In a perfect world, visitors to your website would browse its pages, choose the product or service they wanted, proceed to the checkout and click the ‘pay now’ or ‘confirm’ button: easy and straightforward and ideally how it should be. However, it’s never quite that simple because unless it’s an impulse purchase, most visitors will naturally hesitate and think again before deciding on that final click of the mouse.
Regardless of how good the web design itself, the importance of good, strong calls to action shouldn’t be underestimated because apart from instructing visitors what you would like them to do next, they can also be what persuades a visitor to complete the buying process rather than think about abandoning it.
I mentioned good and strong because there are some examples around that are rather weak, especially where the word ‘if’ is present. ‘If’ suggests that a visitor can have a good think about it and complete the action in their own good time and which helps to fuel their natural tendency to hesitate. I have seen this example before.
‘Please contact us if you are interested in our new range’.
A call to action should be firmly but politely worded and better still, convey a sense of urgency, such as;
‘You simply can’t afford to miss this great new offer – don’t delay – call us now!’
This call to action not only tells visitors they will lose out if they don’t take you up on the offer, it’s also giving them a positive command to respond immediately and not put the decision on hold.
In addition to being firm and persuasive, calls to action should also make it extremely clear to visitors exactly what it is they should do as well as informing them what they can expect as a result, for example:
‘Click here to instantly download your unique discount code!’
‘Click here to enter our free draw!’
Although using the words ‘click here’ as a link is often common practice, a prominent coloured button would probably have a better effect as a visitor’s eyes will spot it almost immediately and many will likely want to find out what they can expect if they click on it and so will take the time to read the preceding copy and of course the call to action itself.
Finally, it’s also worth remembering to include more than one call to action on the website but give consideration as to exactly how many and especially where they are placed. Too many will disrupt a visitor’s browsing and distract their attention away from the site’s main message which will ultimately render them all but useless.
If done correctly, a call to action can be one of the most powerful elements of website copy; words that can compel visitors to do what you want them to do or direct them to where you want them to go and it’s down to you to persuade them to do just that.
Until next time.