8 Things All Internet Marketing Experts Know About Calls to Action

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  • PPC/SEM
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Calls to action are arguably the most important element on your website. Everything else you do - from PPC campaigns, to social media marketing, to website design, to copywriting - is aimed at getting people to click on that call to action. You therefore have to make it as good as possible. After all, you don't want to do the hard work of getting traffic to a page for it to leave without converting.

Good calls to action equal good conversion rates - it really is as simple as that. Below are the eight crucial things you need to know when creating yours. A brief introduction first -this assumes you understand the basics of a call to action. This means not using boring and uninspiring words like "Submit" and "Sign Up." You need more descriptive and motivating text, and you need to use buttons to attract attention to that part of the page. So long as you have these basics in place, you can make improvement.

1. You Have to Test

You can spend hours researching button colors, text, and everything else that impacts on a call to action, but most of that time will be wasted. The only way you will really know what works on your website with your audience and in your industry is to test.

And here is the secret - everyone does it. You know those blue buttons you see on Google's product pages? Google tested 50 variations of blue to find the shade that converted best. You have to adopt a similar approach.

That means testing the text, the color of the button, the size of the button, the design around the button, and the position of the call to action. You don't have to go into as many variations as Google or the other big sites do, but you should still test.

Also, test every assumption. It doesn't matter what any expert tells you; you will only know for sure if it works on your website if you test. For example, most people will tell you that you should include your calls to action above the fold on your website so that visitors can see them before they scroll. Are you sure? Test to find out, as you might discover that placing calls to action below the fold actually works better.

2. It's Psychology

Calls to action are all about psychology. You don't necessarily have to go into much detail with this, as it is a huge topic, but you can use some knowledge to try out different styles. For example, you can appeal to your visitors' sense of belonging by writing a call to action that makes them want to be part of something that lots of people already use.

Even reverse psychology can work in some situations, for example, having button text that says "Don't click unless you want to get huge savings." It might not work, but it could be worth a try.

3. It Should Be One Choice Only

People hate making decisions, so offering options and making people choose will almost certainly lower your conversion rates. The best calls to action offer a choice that is as simple as possible - take what is being offered by clicking on this button or don't.

One thing to note about this tip is that it applies per call to action. You can still offer multiple options more generally on your website. For example, you might have a premium product that you sell on your website with a call to action. If someone goes to leave your website without buying that product, you can then show them a pop-up offering them something free if they sign up for your newsletter. That is two offerings on your website, but each call to action is giving just one choice.

4. It Has to Stand Out

People expect to see a call to action, so don't worry about annoying anyone. In fact, you should make it stand out on the page as much as possible. You can do this by the call to action position, color, and size. The color in particular should contrast with the rest of the page. You can also add effects, like making it 3D or adding design.

5. Writing in the First Person Works

Calls to action written in the first person can often dramatically improve conversion rates. Here is an example of three calls to action:

a. "Free Trial" - This is a generic call to action and is quite weak.
b. "Get Your Free Trial" - This is written in the second person and is a considerable improvement on the first example. In the vast majority of situations, conversion rates will improve with this type of call to action.
c. "I Want a Free Trial" - This is written in the first person and is usually the best way to maximize conversions.

Therefore, try starting your calls to action with "I want..."

6. Reduce Anxiety

You should also try reducing anxiety with your call to action. For example, you can include text close to the button that explains no credit card is needed or that there is a money back guarantee. Adding social proof can also work - testimonials or stats showing how many other people use the product.

7. Benefit Oriented

The text close to your call to action is important, and it should be benefit oriented. Don't just list features. You can even try first discussing the problem before showing you have a solution. This is more of that sales psychology that was mentioned earlier, but it can work.

8. Urgency Sells

Urgency works in all forms of advertising and marketing, and the calls to action on your website are no different. If you can make your offer sound scarce or time limited, you will increase the rate that people click on it. Make sure the urgency is authentic, though, as forced or fake urgency won't work.

Calls to action can almost always be improved, so even when you get your conversion rates to a point you are happy with, go back over this list to see if further tweaks can be made.
#action #calls #experts #internet #marketing #things
  • Profile picture of the author 1nspire
    Great list. I also like CTA's that have the desired result in mind. Like if you are selling a product then use "Buy Now" as a CTA. Another way to write based on #5 is "YES! I Want It Now".

    You will be amazed at how well CTA's work when you ask for the desired result. Even Zig Zigler says that one problem most sales people have is that they don't ask for the sale. The same concept works in online marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Good grief, another article dump. This time a listicle.

