage a call to action.

Promote the benefits
Make sure to promote the benefits the reader can gain by making the particular call to action. Give the reader the impression that the call to action is an exclusive one that won’t be around forever.

Inject a sense of urgency
By making the call to action appear important and urgent, the reader is more likely to complete the action instantly rather than coming back to it later, which may run the risk of them forgetting about it. You can create a sense of urgency by the choice of words you choose. Use active and direct language as it gives a stronger command, and use words such as ‘today’, ‘now’ or ‘don’t miss out’ as part of the call to action. This blog post has a list of 60 examples.

Simplicity is key
Make sure your call to action is simple, clear, convenient and specific. Don’t mix together more than one call to action with others, as it will result in confusion and won’t achieve the desired effect.

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