    Articles are monologues that don't encourage discussion. As such they are highly inappropriate for a forum, unless your goal is to sabotage the forum.

    Is that your goal mr. article dumper?

    Are you deliberately trying to sabotage this forum?

    Article dumping encourages comment spam. What do I mean by comment spam? Anyone who has tried to allow comments on a blog on the internet knows what I'm referring to. Comment spammers are people that leave 1 or 2 line "generic" comments that add no value whatsoever. They just comment so they can get their links on the page.

    Where are the moderators? Why are they allowing this practice to be permitted by serial article dumpers? Perhaps they hate their job and are hoping this forum dies so they can do anything else but moderate a forum? Who knows?

    See, I'm asking questions... trying to get an actual discussion going.

    This article writer (serial dumper) actually did some research and got some valid points into their article, however, as is typical, it is mostly fluff, and completely misses the mark at times, even going as far as offering really bad advice. For example, I got the impression that the writer suggested that users actually test 50 different shades of blue on their CTA button color.

    Google gets a billion searches a day and therefore testing button colors makes a lot of sense, for Google. However, I will go out on a limb and speculate that this article was not targeted at Google test engineers, or anyone else that has a Billion page views a day. And as such, implying that someone should waste valuable time and resources testing 50 different shades of blue, or any other color, really misses the mark.

    I know there will probably be some newbies that might think "gee, Google has already test the best color, I'll just copy their color and use it for my website." Sadly, it's not that easy folks. We test because what works on one website doesn't usually work the same on another website.

    Before anyone goes out and starts a series of tests on 50 different shades of button colors, let me offer a well known shortcut. Usually the button color that stands out the most will work best. Often a color that contrasts with the other colors used on the website. But color isn't the only thing that makes a button stand out, you can also add negative space around your CTA to make it more prominent. That might do more than changing button colors.

    The main takeaway is that you shouldn't waste time testing things that aren't likely to give you a significant lift. You can simply use a complementary color, make the button big and prominent by the use of negative space and you will have a CTA that stands out that is the obvious next step for users. You can then spend your time and resources testing other things that are more likely to give you a big lift in performance. Thinks like page headlines, and subheadings.

    While I agree that CTA buttons are certainly an important element, I think the article writer is clearly not an expert, for if he were he probably wouldn't have asserted that the CTA is the mot important element on the website. An important element indeed, but the "most important", far from it.

    Your CTA has no significant role for people that bounce from your website due to a poorly written headline, subheading or sales copy. Those folks will never see your CTA,or if they do, it will likely be irrelevant. Why, because there are other elements that are supremely important and it is only after effectively engaging your audience, telling your story in a compelling way that the importance of your CTA becomes significant. At best, I would argue it is the 3rd most important element, and that is based on 15 plus years of testing, not on a half an hour of article research by a writer that is not an expert on this topic.

    Be careful what you read on this forum, especially from these "article dumpers" that are posting mostly fluff pieces.
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    • Profile picture of the author thinkingbabe01
      I am in no way here to sabotage this forum. I am sharing what I have learnt. I don't think every article is to encourage discussion.
      Do you really think everything you have learnt in life should encourage discussion? I will disagree with you on that.
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  • Profile picture of the author christinehopkin
    That`s really informative and nice sharing in all the way. I know a wide range of companies who are offering PPC service at very low price. One of them is VirtueNetz. Just visit them and run your business successfully as they are also offering packages for their clients now.


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    Research Executive at VirtueNetz

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  • Profile picture of the author Sara20
    Great stuff! I think you are right)
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  • Profile picture of the author KinneyJ2014
    • Strong calls to action the most important element of every landing page, but too many businesses do not use them effectively.

    • 70 %of small business websites do not contain a call to all, according to a study published in Small Business Trends, and many other small businesses do not make their appeal is strong enough to drive their transformation objectives.

    • If you're committed to boost your conversion rates, you just have to learn how to write a compelling call to action.

    • Every business has a sad reality, and sold over the Internet - and reluctant readers looking to make a purchase.


    Many companies are afraid to go off-brand with the color schemes on their websites. But are your CTA buttons blending in too much with the rest of the page? That might be the case.

    Test using bolder colors that clash with your regular stylings -- it may not be "pretty," but at least you'll get people's attention



    tip :On your website pages, your CTA should be above the fold -- near the top of the page so visitors don't have to scroll down to see it.
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